Tastes from all over the world at festival’s food stalls

tourism
Crowds line the streets for Abergavenny Food Festival 2015 PICTURE: Huw John Photography

Visitors can buy food from almost every corner of the world at Abergavenny Food Festival.

Here is the full list of food and drink stallholders at this year’s festival:

STREETFOOD

AaHaan Thai
www.aahaanthai.com

American Street Food Limited
facebook.com/dixiekitchenUK

Boontatoo Thai food
Fresh cooked Thai food by Boontatoo Thai restaurant in Abergavenny

Bubble&
www.bubbleand.co.uk

Cafe Spice Namaste (Castle)
www.cafespice.co.uk / www.mrtodiwala.com

The Cheese Truck Ltd

www.thecheesetruck.co.uk

 

Crabtree Catering (Crofters)
Shawarma lamb, chermoula steak, hallumi and aubergines with harrisa onion.

 

The Crepe Escape
Crepes

Dusty Knuckle Pizza Company
www.dustyknucklepizza.co.uk

Glamorgan Vale Hog Roast Ltd
www.specialisthogroast.co.uk
Hang Fire Smokehouse
www.hangfiresmokehouse.com
La Bonne Crepe
www.labonnecrepe.co.uk
La Ffroga
www.facobook.com/laffroga
Iberico Jack
www.ibericojack.org
Meat And Greek
info@meatandgreek.co.uk
The Poffertjes Co
www.poffertjes.co.uk
Purple Poppadom
www.purplepoppadom.com
Sir Ollie’s
www.sirollies.co.uk
The Spanish Buffet
www.thespanishbuffet.co.uk
The Welsh Creperie Co
www.thewelshcreperie.co.uk

fruit and vegetables
Tomatoes on sale PICTURE: Tim Woodier

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

Court Farm & Leisure
www.courtfarmleisure.co.uk

The Garlic Farm
www.thegarlicfarm.co.uk

Llanvihangel Crucorney Fruit Farm
www.llanvifarm.co.uk

The Onion Man – Breton onions from a bicycle

Paul’s Organic Veg

Riverford Organic
www.riverford.co.uk

Sea Spring Seeds
www.seaspringseeds.co.uk
The Strawberry Stop
www.thestrawberrystop.co.uk

The Tomato Stall
www.thetomatostall.co.uk
COOKED AND CURED MEATS

Bellota
Spanish foods.

Charcutier Ltd
www.charcutier.co.uk

The Cotswold Curer Ltd
www.thecotswoldcurer.co.uk

Flyford Food Co LLP
www.bighornbiltong.co.uk
Forest Pig Charcuterie
www.forestpig.com

The Handmade Scotch Egg Company
www.handmadescotcheggs.co.uk

Morgans Family Butchers
Beef and lamb steaks, gold award beefburgers in a fresh bread roll.

Native Breeds Charcuterie LLP
www.nativebreeds.co.uk

The Parsons Nose
www.theparsonsnose.com

The Real Boar Co & Wessex Wild Plum Co
www.therealboar.co.uk / www.wessexwildplumcompany.co.uk

Sam’s Meat Roasts
Home bred and reared Wild Boar X hog roast, Water Buffalo and burgers

Trealy Farm Charcuterie
www.trealyfarm.com

FRESH MEAT & GAME

Bocaddon Farm Veal
www.bocaddonfarmveal.com

The Cooking Cooks Italian Kitchen (Castle)
Delicious Italian cuisine using the freshest ingredients

Chestnut Meats
www.chestnutmeats.co.uk

Edwards of Conwy
Traditional Welsh award winning master butcher

Glam Lamb
www.glamlamb.co.uk

Neil Powell Master Butchers
www.neilpowell.co.uk

Penmincae Welsh Black Beef & Lamb
Welsh black beef or lamb, roast or burger in freshly baked rolls.

Seasons
www.naturalgame.co.uk

Welsh Venison Centre
www.beaconsfarmshop.co.uk

POULTRY & WILDFOWL

Madgetts Farm Poultry
www.madgettsfarm.co.uk

Monmouthshire Turkeys
www.monmouthshireturkeys.co.uk

Postance Poultry
Fresh free-range duck.

VEGETARIAN

Aphrodite’s Food
www.aphroditesfood.com

The Gourmet Gardener
www.thegourmetgardener.co.uk

Mela Street Food
Indian wraps and street foods.

The Parsnipship
https://theparsnipship.co.uk/

PommePommeFoods (Castle)
www.facebook.com/pommepommefoodies

CHEESE

Abergavenny Fine Foods Ltd (Sponsor)
www.abergavenny.uk.com

Bath Soft Cheese
www.parkfarm.co.uk

The Blaenafon Cheddar Co Ltd
Family business producing hand made Welsh cheddars and goats’ cheeses.

Caws Cenarth Ltd
www.cawscenarth.co.uk

Charles Martell & Son Ltd
www.charlesmartell.com

Emilia Ltd
www.emiliauk.london

Godminster
www.godminster.com

La Cave a Fromage
www.la-cave.co.uk

Quickes Traditional Ltd
www.quickes.co.uk

Snowdonia Cheese Co Ltd
www.snowdoniacheese.co.uk

Teifi Cheese & Da Mhile Distillery
www.teificheese.co.uk

White Lake Cheese
www.whitelake.co.uk

Worthy Cheddar
www.worthycheddar.co.uk
FISH & SEAFOOD

Black Mountains Smokery
www.smoked-foods.co.uk

Devon Fishcakes
www.devonfishcakes.com

Dylan’s Restaurant
Hot seafood and shellfish dishes with produce sourced from North Wales.

Emilia Ltd
www.emiliauk.london

Mighty Soft Shell Crab
www.themightysoftshellcrab.com

The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Co
www.beachfood.co.uk

Swshi
www.swshi.co.uk

Vin Sullivan Foods (The Fish Shack)
Seafood bar

The Wrap Shack
www.thewrapshack.co.uk
BREADS & BAKED GOODS

Baked By Mel
www.barabrith.co

The Bertinet Bakery
www.bertinet.com

Caroline’s Real Bread Company
www.carolinesrealbreadcompany.co.uk

Cradoc’s Savoury Biscuits
www.cradocs.co.uk

Earth Ovens
www.earthovens.co.uk

Hobbs House Bakery
www.hobbshousebakery.co.uk

Little Welsh Deli
Award winning artisan company producing handmade pasties and cakes.

Market Bakery Abergavenny
Local Bakery

Popty Cara
www.poptycara.co.uk

Riverside Sourdough
www.riversidesourdough.co.uk

Shellys Food
Welsh butter shortbread

PIES

Brocklebys
www.brocklebys.co.uk

Elm Tree Foods
www.elmtreefoods.com

Legges of Bromyard
www.leggesofbromyard.com

Old Granary Pierogi
Lovingly handcrafted yeast dough cases filled with gourmet stuffings

Plenty Pastry Ltd
www.plentypies.co.uk

Snowdrop Cottage Fine Foods
snowdropcottagefinefoods.blogspot.co.uk

Tom’s Pies
www.toms-pies.co.uk

OLIVES & OIL

Avlaki Ltd
www.oliveoilavlaki.com

Cotswold Gold
www.cotswoldgold.co.uk

The Olive Press
www.theolivepress.co.uk

The Olive Shop
www.theoliveshopltd.com

Olives & Things

RSPB Cymru
www.rspb.org.uk
RSPB Love Nature extra-virgin rapeseed oil. Give Nature a Home herbs.

 

SAUCES, PICKLES & CHUTNEYS

Bim’s Kitchen
www.bimskitchen.com

Cibus Terrae Ltd
www.tondaterra.co.uk

Forage Fine Foods
www.foragefinefoods.com

Mr Todiwala’s Pickles & Chutneys
www.cafespice.co.uk

Patchwork Traditional Food Company
www.patchwork-pate.co.uk

Peperoncino
www.peperoncino.co.uk

Purely Pickled Eggs
www.purelypickledeggs.co.uk

SA Sauces Ltd
www.sasauces.co.uk

Sabor de Amor
www.sabordeamor.com

Seren Foods
www.seren-foods.co.uk

Sim’s Food Ltd
Producers of gluten free mixes, pickles, chutneys, dressings.

Tigg’s Dressings
www.tiggitup.co.uk

Tracklements
www.tracklements.co.uk

Upton Cheyney Chilli Company Ltd
Multi award winning UK chilli farm, selling sauces and chilli kits.

Usk River
www.uskriver.co.uk

The Wasabi Company
www.thewasabicompnay.co.uk
SEEDS, NUTS & DRIED FRUIT

Franchi Seeds of Italy
www.seedsofitaly.com

Hot Roasted Nuts
hotcookednuts@hotmail.com

Ludlow Nut Co
ludlownut.co.uk

Wil’s Smokehouse
www.wilssmokehouse.co.uk

HONEY, JAMS & MARMALADES

Claire’s Kitchen
Award winning quality preserves produced at home in small batches.

