Show some love with a lasting gift for your foodie this Valentine’s Day


If a box of chocolates simply won’t hack it this Valentine’s Day, Welsh food and drink experts have some perfect ideas for lasting gifts:

For the wine lover


White Castle vineyard near Abergavenny has a scheme where you can adopt a vine for your loved-one. That gives them a personalised certificate of adoption valid for a year, a plaque with their name on their adopted vine, a conducted vineyard tour for two people to include a glass of wine to toast the adopted vine, and the chance to join owners Robb and Nicola Merchant at harvest to handpick the grapes from your adopted vine.

The package also includes a bottle of wine from your adopted grape variety to take home and a warm welcome to events taking place throughout the year at The Cellar Door.The price is £45.00 Contact Robb or Nicola on 01873 821443 or email: See more details here.

For the chocolate lover


Book a chocolate tasting and making course at Black Mountain Gold based in Crickhowell.

Your loved one can join a three-hour course for £85, or have a one-to-one workshop with master chocolatier Jules for £250. The courses include an introduction to truffle making, tempering, hand rolling and piping ganache, enrobing and detailing, using dipping forks, mouthfeel and cocoa butter, and chocolate moulding techniques. To book and pay for your place please call the shop on 01873 812362. See more details here.

For the fish lover


Book  your Valentine a Welsh fish and shellfish cookery course at Bodnant Welsh Foods at Conwy.

The course teaches people how to cook and prepare sustainably-sourced fish and learn techniques such as skinning, filleting and boning. For lunch your Valentine will try the fish and shellfish they have cooked and pair them with matching wines from Bodnant’s onsite wine cellar.


The next course is on February 27. Your Valentine will learn to cook lobster bisque, citrus cured salmon, poached pollock and black curry powder, halibut wellington and baked scallops and coconut. The day course costs £115. See more details here.

For the cake and bread lover 


Your Valentine can hone their baking skills at a half day bakes and cakes course at The Culinary Cottage at Pandy, Abergavenny.

The course will cover beer and soda bread, sweet and savoury pastries, and a chocolate genache-covered creation. The half day course cost £65. See more details here.

For the meat lover


Book your Valentine a place at a Weber Essential course at Angela Grey’s Cookery School in Llanerch Vineyard, Vale of Glamorgan. The course teaches American barbecue, low ‘n’ slow cooking and smokehouse cuisine skills, creating deliciously authentic dishes from scratch. Dishes will include barbecued beef brisket and a side of signature slaw, spicy buffalo wings with gorgonzola dip, stacked ribs, and Bourbon and smoked bacon chocolate brownies.

During the four hours, your Valentine will get hands on with an array of different meats, expand your cooking repertoire on the barbecue and also use the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. The cost is £129. See more details here.

For the veggie lover


Your Valentine will love the vibrant veggie recipes taught at Kather’s  Kitchen cookery school in Monmouthshire. The dishes will be seasonal The day course costs £85 per person. Call 01292 650801 to book. See more details here.

Maria Williams is a journalist, copywriter, and professional blogger



Tickets go on sale for Abergavenny’s Christmas Food and Drink Fair

Festive stall holders at last year’s fair

Tickets are now on sale for Abergavenny’s Christmas Food and Drink Fair.

Organisers say the Christmas event, on Sunday December 13, promises a fantastic day out for the whole family filled with plenty of opportunities to eat, drink and be merry.

The one-day event offers crafty card and chocolate making workshops for the perfect home-made Christmas to delicious goodies from more than 80 stallholders and free chef demonstrations to make Christmas dinner extra special.

Three venues will transform into a winter wonderland, with a host of seasonal delights, unique gifts and even the chance to pick up a signed book from your loved ones’ favourite chef.

For those wanting to get started early, acclaimed mixologist Dom Jacobs will be kicking off the festive fun on Saturday December 12 with his show-stopping cocktail masterclass and top tips, all taken from his exclusive Mayfair cocktail menu.

Alongside all of this, there’s also a chance for the whole family to get involved with the Christmas Musical Feast and Festive Light Parade as guests are invited to make their own lanterns and follow the Abergavenny Town Band to the church for a concert and food-themed evening service which promises to be a magical ending to the day.

