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



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.

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.

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:


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


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


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


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

Street food vendors:

American Street Food Limited Pulled pork, shredded beef hot dogs chutney & coleslaw
Anglesey Hog Roasts Hog and ham roasts with side salads and special sauces
Arjee Bhaji facebook:arjeebhaji Indian street food, curry & kebabs
Bank of Conwy 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 Fruit wines, liqueurs, seasonal giftboxes, mulled elderberry wine
Chuckwagon bbq Pulled Pork,chicken, brisket,bbq beans and pickles
Churros con Chocolate Handmade & rolled churros with chocolate sauce
Continental Catering 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 Banger and Mash
Fratelli Brothers 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 Deep fried seafood and vegetables with prosecco
Heavy Industry Brewing Ltd Bottled/Canned beer & charcuterie Cooking on site
Joles Gourmet Casadias, baguettes, muffins, Cakes
Kababoom Kitchen Persian street food Kofta and Falafel, Kebabs
LFR Direct Fruit & Vegetables
Luke’s Cocktail Bar Alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails
Mango Rays Chilli & Curry and Smoothies, Mulled wine
Mela Food Co N/A Tortilla wraps – chicken tikka, falafel, Samosa and Bhaji
Moorish Cuisine 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 Wood fired pizzas using the finest local and seasonal Welsh produce available
Primo Cafe Gourmet coffee, tea and hot chocolate + artisan cakes
Rigatoni’s Pasta 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 Sweet, Savory & liqueur french style crepes made to order
The Ham Bone World flavours of chicken
The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company Lobster wraps, Crab and Seaweeds
The Rustic Cooks Continental smoked sausages cooked on a 1950s army field kitchen
The Shropshire Spirit Co. Salopian Spirits, Vodka, Rum, Gin
The Wrap 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