Coedcanlas
www.coedcanlas.com

Hilltop Honey
www.hilltop-honey.com

Little Grandma’s Kitchen
www.littlegrandmaskitchen.co.uk

Miranda’s Preserves
www.mirandas-preserves.co.uk

Miss Daisy’s Kitchen
www.missdaisyskitchen.co.uk

Radnor Preserves
www.radnorpreserves.com

Wild Flower Honey Company
www.wildflowerhoney.wales
HERBS, SPICES & CONDIMENTS

Anglesey Sea Salt Company
www.halenmon.com

Herbal Connections
www.herbalconnections.co.uk

Kitchen Flowers
www.kitchenflowers.co.uk

LittlePod
www.littlepod.co.uk

Petals of the Valley
www.petalsofthevalley.co.uk

The Preservation Society
www.thepreservationsociety.co.uk

Sorai
www.sorai.co.uk

Wiltshire Chilli Farm
www.justchillies.co.uk

The Wasabi Company
www.thewasabicompany.co.uk

Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars
www.womersleyfoods.co.uk

 

CAKES & PATISSERIES 

The Angel Hotel
www.angelabergavenny.com
Chock Shop
www.chockshop.co.uk
The Chocolate Brownie Company
www.chocbrownieco.co.uk
Churros Con Chocolate
www.lovely-churros.co.uk
Flower and White Ltd
www.flowerandwhite.co.uk
Gower Cottage Brownies
www.gowercottagebrownies.co.uk
Isabel’s Bakehouse
www.isabelsbakehouse.com
Love at First Bake
www.loveatfirstbake.co.uk
Love Patisserie
Delicious coffee and French-stlye sweet tarts, hand made in Hay-on-Wye.

The M’hencha Company
www.themhenchacompany.co.uk
Narnas
www.narnaschocolates.co.uk
So Cocoa
www.sococoa.co.uk

CONFECTIONARY

Barry Colenso Chocolates
www.barrycolenso.co.uk
Black Mountain Gold Chocolate
www.blackmountainchocolate.org

 

Cocoa Magic
100% handmade chocolates with character and packed full of flavour.

 

Cocoa Runners
www.cocoarunners.com
Cottage Sweets
www.cottagesweets.co.uk
Fuffle from Fudgeheaven
www.fufflec.o.uk
Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn
www.joeandsephs.co.uk
Mayhawk
www.mayhawk.co.uk
NOMNOM Chocolate
www.nomnom.cymru
The Old Chapel Fudge Co

 

The Raw Chocolate Pie Company
www.rawchocpie.co.uk

 

Sue Gilmour Ltd
www.suegilmour.co.uk

ICE CREAM

Cowpots
www.cowpotsicecream.co.uk
The Hive Honey Ice Cream
www.thehiveaberaeron.com
Popcycle
www.popcycle.uk
Rowlestone Farmhouse Ice cream
www.rowlestonecourt.co.uk
Science Cream Ltd
www.sciencecream.co.uk
Shepherds Ice Cream
www.shepherdsicecream.co.uk
Wild Fig
www.wildfigfarm.co.uk

PUDDINGS & DESSERTS

The Pudding Shop
www.thepuddingshop.co.uk

 

 

NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS

Breckland Orchard
www.brecklandorchard.co.uk
Celtic Vale Natural Mineral Water
www.celticvale.co.uk
The Fresh Lemonade Co
Fresh lemonade and cocktails!

 

Hollow Ash Orchard
www.hollow-ash.co.uk

 

The Lemonade Lady
Freshly squeezed lemonade

 

Llanllyr Source
www.llanllyrsource.com
Shocka’s Coconut Hub
Freshly-chopped coconut water alongside alcoholic Shocktails mix

 

Welsh Farmhouse Apple Juice
www.welshfarmhouseapplejuice.co.uk

 

Yarty Cordials
www.yartycordials.com

SPIRITS & LIQUERS

Bramley and Gage Ltd
Chase Distillery Ltd
www.chasedistillery.co.uk
Da Mhile Distillery
www.damhile.co.uk
Moorland Spirit Company
www.hepplegin.com
Pinkster Gin
www.pinkstergin.com

 

Sam Sake
www.samsake.com
The Shack Revolution
www.theshackrevolution.co.uk
Sibling Distillery
www.siblingdistillery.com
Tipsy Fruit Gins
www.tipsyfruitgins.co.uk
Warner Edwards Distillery
www.warneredwards.com
TEA & COFFEE

Chantler Teas
www.chantlerteas.co.uk
The Coffee Camper
www.thecoffeecamper.com
The Coffee Gondola
www.thecoffeegondola.com
Delicia Cakes & Teas
Cakes and loose leaf teas.

 

Handlebar Barista
www.handlebarbarista.com
Moo & Two
Passionate tea lovers, fanatic even; delicious coffee too.

 

Sherston Tea Company
www.sherstontea.com
Tea People
www.teapeople.co.uk
Welsh Coffee Company
www.welshcoffee.com

WINE

Bordeaux Undiscovered
www.bordeaux-undiscovered.co.uk
Cwm Deri Vineyard
www.cwm-deri.co.uk
Frome Valley Vineyard
www.fromevalleyvineyard.co.uk
Gilbies
www.gilbies.co.uk
Serravinci Ltd
www.serravinci.co.uk
Viader Vintners
www.viader.co.uk

 

BEER & CIDER

Apple County Cider Co
www.applecountycider.co.uk
Blaengawney Farm (Hallet’s Cider)
www.halletsrealcider.co.uk
Bland’s Cider
www.blandscider.com
Brecon Brewing
www.breconbrewing.co.uk
Butford Organics
www.butfordorganics.co.uk
Gwatkin Cider Company
www.gwatkincider.co.uk
Gwynt Y Ddraig Cider
www.gwyntcider.com
Llangollen Brewery
www.llangollenbrewery.com
Skyborry Cider and Perry
www.skyborrycider.co.uk
Tiny Rebel Brewing Co.
http://www.tinyrebel.co.uk
Tudor Brewery
www.tudorbrewery.co.uk
Ty Gwyn Cider
www.tygwyncider.co.uk
Untapped Brewing Company
www.untappedbrew.com
Welsh Mountain Cider
www.welshmountaincider.com
Williams Brothers Cider
www.cider.wales
Wye Valley Brewery
www.wyevalleybrewery.co.uk
CEREALS 

Casa del Cymru
www.casadelcymru.co.uk

 

Simplyseedz Ltd
www.simplyseedz.co.uk

 

DAIRY 

Calon Wen Organic Dairy
www.calonwen-cymru.com
Llaeth Y Llan / Village Dairy
www.villagedairy.co.uk
READY MEALS

Coconut Chilli
www.coconutchilli.com
SEEDS, NUTS & DRIED FRUIT

Franchi Seeds 1783
www.seedsofitaly.com
Hodmedod
www.hodmedods.co.uk
Hotroastednuts
Cinammon roasted nuts and Italian licquorice sticks

 

Wild Trail
www.wildtrail.co.uk
Willy Chase’s Popcorn
www.willychases.co.uk
Wils Smokehouse
Smoked organic gluten free foods with attitude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mad Dog Brewing has the recipe for success

 

IMG-20160520-00994
Alexis Jones

Passionate brewer Alexis Jones has been cooking up a great 2016 for his company, Mad Dog Brewing.

The Goytre company is currently brewing the official beer for the National Eisteddfod 2016 which will be staged in nearby Abergavenny. Europe’s biggest cultural festival is expected to welcome 160,000 visitors between July 29 and August 6.

He’s also poised to take on his first two staff, both experienced brewers, and to expand into a nearby unit as his business grows. He also has plans to open a family venue in Abergavenny.

The company’s beers can now be bought across South Wales. Mad Dog Brewing supplies Wetherspoon’s pubs from Llanelli in the west to the English border in Monmouthshire.

It’s a DIY success story born from home-brewing in his kitchen after watching a number of videos on YouTube. After learning his trade, qualifying in microbiology for brewing, and working for a brewery in Caerphilly, he started his own company just two years ago.

Now, he’s begun his eight brews of the Eisteddfod beer Iechyd Da, a red ale which tastes of oranges and chocolate and has a spicy finish on the tongue.

“It’s clean and crisp and is 4.1%,” he says.

The beer has a lower AVB than some other craft ales because it is designed to be a refreshing drink for the Eisteddfod maes, where Mad Dog will have a bar. It will also be sold in bars in South Wales.

