Abergavenny Food Festival
Market Street Abergavenny NP7 5XZ
The Guardian once famously reckoned that "Abergavenny is to food, as Cannes is to film" – quite a claim, and one that's all down to the rather famous annual food event which takes place there each September. Founded in 1999, just after the BSE crisis, by two local farmers, Chris Wardle and Martin Orbach, the Abergavenny Food Festival aims were to celebrate the joy and social aspects of food and drink, hail all things local and highlight up-and-coming food stars – whether they be pioneering chefs, restaurant owners, bakeries, cheese-makers, wine-makers, breweries and the like. Not only is the festival still going, it's been a huge success, attracting over 35,000 people each year and continuing to grow. There's an extensive range of markets, all spread out across the centre of the historic town, spilling out into the backstreets and showcasing the finest Welsh and British produce. There are also hundreds of stalls, plus a few staple ones, like the Fish Stall and The Cheese and Wine show, all stamped with the 'True Taste' award stamp of approval. For those who are keen to learn, there are also a range of cooking masterclasses, tasting tutorials and talks all from experts and celebrities alike. Previous guests have included Valentine Warner, Richard Bertinet, Tom Parker Bowles, Levi Roots, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Clarissa Dickson Wright. Throw in all the wacky workshops, story-telling, paint-facing, comedy and live music, and it makes one heck of a family day out.