The city centre has had a festive make-over and we’re loving the wooden market stalls lining the Hayes. Now is the chance to nab some gorgeous prezzies whilst supporting local food businesses. Here are some of our favourite market vendors not to be missed this December.
This family-run winery in Newcastle Emlyn, West Wales, makes dreamy fruit wines and liqueuers and even an Old Grumpy range in homage to the semi-retired head of the family, but the bestselling elderberry port is the one to bag.
It’s sweet, it’s sticky, and comes in every colour of the rainbow. Who doesn’t go gooey for fudge? This stall has every imaginable flavour, from strawberries and cream to Ferrero Rocher, so finding your sweet-toothed friend (or yourself) a Christmas present should be no problemo.
Head of Raclette Peter has all your cheesy needs covered. At your command he scrapes gooey melted cheese from a 3.5 kg half wheel and scoops it on to either new potatoes (the classic option), nachos, garlic bread or a baguette. Sounds like a grate lunch to us.
Get your mitts around a mug of steaming mulled cider and, while you’re here, why not have a taste of a range of ciders and perrys made only with fruit from orchards that have been neither sprayed nor fertilised. There are a few of them to get through so even in teeth-chattering temperatures, inner glow is guaranteed.
Prepare to have your senses sieged by chocolate. Brownies, pyramids of them, wafting alluring smells and all competing for your attention. Salted caramel, Bailey’s buttercream, Chili and Halen Môn Salt, what’s it gonna be? Choose six for a selection box if you’re after a serious brownie hit.
Forget Belgian waffles and the other usual Christmas market suspects. Karen Shellam’s fresh Welsh cakes made with local free-range eggs are so irresistible they have been going like, erm, hot cakes. Double up with freshly buttered bara brith and you’ve got the best of Wales in a bag.
Your one-stop shop for the beer enthusiast in your life (isn’t that most of us, really?). Choose your poison from a selection of craft beers brewed right here in Cardiff.
Missed stir-up Sunday? Your apron-clad man of the hour George Hollywood (no relation to Paul as far as we’re aware) has the remedy. He’s been making traditional steamed Christmas puddings by hand in his Devon kitchen for 23 years. We say traditional, but some of his cakes do have a dash of reinvention: the chocolate orange Bailey’s version might just be our pudding of the year.
The waft of freshly cooked churros is essential to any outdoor market, and these come with a rich dark chocolate sauce to boot. Get your deep-fried pastry fix before December 21.
Christmas is all about the cheeseboard and these guys have journeyed down from the hills of North Wales to offer up their luxury cheeses going by names such as green thunder (garlic and herb cheddar), red devil (chili Leicester) and amber mist (whiskey cheddar). If these bad boys have the flavour to match their feisty labels, we’re in for a treat.