The second edition of this champagne festival fizzed with good food and VIP vibes
Lizzie Frainier Images:
It’s the day of Krug Festival and it’s pouring it down. No matter. When did a little bit of rain ever get in the way of us Brits having a barbecue?
And boy what a barbecue it was. Argentinian chef Francis Mallman (of Neflix Chef's Table
fame) was there to orchestrate the culinary proceedings, Mahogony curated a set list of performers and four varieties of Krug were served by the three-litre jeroboam. There are no hospitality packages to speak of, but at a festival this premium with unlimited champers all night, everyone feels like a VIP.
We arrive late afternoon to The Grange, a Grade-I listed mansion in the wilds of Hampshire. With a solid downpour all day, plan B is firmly in action and the inside’s decked out with long, communal wooden tables and an inordinate amount of what seemed inordinately beautiful male waiters.
Grabbing a brolly, we make a beeline for the field outside where the team of chefs are preparing tonight’s feast. Mallman is known for cooking in the great outdoors over open fires and in underground pits. Watching the meats roast while warming canapés like cheese-filled empanadas are being turned out, was as much of a performance as the music acts to come.
Ady Suleiman kicks things off with a soulful soundtrack under the eaves of The Grange. It’s an intimate affair with the crowd stood just a few feet away, and he ends by saying he’s never had the chance to share a stage with his audience before – perhaps the rain is good after all.
But the main event is dinner. Highlights include salt-baked wild salmon with pine nut pesto, a hunk of seriously slow-roasted chicken and the Krug 2002. More music, more champagne, more merriment. The second edition of the festival may have been a wet one, but spirits were definitely warm. We’ll be back.
Make the most of the season before it’s over and check out our favourite late-summer festivals with VIP offerings for client entertaining here
More photos of Krug Festival 2017