The brewery is making 160 casks for the festival, along with 1,000 500ml bottles.

Iechyd Da will be launched at The Bridge in Llanfoist on June 4 – and Alexis will also be showing off one of his most popular beers, Bohemian Hipster.

“I was asked to brew the beer by Monmouthshire Council. When I first got the email, I thought it was a wind-up, but I went to a meeting two days later and found out it was serious,” Alexis says.

“As well as having a bar on the Eisteddfod field, we’ll be staging a brewing demonstration on the first Saturday of the festival.”

The event will provide a huge audience for Mad Dog’s beers – and a massive boost to the company’s profile.

The secret to Mad Dog’s success is the fact Alexis is a perfectionist who uses unusual and local produce, like juniper berries and granola, as part of the brewing process to create unusual and delicious tastes.

 

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Brewing begins on Iechyd Da

 

The brewery carries out a pilot brew on its ales as they perfect the recipes, ensuring all its beers meet Alexis’s exacting standards. Even its used mash doesn’t go to waste – it becomes cattle feed for a nearby beef farm.

The brewery is planning its own beer festival with guest ales from around the UK in September at its site in Goytre, to raise funds for mental health charity MIND.

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In July, Mad Dog will also be involved in a ‘tap takeover’ at Cardiff’s Urban Tap House, and Alexis is in the process of planning a Christmas event too.

“Our two new brewers start work in the next few months, which will help us meet the growing demand for our beers,” Alexis says.

He can’t reveal more details about his plan for an Abergavenny venue as yet – watch this space!

For more details about Mad Dog’s beers go to http://maddogbrew.co.uk/

Maria Williams is a copywriter, professional blogger, and PR for small business: www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk

Foodies set to flock to Caerphilly’s annual festival

Caerphilly-foodfest

Thousands of people will flock to Caerphilly on Saturday for the town’s annual food festival.

Around 100 traders will line the streets offering everything from ice cream and baklava to pulled pork and liqueurs.

There will also be a farmers’ market and craft market, where shoppers will find produce, hand-made goods and gifts.

There will be Broil BBQ demonstrations and children’s cookery classes in the Twyn Car Park, along with puppet shows, donkey rides, ‘crazy waiters’, and street magicians at the top of Cardiff Road.

Musical attractions will include The Voice contestant Tobias Robertson, Tomos Lewis, Maddie Jones, Buffalo, and Francesca’s World Salad. They will perform below the visitor centre opposite the castle.

The event is free and will be held between 10am and 5pm. Town centre roads will be closed to traffic. See more about the event here: http://www.caerphilly.gov.uk/Things-To-Do/Events/Regular-Events/Caerphilly-food-festival.aspx

 

Food stallholders

A ‘N’ G Concessions t/a Dinky Donuts Concession – Sweets Baked Goods (donuts), Snow Cones, Candy floss, hot & cold drinks

Ally’s Confectionary Sweet – Novelty sweets

Boozy Bods Ltd Alcohol – Beers

Caerphilly Preserves – Preserves

Cafe Refresh Concession – Hot Food – Pork carvery, burgers, hotdogs, steak

Caws Cenarth Cheese – Cheese

Celtic Spirit Co Alcohol – Whisky, Liqueur

Cherry Tree Wales – Cheese, Preserves, Chutneys

Churros Ole Limited Concession – Churros

Clam’s Cakes – Sweet Baked Goods

Coffi Cwrt Concession – Hot Drinks

Cottage Sweets Concession – Sweet – Marshmallows

Creative Kitchen Caterers Ltd Concession – Hot Food – Gourmet Grilled Cheese Style Sandwiches (Xmas Mulled wine)

Cwm Deri Vineyard – Alcohol – Wine & Liqueur

Delicia Cakes & Teas – Sweet Baked Goods, Loose Tea

Dimkin’s Patisserie – Sweet Baked Goods – French Macarons

Doughnutterie Sweet & Savoury – Baked goods – bread, donuts, pastries

Ellyse En Jay Sweet – Chocolates

Elm Tree Foods – Savoury Baked Goods

Ffwrnes Pizza Concession – Hot Food – Pizza

Flapjack Fairy – Sweet Baked Goods

Foods of Distinction Concession – Hot Food – Meatballs, skewers, hotdogs, burgers, vegetarian burgers cold drinks

French Flavour Ltd – Alcohol – French food such as beer, cider, garlic strings, honey, tapenades, saucisson

Gwatkin Cider Co Ltd – Alcohol – Cider, Perry

Gwynt-Y-Ddraig Cider – Alcohol – Cider, Perry

Helen’s Homebakes Ltd – Sweet & Savoury Baked Goods

Herbs & Spices Ltd – Herbs & Spices

Huckleberry Treats – Alcohol – Liqueur Italian Green Taste Olives, nuts, baklava & Turkish delight

La Triestina Ltd – Alcohol -Italian Deli products including cheese, chocolate pasties, wine

Lee’s Ices Concession – Ice cream

Van Lilos Concession – Pasta boxes, salad wraps

Little Grandma’s Kitchen Preserves – Chutneys

Little Valley Bakery – Savoury Baked Goods – Breads

Lymn Bank Farm – Cheese, Chutney

Maison Crepe Concession – Hot Food – Crepes

Monster Cones Concession – Snow cones

Mr & Mrs Olive UK Ltd – Olives, nuts, baklava, Turkish delights, fudges, liquorice

Mrs Brown’s Bakes – Sweet Baked Goods – Biscuits

Narna’s Chocolates – Sweet Baked Goods

Nibble Nose Cheese – Cheese, Gift hampers

Old Granary Pierogi Concession – Hot Food – Baked pierogi, soup, cold drinks

Perfect Tipple – Alcohol – Wine, Vodka

Pulled Pork People Concession – Hot Food – pulled pork

Rhosyn Farm Produce Concession – Hot food – Rare breed meat, sausage on a stick, sausage and burger baps, wraps and curry

Riverford Home Delivery = Organic veg boxes – orders only

Season’s Meats – Exotic & Game (Non Concession – Cold)

Sims Food Ltd (Samosaco) Concession – Indian Food

Snowy Cones Ltd Concession – Snow cones

Sorai Sauces

The Blaenafon Cheddar Company – Cheese, Preserves

The Fudge Box Sweet – Fudge, confectionary

The Garlic Farm Preserves, Chutneys, Garlic products

The Jacobi Brewery of Caio Alcohol – Beer

The Wonky Kitchen Sweet – Fudge

Urban Jungle Coffee Concession – Hot & Cold Drinks

Vegetarian Food Studio – Indian Food

Webbers Fish Merchants Ltd Concession – Seafood

Yo-Cart Ltd & Waffle’licious Concession – Frozen Yoghurt & Belgium Waffles

Farmers’ market traders

Dave Eggs • Samosa Co • Carrie Bags • Raw Chocolate • Ty Siriol • Ty Mel Smallholding • Afan Vale Chocolates • Elm Tree Foods • Charming Trinkets • Autumn Whimsey • Paul’s Organic Veg • Annie’s Mythical Emporium • DeeBee Crafts • Blackbrooke Pottery • Miles Better Baking • Penrhiw Organic Meats • Plant 2 Plate • Drwytho • Welsh Witches • Moongate Cakes • Field Bar Wines • Perfect Impressions Jewellery • Welsh Italian Pizza

Cook the box with top chef Alexlouise Brown

alexlouisebrown

Alexlouise Brown (pictured) was trained by Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc, she ran her own pub-restaurant and her own catering company.

Now, she is sharing her passion for food by teaching people how to go back to basics and make delicious meals from scratch.

Once a month, the owner of Alex’s Supper Clubs hosts Alex Cooks The Box at her base in Pontypridd.

Riverford Organic Farms vegetable and meat boxes are the centrepieces of every session. The contents change every month – produce is seasonal and from Riverford’s network of farms.

Alexlouise, 35, has just a few days to come up with mouth-watering recipes which are simple enough to be demonstrated to and remembered by her visitors without a recipe.

Remember how our mothers and grandmothers created meals from available ingredients without ever looking at a recipe?

Alexlouise is taking cookery classes back to the future.

When I visit, the vegetables include wild garlic, cabbage, courgettes, carrots, rocket, cucumber, spinach leaves, purple sprouting broccoli, onions, potatoes, and mushrooms. The vegetables are supplemented by Riverford organic meats and organic free range eggs, milk, and cream. The only non-UK fruit and vegetable ingredients are bananas – which, of course, have to be imported.

Alexlouise’s philosophy is simple: cook using organic produce and cook from scratch.

“Food doesn’t have ingredients, food is ingredients,” she says.

We’re greeted with a glass of prosecco or her own kombucha, a fermented tea which is slightly sparkling. Alexlouise has added berries to the probiotic drink. It’s refreshing and good for the digestive system.

