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Great British Cheese Festival Review – Cardiff

September 26, 2010

It was with heady anticipation that I went headed across to the Great British Cheese Festival (GBCF) after my successful trip to Abergavenny last weekend. I don’t like cheese, so you might think it was an odd-choice to head to a cheese festival, but bear with me. I’d read that there were going to be two non-cheese tents, alcohol, live entertainment and piquing my interest the most, a cook and book shop. Ultimately however, I came away slightly disappointed by it all.

The first problem is the price. I appreciate that I haven’t had to spend any money to travel to the GBFF, but £8.50 for something a quarter of the size of the ABFF seems a tad pricey, especially when you consider that if you wanted to watch any of the demonstrations you had to pay extra!

The second problem is the lack of the ‘wow factor’. I just didn’t get that same “wow, look at all this amazing produce” that I got from Abergavenny.

And my third, and I think, vital problem, was that the promised cook and book shop simply wasn’t there. One of my top reasons to go and it completely absent. It wouldn’t really take much to put a sign up apologising for this, but they hadn’t – I think that’s pretty bad.

Now before this turns into an epic rant let’s move on to the things that I did like. I appreciated that they had gone to the trouble of putting on extra food for non-cheeseaholics. Even if there wasn’t so much of it, I still managed to taste a few great samples and pick up some produce to take home.

It’s inside a castle. I like the castle (especially as my resident’s pass usually gets me in for free), so it really was a nice setting to have a festival. There was plenty of cider, perry and ale – and a hog roast, which although overpriced, was tasty.

There was a nice atmosphere, thanks most in part to the sun, but also due to the merry bands playing away to the beer-drinking onlookers. If only it wasn’t slightly chilly, you would have been forgiven for thinking it was still summer.

So, overall, I had a perfectly nice time, but, there was an air of disappointment. I’d recommend the festival to any cheese-lovers in your life, but warn them that it’s a little pricey. As for myself, will I go again? I’m not sure, it seems a shame to shun something on your doorstep, but I can’t say I was overly impressed. I’ll keep an eye on the stalls promised next year, and reserve full-judgement for then.

This weekend I also visited The Pumping Station, an antiques market on the outskirts of Cardiff (which I walked to, phew!), to pick up new props for the blog. I’ll tell you more about that later in the week.

If you visited the Great British Cheese Festival this weekend, do let me know.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2010 10:55 pm

    It comes to something when Andy and I, two confirmed cheese lovers, spent more on herbs and fishcakes than we did on actual cheese. It was my first time at the festival and I had been warned in advance about the price. I’ll be writing something up in the next few days myself so will save my vitriol for that 🙂

    • amydavies permalink*
      September 26, 2010 11:02 pm

      Hehe… oh dear. In defence, my cheese-loving boyfriend very definitely made up his entry fee – he reckons he tried about 35 different pieces of cheese…. he didn’t feel the urge to buy any though….

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