The last weekend of September saw the Narberth Food Festival coming to town.
This is a festival with a wonderful atmosphere and plenty of seats!
There are delights galore if you like your food, there’s a beer tent and live music playing in the outside area and inside the marquee there are many, many independent food retailers from the local area and beyond. Infact, you can enhoy a 3 course meal from all the tasters that are on offer!
My first stop is some lovely local coffee from Preseli Coffee Roasters together with a Devilishy Good Brownie, from the company of the same name. I have a wander around all the stalls to see what’s on offer (deciding to go later on the day and buy), check out the demonstration timings and the talks timings and then decide what to do next!
I settled with my coffee and cake to wait for the first demonstration, which was chamged at the last minute from the advertised chef to Kate Morgan from Pembs County Council, who jumped into the breach and saved the day(or the first demo, at least). Kate did a sterling job on profiling our local leeks and explained the product mark that the producers are trying to obtain, to identify them as being ‘Welsh Leeks’ in the same way as ‘Welsh Lamb’ is identified.
I then ended up sitting through a few more demonstrations, watching some fantastic chefs-Lisa Fearn from the Pumpkin Patch, Stephen Terry from the Hardwick in Abergavenny-who was responsible for cooking for the President and all the delegates at the recent NATO conference held in Wales. He entertained us with many stories and was most enjoyable to watch.
I then had a break to find some lunch, which I enjoyed with the Pembrokeshire Beach Company-I chose one of their Seashore Wraps-crab, seaweed, spring onions and many other things in a cooked flour tortilla- yummy.
After watching a talk by the same Pembs Beach Company (they’ve won many awards for their produce), I enjoyed a taster of their Fish Chowder. It’s not something I would ever choose to order, to be honest, but it was absolutely fantastic, and I have been converted, well and truly!
Then I headed back to the demos to watch Will Holland, head chef of Pembs newest ‘nice’ restaurant-Coast. Coast overlooks Coppit Sands at Saundersfoot, with a stunning view- I have been over once myself and it is on my ‘to-do’ list to go again.
Will demonstrated a pudding dish from their festive menu coming up. It sounded a bit strange, but it did taste superb, and I will definately be making it this week. It’s no good for diets, however!
After the demos, I started going back to the stalls to buy-it was late afternoon by then, and dispaoointingly for me, but great for the stall holders…much of what I did want had sold out-to be refreshed tomorrow…so, it’s a good excuse to go the following day too!
Once you’ve finished at the festival, you can then pop to the Queens Hall to the Pembrokeshire Craftmakers Exhibition-full of Artisan crafts, really good quality. And then, if you have any stamina left, you can wander down the high street in Naarberth and enjoy the lovely boutique shops…I was far too weary and I’d bought that much, that my bag was way too haevy to be wandering anywhere but back to the car! But, again, that makes a really good excuse to go back to Narberth on another day, as it’s a truly unique high street.
So, inspired by the demos and all the lovely food on offer, I made some lovely bread ready for breakfast the following morning and enjoyed a tasty steak stuffed with pate and stilton, courtesy of Andrew Rees butchers for our supper. Bang goes the diet again!