Heather Myers, Chief Executive of the festival said: “After the resounding success of the Festival in September, we can’t wait to open the doors to Abergavenny once again and invite everyone back to celebrate Christmas with us.”


Adult – £5 (children under 16 go free, but they must have a wristband too)

Dominic Jacob’s Christmas Mixology – £10

For the full festive line-up and to get your tickets, visit

christmas header



Apple County Cider Co

Brecon Brewing

Gwatkin Cider Company Ltd

Gwynt y Ddraig Cider

The Jacobi Brewery of Caio

Untapped Brewing Company


Alex Gooch Artisan Baker

Cradoc’s Savoury Biscuits

Felin Talgarth Mill

Hardwick Hampers

Hedonist Bakery


The Chocolate Brownie Company

Dimkin’s patisserie

Ffi’s Patisserie

Freckles Homebaking

Love at First Bake Ltd

Love Patisserie

The Pudding Shop


The Blaenafon Cheddar Co Ltd

Caws Cenarth Cheese

FLAVOURS of Monmouth

La Cave a Fromage


Barry Colenso Chocolates Ltd

Black Mountain Gold Chocolate

Cocoa Magic

The Raw Chocolate Pie Company

Sciolti Botanical Chocolates

Sue Gilmour Ltd


Charcutier Ltd

Trealy Farm Charcuterie

Welsh Venison Centre

Glam Lamb

Natural Game / Seasons

Bakewell Ducks


Black Mountains Smokery

cnwd ltd

Devon Fishcakes

The Mighty Soft Shell Crab


Forage Fine Foods

Green Saffron

The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company

Petals of the Valley Ltd

Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars Ltd


Claire’s Kitchen

The Garlic Farm

The Patchwork Traditional Food Company

Peperoncino Ltd

The Preservation Society



Hilltop Honey

Miranda’s Preserves

New Quay Honey Farm


British Cassis

Hay Wines Limited

Tipsy Fruit Gins Ltd

Warner Edwards Distillery

Emilia Ltd

Hollow Ash Orchard

Pixley Berries

Ragmans Lane Farm

Welsh Farmhouse Apple Juice

Yarty Cordials Ltd

CC’s Coffee Bar

Chantler Teas

Welsh Coffee Company


Arganic Ltd

Cotswold Gold Ltd

The Olive Press

Olives & Things


Gluten Free Uprising Ltd

Legges of Bromyard

Roberts Country Fayre

Snowdrop Cottage Fine Foods



Welsh Creperie Co (Franco Welsh Ltd)

The Willows Garden Centre

The Old Board Co

Franchi Seeds of Italy Ltd

Samosaco (Sim’s Foods Ltd)

The Ludlow Nut Co Ltd

Wil’s Smokehouse


The Parsnipship

Chef demonstrations:


Vicky Jones and Nick Saltmarsh: Bean Magic 11am – 11:45am

Vicky Jones, author of Out of the Pod, and Nick Saltmarsh of Hodmedods prepare a selection of healthy yet delicious snacks to nibble with festive drinks.

Jim Hamilton: Not a Partridge in a Pear Tree noon – 12:45pm

Abergavenny’s Kings Arms Hotel chef, Jim Hamilton will show you how to prepare a quick alternative to the traditional turkey roast.

Angela Gray: Festive French Sweet Treats 1pm – 1.45pm

Angela Gray of the Angela Gray Cookery School at Llanarch Vineyard will demonstrate some French goodies such as Buche de Noel, 12th Night Tart and Golden Pears with praline stuffing, picked up during her time in Paris.

Liz Knight and Rufus Carter: The Canapes Crusaders 2pm -2.45pm

Liz Knight of Forage Fine Foods and Rufus Carter of Patchwork are coming to Abergavenny to put the record straight on canapes being just booze soaker-upper’s.

Jules James: Black Mountain Gold! Chocolate that is… 3pm – 3.45pm

Maitre Chocolatier, Jules James from Black Mountain Gold chocolate in Crickhowell will demonstrate extra special chocolatier skills from how to temper chocolate to making chocolate bars to impress friends over the festive season.