Amsterdam to Tonbridge with Chef Justin Brown – Old Fire Station Tunbridge

Last night, the husband and I attended a pop-up event at The Old Fire Station in Tonbridge with Chef Justin Brown.  Built in 1901, the fire station stood empty after its closure for nearly 35 years before it was purchased by a local, and turned into an amazing space that hosts pop-ups for restaurants, bars, artists and much more.

The venue is just a short train ride from London and very close to Tunbridge station. Last night however we decided to drive and it only took 45 minutes from Weybridge and as I had literally tried every wine on the menu, it probably wasn’t as pleasant a drive on the way home as it was going there. “Lairy” I think Bradley likes to call me when I have been drinking white wine! ha ha

The event last night started at 7.30 pm and was sold out to capacity with 40 covers. On arrival, we sat on a shared table next to a lovely couple and my new friend and I started with wine one on the list. The wine/beer list isn’t extensive, however it is all local wines, with last nights offerings coming from the Hush Heath Estate, Staplehurst in Kent. Of all of them, “Skye’s English Chardonnay was my favourite, and at only £5 for a large glass it was lovely.

Our Chef, Justin Brown trained at the Landmark (one of my favourite hotels) and has also worked with an array of amazing Chef’s including Jamie Oliver.  Justin also worked at private members club the Harrington Club owned by Ronnie Wood and has worked a lot in my other home Australia,  so Bradley and I were very excited for the evening.

We started with confit salmon which was poached in olive oil and had some lovely horseradish cream with it before moving onto a cauliflower risotto.

The cauliflower risotto was probably my favourite part of the menu. Its texture and taste was lovely.  Next up was the bao bun which is a steamed bun with crispy chicken and cabbage slaw inside.  You can see from my picture what it looks like and if I could make them myself, I would eat them every day. I have never had anything like them and Bradley even had seconds!

After the bao bun we had a good sized piece of brie with black truffle and then chocolate mouse with frozen yoghurt and pomegranate molasses which tasted amazing.  It tasted like a melted chocolate bar as a mouse (not very descriptive I know) but it was sooo good (not sure how many calories I need to put in My Fitness Pal for that one!)

Our night at the Tonbridge Fire Station was lots of fun and something different. It really is a great event space and it would be great to hire for a group if you were doing a conference in a nearby hotel. The space would also suit a private, intimate party as it is so unique. I am looking forward to seeing what other pop-ups they host in the future.

For more information on the venue, contact Sam here.

The Old Fire Station – Castle Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1BH






My Event Bucket List

In the last two weeks I have introduced a bucket list at work.  The lovely ladies and I have stared a weekly bucket list of things we want to accomplish in the next week.  The list is everything from go to the gym 5 times this week to emailing our moms.  It got me thinking about my events’ bucket list so here is my top 5 locations I want to run events in the next five years:

  1. The Rainbow Room – NYC – I have been to NYC 15 times and it is one of my favourite places.  Every time I go I can visualise all the amazing conferences or events I could do there. The Rainbow Room opened in 1934 and was THE celebrity place. It has been mentioned in everything from a JD Salinger novel to numerous shout outs in Friends and to me, it is the epitome of NYC and to do an event there would be fab! 
  2. Grand Hotel, Wein – ViennaVienna is just stunning and to hold a conference  or a meeting followed by a Viennese themed ball would be amazing.  This hotel is breathtaking. You need to have a look!
  3. Burj-al-Arab – DubaiI lived in Dubai for two years so am well versed with all the amazing venues.  Despite living there, I have run only one event, in the Mall of the Emirates,and would love to do something at some of the more opulent locations. The Burj-al-Arab has some amazing spaces for meetings & events.  Who wouldn’t want to hold a cocktail reception where Tiger Woods teed off. 
  4. MGM Grand – Las Vegas – Ahhh Vegas. I have only ever been to Vegas for holidays and running an event in the 6000 person capacity Marquee Ballroom would be just fantastic
  5. Galle Face Hotel – Sri LankaMy husband and I stayed here a few years ago and it is so regal and the hotel is just so grand. I would love to run a smaller event here with a gala dinner in the grounds.  Everything about this hotel is perfect.  Great distance from the airport, amazing service and just beautiful.  

What are your top 5?