Sunday 27th – Monday 28th May
Since being founded in 2004 as part of the Cowbridge Charter Trust’s 750 year celebrations, Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival has grown from a one day event with 40 exhibitors on one site to a whole weekend of foodie family fun with over 80 food and drink exhibitors, food demonstrations, entertainments and so much more spread around the beautiful town of Cowbridge. The Festival in 2016 sees a wealth of changes, not least moving from October to the new dates on the second May Bank Holiday (Sunday 29th and Monday 30th May). We hope to offer everything you’ve loved before as well as securing some new venues to offer more for your ticket price. We look forward to welcoming you in May.
Tel: 07875 290428
Location Cowbridge town centre – various locations
Facebook: The Cowbridge Food Drink Festival
May 2017 Update 2
Snow Puppy set to be star of the show at this year’s Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival
With just two weeks to go until this year’s much anticipated Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival, which will take place across the May Bank Holiday weekend (28-29th), the organisers have announced a brand new star attraction in the shape of the show’s very own Snow Puppy!
Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival will be working with Ty Hafan to raise money to provide support for life-limited children, young people and families across Wales, by hosting a sculpture of a Snow Puppy – a white blank canvas poised and ready to be decorated – across the weekend of family foodie fun.
Young visitors will be invited to give it their stamp of approval to help decorate the sculpture while helping to raise much needed funds for Ty Hafan – one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities, providing the only children’s hospice service in South Wales.
For a minimum £1 donation, little ones will have the chance to pick one of three bright colours, in which to dip their fingers and make their very own mark on the patterned Puppy.
Painted Snow Dogs from all over Wales, will be exhibited in the streets of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan this Autumn for ten weeks as part of Snowdogs: Tails in Wales trail. The project is presented by Tŷ Hafan in partnership with Wild in Art, a leading creative producer of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events.
After the show, the Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival Puppy will be varnished, auctioned and pledged to a community organisation to raise further funds for Ty Hafan.
Keeping the Snow Puppy company will be another colourful canine friend, in the shape of the Sundog – designed and created by eminent Cardiff artist Seth Oliver for Ty Hafan’s Chefs’ Night Out and part of an already completed Snow Dog Trail exhibit.
Speaking about this year’s special guests, Festival Manager, Polly Wilson said:
“We are so excited to have our very own Snow Puppy and his beautiful pal, Sundog at this year’s festival; it is a great art project in aid of such a deserving cause – every finger print counts and will raise vital funds for the charity- so we want as many as possible to get involved and pet our adorable Snow Puppy!”
Young foodies will have plenty to get their teeth into over the course of the weekend, with a variety of children’s activities being held in The Old Hall Gardens. Families can expect crafts, face-painting, live music, birds of prey, a pottery wheel as well as other food-themed fun. Make and Take your Tea is sure to be a favourite with those aged 3-7 who will be able to make their own pizza at the festival and then put it in a box to take home to cook. (2.30pm Sunday, 1.30pm Monday – limited availability, first come, first served basis).
This is the third year the Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival has been held in the Spring and the second year with its well-received open-plan festival layout.
Day and weekend tickets are available via www.cowbridgefoodanddrink.org (all on line transactions receive a free festival cooler bag) and children under 12 can enjoy the festival for free and there is a free Park and Ride service running from both sides of town. Ticket holders receive discounts and access to additional activities and town traders also offer promotions to ticket holders.
May 2017 Update
Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival is delighted to have recently received a Sharing Heritage grant of £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, just in time to launch an exciting new project for this year’s festival – ‘Forgotten Foods’.
The project will take visitors on a journey back in time through the kitchens of the past to explore and remember the culinary traditions, heritage and history of Welsh food and drink, at the annual foodie favourite festival, taking place over the Whitsun May Bank Holiday weekend (28th and 29th May). The 2017 Festival is all about finding out what the visitors want to see more of in the Forgotten Foods project – specific eras, particular dishes or ingredients for example. Guests will be encouraged to think about the story behind the recipes the nation follows today, some of which have been handed down from generation to generation, from Welsh cakes and bara brith to rarebit and cawl. Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival isitors will have the opportunity to learn about traditional Welsh preparation methods and the history of the country’s famous dishes in a series of professional demonstrations over the weekend.
At the Old Hall Gardens site over the weekend, guests will be invited on a taste tour of two secret eras of the past in a series of historical food sampling sessions, courtesy of local chef duo and academic specialists in Ancient History, The History Chefs.
In their popular interactive and educational sessions, the chefs will explore less mechanised means of production and harvesting, and will create delicious food and drink with foraged and home grown ingredients from exhibitors such as Tast Natur and Herbs in Wales.
