Exciting plans for the first ever GWCT Welsh Game Fair, which will be held at a historic country estate in North West Wales in September, were unveiled at a reception attended by more than 80 invited guests yesterday.
The new, three-day event, to be hosted by the Vaynol Estate, near Bangor from September 9-11, is being organised by the team behind the hugely popular The Game Fair and The Scottish Game Fair, in partnership with leading conservation charity The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).
Leading Welsh celebrity chef and author Bryn Williams will be leading the culinary charge at the GWCT Welsh Game Fair, creating a bespoke menu for guests in a VIP Enclosure Restaurant and taking part in live, open-air cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend.
Regarded as one of Wales’ best chefs, Bryn has hosted several successful cooking series with Welsh-language television channel S4C, is a regular of TV cooking shows and is a passionate advocate for sustainable, field-to-fork fare.
Bryn, who hails from Denbigh, is the chef patron of Odette’s in Primrose Hill and at Porth Eirias, a beach-front restaurant, café and bar at Colwyn Bay. He has also produced three books sharing his in-demand recipes with legions of fans.
He will be creating bespoke breakfast and two and three-course lunch menus for VIP ticket holders, with a focus on game and sustainable, locally sourced ingredients.
“I am passionate about Welsh food and game, its heritage and, of course, quality,” said Bryn. “A game fair is a fitting place to express this, promote it and provide the public with an amazing experience, which is why I am delighted to have a restaurant within the GWCT Welsh Game Fair this year.”
The GWCT Welsh Game Fair will raise money to support the GWCT’s charitable work and give a welcome boost to the region, with tourism and visitors contributing to the local economy.
Fishing, clay shooting, gundogs, game cookery, falconry, horses and hounds, as well as rural crafts, food and drink will feature at the event, which is expected to attract people passionate about the countryside, country pursuits and conservation.
Visitors can look forward to a wide range of attractions, displays, live debates, shopping at hundreds of trade stands and family entertainment, all with a countryside theme.
The landscape of the Vaynol Estate, which includes a beautiful, large lake in front of the main mansion for casting displays, is perfect for this celebration of all things rural.
The new event marks the return of large scale business to the estate, which famously hosted Radio 1’s Big Weekend over 10 years ago, attracting 40,000 music fans as well as a music festival jointly organised by Welsh opera singer Bryn Terfel.
The Clay Shooting Line and Gunmakers Row, both extremely popular elements of the Scottish and National Game Fairs, will feature alongside a wealth of Welsh produce.
The event is set to be a fantastic shop window for the Welsh countryside and will promote the unique culture and heritage of Wales. It will also bring together representatives from a range of conservation, farming, field sports and fishing bodies for debates on Welsh rural issues.
The aim is to foster greater communication and co-operation between sectors and promote the benefits of country pursuits and conservation to a wider audience.
James Gower, managing director of The National Game Fair Ltd, said he is delighted to be organising the first ever Welsh Game Fair in partnership The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust.
“Wales has some of the UK’s most beautiful countryside which is home to people passionate about the landscape and the country pursuits taking place within it,” he said. “It’s high time we shone a spotlight on the Welsh countryside and this event is the perfect way to do it.
“I look forward to sharing more details with exhibitors and visitors alike in time but can confirm that all the elements which contribute to the success of our established game fairs will be in place at the Vaynol Estate come September.”
GWCT director for Wales Sue Evans added: “This is a truly exciting announcement for the Welsh countryside and the people who live and work in it. The GWCT Welsh Game Fair will help us bring together people from all the different sectors which care for and work in rural Wales and engage more people with the benefits of game management for conservation.
“I can’t wait to see visitors exploring the beautiful Faenol Estate with Snowdonia as a backdrop for showcasing the best of what the countryside has to offer.”
The Game Fair team has appointed Gethin Jones, a keen country sports enthusiast living in North Wales, as country manager. A Welsh speaker, he is looking forward to making it a truly Welsh event, encompassing Wales’ rich culture and heritage as an integral part of the fair.
Celebrity chef Bryn Williams joined fellow countryside supporters at the launch of the GWCT Welsh Game Fair at Vaynol Estate today.