Wednesday, 04 August 2021

Chef tries to wind-up festival director with "shabby" feature

CHEF Paul Clerehugh doesn’t take life too seriously

CHEF Paul Clerehugh doesn’t take life too seriously.

You’ll know what I mean if you have visited his restaurant, the Crooked Billet in Stoke Row, and seen all the old pianos full of plants.

Now he’s at it again — and hoping to “wind up” Stewart Collins, the artistic director of the Henley Festival.

In May, Paul put an advert in the Henley Standard asking people to donate old wheelbarrows.

Needless to say, he was inundated and is now planning to use the barrows to decorate his temporary riverside restaurant at the festival, which takes place next week.

He says the barrows make ideal temporary planters as they can be wheeled on and off the festival site. “I take enormous pleasure in irritating, frustrating and winding up Stewart,” says Paul, a Henley Standard columnist.

“He likes things clean, slick and easy on the eye and it will be really good fun watching him trying to be polite as I bring all my sh**e on to the site. As well as getting his adrenaline going, I think they are going to look great filled up with farmyard manure and colourful flowers — the colours of wine gums.”

Paul will not be using all the wheelbarrows he was given.

“I stopped accepting them when I got to 140,” he says. “They came from all around Henley.

“A gentleman in Crazies Hill gave me three and Bill Howard, a landscape gardener, gave me seven. How he could continue trading with such appalling equipment beggars belief!”

The chefs says the pianos from the Crooked Billet will also be at his festival restaurant to add to the “shabby” vibe and to attract revellers coming through the main entrance.

I wonder what Mr Collins will have to say about that!

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