Cardiff International Food Festival is a yearly event, taking place in Cardiff Bay. It goes on over three days and attracts thousands of visitors.
I’ve wanted to go for a couple of years now, but as I was living away from Cardiff, it wasn’t possible for me to make my way down, but this year I knew I definitely had to go.
The event was on from Friday 8th July to Sunday 10th July and I went on Sunday.
It was my dad’s birthday, so the evening before, we had gone out for dinner at Mina, a Lebanese restaurant on Crwys Road. His one request that weekend was that I make breakfast on the Sunday morning before heading to the Bay.
As I live really near to both Nata and the Roath Farmers Market, I thought I would buy most of the ingredients from there.
My favourite thing in Nata, apart from the Portuguese tarts, has to be their chorizo bread. A fluffy white bread marbled with smoky chorizo, which goes great with just a slather of butter or some nice cheese.
I decided to pair the bread with some avocado and duck eggs, bought from Onllwyn Eggs at Roath Farmers Market. I also added some extra fried chorizo on top.
After demolishing our breakfasts at lightening speed, we made our way down to Cardiff Bay for the Cardiff food and drink festival.
It was a lot bigger than I had expected, with stalls going from outside the millennium centre, to up near the Doctor Who exhibition. I really wished I could have tried a bit of all the food, but sadly, there was way too much.
The festival was split into three sections, the Producers Fayre, Street Food Piazza and the Farmers Market. We started by looking around the Producers Fayre, which had loads of different kinds of stuff on sale, everything from cheese to cider to scotch eggs.
My dad and I got a pot of fresh cockles each as a snack. I covered mine in white pepper and a bit of vinegar, which really brought out the flavour. We got them from a stall selling a range of different takeaway fish, like lobster tails and mussels.
We then walked around to the Farmers Market. This was from near the Norwegian church to just before the Doctor Who Experience. Here were stalls selling food to takeaway, as well as food and drink to take home.
A couple of stalls I remember seeing were:
Cwm Deri – a vineyard in West Wales that I’ve actually visited a few times, which sells some really tasty alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. One of my favourite drinks of theirs is the Elderflower Wine. They also sell cheeses and Preserves.
Mr Croquewich – this is a vendor I’ve heard a lot about but have never actually tried. The grilled cheese sandwiches were cooking as I walked past and they looked amazing. I’m definitely going to have to give these a go some day.
Mr Fitzpatricks Cordials – a stall selling a range of vintage cordials made from natural ingredients. I bought a bottle of the sour cherry and grape with hibiscus, which sounds really good (I’m yet to have tried it).
The Mighty Soft Shell Crab – this was a food stall selling deep fried soft shell crab served with a sweet chilli sauce and creme fraiche. I had a taster and it was really good, the crab was really crispy and the sweet chilli sauce had a slight kick to it.
By the time we had walked around the farmers market, it was time for lunch. My parents went for some pierogi from Old Granary Pierogi. This was a brand that they had heard of before, when they went to the Caldicot food festival. The Pierogi are unlike the normal soft doughy pierogi and are more like pasties, served with slaw and a sauce.
Matt and I decided on souvlaki from Meat and Greek. I love Greek food and have heard many many good things about this brand, so I was keen to give it a try and it was definitely my highlight of the whole festival! The queue for this stall was by far the longest, which really showed how popular their food was. We waited for about 15 minutes and eventually got to the front, where you were able to see the kebabs cooking on the grill.
By the time we were at the till, the chicken souvlaki had sold out, so we ordered a pork souvlaki each with added halloumi for an extra £1. It all came to £16, which I thought was good value for the quality of food and the fact it was cooked in front of you. I had all the toppings, houmous, tzatziki, chopped white onions, salad and parsley and they all went together really well and the meat was really tender and full of flavour.
After scoffing these, we went back to the Producers Fayre to pick up some stuff we had our eyes on. I bought 10 macaroons for £8 from a stall I unfortunately can’t remember the name of. My dad went to The Garlic Farm, a stall specialising in all types of garlic, from smoked garlic to garlic butter and garlic sauces and bought a few bulbs of different garlics, including a bulb of smoked garlic for me.
After a long day walking around and filling our stomachs, we walked to our local pub for a pint, just in time to watch Andy Murray win Wimbledon!
Have you ever been to Cardiff food and drink festival?