POP-UP restaurants have shot onto the dining scene as a novel and safe way of enjoying a meal out during the pandemic.
As reported in the A&T, in September a month-long series of different dining experiences was held at the Bath Road recreation ground in Lymington – although it sparked some annoyance from local pub landlords claiming it took away business.
But the trend is here to stay for a while longer with the announcement of two new events in the New Forest where people will be able to eat out in a safe environment while observing coronavirus rules.
The first of these is the Supper Club to be held in the grounds of Pylewell Park, near Lymington, where top chefs who usually cater for weddings, milestone birthdays and other big events will be displaying their talents.
Red Herring is one of the New Forest’s leading catering business which, like many, have been hit hard by pandemic restrictions.
Now it is popping up in the grounds of the country house for the weekend of Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th October as a “taster”. If successful, there are plans to roll out more Supper Clubs across November and December.
A team led by Red Herring owner and chef Steve Hamson is offering a menu which includes crispy stuffed roast belly of pork, sliced chorizo and hash potatoes with rainbow chard and gremolata salsa.
There will also be clam rigatoni pasta with salmon, monkfish and mussels, and a spinach and pumpkin velouté on offer along with desserts including an espresso martini shot.
On ‘Sunday Funday’ diners can enjoy Porterhouse beef or loin of pork with all the trimmings – all served on giant sharing boards.
Steve told the A&T: “The Red Herring Supper Club is a way of bringing friends together over great food and drink in a safe and well managed environment.
“Since announcing the weekend on our social media the reaction has been overwhelming and we’re delighted that Saturday 24th October is already a sell-out.”
Tables can be booked for six people. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hot on the heels of Red Herring is the Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst, which is running its own pop-up food and drink fortnight from 16th-29th November.
The restaurant is called The Lodge Kitchen & Bar where diners will be seated in an enormous 28-metre by 10-metre tent in front of the hotel overlooking the cricket pitch.
It will be decorated with sheepskin rugs and rustic tables to create an alpine theme. Mulled wine will be available along with Italian pasta dishes including beef ragu pappardelle and sharing boards of Italian meats, breads, cheese and pickles.
There will also be seasonal Christmas twists with pizzas on offer, freshly cooked in an open-air oven.
Topping styles include the Isle of Wight (tomato, confit, garlic, Isle of Wight blue cheese, and basil), goat cheese and rocket with red onion confit, the classic Margherita (tomato, mozzarella and basil) and the Diavola (spicy sausage, chilli, olives, basil and thick, creamy mozzarella).
There will be a selection of flatbreads and salads including pulled brisket with Montagnolo cheese and rocket, smoked local trout with capers, and rocket and home-made smoked Tunworth cheese with honey.
The hotel’s brasserie menu will also be available with dishes including homemade burger and Creedy Carver duck breast.
To wash it down you can sample Henry’s Pale Ale, which has been designed and brewed on the premises at the Brockenhurst Brewery by Henry Wilson, son of hotel owners Chris and Alison Wilson.
Hotel general manager Michael Clitheroe said: “Since re-opening the hotel on 4th July we have continued to go from strength to strength with the staycation boom, and we are incredibly excited to launch the Lodge Kitchen and Bar.
“This Christmas the Balmer Lawn will quite simply be the place to go to experience a unique outside/inside festive food offering.”
To book call 01590 623116 or visit www.balmerlawnhotel.com