As she expertly slices the potatoes into wedges and sprinkles them with garam masala and cumin, we talk about the toll food processing can take on ingredients.

Alexlouise shows us how to spatchcock a chicken within minutes. Her cooking doesn’t require complicated kitchenalia – just a roasting tin or two, a frying pan,  a saucepan, one sharp knife, a sharp grater, and a hand mixer.

As the chicken and potato wedges roast in the oven, Alexlouise sets to making us her mouth-watering mushroom soup.

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Solid coconut oil is heated to become liquid, and onions fried until translucent. If no vegetarians like me attend, Alexlouise could use lard. Then, Alexlouise grates in the mushrooms. Water, rather than stock, is added, and the soup is seasoned. It simmers until ready for hand blending and is served in tea cups with a dollop of sour cream and a square of homemade rosemary focaccia. It’s fresh and delicious.

We all marvel at how much taste Alexlouise packs into a simple soup.

Our six courses include a home-made coleslaw with soft-boiled eggs which lives on a different planet from the runny affair we buy in tubs in supermarkets.

The grater is king – carrots and cabbage are grated, mayonnaise is added, and everything is seasoned to perfection.

We are also treated to linguini with a tangy lemon and chilli sauce and a crunchy topping of cob nuts, a salad of leaves topped with a balsamic syrup and Indian paneer cheese griddled in Indian spices, roasted, spatchcocked chicken and potato wedges, and Alexlouise’s pudding, a caramelised banana fool.

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We’re shown how to caramelise sugar correctly – never leave un-melted sugar grains – and how best to coat the banana slices. Cream is whipped and Alexlouise assembles the pudding in champagne flutes, topped with an orange physalis berry on the rim of the glass.

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At the end of the three-hour session, we’re enlightened, full, happy, and determined to put Alexlouise’s simple recipes into action in our own kitchens.

The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed enough to reassure even the most timid would-be cook. Vegetarians like me are welcomed.

It’s the perfect foodie night out with friends or family.

 

‘Everyone wants to order boxes after the event’

Riverford Organic Farms franchiser in South East Wales Janet Mier, who is also at the Alex Cooks The Box night, says the sessions have inspired visitors to order regular vegetable and meat box deliveries.

“Some people who come along are already customers and have heard about the events through us, but others are inspired by the recipes and the produce and sign up,” she says.

“They see the quality of the produce and taste how good it is. We’ve been involved in the nights for a few months now, and it’s been excellent.”

Janet serves customers from Penarth and Sully to the Heads of the Valleys and Monmouthshire border to the east, delivering around 850 boxes a week.

To learn more about Riverford South Wales, see their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RiverfordSouthWales/ and to order boxes call 01633 867661.

 Alexlouise’s culinary career

At 15, Alexlouise went straight from school into a job in a kitchen after a work experience placement at 14. She washed dishes and prepared vegetables, but soon realised she could work her way up.

“If you stay in kitchens long enough and you learn, you will progress,” she says.

She went on to work in restaurants like those at the Celtic Manor, then worked under Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons near Oxford. By the time she was 22, she was running her own pub-restaurant Y Draenog in Pontyclun.

A spell running her own catering company followed, then a move to Switzerland, the home of the hospitality industry.

Alexlouise catered to exclusive ski chalet clients like Prince Andrew, the President of Kazakhstan, the Saudi royal family, and billionaire businessmen and women.

When she returned to Wales, she began working at her other love, property development. Cooking went on the back burner for a while, but her love of food eventually drew her back to the kitchen.

She started her Alex’s Supper Clubs business, where a group of people visits her base in Pontypridd, each bringing an ingredient. Everyone cooks together.

Then came Alex Cooks The Box.

Now, Alex is also spreading her love of cooking by teaching families how to cook with affordable, fresh ingredients in Llanhilleth.

Maria Williams is a professional blogger, copywriter, and PR for small businesses. Go to www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk.

 

Welsh piemaker’s talent recognised at top awards

 

British Pie Awards 2016-1
Judging of the Speciality Pies Class at this year’s British Pie Awards.  ALL PICTURES: Mepics Photography

A North Wales delicatessen famed for its home-made produce has been highly commended at the British Pie Awards in Melton Mowbray.

Leonardo’s Delicatessen Limited in Ruthin was recognised for its lamb, coriander, and apricot pie in the lamb pie category at the prestigious awards.

Leonardo’s makes its own quiches, puddings, sausage rolls, patés, and ready meals, alongside its meat pies including chicken, leek and laverbread pies.

The deli was founded in 200 by Ceris Brunzel-Roberts and her chef husband Andreas Brunzel. It uses seasonal fruit and vegetables from the owners’ garden, Tyn y Celyn free range chicken, Welsh black beef from Bala, Mochyn Merllyn pork, and Coed Du Farm milk and cream. Other local ingredients used include Clyttir Farm free range eggs and Snowdonia cheddar.

The awards saw top honours given to a ‘Beef Skirt & Vegetable Pastie’ made by A.F. Huddleston Butchers.

British Pie Awards 2016-10.jpg
Chef Andy Bates (left) tries a pie during judging

The Cumbrian firm took home the title of Supreme Champion, beating 815 other pies to secure the coveted trophy. This pasty had the judges’ mouths watering for its even bake, beautiful glaze and well balanced flavours.

Matthew O’Callaghan, Chairman of the British Pie Awards and Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, said: “I know many will be surprised to see a pasty winning the British Pie Awards, but the definition of a pie is a filling totally encased in pastry – pies come in all shapes including round pies, square pies and pasties.

“Pasties have been a feature of British cuisine for centuries ranging from the Forfar Bridie in Scotland through to the Midland’s Bedfordshire Clanger and down to the iconic Cornish Pasty. I’m pleased that we now have an award-winning pasty to shout about from Cumbria.

“The winning pasty was outstanding.”

British Pie Awards: Judging
Judges tasting the pasties

The eighth annual British Pie Awards took place in Melton Mowbray during British Pie Week for the first time in the awards’ history. On Wednesday, 816 pies were entered from 132 professional bakers, butchers, and chefs and judged by over 100 top pie perfectionists –  including leading food critic Charles Campion, chef Rachel Green and TV chef Andy Bates.

Turner’s Pies Ltd in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, had four entries achieving first place within their individual classes. These pies were – Steak & Stilton Pie, Highland Top Rump & Potato Pie, Chicken, Ham Hock & Stuffing Pie, and Steak & Ale Pie. If you think football clubs are all about meat pies, think again. Morecambe Football Club won the dessert pie category with its apple, sultana,and cinnamon pie, and was highly commended twice.

Judging at the 2016 British Pie Awards
Two judges taking their job very seriously

The Speciality Class at this year’s British Pie Awards encouraged pie makers to create showstopping pies fit for Her Majesty The Queens 90th birthday celebrations.  A Victorian Corset Pork & Chicken Pie produced by Walker & Son was crowned as the class winner.

A selection of judges from this year's British Pie Awards
The judges at this year’s British Pie Awards. From left to right: Pete Lawrence (TV producer), Andy Clarke (food blogger and TV producer), Rachel Green (chef), Stephen Hallam (British Pie Awards event organiser), Andy Bates (TV chef), Neil Broomfield of the Great North Pie Co (2015 British Pie Awards Supreme Champion) and Neil Davey (food journalist).

 

THE RESULTS:

Award
Supreme Champion Beef Skirt & Vegetable Pastie –

A.F. Huddleston Butchers

Best Overall Small Producer Steak & Ale Pie – The Wheatsheaf

 

