Possibly the highlight of my summer (and every summer) is the Abergavenny food festival. Held annually, the two-day event celebrates all things foodies like me love - think burgers fried right in front of you, grilled cheese, unique cocktails, countless ice cream stalls and so much more.
I knew I wanted to document my experience so on Saturday 21st September, I headed up to the castle, camera around my neck, ready to find the very best of what the festival had to offer. I had a little wander around before deciding on what to eat first and the decision wasn't hard: falafel.
I'm no veggie (although I did date one for a couple of years) but falafel is one of my favourite things to eat. It was actually my ex boyfriend who introduced me to it - and for that I am thankful, for it was the start of many wonderful meals to come, including this one - especially this one.
I was thirsty so, naturally, I ordered some of the homemade elderflower cordial too. The falafel came in a cute little box, with red cabbage, relish of my choice - I chose the tzatziki - pitta and hummus. You could tell it was all homemade - it was so earthy and delicious, and even though falafel is fried, it didn't taste greasy at all. And the elderflower cordial? It was the perfect accompaniment and quenched my thirst.
The castle is generally the most family friendly area during the festival, thanks to its vast amount of grassy banks and open spaces, so there was a fair amount of light hearted entertainment there throughout the weekend.
The first of which I witnessed was a doughut eating competition a few feet from where I was sitting eating my lunch. The man on the left won, despite the efforts of the guy on the far right who ended up eating his doughnut from the floor after it fell off the string.
Next stop was the gorgeous chai tea tent. I didn't buy anything because I'm not really a chai lover but I had a sip of Sarah's and it was lovely! I think a good chai made with real spices is worth drinking – that syruppy stuff from Starbucks just puts me off...
Not long after that I headed down to Lower Brewery Yard in the town centre, where I queued up (too long) for a mojito from The Shack.
Now, this may have been a delicious, refreshing, zingy, sweet, best-mojito-ever, kind of mojito, but the service was so incredibly poor, which was a huge let down for me. Check out my post on instagram for The Shack's response - all I can say is service with a smile – or any kind of interaction – doesn't cost a penny.
That was as far as my complaints went, however, because after that I noticed there was a stand selling churros – something I have wanted to try for so long. They were just as I imagined – sweet, hot, fluffy-on-the-inside yet crisp-on-the-outside doughnut sticks covered in cinnamonny goodness, served in a pot of chocolate sauce. There are photos of me eating these churros but... well it got messy. All I know is that these churros were the bomb dot com and I am on the case for making my own very soon.
Every year my dad gets the soft shell crab tempura from the fish market in The Priory, and every year he raves about it. I decided to go along with him and my brother-in-law to see what all the fuss was about. I am not a fan of crab at all so I didn't try it but it did look fantastic.
Then it was time for more cocktails... but this time from somewhere a lot nicer, with much better service.
I was back at the castle at the Chase bar – the place where I discovered my new favourite brand of vodka and gin. My oh my, I am so sold on their ethos and I promise you it's not just because of how gorgeous the man who made my Kiss Chase cocktail was. I had these cocktails on both days of the festival as they were just so delicious – apple, elderflower and vodka, my new favourite combination. One thing to note about Chase spirits is that they are of the highest quality, and therefore didn't have the slightest negative affect on me during or after drinking them. I am more than happy to pay more for a better quality drink if it means no hangover! More photos of me enjoying these cocktails on my Instagram.
And then it was time to go home, enjoy a roast dinner with the family and sneak in a quick nap before heading out to enjoy some more Chase cocktails at the Angel hotel with friends. I think the food festival's opening hours (10-5.30) should be extended, and although they had a night market on this year the day just flew by! However, I still had the whole of Sunday, and I'll can't wait to share with you the delicacies I enjoyed – a separate post is necessary.