An al fresco feast of comedy, music and food (Review)

An al fresco feast of comedy, music and food (Review)

WE all need something to smile about at the moment, right?

Thanks to the team at Warwick Castle we can laugh our socks off in an outdoor environment suitably socially distanced and safe in the knowledge that no rules are being broken in the pursuit of much-needed live entertainment. What’s not to love?

Warwick Castle, Picnic In The Park, comedy, live music

A new lifestyle festival, which opened yesterday, is one of the castle’s innovative approaches to COVID-friendly music and comedy. Set against a backdrop of one of the UK’s most stunning vistas, one doesn’t sense any form of sacrifice in terms of venue.

In fact, I’d love to see more outdoor festivals such as this become a permanent feature in summers to come as a welcome complement to the theatres.

Picnic At The Castle, which runs for eight days and nights over the next two weeks, offers top tunes, big laughs and delicious locally-sourced food, all enjoyed from your very own fairy-light-clad COVID-compliant pergola.

Warwick Castle, Picnic In The Park, comedy, live music

Situated in the shadow of the magnificent castle on the banks of the River Avon, this natural scene is more beautifully set than any theatrical backdrop you’ll ever see, as we settle back for two hours of our choice of either live stand-up or music.

As one of the comic’s said, if we get bored of the entertainment, we can stare at the view instead!

Groups of up to six can book a pergola, while couples can sit out under a personal parasol and, depending on what time of day you decide to come, there’s a suitable tasty treat to accompany your experience.

Warwick Castle, Picnic In The Park, comedy, live music

Festival Sessions include:

Yoga Session: 8:00-10am – find balance and reconnect with nature, followed by a delicious healthy breakfast.

Graze session: 12:15-2:15pm – Sit back and enjoy two musical performances while sampling a tasty graze box.

Gorge session: 3:15- 5:15pm – Sit back and enjoy two musical performances or stand-up comedy while sampling tasty treats.

Banquet session: 7-9.30pm – Enjoy stand-up comedy shows or live music acts while munching on a delicious hog roast and making use of the caravan bar. Particularly look out for Phil Wang, headlining on Sunday night.

Last night’s feast of comedy, headlined by hysterical sister act Flo & Jo, certainly hit the spot – as did the interval hog roast!

And there was even the bonus of the weather staying kind for us too.

As dusk fell, with our bellies full and our ribs tickled, there were few places we’d rather be at that moment in time.

Warwick Castle, Picnic In The Park, comedy, live music

If I was to add any suggestions for an even more enhanced experience, I would like to see better lighting. It was difficult to make out the comedians when night fell as they chose to perform off-stage. And the ‘sweet treat’ which followed our hog roast did slightly disappoint.

However, these are minor imperfections on what was an otherwise much-welcomed distraction from the issues of the day.

At between £30 and £50 for adults, the price is better value than it might at first seem because it also includes castle entry, either on the same or following day. (In itself worth £22)

With a new emphasis on al fresco entertainment in the present climate, this is one of those I would be inclined to recommend. A truly lovely evening – but bring along your brolly just in case.

Picnic at the Castle is only available via pre-booking online. For line-ups and bookings visit: www.warwick-castle.com/explore/events/picnic-at-the-castle.

A feast of music and comedy at the castle

A feast of music and comedy at the castle

THERE’S plenty of opportunity to make up for lost time at outdoor events this summer with a fantastic new lifestyle festival at Warwick Castle, from this week.

Between September 17th-October 4th you can catch comedy and live music shows as part of the brand new ‘Picnic at the Castle’, held in partnership with creative events specialists Midsummer Nightcap. This imaginative festival offers top tunes, big laughs and delicious locally-sourced picnic hampers (including a medieval-style hog roast to suit the surroundings), all enjoyed from COVID-compliant pergolas.

Picnic at the Castle, Warwick Castle, live music, comedy, hog roast

Groups of up to six can book their own pergola, while couples can sit out under a personal parasol located in the beautiful Castle grounds. Choose between a tasty meat or vegetarian graze box option during the day and enjoy a hog roast picnic during the evening (vegetarian alternatives are available). Each hamper is full of locally sourced, high-quality food, perfect for sharing.

Festival Sessions include:

Yoga Session: 8:00-10am – find balance and reconnect with nature within the grounds of Warwick Castle, followed by a delicious healthy breakfast.

Picnic at the Castle, Warwick Castle, live music, comedy, hog roast

Graze session: 12:15-2:15pm – sit back and enjoy two musical performances sampling a tasty graze box and sipping on scrumptious cocktails.

Gorge session: 3:15- 5:15pm – similar to the ‘Graze’ session above, get together to listen to two musicians whilst enjoying tasty treats and tipples in the grounds of Warwick Castle

Banquet session: 7-10pm – on Thursday and Sunday evenings enjoy stand-up comedy shows, with Friday and Saturdays boasting headline music acts. Munch on a delicious ‘hog roast’ and make use of the caravan bar, for an evening spent either crying with laughter or dancing the night away!

“This really is a socially-distanced outdoor experience like no other, it’s the perfect way to reconnect with loved ones and enjoy live entertainment in one of the most beautiful locations anywhere in the country,” said Francesca Nally, Managing Director, Midsummer Nightcap.

Picnic at the Castle, Warwick Castle, live music, comedy, hog roast

Nick Blofeld, Divisional Director of Warwick Castle said: “We’re delighted to have ‘Picnic at the Castle’ with us this September. We love seeing our guests enjoy themselves at the many different events we host at the Castle every year.

“Picnic at the Castle has all the ingredients for a fantastic, and safe, experience. It’s going to be great fun and genuinely distinctive with live music, comedy and a luxurious picnic all served up in a beautiful setting alongside the river and the Castle as a backdrop.”

Confirmed acts include:

Headline musical performances confirmed so far include Roy Stride – lead singer from Scouting For Girls. Lucy Spraggan (X-Factor contestant 2012) and Ferris & Sylvester – 2020 winner of ‘Emerging Artist Award’ at the UK Americana Awards.

Phil Wang, Picnic at the Castle, Warwick Castle, live music, comedy, hog roast

Headline comedians confirmed so far include Phil Wang, pictured, (Netflix, Live At The Apollo), Flo & Joan (Amazon Prime, Live At The Apollo) and Sindhu Vee (Live At The Apollo, Have I Got News For You)

Drinks caravan bar ‘Maggie’ will also be on-site providing a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, with a  variety of special occasions’ packages available.

Picnic at the Castle is only available via pre-booking online. All bookings include access to the Castle, car parking, live entertainment, dedicated gazebos and picnic (hog roast) hampers.

Tickets can be booked at: www.warwick-castle.com/explore/events/picnic-at-the-castle.