Class Class champion Highly Commended Highly Commended
Class 1 – Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Melton Mowbray Pork Pie – Dickinson & Morris Melton Mowbray Pork Pie – F. Bailey & Son Melton Mowbray Pork Pie – Leesons Family Butchers
Class 2 – Pork Pie Tesco Finest Extra Large Melton Mowbray Pork Pie  – Walker & Son Pork & Egg Pie 440g  – Walker & Son Pork Pie – Keelham Farm Shop Ltd
Class 3 – Steak & Kidney Pie Steak & Kidney Pie  – Wessex Pantry Steak, Kidney & Ale Pie  – Proper Pies Limited Steak & Kidney Pie – Turner’s Pies Ltd
Class 4 – Beef & Any Flavour Combination Pie Steak & Stilton Pie  – Turner’s Pies Ltd Beef, Venison & Red Wine Pie – The Outdoor Pig Company Steak Mushroom & Truffle Oil Pie  – Turner’s Pies Ltd
Class 5 – Beef & Ale Pie Steak & Ale Pie  – The Wheatsheaf Steak & Ale Pie – Tom’s Pies Steak & Ale Pie – Chef’s Kitchen
Class 6  – Meat & Potato Pie Highland Top Rump & Potato Pie – Turner’s Pies Ltd Meat & Potato Pie  – Morecambe FC Steak & Potato Pie – Middleton-in-Teesdale Fish & Chip Shop
Class 7 – Lamb Pie Lamb, Mint & Rosemary Pie – Robert Bowring Farmer & Butchers Lamb, Coriander & Apricot Pie – Leonardos Delicatessen Ltd Braised Lamb, Rosemary & Roast Potato Pie – Dunkleys
Class 8 – Chicken Pie Chicken, Ham Hock & Stuffing Pie – Turner’s Pies Ltd Chicken Pie – Plenty Pastry Ltd Chicken Pie – Robert Bowring Farmer & Butchers
Class 9 – Chicken & Vegetable / Herb Pie Luxury Chicken Pie – Nice Pie Chicken & Leek Pie – Thomas the Caterer Chicken & Leek Pie – Robert Bowring Farmer & Butchers
Class 10 – Chicken & Other Meat Pie Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Pie – Walker & Son Chicken Pie – Plenty Pastry Ltd Chicken, Ham Hock, Maderia & Wild Mushroom Pie – Proper Pies Ltd
Class 11 – Speciality Meat Pie Game Pie – Mud Foods Ltd Venison Pie – Plenty Pastry Ltd Game Pie -Madaboutpies.co.uk
Class 12 – Savoury Pie Pork & Apple with Layered Turkey & Sage Crust – Roberts Country Fayre M&S Fluted Oval Pork & Chicken Layered Pie – Walker & Son Tesco Ultimate Pork Pie 440g – Walker & Son
Class 13 – Fish Pie Posh Stargazy with Prawns Pie – Fuller, Smith & Turner Smoked Salmon & Caviar Pie – Katherine Walmsley Fine Foods Salmon & Cream Cheese Pie – Cossack Cuisine
Class 14 – Vegetarian Pie Lentil & Sweet Potato Pie – Sandersons UK Limited Spinach & Mushroom Pie – Sanderson UK Limited Saag Pie – Pieminster
Class 15 – Pasty Beef Skirt & Vegetable Pastie – A.F Huddlestons Butchers Pork & Apple Pasty – The Outdoor Pig Company Traditional Cornish Pasty – Warrens Bakery
Class 16 – Dessert Pie including Bramley Apple Pie Apple, Sultana & Cinnamon Pie – Morecambe Football Club Bramley Apple Pie  – Morecambe FC Traditional Apple Pie – The Rutland Pie Company
Class 17 – Pub Pie Chicken, Brie & Cranberry Pie – Kentish Mayde Ham Hock & Smoked Chicken Pie – Kentish Mayde Highland Top Rump with Kidney – Turner’s Pies
Class 18 – Football Pie Steak & Ale Pie – Turner’s Pies Ltd Steak & Ale Pie – Kentish Mayde Steak & Stilton Pie – Turner’s Pies Ltd
Class 19  – Free From Pie Gluten Free Goats Cheese & Spinach ‘Heidi’ Pie – Pieminster Gluten Free Beef & Ale Pie – Pieminster Moroccan Spiced Vegetarian Pie – The Biddestone Arms
Class 20 – Speciality Class: Pie Fit For The Queen Marks & Spencer Victorian Corset Pork & Chicken Pie – Walker & Son A Royal Stamp of Approval Pork Pie – Walker & Son Three Tiered Regal Pie – Walker & Son

 

British Pie Awards 2016-9.jpg
Judging the pork pies

UPDATED: Sup a new red ale to support Wales in the Six Nations

maddoglogo

UPDATE: Monmouthshire brewery Mad Dog has been chosen to create the official beer for this year’s National Eisteddfod in Abergavenny.

Founder Alexis Jones says the decision was made by Monmouthshire County Council and the Eisteddfod board. The ale will use Welsh ingredients, and, like its Six Nations ale, it will be red.

Cwrw Steddfod will be available in cask and bottles in pubs in Mid and South Wales, and there are plans for a brewing demonstration at the July event.

Six Nations ale goes red for Wales:

If you want to show your Six Nations support for the Welsh rugby team while supping a local craft ale, the Mad Dog brewery has come up with your perfect tipple.

The brewery based in Penperlleni near Abergavenny has brewed a Welsh cask ale called Scrum Sox which it is distributing to a select group of pubs. In honour of Warren Gatland’s side, it’s red.

Brewer Alexis Jones says the ale is made using chocolate rye malt, which gives it the distinctive colour.

“I’ve made about 1,000 litres, and it will be available in the Boar’s Head, Brecon, the Horseshoe in Mamhilad, and the John Fielding in Cwmbran,” he said.

Mad Dog has made a name for itself by creating delicious craft ales from unusual ingredients, many of which are sourced locally. Its All Day Breakfast granola stout, available between October and March, uses handmade granola from the Wye Valley.

all_day_granola_stout_bottle

Afternoon Sunshine, which has citrus notes, is an American Pale ale which is dry-hopped to the finish. Alexis said this is to give the beer “extra bark”.

Full-bodied stout John Peel, available between September and March, is infused with fresh orange peel, and is named after one of Alexis’ musical heroes.

“I listened to John Peel’s programme when I used to drive a truck,” he said.

john_peel_bottle

Submissible Anarchy, available between September and March, is a golden crafted ale made with local honey, and added flavours of citrus and juniper berries.

A keen home brewer whose passion for creating beer was re-ignited by YouTube videos, Alexis learned his craft at Caerphilly’s Celt Experience brewery. He also completed a microbiology course in beer at Brew Lab.

He started Mad Dog Brewing Company Ltd in October 2014, initially creating four beers from his home kitchen – Afternoon Sunshine, Bark Like A Bird, Dirty Dog, and Now In A Minute.

He moved the brewery to a unit in Penperlleni in February 2015. The business has taken off, and now he’s expanding, and hopes to take on two members of staff.

A number of Mad Dog’s bottled beers are available in a number of shops as well as cask ale being available in pubs.

“We’ve got around 26 different wholesalers situated across the UK,” Alexis said. Close to home, the beer is sold at The Marches Deli in Abergavenny.

Find out more about the beers at http://maddogbrew.co.uk/beer-range/

Customers can buy the brewery’s bottled beer, including John Peel, Now In A Minute, Bohemian Hipster, and It’s All Propaganda, online at http://maddogbrew.co.uk/shop or through Beer Revolution http://www.beerrevolution.co.uk/

John-Peel-Mad-Dog-Brewing-Co

 

Maria Williams is a professional blogger, copywriter, and PR for small business. Visit www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk

 

 

Foodies bring festive spirit to Abergavenny

Abergavennystalls
Stalls at the Market Hall, Abergavenny

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.

LaCaveaFromage
Cheese board at the Market Hall

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.”

BusterGrantBreconBrewing
Buster Grant of Brecon Brewing

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.”

 

 

Nine ways to make your Christmas a Welsh feast

Christmas-Dinner

This Christmas, why not support Welsh food producers? Here are nine ways you can make your festive essentials Welsh.

Turkey

Graig Farm in Mochdre produces organic Christmas turkeys from £47.80.

The farm in Montgomeryshire has been in the same family since the 1940s. Jonathan Rees, the proprietor of Graig Farm Organics, has lived there all of his life.   His parents still play an active role, and his wife Sally and three young sons, Maldwyn, Max and Archie, are also involved.

In 1999 the family achieved their ambition to farm organically.   They take watch their lambs and cattle graze on lush pastures full of grasses, clovers and herbs, and the pigs forage in the woods.

In 2002, a purpose built cutting plant was erected on the farm and the family began supplying some of the best restaurants in the country.  The Dorchester in London was one of their first major clients.

www.graigfarm.co.uk.

Potatoes

What better than a potato called Rudolph for your Christmas dinner?

Puffin Produce Ltd, which is majority owned by a group of farmers in Pembrokeshire, is supplied by a farmers in Pembrokeshire and the Wye Valley, grow the red-skinned variety alongside Maris Peer Pembrokeshire Earlies and Estima Bakers. They created the Blas y Tir brand which can now be found in major supermarkets across Wales.

See a list of the growers here http://puffinproduce.com/farmers/grower

Mince pies

The Welsh Hills Bakery in Hirwaun makes gluten-free cakes and pies – perfect for any festive visitor.

The firm charges £2.53 for a box of four luxury mince pies.

Welsh Hills Bakery, an established bakery for nearly 60 years, started making gluten free cakes and short crust pastry pies in 2001 and was the first to supply two of the UK major supermarket chains with their own brand of gluten free products.

