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.

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All you need to know about Cardiff’s International Food Festival this weekend

60,000 people are expected at Cardiff's International Food Festival
60,000 people are expected at Cardiff’s International Food Festival

AROUND 60,000 food fans are set to descend on Cardiff Bay this weekend.

The annual Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival will feature eating, drinking, live music and entertainment.

Visitors can watch cooking demonstrations by top chefs, browse stalls selling local produce, and there will be a farmers’ market. There will be taste from around the globe. The timings for the free event will be:

Producer’s Fayre: 12noon-9pm Friday, 11am-9pm Saturday, 11am-7pm Sunday

Farmers’ Market: 12noon-7pm Friday, 11am-7pm Saturday/Sunday

Food Piazza: 12noon-10pm Friday, 11am-10pm Saturday, 11am-7pm Sunday

Craft Stalls: 12noon-9pm Friday, 11am-9pm Saturday, 11am-7pm Sunday

PRODUCERS’ FAIR
Blaengawney Farm Gwatkin Cider Sarah Cooks
Bread of Devon Gwynt y Ddraig Cider Ltd Selwyns Seafood
Caerphilly Preserves Homemade Country Preserves Septimus Spyder Drinks
Caws Cenarth Cheese Hot Roasted Nuts Shepherd’s Ice Cream
Celtic Country Wines Irvin Confectionary Snowdonia Cheese Co Ltd
Celtic Spirit Co Little Jack Horners Sub Zero Ice Cream
Condessa Welsh Liqueurs Llanfaes Dairy Ice Cream The Blaenafon Cheddar Company
Cowpots Love Patisserie The Chocolate Brownie Company
Devon Fishcakes Narna’s Chocolates The Fudge Box
Dewi Roberts Butchers Perfick Pork The Garlic Farm
Elm Tree Foods Produce of Stuttgart The Gift of Oil
Farmhouse Deli Radnor Hills The Handmade Scotch Egg Co
Fire Foods Ralph’s Cider and Perry The Original Welsh Oggie Pie Co.
Fudge Factory Riverford Organic Farms Tudor Brewery
Gilly’s Samosaco Wessex Pantry
FARMERS’ MARKET
Asiaspicebox Fresh As A Daisy Sorai
Carn Edward Farm Heather’s Harvest Susan’s Farmhouse Fudge
Caws Teifi Cheese Little Welsh Deli The Celt Experience
Claire’s Kitchen Mr Fitzpatrick’s Cordials The Continental Bakery
Contempo Catering Narna’s Chocolates The Dangerous Food Company
Cottage Sweets Oh Sugarplum! The Pudding Shop
Cwm Deri Vineyard Pastamore The Wiltshire Chilli Farm
Delicia Cakes & Teas Popty Cara Toffoc Ltd
Dream Blue Trading Co. Retro Shots Tudor House Preserves & Welsh Craft Foods
Emily’s Jams and Pickles Riverside Market Assoc Ty Gwyn Cider
Enhance Rowlestone Farmhouse Ice Cream Untapped Brewing Company Ltd
Field Barwine Ltd Samosaco Yo Go Go Frozen Yogurt
Food Station Wales Seasons Farm Foods  Crafty Devil Brewing
FARMERS MARKET – CATERING
Parsons Nose The Strawberry Stop The Welsh Creperie
The Wrap Shack  Dusty Knuckle Pizza Company
STREET FOOD PIAZZA
Cambrian Organics Meat and Greek Ltd Taste of Persia
Gaucho BBQ Mela Street Food The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Co. / Café Mor
Glamorgan Vale Hog Roast Ltd Morgans Family Butchers The Spanish Buffet
Greta’s Wholefoodies Old Granary Pierogi Welsh Venison Centre
Griffiths Bakery Ltd Roly Poly Ltd Yum Yum
Indian Delights Shabbanakle

