croeso!

Summer is cooking in Wales, and it's not just our great food that's sizzling! Hit the food festivals, take a cooking class, and listen to jazz at the Brecon Jazz Festival. Enter now to win a free trip to Wales to see what else we're up to. Read on and enjoy. Croeso - Welcome to Wales!

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don't forget greetings
Is this your last issue of Croeso!? It might be, if you haven't yet added our new "from" email to your address book or email "white list."

The address is croeso@visitwales.ws and from this point on that's the only email address from which we'll be sending out issues of Croeso! If you or your email provider maintains a list of approved email addresses, just add croeso@visitwales.ws to that list. If not (or if you're not sure how) just open your email program and add croeso@visitwales.ws to your email address book – just like any other friend with whom you correspond. If you don't, future issues may get trapped by "spam" filters.

With so many festivals celebrating the best in Welsh culture and cuisine it’s a great time of year to "be Welsh." This issue's feature story on the Abergavenny Food Festival and other culinary delights of Wales will have you hungry for more by the time you're done reading.

Welsh culture runs deep and millions of Americans have ancestral roots in Wales. There's no better way to find out if you're one of them than a visit to Wales itself. Our Homecoming Wales site is another good way to start a genealogical journey, or if you happen to be visiting or live in New York, Keeping up with the Joneses– a new interactive exhibit on Ellis Island – tells the story of the Welsh in the USA. It's another fun way to explore the Welsh heritage and who knows - you might find out you have a "Jones in your genes!"

We hope you enjoy this issue. If you have ideas for what you would like us to feature in future issues, please let us know: we welcome your comments and feedback.

Claire Goold
Wales Marketing USA
Visit Wales
 
spotlight on: culinary delights
When it comes to food, the Abergavenny Food Festival is a restaurant, a party, and a school all rolled into one. This year, the festival is bigger than ever and plans are under way to expand into new venues. This September 16th and 17th, we'll see more than 100 market stalls, demonstrations, master classes, discussions, a cheese and wine show, fish market, and tutored tastings – among other things.
Cooks, farmers, and producers will all be at the festival, and as in festivals past, talks will focus on ethical issues surrounding food production in Wales, following the trend toward wholesome living sparked by the True Taste Movement. Chef demos will be given across town – some at the picturesque Abergavenny Castle – by specialists in Indian, Eastern European, Italian, and Chinese home cooking. And of course some of our top cooks will be demonstrating the best of Welsh fare. Taking it all in will be Britain's top food critics and writers, along with all manner of foodies and nibblers! Hands-on workshops, meanwhile, keep kids busy at the Food Academy.

Of course there's more to Abergavenny and to Welsh cuisine than just this one festival – much, much more. Click to read on...>

photo © Crown Copyright 2006
 
travel ideas: whip up a feast! featured links
If you love home cooking, but don't know how to make our classic dishes, don't worry! Just sit back and enjoy a home-cooked Welsh meal made by a local family. Home Dinners in Wales links up travelers and families interested in good food and interesting conversation. Make friends, eat well, and get to know our culture from the inside, in the cozy ambiance of a Welsh home. If you'd like to learn just how they do it, many restaurants and schools across the country offer cooking classes where you'll learn to prepare cawl (a stew of lamb and root vegetables), bara brith (spicy fruit loaf), or our famous sewin (sea trout) or salmon.

Cooking courses at The Drovers Rest Restaurant, explore traditional Welsh cooking as well as contemporary tastes and techniques, and range from a few hours to several days and run the gamut from veggie and game dishes (plucking instructions included) to traditional breads and desserts. There's even a course dedicated solely to puddings! Gourmet breaks at The Drawing Room include advice on trips to local farmers and producers and demonstrations, at the only chef's table in Wales, on how to put them all together.

The meals you'll have in Wales will be memorable, but learn how to make your own Welsh feast, and you can relive more than just memories back home.
Here are a few links to some of the many summer activities in Wales. To learn more about specific events going on in Wales this summer, or for a more complete listing, go to the What's Going On page of our website.