In 2008, they launched their own brand of gluten-free products named Lovemore Free From Foods which now includes a range of shortbreads and cookies, along with traditional apple pies and cherry Bakewells, fruit slab cakes and iced cakes along with mince pies.

All Lovemore products are approved by the Coeliac Society.

http://www.lovemorefoods.com/our-range/seasonal/mince-pies/

christmas-pudding-3

Christmas pudding

You could try a Christmas pudding from the Siwgr a Sbeis Bakery in Llanrwst, for between £4 and £12.

The bakery has been a resounding success since it was started in 1989 by two school friends, Rhian Williams and Rhian Owen. It produces an extensive range of cakes (Victoria sponge, coffee cake, carrot cake), muffins, scones, mince pies, flapjacks, fruit cake and Christmas pudding as well as savoury quiches and salads.

Not a fan of Christmas pud? The bakery also makes a speciality called Quiche Eryri, the principal ingredient of which is Snowdonia Cheese and Toffoc Crunch (vodka liqueur). The recipe uses the Welsh vodka liqueur with a crumb base to create a cheesecake-style dessert.

http://www.siwgrasbeis.com/

Brussels sprouts

Try out the sprouts from Whitebrook Organic Growers, based at Llanvaches near Newport, Gwent.

They say there are no pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides used on their produce and all plant and chicken feed used is organic and GM free.

Catch them at Usk Farmers’ Market on December 5 and December 19.

Wine

Sample some of the wines from White Castle Vineyard, Abergavenny, for your table this festive season.

Their 2014 Rondo, a rich, full-bodied red, is £19.50 a bottle, and their sparkling rose is £23 a bottle.

The vineyard’s Gwin gwyn 2014, a dry delicate white wine made from a selected blend of Phoenix and Siegerrebe grape varieties, is £15 a bottle.

http://www.whitecastlevineyard.com/welsh_wines.html

Chocolates

Tuck into something sweet from the Wickedly Welsh Chocolate Company which produces handmade chocolates from its base on the outskirts of Haverfordwest. The company is run by couple Mark and Karen Owen.

The “Decadent Selection” of 48 handmade chocolates costs £35.99.

http://wickedlywelsh.co.uk/shop/

Cheese

Fill your platter with cheeses from Pant Mawr Farmhouse Cheeses. The business was established in 1983 when the Jennings family returned to Wales from the Middle East where they had been involved in setting up some of the first commercial dairy enterprises in Libya and North Yemen.

The family business is run by David, Cynthia and Jason Jennings at their small traditional hill farm in the foothills of the Preseli Mountains at Rosebush, Pembrokeshire.

All their cheese is suitable for vegetarians as they use vegetarian rennet.

Their gold Christmas hamper is £38.25 and includes 1.6kg of all seven of their cheeses, guest cheese Welsh Perl Las, a jar of chutney, mustard, Welsh cakes butter, and shortbread.

http://www.pantmawrcheeses.co.uk/

Liqueurs

Condessa based at Holyhead, Anglesey, has been making the Welsh liqueurs for over 40 years. The firm’s range includes fruit to cream liqueurs, cocktail recipes and liqueur gift boxes.

Its Original Welsh Cream is £14.65 for 50cl, while its Welsh sloe gin is £15.46 per 50cl bottle.

http://www.condessa.co.uk/
 

 

 

13 places to get a delicious taste of Christmas at markets and fairs

Wales
Get a taste of the festive season and spice up your Christmas shopping

Feel the need for a taste of the festive season as you shop? Here is Gusto’s guide to some of the best Christmas markets and fairs in Wales.

ABERGAVENNY

Abergavenny Christmas Food and Drink Fair December 14 – see my separate blog on this event with all the details you need here.

ABERGLASNEY

Aberglasney Winter Fair, Camarthenshire, December 4 to 6, Friday 2.00pm – 6.00pm; Saturday & Sunday 10am – 4.30pm.

The site will be transformed into a ‘Winter Wonderland’ and Christmas shopper’s paradise, with almost 100 stalls selling gifts, crafts, decorations and fine food.There will also be entertainment ranging from traditional choirs to silver bands who will perform across the weekend. Aberglasney Gardens’ restored grade II* listed mansion will be filled with stalls as will a large marquee on the North Lawn in front of the mansion itself.  A separate fine food marquee gives you the opportunity to stock up on all your festive favourites with some of the regions very best producers exhibiting again this year. As well as a range of food outlets for ‘on the go’ eating Aberglasney’s Tearooms ‘MaryEllen’s’ will have a special menu. 

Admission prices:
£8.00 Adult/OAP
£4.00 Children (5 – 16, under 5’s Free)
£20.00 Family Ticket *2 Adults + 2 Children
….with a complimentary glass of mulled wine and a mince pie for all visitors.

ANGLESEY

Plas Newydd Christmas food and craft fair, December 6 and 7. Plas Newydd Country House and Gardens at Llanfairpwll will play host to 60 stalls from 11am to 4pm. Entry costs £1 per adult, and 50p per child.

BLACKWOOD

Blackwood Christmas Market December 17. Stalls, entertainment and funfair rides will take over the town centre.

BUILTH WELLS

Royal Welsh Winter Fair November 30 and December 1 at The Showground, Llanelwedd. Alongside the judging of livestock, poultry and horses in the main indoor arenas, and the judging of floral art, produce and handicrafts in the South Glamorgan Hall, will be the cream of the food crop from Wales.
The Food Hall will offer the best of Welsh produce, and there will be a Christmas Farmers’ Market offering stalls with food and drink to take home, and a warming mulled wine.

Admission Prices

Single day tickets Advanced – Pre Show Gate Price
Adult £ 12.00 £ 14.00
Children (5-16 yrs) £ 5.00 £ 5.00
Children 4 years and under FREE
Two day tickets Advanced – Pre Show
Gate Price
Adult £ 22.00 £ 26.00

CARDIFF

Christmas Market November 12 to December 23 – see my separate blog on this, with a full list of stalls, here.

Winter Wonderland November 12 to January 3. Revellers looking for a taste of the festive season after their skating at the site outside City Hall and the National Museum of Wales can visit the new Bierkeller Bar to sample a gluhwein or beer. The catering area’s chalet units will serve treats including German sausages cooked on a traditional swing grill and freshly made crepes.

Opening times:

Until 21st December:
Monday to Friday:  11am – 10pm
Saturdays: 9:45 am – 10pm
Sundays: 9:45 am – 8:45pm
 From 21st December 
 Monday to Sunday: 9:45 am – 10pm
Christmas Eve: 9:45am – 8:45pm
Christmas Day: Closed
Boxing Day: 11am – 6:15pm
New Year’s Eve: 9:45am – 12:30am 

For ticket prices for the attractions including skating click here.

CAERPHILLY

Caerphilly Christmas Fair December 12 and 13 in the town centre and castle. More than 100 traders will descend on the town, along with activities and entertainment for the family. Enter the castle to discover a medieval castle dressed for the occasion, where you can enjoy entertainment as well as the chance to see Father Christmas and his sleigh. On the Saturday, there will be a real life reindeer.

Refreshments will be available, including a tea room, a hog roast, mulled wine and minced pies.

The castle is open between 9.30am and 5pm

Castle Entry Prices
Adult – £5.50
Family – £16.50*
Senior citizens, students and children under 16 – £4.10
Member – Free
Disabled and companion – Free

*Admits 2 adults and all children under 16

All children under 5 receive free entry.

HAY ON WYE

Hay Festive Market November 14. There will be stalls at the Butter Market selling Christmas gifts alongside the best local vegetables, game, preserves and chutneys, and breads.

LLANDUDNO

Llandudno Christmas Fayre November 19 to November 22 in Madoc Street and Trinity Square.

This market has 140 food and craft stalls including continental foods and cooking demonstrations using local produce every day. Last year, it attracted 30,000 visitors in four days. Great Orme Brewery of Llandudno will be hosting a bar serving 10 local beers on draft.

Exhibitors will include:

Edwards of Conwy

Blas Ar Fwyd

Pant Du Vineyard

Kat’s Candy Carts of Conwy

Wild Horse Brewing Company

Goetre Farm Preserves

Snowdonia Cheese Company

Foel Farm Anglesey farmhouse chocs

Marshside Teas

LLANERCHAERON, CEREDIGION

Llanerchaeron Christmas Fair December 6 and 7, 11am to 4pm. There will be more than 70 local food and craft stalls. The John Nash villa at Ciliau Aeron will be decorated for Christmas, there will be a visit from Father Christmas and a treasure hunt for the children.

SWANSEA

Christmas Markets November 25 to December 22. Oxford Street. Market Opening Times – Monday to Saturday – 9.30am to 5.30pm; Sunday – 10.00am to 5.00pm. Stalls offering arts, crafts, handmade gifts, fine foods, speciality products, unique Christmas decorations and festive essentials .Foodies can soak up the atmosphere while sipping a glass of mulled wine and keep warm and well fed with a hearty hog roast, crepes and hot turkey rolls.  Entertainment will be scheduled throughout the duration of the market.

