It’s not very often I get the time off to experience the delights of Cardiff these days but last weekend I found myself with a Friday at home and little to do. Obviously I would happily have spent that day either lounging around in my pyjamas, binging on Pretty Little Liars and avoiding writing out my wedding invitations but Rick had other plans in store because Cardiff Bay was hosting the annual International Food Festival.
I’m pretty much a massive newb when it comes to these sorts of events because the most food festival type of things I’ve ever gone to have been the odd cheese and craft fair in Cardiff high street on a weekend before I start working and if you know Cardiff well then it’s not like this market itself is a very big affair so plunging into the food festival at the Bay was a huge difference because the event was huge.
The festival took place in the Bay’s Roald Dahl Plass and along right up the Norwegian Church including food and demonstrations from more than 100 different producers. Apparently this event is quite a big one in Cardiff’s social calendar so I decided to ditch the pyjamas and but my face on ready for a day out eating some diet-breaking treats. Bring on the cheese and meats!
First things first: I don’t often wear makeup but due to some sort of reaction from putting some new products I hadn’t tried before on my face that day, as soon as I stepped off of the bus my eyes were streaming and my face felt puffy. Off to Sainsbury’s it was for an emergency pack of baby wipes to clean up my weepy face. Soon enough I was feeling much better and I always feel more comfortable without any product on my face anyway and I was ready to face the day scoffing to my heart’s content.
First up was a stroll through the festival itself and I’m not not kidding when I tell you that this thing was a massive event. There were stalls full of companies we’d come across before and plenty of new ones offering free samples of their foods as well as some great live music. The weather was something to be desired but even if it did look like we were due proper downpour all day when the sun broke through the clouds it was stunning.
One of our favourite stalls was this place called The Handmade Scotch Egg Company because they had so many selections of scotch eggs. I’m a bit partial to a scotch egg myself but I wasn’t too keen on some of the flavours they had to choose from but Rick on the other hand was in heaven! I turned around for two seconds to find him with a scotch egg the size of his face in his hand and he hardly even waited for me to take a photo before he was scoffing it!
Obviously if you don’t wait for me to take your picture before you tuck in I’m going to snap a snot of your mid-bite. Heh heh.
Isn’t this rocky road mountain from Nara’s Cakes amazing? I couldn’t help but get right in there and take a picture! I was very good though and didn’t have any tasters but I was incredibly tempted, let me tell you.
There wasn’t just cheese, spirits and sausage rolls to choose from at the festival there was also live demonstrations of food being made in front of the public too. This stall not only made their food fresh they also gave away the best free samples of the festival because just by walking by you got a whole plate full without paying a penny – err guess who went back and got seconds then felt bad and purchased something? Yeah, me.
By the way, there was also a produce market to buy incredibly fresh ingredients. Winner, winner?
Not only do I love a good scotch egg I wouldn’t say no to a tasty sausage roll and this company had me in love as soon as I set eyes on their food. I couldn’t a resist a sausage and apple flavoured roll and someone took a picture of me for revenge. Atleast I look like I’m enjoying myself.
The chilli jam from this stand was so strong! I love a good bit of spice but just a small nibble and I was reaching for a pint of milk. I went home with a small log of honey-flavoured goat’s cheese, but I didn’t dare get any jam for the fridge. No wander they call themselves the Dangerous Food Company!
I was amazed by all of the flavours The Fudge Factory had on offer. We tried some Vimto flavoured pieces and were in love. I’m not that much of a fudge fan but my Dad is so I know where I’ll be buying his next birthday gift from.
Not gonna lie, I was so tempted to buy a pie from The Wessex Pantry. My mouth was drooling just by reading the ingredients on the pie alone – but we went for a thai green curry as our Friday night treat instead. Really tempted to buy something from these guys online though, I can’t say no to mushroom and stilton.
Rick loves this coffee brand but we had to stop ourselves from stocking up because there’s a stall on Loughborough market and we always stock up and buy my Dad a jar whilst we’re at it. I don’t think we could’ve carried more of these jars home with the amount we had with us already.
I only realised when I was going through my pictures that I could’ve got something from Williams Hand Baked, I love home-baked goods!
The freshly prepared food they had out to eat smelt so delicious as we were walking around but unfortunately a little too expensive for our tastes. I understand that at these types of things the people who go to all of the effort to uproot their businesses for the weekend need to make their money back and more but £15 for a small portion of curry at one stand was a little too much for me to up zip my purse and make a purchase.
The live music was really something as well because there was a definite theme of country and soul music going on – it gave a lovely atmosphere to the place and you could sit down and listen to the bands whilst you munched on you food. Sadly I can’t find the name of the band pictured but they were totally badass!
There was also a craft fair and my favourite thing about it was that the stalls were dotted about the place, I felt that it gave the people who had set up stalls with their crafts had a fair chance against all of the food because you would stumble across someone selling cheeses and immediately walk into another person selling candles.
I really love some of the unique items you can find in the markets and craft fairs in Cardiff, it’s just a shame I don’t have any space left in my house for those colourful pots and vases.
That’s it for my round-up of the food festival – if you live in and Cardiff did you go? Let me know what you thought in the comments. Hey, even if you didn’t go why not tell what you think the tastiest item you think was by my photos?
If you want to find out about the full list of suppliers who were at the event you can see a list here.