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Festivals & events

Date to be confirmed

What it’s all about

The Abergavenny Food Festival aims to celebrate
• Craft in food-making - be it on the farm, in the factory or in the kitchen.
• The diversity of foods and traditions, both here in Wales and those of other places.
• The conviviality and sociability that surrounds eating and drinking, whether with friends or strangers - and we aim to do it all in the most special and spectacular style that we can manage.

Apple Stall and Clock Tower - photo by Toril BrancherTo help us do this, we have been privileged over the years to enjoy the company of some of the most skilled, passionate, knowledgeable and articulate food-lovers in the country; the commitment of Abergavenny's own burgeoning food community; the support of a large and growing bunch of artisan food makers from Wales and the Marches and, of course, the enthusiasm or our many visitors who love to eat, shop, prepare and discuss food. It's a heady brew and we hope it will remain so.

"Abergavenny is to food what Cannes is to film - an annual festival for spotting rising stars in Britain's artisan food firmament" Joanna Blythman, Observer Food Monthly

Don’t miss the liveliest, most cultured and quirky food festival in the country. Described as the ‘Glastonbury of Food Festivals’ (Carole Cadwalladr), this year’s event will take place over the weekend of Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September.

Making Pasta at Food AcademyIf you’re passionate about food then here’s a chance to meet a growing artisan class of skilled producers, farmers and cooks with zeal for the real thing. It will be a sensory delight with well over a hundred and fifty market stalls, masterclasses, demonstrations, tutored tastings, walks and talks. Savour the Cheese and Wine Show, sample fresh fish at the Fish Market, take in the non-stop programme of chef demos in Abergavenny’s Victorian Market Hall. There’s plenty on offer for children too with hands-on workshops at the Food Academy.

So what are the ingredients for 2010? To find out more visit www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com. and join our mailing list

How did it start?

String of GarlicThis year Abergavenny will be hosting its twelfth Food Festival. Much has changed since the first Festival was held on a wet Sunday in October. On that day about 30 local food and drink producers exhibited their wares in the Market Hall and, despite the weather, we were all surprised and delighted by the number of people who came out to taste and buy their products. Marguerite Patten and the Taruschios gave talks in the Market Hall and, in the evening, Martyn Lewis chaired a debate about GM Foods.

On the previous evening, the Hall witnessed an even more remarkable event. About 180 people sat down at trestle tables to enjoy a delicious dinner, punctuated by interludes of song and speech. Despite the manful efforts of the blow-heaters, many of us kept our coats on; but spirits were high. We were well fed, well entertained and were reliably informed afterwards that the last time a large group had sat down to eat together in the Market Hall was during the VE celebrations in 1945.

Over the years the Festival has grown. It is now widely regarded as one of the top food events in the country, featuring the brightest lights of the culinary world and attracts around 34,000 visitors across the weekend.