Abergavenny Food Festival
Saturday September 17 2016to Sunday September 18 2016
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One of the great things about food festivals is that you can find one almost anywhere - they're all over the place! From independent beer and ale booze-ups to sophisticated cheese and wine events there’s bound to be something going on nearby. But if there’s only one you’re planning to visit, it absolutely has to be this one. When you think of ‘diary-worthy’ food events, you may think of London, Edinburgh, Bristol and other buzzing metropolises but this (otherwise fairly quiet) Welsh town really brings home the bacon – nearly quite literally – when it comes to food on a grand scale. Its streets fill with shoulder-to-shoulder market stalls and local producers; crowds throng, tasting and sampling and chatting. Halls, rooms, theatres and open spaces are booked out with eager spectators for food demonstrations, chefs’ talks, live shows and masterclasses; and the castle grounds are lined with culinary royalty.
Abergavenny Food Festival should not just be pencilled on your calendar; it should be circled in a big red marker pen: 17th-18th September.
If you’ve ever been, you’ll understand why this festival has won such a prestigious accolade. The sheer volume and diversity of food and events squashed into two days is impressive in itself. Every year Abergavenny offers an extraordinary amount of traders. This year, as well as exhibitors from Wales and The Marches and across the UK, you can look forward to a truly global array of produce. But Abergavenny doesn’t simply offer one market, no, there are five! Five market venues with over 200 stalls – you’re going need more than a wicker basket for this event, bring every rucksack you have.
The sense of community and emphasis on the sociable eating experience is prevalent at this festival, and is one of the elements that makes it so enjoyable. It’s a celebration of craft, tradition and innovation with such a get-up-and-go vibe about it, that it is never deterred by minor things – like the weather. You’ll not see a thing cancelled due to bit of rain (it is in Wales after all), and that’s nice to know if you’ve set aside a weekend for a spot of pure gluttony.
Pre-festival events kick off on Friday, for all the stuff that couldn't be crammed into the weekend. But don't worry, these are anything but sub-standard. Saturday is the most hectic of the weekend. Prepare yourself for the smorgasbord of masterclasses, tutored tastings, walks and talks and pop-up restaurants. Bag yourself a stroller wristband to get special access to some of the more exclusive events. Then carry on into the night, as you can’t possibly miss the famous Saturday night party the castle. There’s also extended opening in the Brewery Yard on for the first ever Night Market – street food and entertainment until 10pm. Keep your eyes peeled for special cookery demonstrations, talks and workshops from renowned chefs, including Valentine Warner and Tim Anderson.
Further special guests will be appearing on Sunday, it tends to be the less crowded of the two days, so is better for families and those who need a little bit more room – manouvering a buggy through throngs of people is never an easy task. And, if you want to take the kids, they are going to be pretty excited about the Children’s Food Academy (sponsored by Organic Centre Wales) at the Castle.
All in all, with such a showcase of skilled, passionate, knowledgeable and articulate food-lovers: growers, cooks, writers, processors, campaigners and artists, Abergavenny Food Festival is right up any foodie’s street. But it’s more than just food; it’s an experience you just have to try. Once you’ve visited this festival, you’ll be hooked.
Disabled access, Disabled toilets, Disabled parking
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|Adult (After 01/09) Saturday||£10.00|
|Adult (After 01/09) Sunday||£8.00|
|Adult (After 01/09) Weekend Pass||£15.00|
|Advance (Before 01/09) Adult Saturday||£8.00|
|Advance (Before 01/09) Adult Sunday||£6.50|
|Advance (Before 01/09) Adult Weekend Pass||£12.00|
|Children Under 16||FREE|
- Saturday (09:30 to 18:00)
- Sunday (09:30 to 17:00)