A big thanks to all who helped to make our first Christmas Food and Drink show such a success. First and foremost, our 60 plus intrepid stallholders who put on such a fantastic display. It is a time of year when artisan food businesses are already phenomenally busy and in the recent run of weather many were coping with staff shortages and disrupted schedules. It was a tremendous effort from everybody just to get there and it was great to see busy stalls and happy faces.
Next we should thank the 3,000 or so visitors who made it on the day. When many were anxious about stepping out their front door, you made it to Abergavenny. And from the feedback we’ve been getting, I have to say that you felt it was worth it. After the hurly-burly of our September show here was a chance to peruse the stalls at your leisure, talk to the makers, eat, drink and be merry; and with the sun shining and temperatures nudging up above zero… who needs to go to St Petersburg for a winter wonderland.
And let’s not forget our distinguished speakers and chefs who bring that extra pizzazz to the festival. There were several old friends but also some fantastic new ones: warm welcomes for Stefan Gates, Gastronaut, who lit up the Market Hall with custard flares, cochineal beetles and the legendary bum sandwich; Annie Rigg who rolled her car on the Oxfordshire ice but still made it to demonstrate her beautiful Gifts from the Kitchen; Freddy Bird from the Bristol Lido who is not only a fine chef but a consummate performer; and last but not least Tom Harrow, the silver-tongued WineChap, who sorted out the finos from the manzanillas and the LBVs from the merely crusted.
Thanks also to Pete the Jester who made us laugh and the musicians, singers and dancers who punctured the crisp afternoon air with sweetness and harmony. Thanks to all our crew and helpers who were charming, cheerful and efficient. Thanks to our sponsors Fine & Country, and Homes of Elegance. Thanks to those who fixed the weather. They know who they are…