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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Festival Fever

Many years ago my summers were a procession of festivals. The Isle of Wight, Weeley, Bickershawe, Plumpton and Pilton. For the younger generation of reader I should point out that Plumpton and Pilton are probably better known these days as Reading and Glastonbury.

Check out the line ups in these posters and goggle at the prices!! I'm sure that inflation since then is slightly lower than the 50,000% plus that seems to have occurred. Might be cheaper to get a payday loan.

These days I am unlikely to consider three days camping, even in a modern fully fitted glamping yurt, and my diet has improved since the days of the macrobiotic diet (Mung Beans done 500 ways for the uninitiated) and nicotine topped up by regular "vitamin" supplements. Dark Star is less a 30 minute Grateful Dead track and more of a lovingly crafted artisan Boudin Noir.

But the Summer and early Autumn are still Festival time for me, though -despite music being the food of love - it is the food festival that I now attend regularly.

Of course the Glastonbury of the Food world is the Abergavenny Food Festival and I can hardly wait for July  2nd when the line up is announced and the tickets go on sale.

21st and 22nd September are the key dates here and a great time is guaranteed for all.

Before that there is a new festival in South Wales.
Valleys FaCE (Food and culture event) is set for July on the Festival Park Shopping outlet in Ebbw Vale,
Valleys FaCE is   not -for-profit community regeneration project, organising a two day food and culture event within the Heads of the Valleys area.  It is hoped that ValleysFaCE will become a sustainable biannual event that will look to “relocate” in a different local town each year.
The aim is showcase existing SME’s within the local area, incorporating local artisan food, drink and craft producers.  It will also be an opportunity for local cottage industries with long term plans to create a solid customer base and possible viable future business to “test the water” with their products. Updates are available here 
I will be baking for a stall at the festival so come along and meet me and my breads,
August will certainly involve some festival activity though my exact itinerary has yet to be confirmed.
Early September means a trip back to Ireland.
First up it's the 30th Anniversary of Ballymaloe Cookery School, and a weekend of activity and celebration is planned. Immediately after I shall be moving from East Cork to West Cork and the town of Skibbereen.

During West Cork Food Week the town hosts the Celtic Cook Off in the West Cork Hotel. Chefs from the Celtic Regions, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall and Brittany cook off in a competition using West Cork produce.  More on this event as the line up finalises.
Back from Cork to Abergavenny and barely will the dust have settled on the UK's biggest food festival than it will be time for the Newport Food Festival on October 5th.
Now in its third year, it is bigger and better than ever with more stalls, great chef demos and some hands on food activities for visitors. I shall be hosting a couple of hands-on bread making sessions in the Market Hall and all participants will take home some rising dough to bake at home.
Again the line up is still finalising but more on the blog as it comes clear.
Not quite the festival season of my youth, but equally enjoyable and still a highlight of the year for me.

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