Food Festivals
Brecon Jazz Festival
Bryn Terfel
Mud Festival
Good Beach Guide
Seaside Awards Beaches
Great Little Places
Wales in Style

 
contests & promotions: Wales getaway
We'd love to see you in Wales, so we're inviting a Croeso! subscriber and a companion to come as our guests! We're giving one lucky prize winner a choice: a free trip for two to Wales, including round-trip tickets and four nights' accommodation – or an iPod® with a $50 iTunes gift certificate!
Just answer the following question and you'll automatically be entered for a chance to win:

What is Wales' best attraction?
Click here to answer.
View the official rules for complete details.

There's no wrong answer but you must be a Croeso! subscriber to enter. Not a member/subscriber? No problem. Just sign up here to receive this newsletter on a quarterly basis and you'll also be automatically entered for a chance to win the trip.

Congratulations to Scott S., Don M., Michelle R., and Janica K., four of the five winners of the "A Vision to Behold" sweepstakes. Each won a copy of the "Visions of Wales" DVD, which has spectacular aerial footage of Wales' natural and manmade splendors accompanied by traditional music and informative narration.
 
first person first person
In the summer of 2001, having visited Britain several times, we decided to visit Wales. We were simply travelling to St. David's and other points in the southwestern coastal area. Planning to meet friends from Surrey for a week's stay we were looking for a Bed and Breakfast when we came around a corner on a narrow track and literally found ourselves at the Llangloffan Cheese Farm--a charming place with a tiny store and opportunity to purchase a lovely lunch. We noticed a sign that a cottage on the farm was available to rent. We asked the hosts if the cottage was available and he said, "you know, a couple was renting it but the husband became ill and they had to leave." We immediately offered to fulfill the rental period, it was accepted and our friends from Surrey arrived the next day to find us in a lovingly restored and provisioned cottage!! Talk about serendipity!! The hosts were an incredible couple making delicious cheese which we now purchase in America through Dean and Deluca online!! What a perfect story to tell including day walks along one of the most beautiful sections of the Coast Path. We could live in Wales on the Llangloffan Cheese Farm forever!!
Sarah B.
I met my husband on an internet dating site. He lived in Bristol and I lived in NYC. On our first long trip together we booked to hear "Blind Boys of Alabama" at the Brecon Jazz Festival. When we got there it turned out that there had been some mix-up with the tickets so instead we went to hear the then unknown (to us) Jane Monheit. It was such a wonderful and romantic concert. Jane and Brecon became favorites of ours. We were married the following year and are looking forward to our third anniversary and our next visit (we now live in NYC) to Wales. What a great memory we have of that trip!
Marsha H.



your Wales story

Do you have a story to share about your visit to Wales? We'd love to hear it. And if it shows up in a future issue of Croeso we'll send you a $25 gift certificate as a token of our appreciation.

Tell us your story.
 
a taste of Wales: Brecon jazz
The little Welsh town of Brecon, population 8000, is home to one of the biggest and most important jazz festivals in Europe. Just as it has for the last 22 summers, one of the best line-ups of live jazz across Europe will play at the Brecon Jazz Festival.
Concerts are held all over this town at the foot of the Brecon Beacons National Park: the market hall, five outdoor stadiums, and even in Brecon cathedral. "Stroller" tickets allow you to wander in and out of the many outdoor shows. Concerts run almost continuously from the evening of August 11th to the 13th, which means nonstop good music from legendary Welsh vocal artist Iris Williams, British jazz greats the Stan Tracey Big Band, and the Spirit of New Orleans Band, among others.

You can hear great music off the program, too: artists play in local bars, and buskers and marching bands also do their thing. The atmosphere is jovial. Food is sold in the streets – be sure to visit the Welsh cake stands! – and some of the city center is closed off to traffic. It's three memorable days of good dancing, reveling, and coming together with thousands of fellow jazz-lovers from around the world.

photo © Crown Copyright 2006
 

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