Bandstand & Entertainment Timings

Bandstand (all sets 45 minutes)
Friday Saturday Sunday
12pm Donnie Joe’s American Swing Peel Your Own Spuds Slap Your Mama Big Band
1pm Baraka Red Ray Maelog
2pm Fiesta Resistance Miss Maud’s Folly The Zen Hussies
3pm Tantz The Dandos Slap Your Mama Big Band
4pm Rob Heron and The Teapad Orchestra Maddassa Soul Band Maelog
5pm Donnie Joe’s American Swing Peel Your Own Spuds The Zen Hussies
6pm Baraka Red Ray Slap Your Mama Big Band
7pm Fiesta Resistance Miss Maud’s Folly
8pm Tantz The Dandos
9pm Rob Heron and The Teapad Orchestra Maddassa Soul Band
Entertainment, Farmer’s Market (all sets 30 minutes)
Friday Saturday Sunday
12.30pm The Railroad Skiffle Quartet The Saxalettes 89-91 Band
2.30pm The Railroad skiffle Quartet The Saxalettes 89-91 Band
4.30pm The Railroad Skiffle Quartet The Saxalettes 89-91 Band

Tafwyl is baking up a treat of a fair for foodies in Cardiff

Last year, 16,534 people attended the Tafwyl fair in Cardiff.

The Great British Bake Off's Beca Lyne-Pirkis
The Great British Bake Off’s Beca Lyne-Pirkis

This year’s Tafwyl Fair 2015 will be held at Cardiff Castle, on July 4 and 5 – and it’s set to provide free fun for all the family.

There will be stalls in the fair promoting Welsh produce, and workshops, literary sessions, music, cookery, art and drama sessions. The fair runs between 11am and 9pm on both days.

On the main stage there will be live performances by folk, rock and pop artists in the Welsh pop scene, including Yws Gwynedd and Geraint Jarman, acoustic sessions, street entertainers, dance sessions, sports field, and activities for children of all ages.

In the food and drink marquee, there will be a talk with Poblado Coffee, pure chocolate workshop with Coco Caravan, an Indian cookery demonstration with Purple Poppadom, a baking demonstration with Great British Bake Off’s Beca Lyne-Pirkis, and a  cheese tasting session with Caws Rhydydelyn.

You could learn how to brew Cwrw Melyn Bach with Tomos & Lilford Brewery, and join a Welsh ale and cider taster session. For children there’s a chance to bake some cakes and treats for homeless and disadvantaged young people with Llamau.

The fair’s popular Bake Off competition returns thanks to sponsorship from cyfreithwyr.com, with guest judges Beca Lyne-Pirkis and Nerys Howell. The competition for under 11’s is to bake and decorate 3 cake pops, and the competition for under 16’s is to bake and decorate 6 cupcakes.  For adults, the brief is to bake and decorate a sponge cake so let your imagination run wild and create something special! For the winner of each category we have a special prize – afternoon tea for two at Waterloo Tea Gardens. You must register to compete at www.tafwyl.cymru.

tafwyl

The street food corner will include ten tempting reasons to visit:

Bangkok Cafe – http://www.bangkokcafe.co.uk/

Authentic Thai street food, using locally sourced ingredients and herbs and spices imported from Thailand

Parsnipship –  http://theparsnipship.co.uk/

Hand-crafted fine vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Original and provocative dishes packed with big, punchy flavours

Grazing Shed – http://www.thegrazingshed.com/

Gourmet burgers from Cardiff

Onesthttp://www.onestfood.com/

Healthy fast food on the go.

Welsh Creperie Co. – http://www.thewelshcreperie.co.uk/      

Gourmet sweet and savoury crepes and Breton galettes, all made to order with the freshest of ingredients.

Ffwrnes Pizza – https://www.facebook.com/ffwrnespizza

Wood Fired Pizzas made using simple ingredients produced by real artisans

Meat and Greek – https://www.facebook.com/meatandgreek

Cardiff based Greek Cypriot family sharing their authentic Souvlaki with the rest of the community.

Fablas – http://www.fablasicecream.co.uk/

A rural company based in the Vale of Glamorgan producing high quality artisian ice creams. Fablas go from cow to cone within a 3 hour period, producing a high class proiduct that is unbelivelbly fresh and locally produces. Look out for a few special adult ice cream flavours including the pink champagne sorbet and mojito ice cream!

Brodies Coffee Camper-  http://www.brodiescoffee.co.uk/

Quality coffee & home baked goodies

Milgi – http://www.milgilounge.com/ 

For the first time this year Milgi will be hosting a cocktail bar – the Hedgerow Bar. The concept really is simple – to serve super seasonal, foraged homemade drinks to anyone who needs a little thirst quencher.

Bar Syched

There will also be two bars with a large range of ales, lagers, wines, spirits, soft drinks tea & coffee. Our Syched Bar will be selling a range of Welsh ales.