New to Henley Festival 2018
It’s about a posh as a festival gets – first class music, food, fizz and black tie. Plus Reading’s top notch London Street Brasserie is popping up for the first time ever.
Bring out the bunting and wriggle into your super-hot going-out frock. Henley Festival is just around the corner and it’s like no other festival you will attend this summer. Put the wellies away, you won’t be needing them, and the Daisy Dukes can stay buried in the back of the wardrobe (huge sigh of relief for everyone). Henley is strictly black tie – that’s how they roll in these parts.
It’s a massive 5 day bash, chocca with live music, contemporary arts, comedy (Paul Merton, Mark Watson, Rob Brydon, Lucy Watson), street theatre and food… glorious food with 12 restaurants and nine bars. Rita Ora, Grace Jones, Nile Rodgers and Curtis Stigers are among the headliners, plus there’s the massively popular Family Sunday if you can snaffle tickets.
For the very first time, renowned local chef Paul Clerehugh and his team at London Street Brasserie in Reading will be opening a pop up in the Spiegeltent – and it is all shades of fab-u-lous.
Take a seat inside the flamboyant old school circus tent and the LSB staff will treat like prom king and queen. Crowd pleasing food, excellent reasonably priced wines, beers, spirits (pretty rare at these dos) and a funky tune from the Spiegeltent stage.
I’ve been pouring over the menu and it’s good, really good: Starters include king prawn and asparagus salad, seafood sashimi, Iberico ham and a pimped up mozzarella and tomato salad. On to the mains: steak and chips (the only place offering this classic), lobster, Cornish bass and a tasty beetroot gratin and chickpea and falafel veggie dish. I reckon we could all squeeze in a pud, especially when there’s cheese, fruity meringue, chocolate and lashings of cream and salted caramel on the menu. Resistance is futile. (Have a nose at the full menu here)
The cost of a table for the evening, superb live music in the Spiegeltent and 3 delicious courses is £60 per person, with drinks on top. Then sit back, stuff your face and enjoy a few glasses (*hic). The awesome NYJO contemporary jazz orchestra will take the stage for early diners to enjoy, warming you up nicely for the main act, and the later sitting (after the Rita and co have headed home for a hot water and lemon) will see Purdy, Ray Gelato & the Giants and Yolanda Brown keeping the party going into the small hours.
I’m all in for an easy life to keep the fun factor bubblier than a bottle of Moet & Chandon. There’s nothing worse than aimlessly wandering around looking for your next meal only to find a queue and the dish you want is sold out or you don’t have enough cash (no cashpoints, so be prepared) and have to top up the coffers only to rejoin the back of the queue. Sound familiar? Sorting out a restaurant reservation in advance is a winner winner – and if you want a table for the entire evening, Brasserie @ The Jazz Club (it’s got a fancy pop up name) will find you a spot to rest your dance weary feet.
As if all this wasn’t enticing enough, mention Muddy Stilettos when making your reservation at the London Street Brasserie Henley Festival pop up and you’ll enjoy a FREE flute of Champagne. Get on the blower to Paul by calling 07379 244926 or email email@example.com and he’ll put the bubbles on ice. Just don’t forget to purchase your Henley Festival ticket, if you haven’t got one already. You ain’t getting anywhere near the food, music or fun without it.
So what can you expect this year?
WED 11 JUL
Headline: Rita Ora.
Brasserie @ Spiegeltent: NYJO House Band and Ray Gelato & the Giants.
Other highlights: Mark Watson, Thunderbards and Sam & Stew.
THU 12 JUL
Headline: Grace Jones.
Brasserie @ Spiegeltent: NYJO House Band and Purdy.
Other highlights: Dom Holland, Suzi Ruffell and Cecil.
FRI 13 JUL
Headline: Chic feat. Nile Rodgers.
Brasserie @ Spiegeltent: NYJO House Band and Yolanda Brown.
Other highlights: Paul Merton’s Impro Chumps, Rhys James and Acro-Chaps.
SAT 14 JUL
Headline: Curtis Stigers & Ronnie Scott’s.
Brasserie @ Spiegeltent: NYJO House Band and King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys.
Other highlights: Lucy Porter, Lee Nelson and Big Names (aka Salvator Dali).
SUN 15 JUL
Headline: English National Opera.
Brasserie @ Spiegeltent: Mr Danger’s Really Safe Show, Opera Prelude and Miss Kiddy and The Cads.
Other highlights: Jon Culshaw, The Card Ninja and Mr Bloom.
If you love the Henley Festival and plan to go, or if you usually can’t quite be bothered (the crowds/the parking/posh frocks) London Street Brasserie should change your mind, because I reckon it’s going to be awesome. You need a ticket to get within striking distance of all this summer fun, but general admission is from £35-£55, depending on what day you go. Then book your table at London Street Brasserie, remember there’s a free glass of Champers for Muddy readers (quote Muddy Stilettos), then all you need to worry about it what to wear. Cue a Muddy wardrobe meltdown.
Henley Festival, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 2LY – Wed 11 – Sun 15 July. To book a table at London Street Brasserie pop up Brasserie @ The Jazz Club, call 07379 244926 or email firstname.lastname@example.org