Taster sessions this year also include bee keeping, and Tast Natur, and to add a modern twist, Cardiff-based Science Cream. The first and only Welsh liquid nitrogen ice cream and desserts parlour will also be at the festival and, as always, using natural and traditional flavours.
Polly Wilson, Festival Manager, said: “We are thrilled to receive this grant to help support our Forgotten Foods project for this year’s festival. We are really excited to give visitors an interactive and delicious insight into the history of Welsh food and drink. We hope that it will inspire this generation to help preserve our cultural history and identity by learning more about its delectable past. And this is just the start – 2018 is going to be even bigger and better!”
Looking ahead to the 2018 festival, the History Chefs will return to explore the origin of more of Wales’ most famous traditional dishes and will also be involved in projects in the run-up to the festival with children’s workshops.
This is the third year the Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival has been held in the Spring and the second year with its well-received open-plan festival layout.
The festival weekend offers an ideal backdrop for families and visitors of all ages to come together to share food, stories and traditions from the past, as well as sampling some of the very best local produce from the present day.
Single day and weekend tickets are available via www.cowbridgefoodanddrink.org and children under 12 can enjoy the festival for free with a free Park and Ride service running from both sides of town. Ticket holders receive discounts and access to additional activities and town traders also offer promotions to ticket holders.
May 2016 Update 2
Healthy food for all at Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival
The Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival has been granted Big Lottery funding for a programme of demonstrations promoting accessible, healthy eating and cooking on a budget as part of the 2016 festival programme.
More than 100 food and drink producers exhibit at the festival, many of them local to the Vale of Glamorgan, and the event regularly attracts visitor numbers of over 25,000 to the beautiful market town of Cowbridge.
Festival organisers are hoping to address the perception of high costs and inaccessibility that are often associated with buying and cooking quality local produce with a series of demos including family meals for under £5, healthy cooking with kids and cooking as a family.
The funding from ‘Wales Awards for All’ will cover demonstrations led by a variety of local chefs and restaurants including the team behind the hugely popular, Barry-based Hangfire Smokehouse, and will seek to increase skills, creativity in cooking and encourage a better understanding of nutrition and healthy eating.
Speaking about the festival’s approach, Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival Event Manager Polly Wilson said: “We’re hoping we can showcase how quality, local food can be used within a family budget for better health and wellbeing as well as promoting the importance of local produce to the community and showing that it doesn’t have to be expensive. We want to encourage the idea of eating as a family and preparing and cooking a meal together to re-establish the sense of community and communication that come with eating as a family. ”
This year’s Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival, which takes place on the Bank Holiday weekend of Sunday May 29th and Monday May 30th will also feature the hugely popular Food Court with a variety of fresh food and drink. Support has also been confirmed from Cardiff Marriot, Capital FM and local opticians Norma Davies.
Most recently Great Western Railways have included Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival in their supporting of local food festivals as an important part of their commitment to the communities wherever their trains travel. This is part of them celebrating the GWR ‘Summer of Food’ and offers key promotional activity on their valuable station sites as well as coverage to passengers and staff.
The family-friendly atmosphere at Cowbridge continues through the sites with live music and entertainment all weekend from a variety of sources, including the team from Capital FM and The Voice star and Aberdare roots-rocker Ragsy.
Little foodies are never forgotten at Cowbridge with a host of children’s activities taking place all weekend at The Old Hall Gardens. Expect crafts, birds of prey and lots of food-themed fun for younger visitors. Although not a ticketed area your tickets will allow you to receive special offers and discounted activities in this area. And to help combat the crowds, if parents wish to leave their buggies somewhere safe, there will be a “buggy park” operating in the Vale Forge Food Court site.
May 2016 Update
Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival 2016
This is the second year the Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival has been held in May since moving from its traditional October slot. The new date was well-received by visitors in 2015, with record breaking numbers coming to Cowbridge to eat, drink and be merry in celebration of the Spring Bank Holiday.
The festival has gone from strength to strength since it was founded in 2004; from a one day event with 40 exhibitors on the one site to a whole weekend with 100 exhibitors, three sites and further activities dotted around the town.
The hugely popular Food Court which was new last year, this year has extended its opening hours until 9pm on Sunday to offer a relaxed evening eating venue as restaurants in town historically book up very quickly. Sunday or Weekend tickets will include this but for those just wanting to pop in for a relaxed evening, this will be £1 on the gate. Opening hours for Monday and the remaining sites on Sunday are 9.30am to 5pm
The bustling and quaint market town of Cowbridge, with its variety of fantastic independent shops along the historic high street and delightful surrounding lanes, where the best in fashion, gifts and design, great restaurants all feature as the festival’s beautiful backdrop.
