the big cheese 2017

The Big Cheese 2017 Review

On Saturday 29th July we braved the weather forecast and went to The Big Cheese in Caerphilly Castle. Fun was had, vegan booze was tasted and there was lots to explore. Read on for more!

The Big Cheese in Caerphilly Castle

First we explored Caerphilly Castle, which was open to the public for the day. On the way in, we saw a group of ducks being fed. I couldn’t resist seeing if I could get close enough for a photo!

the big cheese caerphilly castle

We hurried through the castle, worrying that we might miss the re-enactment. When we got to the other side, we found that there wasn’t going to be a re-enactment anyway, but we did stop to watch a kids demonstration of dummy weapons, which my sons loved!

We decided to check out the castle again, and found a shortcut around the side. I’m glad we did: the views were amazing as we walked between two moats!

When we got to the front of the castle again, we came up close to this bad boy. He was very scary looking and the kids swear he blinked at them! They didn’t want to stay close for long, that’s for sure. After seeing another kids demonstration and exploring a very good wooden climby bit, we went to check out some of the traders and see what was on offer. There were so many traders we didn’t have time to see them all, but what we did get to see didn’t disappoint.

Local Traders at The Big Cheese.

These beautiful garden ladies from Deebee Crafts in Caerphilly are made from wire and old t-shirt scraps. What a wonderful way to use excess fabric!

I loved the Tree of Life designs from Wire Art and Jewellery Delights, also in Caerphilly. In fact, all of the designs were beautiful: Rhian seemed fond of the mermaid designs. I am absolutely in love with the Wire Art and Jewellery Delights website – I think the wall hangings are definitely going on the wishlist!

We couldn’t walk past the Kimkraft Creations stall without getting a closer look. There were wands, beautiful journals and unicorns. After that, we checked out the Gyda Chariad stall. Lots of cute, Welsh themed homewares and pictures made from natural materials.

Food and drink at The Big Cheese.

We popped into the food tents next: as you might have guessed, almost all the traders were non-veggie, let alone non-vegan! To make things easier for myself, I hunted down some of the booze sellers in the hope that I might find some local vegan booze to share with you all. I wasn’t disappointed. The first stall we visited, Cwm Deri, was almost exclusively vegan: save a coffee cream liqueur and some mead.

Next was the Gwynt y Ddraig stall. Gwynt y Ddraig are a multi award winning Welsh cider & perry company based in Pontypridd. I was pleased to see that they label their bottles as suitable for vegetarians and vegans – something that a lot of companies don’t bother with.

Condessa Welsh Liqueurs are based in Anglesey but have stockists throughout Wales. They have four vegan liqueurs (pictured) and two non-vegan ones. I tried the black cherry liqueur – it was wonderful and I’ve already got recipes forming in my head!

The last stall we went to was actually a chilli jam stall from The Chilli Jam Man. Again, there were a lot of vegan items available and the person on the stall was able to point out everything that was vegan easily.

Soon after we left the food tent, it started to rain. We held out for a little while, taking the kids for their promised 2 rides each at their fair, but soon enough the rain was heavy enough for us to head home. We had a lovely time and are definitely coming back again next year!

What we loved.

The children all had such a lovely time at The Big Cheese. I took a lot of photos and Caden insisted on taking some of me too. He said this one was perfect!

I loved the fact that there were so many green stalls and a lot of local, vegan alcohol. We brought home some lovely vegan Silver Birch wine and some non-vegan coffee cream liqueur from Cwm Deri. I wonder if any of the liqueur traders would consider making vegan cream liqueurs?

What we didn’t love.

Ian was very much looking forward to seeing a re-enactment. We made a point of being there for the advertised time, but were told that they weren’t allowed to do battle style re-enactments anymore. This was a shame, because re-enactments were advertised. Still, it was a free event and we got to meet lots of local green traders. For me, this was the most important thing!

The rain cut our visit short, which was a shame. Next year, we will bring better outdoor clothing!

welsh vegan festival tramshed cardiff


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