We are blessed here in South Wales with a number of both artisan food producers and some brilliant events for them to showcase their produce. If you are a foodie thinking of a short break or longer holiday in Wales than I would highly recommend a trip to any (or all!) of the following festivals and events.
This small but perfectly formed festival is held in the stunning surrounds of Caldicot Castle in both springtime and late autumn. Featuring demos by local chefs, a look and learn theatre, a producer’s market, a children’s quarter as well as support for local charities this intimate festival is a great day out for those with a young family.
Now in its 13th year this festival has grown from a 1 day event with 40 exhibitors on one site to a whole weekend of music, food, drink and entertainment for all of the family. As well as the festival pulling in some of the finest regional producers all local businesses get heavily involved with fringe evens as well. You could do a lot worse than spend your bank holiday weekend in Cowbridge.
Although the official festival is somewhat still in it’s infancy (this is the 3rd year it has run) the wonderful Gower Heritage centre are not unaccustomed to hosting foodie related events. Popular demand has seen the dedicated food festival go from strength to strength and you can be sure of finding something to please your palette at the show. It is not all about food though, there are only so many free samples you can scoff! This year there will be glass blowing and blacksmith demonstrations as well as your chance to try out pottery making or hand puppet making.
Celebrate world gin day in style with over 80 varieties to sample, as well as 40 odd vodkas if that is your thing. Learn all about the history of gin, meet the distillers and chill with a tipple listening to some live music.
A celebration of Pembrokeshire's fish and seafood - not to mention its spectacular coastline.
The events and activities feature around fish and shellfish, eating out, fish cookery and preparation demonstrations, angling competitions and coaching, on water adventure and outdoor activities, waterway travel, environmental and educational activities, arts, craft and culture and for all ages. Keep an eye on the website for event listings.
This is the big one for South Wales and one of the biggest summer events in the Welsh capital, it features a glorious spread of local, national and international produce and is completely free!
Located in Cardiff bay pop along and tempt your taste buds in the farmer’s market, street food piazza and producer’s fair. Street food might be all the rage these days, but it’s been on offer at the Food & Drink Festival for 17 years! Don’t miss tucking into some of the finest street food in Wales at the Street Food Piazza. With numerous bars, including the Champagne Bar on the water’s edge, craft stalls and live music, it’s easy to see why the foodie event remains one of Cardiff’s favourite summer events.
It's got plenty of stalls like The Parsnipship, Govinda's Vegetarian Cafe and Urban Zen and is a chance to find out all about vegan living.
If you're a fan of chillies, you need to head to Swansea this summer where you can meet many of the UK’s top chilli companies selling amazing sauces, jams, jellies, salts, jerky, nuts, crisps, onions, eggs and a whole range of products you won’t even have thought of; taste a whole selection of gourmet foods, sample hot Street Food and visit the Chilli Cocktail bar.
There are two cooking competitions - the great Gower Chilli Cookoff and the Gower BBQ Championships - and go mad at the new Chilli Eating Competition
Held at the university campus this is a treat for all the family. As well as stalls full of local produce you will find a myriad of entertainment with various local musicians, children's theatre, belly dancing, storytelling, bouncy castles and donkey rides so the kids will enjoy it too.
The festival crams an amazing line up of celebrity chef demos and book signings in amongst a throng of some of the best regional produce you will find anywhere in the UK. There is a producers market, meat market, night market and more. The whole town is abuzz over this special weekend in any foodies calendar. Guests confirmed for this year so far include Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tom Kerridge, Jay Rayner and Darina Allen to name a few.
Neath Food and Drink Festival was born in 2009 and has grown to highlight the variety of Welsh produce that is available locally with a focus on the range of products available from award-winning suppliers in the town’s Victorian market and surrounding area.
As well as the exhibiting stallholders, the festival is an opportunity for the established town centre shops, restaurants and café’s to showcase their products to a wider audience.
There will be a Street Food Zone in Angel Square, a Champagne Tent in the grounds of St Thomas' Church and a Real Ale Hall in Neath Town Hall.
Ok, not technically in Wales but very local to Parva Spices and therefore I’ve allowed it in. Plus the amazingly diverse, award winning food and drink that is produced in the area should be given a platform. You can expect over 100 top local and artisan producers, a big serving of stunning hot food, add a dash of real ale and wine, interesting talks, parent & child cookery lessons and lots of children’s activities, top chef demos, stir in a competition or two with lashings of excellent live music, and arts & crafts, mix together to make a lovely foodie family day out.
The festival, which is a relative newcomer in the foodie calendar, showcases the city's finest chefs and there is always a host of stalls selling a wide selection of mouthwatering food.
Lat year, everything form American-style waffles and award-winning pies to traditional Welsh cakes and juicy burgers were available for punters to tuck into.
Now there are 12 very good reasons to plan a cheeky weekend somewhere in beautiful South Wales.
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