Crowds brought a foodie festive spirit to Abergavenny today at the town’s Christmas food and drink fair.
Thousands of people visited stalls across the town, buying charcuterie, cheeses, beers, wines, cakes, breads, vegetarian pies, fruit juices, preserves, and store cupboard delights like cold pressed rapeseed oil and fruit vinegars.
Rupert Parsons of Wormersley Fruit and Herb Vinegars Ltd, based in Chipping Norton, has been bringing his goods to the festival for the past five years.
In the Market Hall, he said: “We come to both the September and December festivals in Abergavenny, and this event has a really festive spirit. The weather has meant there have been fewer people this year, but the first two hours were buzzing in the Market Hall.
“It’s great to see people, and I just love coming here.”
Legges of Bromyard sold almost 800 pies at their stall. Their game pies proved most popular, quickly selling out.
Kody Bergstrom said: “The first few hours were crazy. There’s a great festive feeling.”
Their Old Boy pork pies were also proving popular, alongside their pork and venison, steak and cheddar, pork, perry, pear and nettle, and chicken, apple and paprika pies.
David Deaves of La Cave à Fromage brought around 150 cheeses to his stall. His firm, which has outlets in London and Brighton, sources its products from small, independent cheesemakers, and fairs like Abergavenny are a fantastic showcase for their products.
Mr Deaves said: “We go to a number of food fairs, cheese and chocolate fairs, and we run our own cheese festival every year. Next year it will be on April 9. That’s a chance for our producers to meet and share their products.
“This is my first Christmas event in Abergavenny, and it’s been very good.”
Buster Grant of Brecon Brewing was manning his stall in the Market Hall.
“We’ve brought six bottled beers and eight on draught,” he said.
“It’s been a success, and a good showcase for our beers which we supply to pubs throughout Wales.”
The Brecon brewery has been operating for the past four and a half years, and in January the brewery is opening a bar and bottle shop in the town, Brecon Tap.
“It’s very exciting,” Mr Grant told visitors.
James Swift of Monmouthshire’s Trealy Farm Charcuterie praised the food knowledge of visitors to the fair.
“People who come here are interested in cooking,” he said.
“In other places, we find people are more interested in street food, for example. Food which is already pre-prepared. While there’s a place for that, it’s refreshing to be in a place where people are looking to buy produce for cooking.
“It’s also very local to us, so it’s lovely to see people and chat with them here. It’s a great event for primary producers like us.”