1 October 2017

Abergavenny Food Festival 2017

The end of summer can only mean one thing for me; The Abergavenny Food Festival. Every year foodies flock to the market town and we eat. There are food vendors, market stalls and demonstrations. It's enough to keep you inspired for the next season, at least. I bring my camera and take as many photos as I can, and find some of my favourite memories here. It's the perfect way to embrace the start of autumn.

Don't these tomatoes look incredible? I did that unforgiveable thing of saying I'd go back later and get some, but ended up in a vegan cookery class that overran so I never got the chance. I can only dream about the bruschetta, salsa and ketchups I could have made with the above.

Crispy squid – something I love but often overlook in favour of something more substantial. This was so delicious, I could have eaten five times as much.

Jessica Seaton's sourdough toast event was the highlight of my weekend. She talked about starter methods, shared her tips and treated us to her favourite toast toppings on her freshly made sourdough.

Every year Mr Todiwala steals the show with his dosa and onion bhajis. I've written about his food before – back in 2015 I ate at his restaurant in London. There is something so simple and special about this food, it puts all other Indian restaurants to shame. I can't recommend it enough. 

Full of my favourite food, new recipes in my pocket and fresh photos on my camera, I took the arduous journey back to Bristol (delayed trains, cancelled trains, etc etc) and counted my blessings. Until next year, AFF.


20 September 2017

The Angel Bakery – Abergavenny

It's no real surprise, but recently my taste for the mass-produced, plastic-covered, soft-sliced bread found in supermarkets has dissipated, allowing my love for handmade, stretchy, crunchy sourdough to soar. Homely bakeries seem to be popping up just about everywhere right now, but only a few get it 100% right. The Angel Bakery fits in this category, and it just so happens to be in Abergavenny, my little teenage town in Wales.

Tucked just behind Abergavenny's main road, The Angel Bakery is an extension of its big sister, The Angel Hotel. If you're a long-time reader of my blog, you might remember one of my very first posts was a review of the afternoon tea at The Angel. Four years later and my love for what they do hasn't wavered.

Rivalling the likes of Harts and Bakery 47, The Angel Bakery covers all fronts: fresh bread (about a hundred varieties), pastries, brioche buns, brownies, truffles and coffee. I am sure that, depending on what day you visit, there will be a new treasure to devour, and this is one of the reasons The Angel Bakery is so special.

Being so used to the busy people of Bristol eating my favourite bakery out of its incredible pain au chocolat, I got up early on Saturday to get first dibs at The Angel Bakery. My fellow bread lover, Emily, came with me and we perched on the stalls inside, nibbling pastries (an almond croissant and raspberry danish), while the girls made our coffee. 

Everything – from the friendly service to the golden coffee machine – was perfect. I took a loaf of the fennel, raisin & hazelnut sourdough home and ate the whole thing in two days. When so much passion, love and hard work goes into something as delightful as The Angel Bakery, it's impossible to leave without a bit of that magic lingering in you. Just go and see for yourself.

13 September 2017

Bakers & Co – Bristol

I can take or leave a lie in. Mornings are sacred – the hours slip by and with them disappears the fresh calm I love so much. I have always been an early bird, and as summer draws to a close, I am desperate to make the most of the bright starts that are now, inevitably, numbered.

Emily and I wandered down to Bakers & Co a few weeks ago for an early morning brunch. Em's willingness to get up early for food is one of the reasons we are friends. We got there just after it had opened. It was quiet, golden and crisp – the perfect Saturday morning.

We sat outside and I ordered the smashed avocado on toast with a side of two poached eggs. Bakers & Co does the best smashed avo in Bristol, by the way. Emily got the pork belly with potatoes and egg, with a side stack of sourdough. I've realised that any dish can be elevated, or salvaged, with the addition of sourdough – it is just the best.

The coffee was strong, the flavours were fresh and vibrant and we were justifiably stuffed once we'd cleaned our plates. Bakers & Co is deceptively different. On the outside it looks like just another cafe, but step inside and you're greeted with fresh loaves of bread, friendly staff and an ever-changing menu. I only wish it were a little closer to home.
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