The Awesome, Abergavenny Food Festival

It’s hard to beat the buzz of a great food festival on a sunny weekend.  And Abergavenny Food Festival would certainly take some beating! Only a little over 10 miles from our orchards, we love to see this great local town swathed in stalls and flooded with foodies.  It’s a truely premier league food festival, with over 30,000 visitors drawn from far and wide to Abergavenny for one delicious weekend.  It has all the right ingredients: from a lively town centre location, the pick of passionate local and international producers and a heady line up of influential chefs.  Even an after-hours party in the castle!

But most of all it’s the great atmosphere that makes Abergavenny so special.  Everyone is excited to be there – producers and visitors alike.  Hundreds of stalls take over the lanes and the market areas – there is something delicious to discover at every turn.  It’s impossible to leave the festival anything but full, laden with goodies and very happy.

The crowds at Abergavenny Food Festival

No less than Masterchef’s Monica Gelliti kicked off this year’s Masterclass programme on the Friday night.  But Apple County Cider also shared a little of the limelight as we sponsored 2 ticketed events.  The awesome Hang Fire girls ran a Smokehouse event that included a taster of our new fruit ciders.  And Valentine Warner used Apple County Cider in his fish masterclass.  He made sure to request an extra bottle just for drinking and we were of course happy to oblige!

Ben with Valentine Warner at Abergavenny Food Festival

Our stall was in The Upper Brewery Yard at the front of the Market Hall.  We were in good company; surrounded by enticing stands including BBC Food and Farming Awards best food producer Charcutier Ltd (featured on our blog from Food & Drink Expo), and another BBC link with The Incredible Spice Man’sMr Todwali’s new chutney range.

Ben and James on the Apple County Cider stall at Abergavenny Food Festival

Ben and our friend James were kept busy on the stand.  But it wouldn’t be Abergavenny without making the time to hook up with some fabulous producer friends.

Old friends, like Joanna with her sublime Radnor Preserves

Radnor Preserves at Abergavenny Food Festival

And fellow Monmouthshire producers such as our the inspiring Angharad with her jewel-coloured array from The Preservation Society.

The Preservation Society at Abergavenny Food Festival

Also new friends like fellow-golden fork winner, Sophie from The M’Hencha Company

The M'Hencha Company at Abergavenny Food Festival

And it would be positively rude not to try some of the wonderful foods on offer on the way, including this rather too tempting ginger and chocolate cake from Dugan’s Patisserie, who’ll be opening a new shop in Brecon soon!

Dugan's Patisserie at Abergavenny Food Festival

Dylan’s restaurant from North Wales had bought their North Wales sea-food pop up to the festival.  And we were thrilled they  confirmed that Apple County will feature in their new Autumn/Winter drinks menu.  So now you can enjoy the great food and sea-view with an Apple County Cider in both Criccieth and Menai Bridge!

Dylan's at Abergavenny Food Festival

We had a fantastic 2 days on the stand, so thank-you to everyone who stopped by.  Our Golden Forks proudly on display, proved a great conversation starter.  We loved introducing so many people to our new fruit ciders and seeing a great reaction from all walks of cider drinkers.  Everyone commented on the great taste of real cider coming through, with just the right amount of pure fruit juice to enhance the flavour.

Food festivals are so important to small producers.  We’re often very small businesses and the sense of camaraderie with other producers at these events, can give a much-needed boost.  But the best part is making a direct connection with our customers – old and new.  Our businesses operate at a very human scale; it feels only right to meet in person those who are trying and buying our cider.  But if you didn’t make the festival, you’re always welcome to stop by for a cellar-door tasting on the farm!

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