A weekend of food, glorious food!
Every year thousands of visitors descend on the market town of Narberth for its annual food festival.
The event offers a feast for everyone, catering to all tastes and ages. This year’s theme was 'Food Glorious Food', and nobody went hungry, or needed to ask for more, because the event was overflowing with fine cuisine.
There’s always a packed programme of events and entertainment at Narberth Food Festival, and this year was no different as organisers celebrated their 16th festival.
The festival is relatively small with more than 50 independent stall-holders showcasing their best dishes, produce and drinks to the crowds of visitors. The two-day event is run entirely by volunteers and is renowned for its charm and family-friendly atmosphere.
There was a colourful welcome to the festival for this year’s foodie lovers. The street entertainers were just part of the varied line-up on offer, ready to welcome the thousands of visitors.
And it wasn’t just the entertainment that was colourful, there were mouth-watering dishes to taste, local produce to buy and wines and ales to sample.
The main marquee on the town moor was soon packed with eager shoppers, keen to pick up some delicious treats. It was so busy by lunchtime on the first day that some stall holders were running low and needed to call for more supplies.
As well as meats, cheeses, bread, preserves and cakes, there were some more unusual offerings, including this Counting Sheep blend of tea from Morgans Brew Tea, made up of chamomile, lemon balm, rose petals and lavender.
The tasty treats came in all shapes and sizes, including in miniature, like these pretty bottles of marinades and vinegars.
Gourmet garlic from Gilly’s was another favourite stall in the marquee. Stall-holders were happy to answer any questions and served all their customers with a smile.
The cookery master classes in the food theatre were very popular, with standing room only. Among the top chefs giving demonstrations was award-winning Stephen Terry, of The Hardwick in Abergavenny. He is a great supporter of the festival and a champion of Welsh produce. His most recent addition to his CV was heading up the kitchen team at the NATO summit.
The free cookery demonstrations and talk and taste sessions delighted the crowds, young and old.
After his demonstrations, top chef Stephen Terry mingled with festival-goers to sample the delights on offer. He described the event as a real family affair.
“The festival is welcoming and honest,” he said. “It’s down at the roots and has a nice family feel. There’s always something for the kids and that’s important.
“With local and Welsh suppliers, it’s organised by lovely people with a real passion. It’s here for all the right reasons – to showcase great produce.”
Also starring in the food theatre was Pembrokeshire’s newest culinary talent, Will Holland, of Saundersfoot’s recently-opened Coast restaurant.
Will is originally from Bristol and, before becoming head chef at Coast, he won a Michelin star at La Becasse in Ludlow.
Among the visitors was Louise Vaughan and her nine-month-old son Ontai. Born in Pembrokeshire, Louise now lives in Cardiff but made the trip home especially to visit the food festival. She was impressed with what the festival had to offer and said she liked its relaxed atmosphere – as well as all the great food! “This is my first visit to the festival and I’d definitely recommend it to others,” she said.
The children’s face painting tent proved very popular with the younger visitors, including three-year-old Harley Phillips, There was plenty to entertain the kids with circus skills workshops, craft activities and chalk drawing.
After all the shopping it was time to sit down, relax and tuck into lunch, all washed down with a fruity punch.
Helping to quench the thirst of visitors were free bottles of water supplied by Narberth-based Princes Gate.
Plenty of people rounded off their day with a sweet treat, from scrumptious chocolate brownies to colourful cakes and delicious ice creams.
And before everyone knew it, the festival was over for another year. But don’t worry, planning is already underway for next year’s event - be sure not to miss it!
Narberth Food Festival 2015 has been confirmed as 26th -27th September.
Why not make a weekend of it? Find some accommodation just right for you; a seaside hotel or rural retreat and explore Pembrokeshire.
Did you go to the festival? Tell us what your favourite dishes were via Twitter and Facebook.