As the sunny weekend draws to a close, so does this year’s Marlow stopover of Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park festival.

As the crowds enjoy a vast range of dishes from Michelin-starred chefs and mingle with the likes of Mary Berry and Angela Hartnett, and ahead of Sunday afternoon performances by Paloma Faith, Scouting for Girls and more, we’ve taken a look back at the initial reactions of seasoned and first-time attendees when the festivities first kicked off on Thursday night (May 16).

Gina Palmer, 78, who moved to Marlow five years ago and has been a regular Pub in the Park ticketholder ever since said she loved the festival for its ability to “bring everyone together”.

Gina’s son-in-law Sean Wheeler, 61, volunteers for the Meals for Marlow charity, which Kerridge et al. hosted a fundraiser for on Thursday evening, and the 78-year-old said the charitable component of the opening night made it “even more of a nice occasion”.

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She added: “They’ve worked so hard to pull it all together – I walk the dogs in Higginson Park quite often, but I couldn’t say which part of it I’m in at the moment!

“It does seem like there’s a bit more on offer than last year. It’s very well set out, and I’m enjoying all the free taste testers, too – it feels like you’re getting your money’s worth. It’s great to see how the festival has grown since it first started.”

Meanwhile, Minty Grant, 24, who lives in St Albans – another Pub in the Park spot later this summer – decided to make the most of a free weekend by checking out the inaugural Marlow stop, and said she wasn’t disappointed by what she had found.

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“We watched James May and Tom Kerridge do a cooking demonstration earlier – it was quite chaotic but entertaining! I haven’t seen much of the music, but I’ve been loving the food.

“The Star Inn was great – the Yorkie Wrap was the best, and the Chilli Con Carne was really nice too.

“The atmosphere is pretty similar to St Albans, but the food places are all different, and it’s nice that you’re right on the river here.”

Roz King, 58, and Karen Richards, 52, said they were excited to spend their whole weekend exploring the near-unrecognisable parkland – with the only noticeable detractor the length of some of the food stall queues.

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READ MORE: We tried the food at Marlow's Pub in the Park and it was delicious

Roz said: “My family are going to be here all weekend, and we’re bringing the baby with us tomorrow.

“I’ve lived in Marlow for six years but have somehow never been here before! I’ve always known it to have a great reputation and this year I just thought, it’s about time I came!”

Terry Griffiths, 69, also said his long weekend was off to a leisurely start, reserving much of the exploring for Saturday or Sunday and spending Thursday night settled in a Thames-side seating area.

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“We come every year, and it always makes us want to come back. You can count on it being a great experience – there are so many things to do and so many stalls. I’m having a good time.”

Harriet and Shawn Deacy, 32 and 33 respectively, were also experiencing their first Pub in the Park shortly after both moving to the area and becoming new parents.

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Harriet said: “It’s our first baby-free night, and it’s been lovely so far. We’re new to Marlow but we’re locals now, so our favourite place to eat has to be Ginger Wings! We’re having a great time, and are definitely planning to come back later this weekend.”