How to make the most of Wales’ biggest food festival from your narrowboat

August 5, 2017

Hiring a narrowboat on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is one of the best ways to attend the prestigious Abergavenny Food Festival in September.You can have all the hustle and bustle of the festival by day, then escape to the tranquility of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal in the evening. It’s just a short walk away from the town centre. This year’s event, which is expected to attract more than 30,000 visitors, will be held on September 16 and 17.It’s a mouth-watering mix of masterclasses by top chefs, stalls manned by food producers from across the world, tastings, tours, demonstrations, talks, and musical entertainment.This year’s headliners include Tom Kerridge and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who will be starring alongside chefs including Darina Allen, Olia Hercules, Gill Meller, and Freddy Bird. Food and Drink and Bake Off: Crème de la Crème presenter Tom Kerridge is an Abergavenny Food Festival favourite and Michelin-starred chef.Food campaigner and award-winning food writer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has taken his war on food waste to supermarkets and changed the law at European level with his Fish Fight.His links with this festival go back to his days at the River Cottage – and his talks prove a huge draw for visitors.

A taste of what’s on the menu:

  • Angela Gray’s summer recipes
  • An oyster masterclass from Simon Lamont
  • Indian cookery with Romy Gill
  • Chocolate curiosities with Marc Demarquette
  • Cook like an Italian with Rachel Roddy and Valeria Necchio
  • A gin masterclass with Victoria Moore
  • How to match sherry and tapas
  • Weekend cocktails with Dom Jacobs
  • A mutton tasting
  • An estuary forage with Henry Ashby
  • Cooking in a wood-fired oven
  • A Syrian supper
  • The chance to meet the local producers behind the Abergavenny Food Network
  • Children’s cookery classes and storytelling sessions

Give in to temptation and try some local treats

Foodies visiting the festival for the first time should look out for some excellent Welsh produce including Blaenafon Cheddar and Caws Cenarth cheeses, wines from the Sugarloaf, Tintern Parva, and White Castle vineyards in Monmouthshire, meats from Trealy Farm Charcuterie, chocolates from Black Mountain, and cakes from Clam’s.The streets will be lined with streetfood stalls selling everything from wood-fired pizzas and pulled pork to grilled haloumi salads or Welsh cakes.

Where to eat out

Most restaurants will be very busy during the festival so it’s vital to book well in advance if you’re looking to eat out. You could try:

  • The Angel Hotel – renowned for its sumptuous afternoon teas and fine dining. Situated right in the centre of the town.
  • The Hardwick – found just outside the town on the old Raglan Road, this restaurant has an excellent reputation. Chef Stephen Terry produces stunning dishes in an informal setting.
  • The Walnut TreeInn – a Michelin-starred restaurant at Llanddewi Skirrid a few miles outside the town. Chef Shaun Hill has a reputation for excellence and has created timeless dishes.
  • Venue 59 – right in the centre of the town, it serves a contemporary British menu.
  • La Brasseria Italiana – fine Italian food in a comfortable setting, just off the main street in Lewis’ Lane.
  • Gurkha Corner – for the spice lovers! Authentic Nepalese food prepared in traditional stone mortars right at the heart of Abergavenny in Nevill Street.

Would you like to hire a Road House narrowboat to experience the culinary delights of the food festival this year – or next year?

Call our friendly team on 01873 830240. Find out more about out boats.

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