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Before Sunset

Holy craparoo… does Muddy have news for you and, let me tell you, it blows a night-in with Netflix right out of the water. I’ve been itching to share this all month, but it has been classified info until today, so, my friends, you heard it here first.

Let’s set the scene shall we. It’s high-summer, the sun is setting. You and your gang are sipping fizz in the water gardens of a stately pile, before settling down to comfy chairs and an outdoor screen in the magic-light gloaming: we’re talking Grease, Forrest Gump, Mamma Mia, one of those classic films that you all know, love and can quote ad infinitum. (All together now, “Life is like a box of chocolates…”). Pretty good so far, right?

And then food is served. Over-priced nachos and plastic cheese? A tub of haribo?  Me-thinks not….

Yes roll that drum, because the Padre of Padstow, the lover of lobster, The Don of all things seafood, Mr Rick Stein, will be your chef for the evening serving up comfort food with zing: Indonesian curry with coconut lawah, Cantabrian prawn and crab cocktail, Cornish crab with seaweed and wasabi mayonnaise, salmon cured with lime and passionfruit.

Rick Stein’s Sunset Cinema will be an insanely indulgent version of film nights-in with friends: cosy, communal, familiar with films and food that you love all executed with serious panache.

It seems unlikely I know, but before you choke on your chippolata, this is not the first hook-up between a c’leb chef and pop-up cinema.

Tom Kerridge (he of Hand & Flowers fame) along with three friends, including Chris Hughes a.k.a. Mr Carfest, launched a pop-up cinema in Marlow’s Old Town Hall late last year serving proper comfort food: beef stew, prawn cocktail and so on; just like Granny would make, if she were a Michelin starred chef.

Within half an hour of release, 4200 tickets had sold. Clearly something to repeat then.

So here we are, this time in The New Forest at Chewton Glen, Hampshire’s very own stately-pile, turned hotel, turned venue for funky goings-on; it recently launched a thoroughly modern, thoroughly Scandi, open-plan cookery school and bistro headed by James Martin.

As Chris Hughes said, it’s an energetic, creative space with a touch of the art centre about it.

Rick Stein being Rick Stein, the pop-up menu is based around locally sourced seafood (where possible), but there is also talk of a beef stew, to warm away any evening chill, plus a veggie offering that looks darn-right drool worthy: halloumi saganaki, pasta with almond, basil and pecorino pesto alla Trapanese.

Tickets go on sale on 5 April, but you can sign up here for priority ticket access. I’d get in there sharpish judging by Marlow’s speedy sell-out. The show, itself, trundles into town from the 9 – 30 July, after a month or so at Buckinghamshire’s Cliveden House; home of the Profumo affair so, of course, Scandal will be screened.

Food will be served during the screening, on discreet low tables, with interval drinks and homemade ice cream served by usherettes rocking the vintage look.

Phones off and silence at the back please.

Rick Stein’s Sunset Cinema, The Pop Up Picture Company, Chewton Glen, Hants, BH25 6QS


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