Waterfront Winterland –  November 13 to January 3. Museum Park, in the grounds of the National Waterfront Museum, is transformed for the 10th year into Waterfront Winterland. Enjoy ice skating on the Admiral ice rink and children’s rink; visit Santa’s Grotto, experience the festive family funfair, taste delicious food from the Alpine dining cabins and returning for 2015, the Big Wheel.

Opening Times

Saturday and Sunday: 10.00am – 10.00pm
Monday to Friday: (until 18 Dec) 12 noon – 10.00pm
Monday to Friday: (from 21 Dec – 3 Jan) 10.00am – 10.00pm
Christmas Eve: 10.00am – 7.00pm
Christmas Day: CLOSED
Boxing Day: 12 noon – 7.00pm
New Year’s Eve: 10.00am – 10.00pm
New Year’s Day: 12 noon – 7.00pm

*On all days  – the last skate is 1 hour prior to the advertised closing time

TENBY

Carew Castle Christmas Fayre December 7. There will be stalls including local produce, jewellery, textiles, confectionery, knitware, memorabilia, and local artwork. There will also be face painting and a chance to meet Santa in his grotto. Normal entry fee will include a mince pie.

WREXHAM

Wrexham Victorian Christmas Market, December 10, noon to 8pm. There will be 80 stalls selling a selection of festive treats and gifts, at St Giles’ Parish Church and Church Street. There will be crafts, clothing, accessories, jewellery, unique gifts and stocking fillers alongside delicious hot food and drinks, including tasty mulled wine and hot smoked sausages. The event is free.

Feast your eyes on a top food event in North Wales

Welsh food
Vegan chef Lee Watson

There’ll be a feast of an event in Conwy this weekend.

Gwledd Conwy, or Conwy Feast, will be held in the town on Saturday and Sunday.

There’s everything a foodie could want on offer – street food, chef demonstrations, a tasting kitchen, and Lancaster Square is the perfect location for Conwy’s local produce market.

Meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, cakes, jams, chutneys, eggs, bread, pies, chocolates and cheese will be some of the produce on offer over the weekend.

Chefs on the line-up include Lee Watson, the author of the new vegan cookbook ‘Peace and Parsnips’ and one half of the presenting team of 24 Hour Kitchen’s ‘Meat vs Veg’.

He is a food adventurer who travels the world making vegan versions of local dishes, combining two of his main passions; travel and cooking.

Lee is based in North Wales, where he cooks at Trigonos, a retreat centre and organic vegetable farm, and writes the blog The Beach House Kitchen focusing on local, seasonal produce given a regular global twist.

Lucknam Park Spa and Restaurant’s Hywel Jones is also set to cook for the crowds, alongside John Williams, who has worked in some of the best hotel and restaurants in Great Britain.

chefs
John Williams

John  trained originally in South Wales and Jersey and he became Head Chef at the Old Vicarage Hotel, Worfield, Shropshire, was Head Chef at Bodysgallen Hall between 2003 and 2007 and in this time he achieved and  maintained the accolade of 3 rosettes from the AA, and secured Bodysgallen’s highest rating to date in the Good Food Guide.

John is also a Master Chef of Great Britain in which he has been awarded a fellowship. There are  only 30 or so members of the culinary elite  in the UK -the title given to craftsmen who have held a Michelin star and three rosettes for 10 years or more.

John Emmerson and Joe Kerswell trained at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant in London.The two friends now work together at Anna Hansen’s widely acclaimed restaurant The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell.

John and Joe will be giving a joint demonstration at this year’s Conwy Feast, using classic Welsh ingredients such as Welsh salt lamb or Welsh black beef.

Becws
Beca Lyne-Pirkis

TV chef Beca Lyne-Pirkis is also on the menu. She reached the semi finals of The Great British Bake Off in 2013, and is now the star of her own show Becws on S4C. Watch Beca in action here (via Becws TV, YouTube):

The crowds will also see Ian Watson, who started his career as an apprentice at Bodysgallen Hall Hotel.

He worked at The St Tudno Hotel in Llandudno for seven years during which time they were awarded three AA Rosettes.

Since 2000 he has been the owner chef of Watson’s Bistro in Conwy, from where he has earned a reputation for providing fine cuisine using locally-sourced produce.

Tasting Kitchen sessions:

Saturday

11.00 Trealy Farm

12 noon Castell Gwyn with chef Mike Evans

13.00 Bodnant Welsh Food Centre

14.00 LFR Direct with Lee Watson

15.00 Sabor de Amor with Brian Hansen

16.00 Beri Da with Ian Gray

Sunday

11.30 Barcut Rose Veal with Brian Hansen

12.30 Daffodil Foods with Mike Evans

13.30 Castell Howard with Hefin Roberts

14.30 Cwm Farm Charcuterie with Chris Leach
15.30 Aerona

TICKETS:

Weekend ticket: Adult £13, under 16s go free (valid all day Saturday, Saturday night music on the Quayside, all day Sunday).

Saturday ticket only: Adult £8.50, under 16s go free (valid all day Saturday, Saturday night music on the Quayside)

Sunday ticket only: Adults £6.50, under 16s go free.

Entrance to the music marquee and bars is free on Saturday and Sunday with a valid wristband

OR

£5 on the door after 5pm on Saturday

£5 on the door all day on Sunday

In the River Food Hall:

