“Regular readers of Welsh Country magazine will be well aware of my obsession with Welsh food festivals and that’s easy to clarify, because in my opinion they taste the best.”
“At festivals you can sample before buying, you can talk directly to the producer, farmer or grower, you can enjoy a great lunch and then buy more delicious Welsh produce to take home with you.
The Welsh Government continues to support some food festivals and it is through this funding that our festivals excel. You’ll find festivals across Wales and they vary in size from community run festivals lasting a day to the larger events that cover two to three days. The essence of food festivals is obviously food and drink, but you’ll also find industry agencies that are there to help with the likes of recycling or food allergies. For youngsters looking for a career you’ll often find training companies that specialise in the food and drink industry. Festivals have established themselves as fun days out for all the family with amusements for little ones and face painting proving popular, plus there are always cookery demonstrations too. Listening to live music showcasing local talent is a great way to chill out and taste the best lunch before you hit the food stands once more.
One of my festival highlights is chatting to the producers, sampling their new products, but my absolute favourite bit is if I can pick up any recipe ideas from them. For foodies like me, planning a couple of days away and slotting in a food festival makes great sense. Many festivals have lists of accommodation nearby and of course local eateries.
It’s also important not to forget that money spent at festivals stays in the county and certainly in Wales as the majority of stands are local to each event. By visiting our Welsh food festivals you’re not only supporting our food and drink producers and the Welsh economy, but having a great tasting experience.”
Kath Rhodes (Editor Welsh Country Magazine).
Celebrating the Cardigan Bay Coastal Heritage and all that is good in Wales, the Aberystwyth Sea2Shore Food Festival is again planning for this year’s festival to Taste The Best.
The natural amphitheatre of Aberystwyth Promenade and beach is the setting for the Festival and the festival itself celebrates the best of both. The festival has grown from grass root beginnings and goes from strength to strength under the continued guidance of the local community. This ensures that the experience presented is genuinely involving and provides an authentic experience for visitors, enabling them to engage directly with fishermen, lifeboat crews, surf lifesavers and rowers. Michelin starred chefs mingle with young local entrepreneurs and there are opportunities for face to face encounters with crabs and lobsters.
At the core is food, with demonstrations, tasters and competitions to encourage curiosity and get everyone involved. Gareth Ward, from Michelin starred restaurant Ynyshir, Machynlleth, will again be demonstrating at this year’s festival. However it is not simply a food festival, there are plenty of craft and gift stalls to tempt you as well and there will be activities on and in the water. The Promenade is also animated with activity, optimising the space available, and drawing new participants and visitors. Last year’s festival incorporated a sea monster, go karts, a beach clean and various live acts. The heritage of the Aberystwyth seafront and promenade is brought to life with traditional entertainment such as Punch and Judy and stilt walkers, and regular guided walks adding another layer of detail.
The festival which began in 2011 as a small event to raise awareness of the fishing industry in Cardigan Bay now draws in thousands of visitors for a day out on the prom for all to enjoy.
The festival will be held on the Promenade, Aberystwyth on Sunday, 11th August from 10am – 5pm. Free entry. Tel: 01545 574162 / 07583 847206. More details on our Facebook Page – Aberystwyth Sea2shore Food Festival 2019
One of the oldest food festivals in Wales, the Brecon Beacons Food Festival opens its doors for the 21st year on Saturday 5th October to Taste the Best Food and Drink in Wales. The event promises visitors a fantastic mix of food and drink exhibitors, celebrity chef demonstrations and entertainment.
Over 10,000 festival goers are expected to sample a range of local produce including bread, cheese, cakes, artisan beers, meats and preserves with most items travelling less miles than the visitors themselves.
Food Festival organiser and Catering Manager for the Old Railway Line Garden Centre’s, Railway Restaurant Andrew Powell said, “The Food Festival is always a popular event attracting thousands of visitors to Brecon each year. It’s an enjoyable day out for everyone and our visitors go home with their shopping bags full of delicious Welsh produce. Confirmed exhibitor numbers are already quickly approaching capacity and a fantastic selection of celebrity and local chef demonstrations will be announced shortly. We’ve also confirmed sponsorship support from over 10 local business including our first headline sponsor, Castell Howell. There is no doubt that this year’s Brecon Beacons Food Festival is better than ever!”
Festival promoter, Joe Aldworth added, “This food festival is the highlight of any food lovers’ calendar and is not to be missed. Its timing with the harvest season is perfect and the food and drink on offer is at its best. Brecon Beacons Food Festival is the perfect day out for everyone – from those who are passionate about their food to those who are happy to taste.”
If you are a local exhibitor or potential sponsor looking to get involved, please find more information on breconbeaconsfoodfestival.co.uk
Wrexham Food Festival was rebooted in 2018 with a new local team starting from scratch to organise the event.
The fresh start for the festival is being run by a non for profit organisation made up of likeminded people who have represented Wrexham County as a tourism destination.
The inaugural line-up brought together more than 60 of the best local and regional producers and food vendors, plus local chef demos and lots for families to enjoy – including fireworks to end the new extended Saturday evening and live music until 9pm. This year’s event will be held in Wrexham town centre on the 7th & 8th of September and will see an even bigger festival with expansion of the site taking place.
Organiser Sam Regan, owner of the local Lemon Tree restaurant said: “We were keen not to lose the festival from the area’s calendar and so we pulled together a great team all chipping in to put on a brilliant food festival to Taste the Best Food and Drink in Wales. With much more lead time this year we can build on the success of what we see as year one. We were honoured to have the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs cut the ribbon on the event, or as she is known to the people of Wrexham, Lesley Griffiths AM for Wrexham! Locally we have had tremendous support from the council and local business community, and we already have a lot of people very excited about the event in 2019.”
Co-organiser Alex Jones, who also runs a town centre venue alongside Plât Bach’s ‘Welsh Tapas’ in Wrexham added: “Many traders commented on the value they saw in the festival alongside the warm welcome and support. It was wonderful to see local producers selling out, but what was very special was those local producers who have never exhibited in Wrexham before showcasing to local people. We encourage anyone who wants to come along to get in touch for what will be another great event!”
You can get contact Wrexham Food Festival by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or following @WrexhamFood on social media.
To find out more about Food and Drink Wales within the Welsh Country website visit: welshcountry.co.uk/welsh-government-food-drink
To find out more about Food and Drink Wales visit their website: businesswales.gov.wales/foodanddrink