My wife and I love a good food festival. But for whatever reason, despite living fairly close, we’ve never been to Abergavenny Food Festival before. To be honest, I think we were always put off slightly by the fact you had to pay to get in. And rather than look into what exactly was on offer, we just never went. Recently, however, we attended the festival thanks to having media accreditation via the blog. So I’ve finally managed to be able to answer the question of Abergavenny Food Festival, and that’s “is it worth the ticket price?”
Abergavenny Food Festival: Is It Worth the Ticket Price?
As this was our first time attending Abergavenny Food Festival we were a little confused when we first arrived. I was under the assumption that the entire festival was a paid-to-enter affair. That every stall would be within the areas which required you to have a wristband. But that’s not the case. There are still plenty of stalls that you can freely visit without the need to pay for entry.
Of course, I’m not sure these actually count as being part of the food festival, but they’re there none the less. Your first question might then be whether it’s worth even paying for a wristband and access to the other areas when you have other options for free? I think it all depends on what you’re after.
You’re looking at £12 for a Saturday wristband and £10 for a Sunday wristband, or simply £18 for the weekend. I’ll be honest, we were always put off in the past by the fact it would cost us £20 or so before we’ve even entered the festival and bought anything.
Abergavenny Food Festival is Worth the Money if You Make Use of Your Wristband
I’ll be honest, if you’re simply looking at attending Abergavenny Food Festival purely to shop for some food then the wristband might not be worth your money. There are quite a lot of stalls outside the paid area, and a lot of them are still rather good.
But this is a food festival. So there is more on offer than just the opportunity to purchase food. Inside the actual food festival itself there are plenty of freely available things that come with the purchase of a wristband. They have plenty of cookery talks, they had a debate on the Farmyard stage which was something we wandered past and there was even cookery classes for kids going on – something we would’ve done had Isabelle been a bit older.
Of course, due to the fact we had our daughter – a chaotic 16 month old danger-seeking toddler – we didn’t really make full use of the courses and the talks. But they are something that really does add value to the cost of entry to the festival. Without things like this being put on, I really would question why there was a fee for entry. Perhaps if my partner and I had properly looked in to what was on offer in the past, then this year wouldn’t have been our first time attending.
A Food Festival is all about the food!
You can put on all the talks and courses that you want. The real reason anyone actually goes to a food festival is to buy and try an awful lot of food. If that’s your main reason for going – as it was for us – then you’d struggle to be disappointed. Abergavenny Food Festival has all the usual stalls that you would expect at a good food festival.
You have your breads, cakes, brownies, and every other dessert you could realistically think of. Then your marinades and sauces, vinaigrettes and olive oils, meats and seafood and everything in between.
We spent the majority of our money on desserts. I think we came away with a box full of brownies, a box full of some of the tarts pictured above, a very large ciabatta for stew that evening, and then we scoffed a whole bunch of cakes, muffins and other little treats whilst we were there. Suffice to say, we didn’t feel the best come bed time. But that’s the whole point!
Then there are things you have to pay for on top of your entry to the food festival
Whilst there’s a great deal you can do for free at Abergavenny Food Festival, there’s also plenty available if you’re after something a little bit extra. There are loads of taster sessions with everything from cheese, salt & caramel (that would’ve been a great one!) and one I actually would’ve been interested in and that’s a “Food for a happy gut” taster.
Then you have loads of drink related taster sessions with everything from wine, gin, cider and even coffee. All four are things I would love to have on a much more regular basis. These days it’s most just coffee. Thank having a toddler for that one.
Basically, there was so much to do at Abergavenny Food Festival that you really are spoilt for choice. If you want to see everything they had on offer then here’s what was on offer.
In hindsight I wish we looked a little bit deeper and perhaps paid a visit to one of the taster sessions – a little bit of gin wouldn’t hurt – instead of keeping to our usual style of wandering aimlessly and seeing what happens. They even put on a party at the castle for the evening. So you can’t knock the options available to you!
Abergavenny Food Festival Has So much going on, that it really is worth the ticket price
If you’re still debating whether Abergavenny Food Festival is worth the cost of admission then I don’t know what else to say. Maybe you won’t want to pay for entry and book a taster session, but there’s still plenty of free things available to make this worth your money. I think for 2019 we’ll be looking at doing a little bit more than just wandering around, but even in doing that we still have a pretty awesome time.
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*Disclaimer – we were provided with entry to the food festival as part of the media accreditation. But the thoughts and opinions in this post are entirely my own. And also a thank you to the food festival for providing some of the photos in this post