Aberffraw Biscuit Co Ltd http://www.aberffrawbiscuits.com Welsh shortbread called Aberffraw biscuits
Aerona aerona-liqueur.co.uk Aronia berry based products
Anglesey Farmhouse Chocolates http://www.foelfarm.co.uk Fine artisan handmade chocolates
Barcut Rose Veal http://www.barcutveal.co.uk rose veal meat produce various cuts and cooked option to sell as tasters
Beri Da http://www.berida.co.uk fruity Aronia berry vinegar and a range of Aronia chutneys
Bim’s Kitchen http://www.bimskitchen.com African-inspired sauces and condiments
Blaenafon Cheddar Co Ltd http://www.chunkofcheese.co.uk Speciality award winning hand made Welsh cheddar & goats cheeses.
Bodnant Welsh Food http://www.bodnant-welshfood.co.uk Cheese, bread, butter, pies, burgers & sausages
Bragdy Nant Www.bragdynant.co.uk Bottled beer
Burtree Puddings http://www.burtreepuddings.co.uk Christmas and Sticky Puddings, Farmhouse baking
Cariad Gelato http://cariadgelato.cymru/ Gelato & Sorbetto with freshly made waffles
Caws Cenarth Cheese http://www.cawscenarth.co.uk Artisan Organic Cheese, and speciality cheeses
Celtic Pride http://www.chfoods.co.uk Celtic Pride pies and slices
Celtic Spirit Co http://www.celticspirit.co.uk Liqueurs and Spirits from Wales
Chocopassion http://www.chocopassionuk.com Hand Made Italian chocolate Shaped Tools
Cnwc Crackers http://www.foodies.mynewsite.link/cnwc-crackers Savoury Crackers
Condessa Welsh Liqueurs http://www.condessa.co.uk Liqueurs from Anglesey
Conwy Brewery Ltd http://www.conwybrewery.co.uk Bottled Beer & Brewery Merchandise
Cwm Deri Vineyard cwm-deri.co.uk Welsh wines, mead and liqueurs
Cwm Farm Charcuterie http://www.cwmfarm.net Beer Stick (Snack Salami); Chorizo with Port
Daffodil Foods http://www.daffodilfoods.co.uk Layered Yoghurts
Driftwood Designs http://www.driftwooddesigns.co.uk Welsh art with coastal themes. Framed prints, posters and cards.
Eboni ac Eifori eboniaceifori.co.uk Award winning fudge, toffee, and toffee sauces
Edwards of Conwy http://www.edwardsofconwy.co.uk Welsh Sausages, burgers, meatballs, pies
Fire foods http://www.firefoods.co.uk chilli gift hampers, chilli grinders,chilli snacks
Flavour Magic brooksdelicatessenltd.com Spice rubs, Infused flavoured rock salts
Food Station Wales http://www.foodstation.wordpress.com Olives, Nuts, Baklava & Turkish Delight
Food Technology Centre foodtech-llangefni.co.uk Promoting technical support services for food businesses
Forever Fudge http://www.foreverfudge.co.uk 30 flavours of fudge, peanut brittle, nougat and cinder toffee
French Flavour http://www.frenchflavour.co.uk French Artisan Foods ,Garlic Strings, Onions, Cider, Pates
Funky Nut Company http://www.funkynutco.com Range of natural and flavoured peanut and nut butters
Goch & Company Ltd http://www.gochandcompany.co.uk African Gluten free Chilli sauces,Chilli Flavoured Oils Salad Dressing
Goetre Farm Preserves http://www.goetrefarmpreserves.co.uk Jams, chutneys, mustards, honey & marmalade cakes
Great Orme Brewery http://www.greatormebrewery.co.uk Real ale & related merchandise
Halen Mon http://www.halenmon.com Sea salt
Harvies Ltd N/A Gluten Free pies and pastries, welsh cakes
La Triestina Ltd http://www.latriestina.co.uk Italian Deli products
Llaeth y Llan llaethyllan.co.uk Chilled dairy yogurt
Llanvalley Natural Products http://www.llanvalley.co.uk/ Goatsmilk Soaps, Creams and Balms with Honey & Beeswax
Love Cheesecakes lovecheesecakes.com Chilled fresh cheesecakes
Magic Knife Company http://www.magic-knife.website Kitchen knives, sharpener, magnetic holder, scissors and peeler
Mama Zo’s Cakes & Cookies Facebook: Mama Zo’s Cakes & Cookies Cookies, lemonade & raspberry lemonade
Marbletree http://www.marbletree.co.uk Handcrafted marble and slate gifts
Megans Kitchen N/A Handmade Welsh Cakes and Bara Brith
Mocha Express http://www.mochaexpress.co.uk Coffee , Tea , Hot Chocolate , cakes and snacks
Mr Fitzpatricks http://www.mrfitzpatricks.com Traditional Cordials Dandelion & Burdock Sarsapirilla
Narnas http://www.narnaschocolates.co.uk Cakes and confectionery
Natural Game / Seasons Www.naturalgame.co.uk Gourmet range of British game, poultry and exotic meats
Orchard Pigs Www.orchardpigs.co.uk Meat pies, scotch eggs, artisan bread, cakes and biscuits
Oscars Kitchen http://www.oscars-kitchen.co.uk Homemade traditional sweet and savoury preserves
Pant Du http://www.pantdu.co.uk Welsh wines, cider and water
Pen-y-lan pork .facebook:welshsausage Gold Award Handmade sausages & meatballs
Purple Moose Brewery http://www.purplemoose.co.uk Bottled beer, gift packs and related brewery merchandise
Radnor Hills http://www.radnorhills.co.uk Heartsease Farm sparkling fruit presse
Retro Shots http://www.retroshots.co.uk Handmade flavoured vodka, chilli & Drunken Bee Honey Infused Spirits
Roberts Country Fayre http://www.robertscountryfayre.co.uk Cold Eating Pies
Rosie’s Triple D cider http://www.rosiescider.co.uk Rosie’s Triple D cider, Rosie’s Wicked Wasp cider and Rosie’s Black Bart cider
Sabor de Amor http://www.sabordeamor.com Handmade Spanish products, Paella sce, Tapenade, Salsa Brava, Alioli, Spanish Preserves
Snowdonia Cheese Co Ltd http://www.snowdonia-cheese.co.uk Snowdonia cheeses will be available with gift packs and special offers
South Caernarfon Creameries sccwales.co.uk Dairy produce cheese and milk
Spanish Hamper http://www.thespanishhamper.co.uk Chorizo , sobrasada & sangria
The Dangerous Food Company http://www.dangerousfoodco.co.uk Fiery fruity jams made using fruits and chillies
The English Chocolate Fountain Co http://www.tecfc.co.uk Belgian Chocolate Fountain, marshmallows, fruits, fudge and cream in cups and on skewers
The Flavoured Butter Co N/A Selection of flavoured butters
The Gift of Oil http://www.thegiftofoil.co.uk Olive oils & balsamics
The Little Round Cake Comany http://www.thelittleroundcakecompany.co.uk Tweeners (mini layer cakes), tarts, merangz and merangz ‘bites’
The Magnificent Marshmallow Company http://www.themagnificentmarshmallowcompany.com Marshmallows flavoured with fruits, oils and natural flavourings
The Patchwork Traditional Food Company http://www.patchwork-pate.co.uk Handmade artisan pate
Trealy Farm Charcuterie http://www.trealyfarm.com Charcuterie products
Two Guys from Brussels facebook:TwoGuysfromBrussels Belgian Speciality food and drink
Ultimate Fudge Outlet http://www.ultimatefudgeoutlet.co.uk Homemade traditional & speciality fudges
Warner Edwards Distillery http://www.warneredwards.com Harrington Dry Gin, Elderflower,Rhubarb & Sloe Gins

Street food vendors:

American Street Food Limited facebook.com/dixiekitchenUK Pulled pork, shredded beef hot dogs chutney & coleslaw
Anglesey Hog Roasts http://www.angleseyhogroasts.co.uk Hog and ham roasts with side salads and special sauces
Arjee Bhaji facebook:arjeebhaji Indian street food, curry & kebabs
Bank of Conwy http://www.vonomondo.co.uk Sangria & Tapas
Bwyd O’r Mor N/A Menai Mussels,Bass,Skate,Mackerel,Plaice,Squid,Octopus
Caffeine Rush N/A Coffee , Tea , Hot Chocolate, cold drinks
Celtic Country Wines http://www.celticwines.co.uk/ Fruit wines, liqueurs, seasonal giftboxes, mulled elderberry wine
Chuckwagon bbq http://www.chuckwagonbbq.co.uk Pulled Pork,chicken, brisket,bbq beans and pickles
Churros con Chocolate http://www.lovely-churros.co.uk Handmade & rolled churros with chocolate sauce
Continental Catering http://www.continentalcatering.com Bavarian smoked sausage, paprikawurst, frankfurter, frikadelen
Crave de Taste N/A Caribbean dishes with fish, meat rice dumpling & vegetables. Tropical fruits & smoothies
Debbies delights N/A Chipsticks & Jacket Potatoes with various fillings
Fodder in the Field http://www.fodderinthefield.co.uk Banger and Mash
Fratelli Brothers firedupfood@hotmail.com Authentic Neapolitan pizza baked in a clay wood fired oven
Fresa con Crema/Choco Art N/A Strawberries & Cream/cakes
Fresh Butter N/A Fresh hand churned butter
Fried & Wine friedandwine@gmail.com Deep fried seafood and vegetables with prosecco
Heavy Industry Brewing Ltd http://www.heavyindustrybrewing.com Bottled/Canned beer & charcuterie Cooking on site
Joles Gourmet http://www.facebook.com/jolesgourmet Casadias, baguettes, muffins, Cakes
Kababoom Kitchen twitter.com/kababoomkitchen Persian street food Kofta and Falafel, Kebabs
LFR Direct http://www.lfrdirect.co.uk/ Fruit & Vegetables
Luke’s Cocktail Bar http://www.lukescocktailbar.co.uk Alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails
Mango Rays http://www.mangorays.co.uk Chilli & Curry and Smoothies, Mulled wine
Mela Food Co N/A Tortilla wraps – chicken tikka, falafel, Samosa and Bhaji
Moorish Cuisine http://www.grovefarmshawbury.co.uk Moroccan food such as Tagines with cous cous and flat bread wraps
Old Sandlin N/A Apples, Pears, Plums, Apple and Pear Juice, Quinces
Pizza Peddlers http://www.pizzapeddlers.co.uk Wood fired pizzas using the finest local and seasonal Welsh produce available
Primo Cafe primocafe.co.uk Gourmet coffee, tea and hot chocolate + artisan cakes
Rigatoni’s Pasta http://www.rigatonispasta.co.uk Gluten free Pasta & Sauces, Gluten free garlic ciabatta bread Bacon rolls, hot drinks
Simply Crepes N/A Sweet & Savoury Crepes Cooking
Somtam http://www.somtamthai Thai fish cakes, Chicken satay, Thai Curry, Egg Noodles
The Flintshire Street Food Company Ltd flintshirestreetfood.co.uk Sweet, Savory & liqueur french style crepes made to order
The Ham Bone http://www.hambone.co.uk World flavours of chicken
The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company http://www.beachfood.co.uk Lobster wraps, Crab and Seaweeds
The Rustic Cooks https://www.facebook.com/rustic.cooks Continental smoked sausages cooked on a 1950s army field kitchen
The Shropshire Spirit Co. http://www.shropshirespiritco.co.uk Salopian Spirits, Vodka, Rum, Gin
The Wrap Shack.co.uk http://www.thewrapshack.co.uk Hot filled wraps chicken shish, chorizo & chicken, smoked mex beans & salad bar
Top Pot N/A A new concept in fast food
What you Like Catering N/A Potato cakes with beef, field mushrooms, crab and prawn