The streets of Abergavenny were littered with lots of stalls, many selling different foods and drinks, but others sold items such as ceramics and vintage cutlery, all open to the public and not just wristband holders.
The Castle however was open to only wristband holders, and contained many more food stalls, a hula hoop stall, the Food Academy where there were activities for children, as well as several bars and the Rude Health Rants stage where people could stand and rant about food for an allotted time. As there were so many stalls at the Food Festival there was no way we would sum it all up, so as we did for the Market Hall, here are a few of our favourites.
We first walked past this stall at about 9.30am and saw the beautiful selection of delicious pies, deciding we’d have to come back later to get some. By the time we returned at around midday, Snowdrop were almost sold out! We decided to order one butternut squash bomb and a spicy meatball pie to take away with us. The butternut bomb was made p of butternut squash, onion, tomatoes, spinach and feta. We devoured the butternut bomb on our train back home, and we wish that we’d returned earlier to buy more than just one! It held its shape beautifully, but when you bit into it you could taste all the individual constituents which all worked so well together – it was absolutely heavenly. We heated the spicy meatball pie the next day and that was just as good, the filling was substantial and of beautiful quality. We really enjoyed the delicate spices and the pastry was delicious.
Gower Cottage Brownies
We didn’t get a chance to try out any of these brownies, described by BBC Good Food Magazine as “the best Brownies [they] have ever tasted”, but we were very impressed about how busy Kate, the founder of GCB, was – she seemed to be everywhere, either running her stall or hosting chef demonstrations in the market hall. She did an excellent job hosting Frances Quinn and Myfanwy Hywel in the ‘Great Welsh Bake Off’!
While exploring the vendors lined along streets of Abergavenny, away from the ticketed areas, we stumbled upon Chantler Teas on Neville Street. Chantler Teas are a local family business who launched in 2011. They pride themselves on selling premium ethically sourced loose leaf tea, including their own Welsh blends.
I was given a sample of Welsh Moonlight tea to try and told it was a blend of peppermint, liquorice, fennel and lemongrass. I don’t particularly like liquorice or fennel, and normally will only drink peppermint with a lot of sweeteners as I have a very sweet tooth but I decided to try it anyway. This flavour was absolutely divine – the herbs worked perfectly together and it was sweeter than I’d anticipated. I was so impressed by the flavour that I immediately bought a 50g bag, I was so surprised that I liked the flavour combinations, but I’m already thinking of ordering another flavour after I finish this one!
The Onion Man
While we didn’t buy any of his onions, we did spot a gentleman selling onions from his bicycle (the last traditional onion seller in the UK!) which we thought was beautiful.
While technically not being in the streets (we found them in The Priory), the FreeFrom Gluten Company had a wide range of handmade pies and cakes, all of which were gluten-free! Each product had a card showing the list of ingredients too, showing that they truly were homemade! In the end we chose a chicken and ham pie, and a BBQ pulled pork pie for his mom. What was surprising was that the pies tasted just like a non-gluten-free pie- when we topped it with gravy it was absolutely delicious. You could really taste the beautiful ham in the pie, it was absolutely scrumptious. His mom was very glad to get receive some gluten-free food and it’s great to see gluten-free food slowly become more mainstream and delicious!
Here are a few other photos we took from around the streets of Abergavenny.
Our friend had tried these Dutch pancakes whilst on holiday and had raved about them ever since, so as soon as we saw the word Poffertjes emblazoned across a vintage tram in the castle grounds, we knew we had to try some. Made from buckwheat flour, these tiny spongy pancakes came covered in butter, icing sugar and drizzled with chocolate sauce. As there is very little sugar in a poffertjes recipe, these pancakes tasted almost savoury and were divinely moreish. (They were cooked in a tray that looked similar to that used for cooking takoyaki so I feel like I ought to invest in one of these pans so I can make both!)
The Food Academy, in the Castle grounds, was a free event for children for children to have the opportunity to show off their culinary talents which we thought was a great idea, bringing even more reasons to the table for families to come!
While there were many more stalls we wanted to try but couldn’t fit there were a quite a number of food puns that we loved!