The all-star line-up for this year’s Henley Festival has been announced! As one of the most decorated and recognisable names in British music, Sir Elton John and his band will open the Festival on Wednesday 6th July to a sold-out audience whilst one of Britain’s greatest-ever entertainers, Dame Shirley Bassey, will be teaming up with Brit-Award winning vocal group Blake on Saturday 9th. Multi award-winning singer Elvis Costello & The Imposters will keep the party going on Thursday night when they take to the famous Floating Stage, and Friday night will see the Festival return to its classical roots with legendary Welsh Opera singer Bryn Terfel performing with the Welsh National Opera Orchestra.
Finally, everyone’s favourite singer-songwriter Will Young will bring Henley Festival to a momentous close on the Sunday night. Will Young said: I’m really excited to be closing Henley Festival on the Sunday night. It’s such a beautiful setting on the banks of the River Thames – not to mention headlining alongside one of my favourite people, Sir Elton John!”
It has also been announced that two Michelin-starred chef Daniel Clifford will be resident chef at Henley Festival. Taking the reins of Europe’s largest field restaurant, Clifford has created a bespoke tasting menu exclusively for Henley, serving 950 covers a night at the atmospheric Riverside Restaurant. Winner of AA Chef’s Chef of the Year 2015, Clifford’s Midsummer House Restaurant in Cambridge has cemented his reputation as one of the most innovative chefs in Britain. He revealed that he is “incredibly excited to work at such an iconic event as Henley.” Here is just a taster of what The Riverside Restaurant at Henley Festival will use!
• 790lbs of cod will be needed to prep Wednesday’s dinner
• 150kg of cheese will be needed for the whole week
• 300 balls of mozzarella and 30 cases of heirloom tomatoes will be used for Friday’s starter
• Over 2000 pairs of gloves will be used to plate the food
• 600kg of propane gas will be used to cook and reheat on site for the week
• Tables in the kitchen: 42 6-foot tables plus 322 feet of table top
• Tables for dining: 100
• Chefs: 45
• Waiting staff: 140
• But only one Daniel Clifford orchestrating all of the above!
A stalwart of the festival, Chef Paul Clerehugh will be cooking up a feast throughout the week with his bespoke festival menu at The Crooked Billet pop-up restaurant, offering fantastic British food using locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Clerehugh’s restaurant of the same name in Henley has won multiple awards and he is the second pub chef ever to win the highly coveted Craft Guild of Chefs award.
For the first time in the Festival’s history, legendary London jazz club Ronnie Scott’s will make the festival its home for the full five days. Festival-goers will be treated to the full Ronnie Scott’s experience, seated at cabaret style tables where they will be able to watch performances by the stellar Ronnie Scott’s Allstars, while waiters will discretely serve a feast of superb steaks, Ronnie-style burgers and gorgeous fish pies. Close by and carefully tucked away, The Jazz Garden is the perfect place to have a tranquil drink whilst soaking up the sounds of jazz musicians. The much cherished Terrace Restaurant will return for 2016, poised on the most picturesque location of the festival, with river views and the fabulous Lanson Champagne Bar below, which serves a range of fine champagnes including Rose and White Label.
The buzzing Art Bar is another new addition for Henley Festival 2016, where revellers can enjoy a cocktail whilst immersing themselves in cutting edge art exhibitions and watching OSADIA, a street theatre company that perform free psychedelic hairdos for all who want them.
Another unmissable pop-up drinking establishment will be The Bedouin bar, a place to have a drink whilst listening to live music in a laid-back, bohemian setting. Pure Heaven, meanwhile, is an upbeat piano and cocktail bar which later transforms into Henley Festival’s resident nightclub. Gin and tonic lovers can head to The Fever Tree bar to sample a G&T made with their multi-award winning tonic, whereas The Van du Vin will be the place to go for a sparkling wine. Finally, no trip to Henley would be complete without a Pimms, and the Pimms Bar will be producing Henley’s quintessential drink all evening.
For more information about Henley Festival, go to www.henley-festival.co.uk.