North Wales food festivals have established themselves as “must-visits” for foodies and gourmets. With a thriving restaurant scene, including celebrity chefs and several trendy eateries, you could easily spend a weekend dining your way around the region. But to get a real taste of North Wales you should visit in the autumn when food festival season kicks off. If you’re thinking of an autumnal getaway, a visit to a food fest is the perfect excuse to stay at one of our lovely holiday cottages North Wales. Whether your crave complete isolation or prefer to be in the thick of it we have several properties located close to the culinary action.
Here’s our round-up of North Wales food festivals taking place this autumn. Whichever you decide to visit, take our advice, and don’t eat breakfast beforehand!
North Wales food festivals near our holiday cottages this September
Conwy Honey Fair: 13 September
Conwy’s association with honey and beekeeping goes way back, with the town holding an annual honey fair for almost eight hundred years. Each year the medieval walled town is besieged by all things apian as locals and visitors come together to celebrate this versatile natural product.
Take a stroll along the High Street to Lancaster Square and meet enthusiastic beekeepers eager to share their passion and pass on the buzz to visitors. Learn all about honey – its intricacies, flavours and applications – then treat yourself to some honey-based items to take home. Stalls sell everything from jars of honey, to traditional beeswax candles, polish and soaps, plus there is a good selection of plant and craft stalls too.
If, like Winnie the Pooh, all that honey gives you tummy ache, calm it with a tot of mead – an ancient alcoholic drink made from, yes you guessed it, honey!
The Good Life Festival: 16-18 September
The Good Life Festival was born from a really meaningful concept and sends a fantastic message. Just like Tom and Barbara, the festival promotes a sustainable lifestyle, full of the great outdoors, good food and quality local products. Sustainability takes many forms and The Good Life Festival will give you a little taster of all of it – from delicious locally sourced food to ethical products and soul-enriching music and books.
Held at the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, on the outskirts of Chester, visitors might be surprised at how high brow the good life is – there’s a cocktail shack, smokehouse, farm shop and craft beer brewery all on site. With hundreds of vendors from all corners of the UK, the festival is huge and there’s a good reason it only sells weekend tickets – you’ll need two days to get around it all, using our holiday cottages North Wales as your base!
North Wales food festivals near our holiday cottages in October
Gwledd Conwy Feast: 22-23 October
One of the best-loved and most popular food festivals in North Wales, the Conwy Feast is a firm favourite among locals and visitors alike. Taking place on Conwy’s historic quay and at various points around the town, the fest showcases everything that’s great about food and drink in North Wales. The theme this year is ‘Surf and Turf’, so expect Conwy mussels, Great Orme lobster, Welsh lamb and beef to be top of the menu!
Wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere or visit the festival tents where you’ll find scores of local producers as well as food demos and workshops by local and celebrity chefs. New this year, S4C chef, Melfyn Thomas, will be running a Cookery Academy with sessions for kids and adults.
But this festival’s not just for foodies; the Feast also celebrates local music and arts. The weekend kicks off with a spectacular fireworks display over Conwy Castle, and there will be live music, art exhibitions and innovative displays all weekend.
Hamper Llangollen: 15-16 October
A longstanding fixture on the food fest calendar, Hamper Llangollen celebrates its 19th birthday in 2016. To mark this special occasion, expect lots of new attractions to make your mouth water. This year, Hamper will be showcasing a trolley-load of new products (some of which are so secret organisers don’t even know what they are!) alongside golden oldies, such as Welsh black beef burgers and artisan cheeses.
Within easy reach of many of our holiday cottages North Wales and billed one of the top ten must-visit food festivals in the UK by the Telegraph, Hamper has a packed schedule of events for 2016 including cookery masterclasses from local boy done good Luke Thomas. The event is a favourite for Luke, a talented chef from Connah’s Quay who became the UK’s youngest head chef at just eighteen!
North Wales food festivals near our holiday cottages in November
Llandudno Christmas Fayre: 17-20 November
We love the build up to Christmas and it’s even better when we can get in the festive mood without straying too far from our holiday cottages North Wales. Christmas markets are en-vogue in the UK right now, with many big cities across hosting markets, but we do a mean market here in Wales too. The Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno may not promise snow but it can promise a dazzling feast for the senses. With more than 150 stalls, selling everything from stocking fillers to festive food, it’s the perfect choice for a spot of shopping if you’re looking for something a bit different!
The Llandudno Christmas Fayre has gone from strength to strength in recent years, thanks in part to the fabulous local food producers who feature here. Fayre regulars include master butchers Edwards of Conwy, Snowdonia-based vitners Pant Du Vineyard and cake maker extraordinaire Judith Bond, who creates some delicious Christmas-inspired cupcakes especially for the fayre – just be quick as she sells out fast!
North Wales food festivals near our holiday cottages in December
Portmeirion Food and Craft Festival: 3-4 December
The Portmeirion Food and Craft Festival rounds off food fest season here in North Wales and it’s good to go out on a high note. Not as high profile as some of our better known fests, it offers a fantastic foodie day out none-the-less. Located in the stunning Italianate village of Portmeirion, near Porthmadog, the festival is a celebration of all things Christmas and all things food – well, the two go hand in hand, don’t they?
With a range of local exhibitors (expect some of the names from Gwledd Conwy Feast and the Llandudno Christmas Fayre) cookery demonstrations and seasonal entertainment, this fest is a must for anyone who loves food and fantasy – the village of Portmeirion has to be seen to be believed!
(Image courtesy of COD Newsroom via Flickr)