Cywain’s stand at next week’s (November 28th & 29th) Royal Welsh Winter Fair will be packed with food and drink products ranging from honey and wine to meat and cakes.
A magnet for visitors, the Winter Fair Food Hall is an important shop-window for Welsh food and drink producers.
Eleven small and up and coming food producers will be featured in the Food Hall under the auspices of Cywain – a project created to bring added value to primary produce within the agriculture sector.
As always the Food Hall will be the ideal place to stock-up on Christmas presents and adding to the festive feel will be a special Cywain Christmas Tree highlighting various producers throughout Wales the project has supported.
MONDAY (NOVEMBER 28th)
Six companies will take to the Cywain stand on the first day of the Winter Fair: North Star Distillery, Blodyn, Gwella, Mêl ap Griff, Penrhyn Veal and Hallowed Bee.
NORTH STAR DISTILLERY
Earlier this year the first north Wales distillery for 115 years was born when Matt Rowland launched North Star Distillery in Conwy.
North Star’s first gin – ‘Merywen’ – made its debut in May at Gwyl Fywd Caernarfon, and is the first of what Matt hopes will be a number of North Star products.
Taking its name from the Welsh for juniper, ‘Merywen’ is made using freshly picked botanicals from hedgerows and gardens and is sold in local pubs, restaurants and shops.
Produced in very small batches on a farm in the Conwy hills, North Star’s founder Matt Rowland uses as many local Conwy and Denbighshire ingredients and flavours as possible in his desire to showcase and “capture the essence” of his home corner of North Wales.
Welsh culture also plays an important part as ‘Merywen’ gin is sold in bi-lingual bottles featuring specially composed music and lyrics.
More information: www.northstardistillery.co.uk
Blodyn handmade herbal teas are set to be an ideal blend with the Cywain stand.
Launched only a few weeks ago Bethesda-based Blodyn’s teas are carefully blended by Hannah Ashton-Hughes using high quality herbs from UK suppliers.
Currently there are four blends in the Blodyn range: Mint / Mintys, Petalau, Dolig / Festive and Cegin / Kitchen. They are initially being sold at markets in North Wales with plans to launch in local shops too.
Hannah, who is also a trained Medical Herbalist with a BSc in Western Herbal Medicine, has always had a strong interest in plants and the outdoors.
In 2017 she plans to expand her range of blends and source more herbs from local farms as well as leasing land to grow her own herbs.
More information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Launching their new branding at the Winter Fair will be Ceredigion cured meat company Gwella.
At their farm near Aberystwyth the Thomas family cure and cook their lamb, beef and mutton – creating a delicious range of cured meats.
Currently there are three flavours of beef in the Gwella range: Spiced Beef, Moroccan Beef and Mexican Beef. These will be joined on the Cywain stand by three lamb varieties: Garlic & Mint Lamb, Nepali Lamb and Moroccan Lamb along with Plain Cured Mutton.
The recipes are a mixture of traditional family favourites from Wales and further afield.
Also available at the Winter Fair will be a new addition to the Gwella range – rissoles – as well as tasty Welsh Lamb faggots.
More information: 07791325706 / 07837260445
MÊL AP GRIFF
Lampeter beekeeper Peter Jenkins inherited his colonies of native Welsh dark bees from his father Griff and is passionate about preserving struggling native bees.
Peter’s ‘Mêl ap Griff’ brand honey is made by his 40+ colonies of bees (Apis Mellifera Mellifera) which he keeps on six static sites in West Wales and a further 10 colonies at temporary sites in South Pembrokeshire to capture the seasonal flora and fauna.
He will be bringing his Ceredigion Summer Flower Honey, Pembrokeshire Spring Flower Honey and local Mountain Heather Honey to the Winter Fair.
In addition he will be launching his new labels that have been designed with help from Cywain.
More information: 07837 579505
Ceredigion veal producers Penrhyn Veal will be launching and taking orders for its Christmas Variety and Party Hampers of rosé veal, as well as serving up some tasty veal stroganoff to hungry Food Hall visitors.
Penrhyn Veal is 100% welfare friendly with calves reared at the farm in Penrhyncoch in spacious deeply bedded encloses until they are 7-11 months old.
Rosé veal is similar to beef but has a smoother texture, richer taste and is lower in fat and cholesterol.
As with traditional beef it is available in the regular cuts – steaks, roasting joints, escalope’s, mince and casserole meat – with additional specialities such as liver and shin.
Visitors to the Winter Fair will also be able to buy packs of delicious veal sausages and burgers.
More information: www.penrhyn-veal.com
North Wales beekeeper Samantha Evans from Maentwrog will be testing the concept for her ‘Hallowed Bee’ skin products with Cywain on the first day of the Winter Fair.
Samantha will be raising awareness of her products, which she plans to launch next year, with part profits from sales going towards supporting projects to safeguard honeybees.
The facial cleanser, toner, moisturiser, serum and scrub are made from bee products including pollen, beeswax, propolis and honey from her own hives as well as botanical based formulas and tinctures from local flowers and plants which she wild harvests.