The main festival site is at Arthur John’s on North Road and a park and ride service is provided free for any pre-paid ticket holders or for a £1 return without. Many of the local shops and restaurants get involved with the festivities throughout the weekend and other festival fun will be taking place at different sites including the Old Hall Gardens. This year’s festival will have a more open feel and look with a mixture of marquees and more traditional market stalls.
What to eat?
The question is not what but where to start. The Vale Forge site will be home to a Food Court hosting almost entirely ‘Glamorgan’ producers and makers but covering the whole globe; from BBQ to souvlaki, fajitas to paella. This area also has an entertainment gazebo where local musicians play hour slots to the crowds, with seating areas.
New to the festival this year is Meat and Greek – a Cardiff based Greek Cypriot family passionate about sharing authentic Greek street food. Inspired by the kouzína from the villages of Cyprus, they serve delicious souvlaki fresh from the skewer. If you missed Meat and Greek’s hugely popular pop up restaurant in Cardiff Bay last December, this is the chance to try their charcoal-grilled lean cuts of marinated, skewered meat, complemented by creamy homemade houmous, garnished with fresh salad, drizzled with tzatziki, sprinkled with parsley and served in a pillowy pitta parcel. Oh and there’s plenty of heaven-sent halloumi for non-meat eaters too.
In fact, cheese lovers need not go hungry, with the presence of Caws Teifi and Caws Cenarth; both offering award-winning, organic Welsh cheeses; Blaenafon Cheddar, who’s Pwll Mawr cheddar is actually matured at the bottom of the mine shaft at Big Pit, and another hot Cardiff pop-up, former French trained chef Mr Croquewich, who will be offering up his grilled cheese sandwiches, served ‘with a certain je ne sais quoi’ at this year’s festival.
The Treforest-based Spanish Buffet team will be cooking and serving their variety of meat and seafood paellas throughout the weekend, joined by festival favourites Glam Lamb, with fresh local lamb burgers, Glamorgan Vale Hog Roast and A Taste of Persia who produce highly authentic and flavoursome Persian cuisine.
For the sweet-toothed festival goer, local Llantwit baker Mel Constantinou will be on site with her famous Bara Brith and other sweet treats. Freshly baked in the Vale, using only natural ingredients and local free range eggs, Mel’s Bara Brith has won 2 gold stars from Great Taste Awards and is also stocked on the shelves of prestigious food giants Fortnum & Mason.
Other sweet supplies at the festival include Cowpots ice cream, Flapjack Fairy and the Chocolate Brownie company, as well as local fruit farm favourites, Hendrewennol Fruit Garden.
And if you’re looking to take home some key ingredients for your own food cupboards, you can find everything from potted herbs to Gower sea salt and Caerphilly preserves.
And to drink?
The Marriott Hotel Cardiff is sponsoring the 2016 festival and will be bringing their own bar to the festival site.
Gwatkin Cider, Vale Cider, British Cassis, Gwynt Y Draig, Tomos Lilford Brewery, Tipsy Fruit Gin and Cwm Deri Vineyard to name a few, will all be ensuring foodies have plenty of opportunity to wash down their food with a tipple, not forgetting Urban Jungle Coffee House and plenty of tea and soft drink companies. Bar 44 Cowbridge have big plans for the weekend including an exciting collaboration with Llantrisant based Eccentric Gins for a “Gin School”. There will be three sessions each day offering tastings of four or five delicious and varied gins and food pairings. Tickets will be on sale at Bar 44 but numbers are limited per session. The Bear Hotel will again be hosting the ever-popular Champagne Bar with live music and popping corks a-plenty all weekend.
And when we’re full?
Head to the Demos area where local food heroines Hangfire Smokehouse will be talking visitors through their ‘slow and low’ method of cooking southern BBQ meat, hot on the heels of their first permanent restaurant opening in Barry.
Budget ways of cooking are high on the agenda in the rest of 2016 demo programme with a host of other local Vale chefs and cooks, showcasing the best ways to make food go further and taste great. There’ll also be more at the Skills Marquee where you can see everything from willow weaving to expert talks from the Physic Garden.
There will be live music and entertainment a-plenty all weekend from a variety of sources, including the Capital FM team and The Voice star and Aberdare roots-rocker Ragsy.
Little foodies are never forgotten at Cowbridge with a host of children and family-friendly activities taking place all weekend at The Old Hall Gardens. Expect crafts, birds of prey and lots of food-themed fun for younger visitors. Although not a ticketed area your tickets will allow you to receive special offers and discounted activities in this area. And to help combat the crowds, if parents wish to leave their buggies somewhere safe, there will be a “buggy park” operating in the Vale Forge Food Court site.