Featuring some of Britain's best artisan food producers and the biggest street-food piazza in Wales, July is definitely the tastiest time of year to visit Cardiff. Here's everything you need to know about the Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival.
When and where?
2016 marks the 17th annual Cardiff International Food Festival. This year, it's set to take place on 10th-12th July. Entry is free and the programme is packed with exciting things to see, do and, most importantly, eat. Roald Dahl Plass serves as the festival hub and is just a five minute taxi ride (or 20 minute walk) from our Radisson Blu Hotel, Cardiff.
What's it all about?
The food festival is part of the wider Cardiff Festival, which takes place throughout summer from 1st June – 30th September. In addition to the culinary celebrations festival, the Cardiff Festival also includes sporting events, live music and colourful parades, but the food festival remains a definite highlight. This year, more than 100 suppliers will be attending the event. The majority are independent and family-run businesses, so you'll get the chance to sample local delicacies, exotic concoctions and exciting new fusion foods.
The festival is split into four sections: the Producer's Fayre, Street Food Piazza, Farmer's Market and Craft Stalls. At the Producer's Fayre and the Farmer's Market you'll find a tempting array of artisanal breads, cheeses, charcuterie, and other goodies. The Street Food Piazza is the biggest in Wales and should be your first port of call if you've arrived on an empty stomach; choose from local goodies like Glamorgan hog roast and Welsh venison, or test your tastebuds on some international flavours. Previous years have involved the likes of Gaucho BBQ, serving up slow-cooked, smoky meats; The Spanish Buffet, which prides itself on making the best paella in Wales; and the tasty eastern European dumplings of Old Granary Pierogi. Once you've eaten and drank your fill, head to the craft stalls to browse through hand-made jewellery and Welsh influenced knick-knacks. There will also be a bandstand, with local bands playing 45-minute-long sets throughout the weekend.
Where can you try local treats?
The food festival will welcome producers from across the UK (and further afield), but if you're not local to Wales yourself, it makes sense to focus on regional specialties first. At the Producer's Fayre you can sample award-winning farmhouse cider from Gwynt y Ddraig Cider Shop, followed by some artisanal ice cream from the Brecon Beacons at Llanfaes Dairy. Cheese addicts can savour the nation's official favourite: Black Bomber, produced by the Snowdonia Cheese Company. Pop over to the Farmer's Market for a bottle of Welsh wine by Cwm Deri Vineyard, some tongue-tingling chilli chutneys from The Dangerous Food Company, and handmade chocolates from Oh Sugar Plum! After a long day of indulgence, end the evening in style with a glass or two of bubbly at the waterside champagne bar.
All images © Cardiff Events: Magenta Photography