More information: 0781 4434977
TUESDAY (NOVEMBER 29th)
One the second day of the Winter Fair it will be the turn of a further five companies to show their wide range of delicious food and drink:
Mêl Cilgwenyn, Gwinllan Conwy Vineyard, The Baker’s Pig, Welsh Gluten Free Bakery Products, and Plant2Plate.
Hot on the heels from winning a prestigious Great Taste Award Mêl Cilgwenyn will be revealing its new branding at the Winter Fair.
The annual awards are recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike. Llangennech-based Mêl Cilgwenyn was among 10,000 products to be judged in this year with its ‘Pure Carmarthenshire Wildflower Honey’ receiving a coveted award.
Joining the award-winning honey on the stand, and making its debut, will be Mêl Cilgwenyn’s new ‘Pure Welsh Heather Honey’.
Mêl Cilgwenyn beekeepers Richard Jones and Rhodri Owen also run the Bee Free project a charity that uses the skills of beekeeping to help ex-service men and women deal with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
More information: www.bees.wales
GWINLLAN CONWY VINEYARD
It’s been a whirlwind year for Gwinllan Conwy vineyard in North Wales, which will showcase its new Sparkling wine at the Cywain stand.
October 2015 saw the first harvest at the family-run vineyard near Llandudno Junction, which has been planted with special hybrid grape varieties chosen specifically to work well with the soil and climatic conditions in North Wales.
Just months later the vineyard scooped a silver award at the 2016 English and Welsh Wine of the Year competition with its Solaris dry white wine.
While at the Welsh Vineyards Association’s competition in September there were bronze medals for its Solaris, Rosé and Rondo wines.
At the Winter Fair it will be the turn of Gwinllan Conwy’s new Sparkling wine to take centre stage alongside the vineyard’s medium dry white, a red and rose wines which will also be available as gift boxes.
More information: www.conwyvineyard.co.uk
THE BAKER’S PIG
Two years ago Andrew and Liz Baker turned their hobby into a business curing their own free-range pork producing salami and other cured meats from their herd of rare breed Berkshire pigs.
Self-confessed foodies, university lecturer Andrew and Liz who has worked in the catering industry, set up charcuterie company ‘The Baker’s Pig’ on their small farm at the foot of the Black Mountain near Upper Brynamman.
There their Berkshire pigs – the oldest pedigree pig breed in Britain – are free to forage and roam in the surrounding woodlands, feasting on a luxury diet of apples, acorns, hazelnuts and other seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Keen to expand their range of products the couple have used the facilities at the Food Centre at Horeb to hone their skills.
They have produced two varieties of salami – Fennel & Black Pepper and Herb & Spice – which will be launched at the Winter Fair along with ‘The Baker’s Pig’ branding which has been produced with help from Cywain.
More information: 01269 823010
WELSH GLUTEN FREE BAKERY PRODUCTS
When Joyce Harvey-Dunton was diagnosed as Coeliac, with total wheat intolerance, she found her choice of bakery products to be limited.
So five years ago her husband Andrew decided to set-up a bakery – Welsh Gluten Free Bakery Products – with Joyce, a trained cook, supplied the hands-on baking experience.
The bakery now supplies independent stores and cafes with a wide range of gluten-free products from bread to cakes.
At the Winter Fair the Carmarthenshire-based bakery will be showing their own recipe white and brown loaves and rolls made from oat flour.
While from their sweet pastry line they will be offering a range of tarts including Bakewell, Coconut & Raspberry, Caramel & Chocolate flavoured. These will be joined by some new varieties – Morello Cherry, Victoria Plum, Blackcurrant, and Peach. All have a sponge topping with a hint of lemon.
Shortbread and Welshcakes join the list with Mince Pies, and Christmas Puddings adding a festive feel to the stand.
More information: www.wgfbakeryproducts.co.uk
Plant2Plate has been producing delicious hand-made ready meals and gluten-free meals since 2004.
The company’s flavour-packed prepared meals are made using Welsh free range and organic meat, and are absolutely free from any additives.
At the Winter Fair, the Caerphilly-based Plant2Plate, which delivers its meals across the UK, will be bringing treats from its newly branded range of high protein/low fat gluten-free meals.
The tasty dishes on offer will include Welsh Beef Meatballs, Mushroom & Lentil Lasagne, Vegan Goulash, and Chicken Marengo.
Also available will be some traditional best-selling winter warmers including: Cottage Pie, Chicken Casserole, and Fish Pie.
More information: www.plant2plate.co.uk
NOTES TO EDITORS
Cywain was set up by Menter a Busnes to bring added value to primary produce within the agriculture sector. The project has been allocated funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme for Wales 20014-2020, which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
About Menter a Busnes
Menter a Busnes was established in 1989. With headquarters in Aberystwyth it specializes in supporting new businesses, business growth, agriculture, skills development and food and drink sectors throughout Wales. It manages a number of programmes on behalf of the Welsh Government including Farming Connect.
For more information about companies exhibiting on the Cywain stand at the Royal Welsh Show please contact:
Myrddin Davies, Cywain Manager
01745 770273 / 07964 354674
Lowri Edwards, Cywain Development Manager