I spent Friday night with my brother, his wife and his in-laws near Abergavenny, and Saturday at the Food Festival there, with all the other Guardian readers, second-home owners, Carluccio and Matthew Fort (Matthew: the jersey tied loosely over your shoulders is a terrible affectation. Stop it). It was wonderful. That area of Wales is stunningly beautiful, and I heartily recommend the train journey along the border from Aber to Shrewsbury. My hosts stuffed me with Welsh cakes, I had a room of which, on a clear day, the far end could be glimpsed, and a mountain view. Most satisfyingly, I took £5 from the master of the house, having wagered that Leinster would beat his beloved Ospreys… ho ho ho. Quite impressively, he phoned up the two former rugby stars interviewed during the game to share his views on Ospreys' shortcomings!
And thence to town for the festival. What could one say? I bought venison, boudin noir, toulouse sausages, fine Welsh ales, aromatic cheeses, laverbread (not bread but tangy seaweed) and a beautiful Welsh blanket. We tasted ciders, perries, sausages, cheeses, Welsh whisky liqueur and much, much more.
Abergavenny is a stunningly beautiful town, with a classic ruined castle, three mountains (Skirrid Fawr, the Blorenge and the Sugar Loaf) towering over it, and a range of independent shops - walking weekends beckon. Now I'm off to pay for my gluttony with a swim. Ugh
(Pictures not by me - this idiot forgot his camera)