Stock up in style with Brecon Beacons gourmet goods
Undoubtedly, one of the very best things about Christmas is being able to put the diet to one side (for a few days at least) and tuck into food that you really enjoy. So whether you're looking to pick up something special for the foodie in your family, or to stock up the cupboards of your own self-catering holiday cottage, we've picked some of our favourite local food producers...
Black Mountains Smokery - An authentic smokery in Brecon where you can expect everything from oak-roasted salmon and award-winning Gressingham duck breast to creamy Pwll Mawr cheddar, all of which has been smoked in traditional kilns using techniques perfected by the owners during a decade spent in Africa. If you really want to splash out, why not treat yourself to one of their exclusive hampers, some of which even come complete with a bespoke presentation platter or chopping board so there's something for you to keep once the food has all been devoured. www.smoked-foods.co.uk
The Welsh Venison Centre - Full traceability, superb animal welfare and top quality produce have always been the main driving forces behind this family-run company in Powys - and seeing that Turkey is just so cliché at Christmas, why not opt for one of the healthiest, leanest meats around. Having said that, you'll also be able to pick up free range lamb, Welsh beef, local pork and other speciality meats, not to mention all manner of local crafts and gifts if you've managed to leave your Christmas present shopping right to the last minute. Three 'Wales The True Taste' awards can't be wrong! www.beaconsfarmshop.co.uk
Penderyn Whisky Distillery - Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a drink to toast with, and where better to look than the home of Welsh whisky? It may be the complex single malt that is responsible for Penderyn's rise to fame, but you'll also be able to get your hands on Brecon Five Vodka, Brecon Gin and Merlyn Cream Liqueur. With just one barrel of Penderyn produced every day, this finemalt wysgi is exceptionally rare, making it the ideal choice for either a special gift, or as a way to welcome in Christmas day. If you have time, be sure to tour the distillery (complete with tastings!) www.welsh-whisky.co.uk
Brecon Brewing - If you find spirits a little strong, you could always opt to sample some of Brecon Brewing's delicious real cask ales. Alongside the staple refreshing 'Bronze Beacons' and the fuller 'Twilight Beacons', you'll find seasonal specials such as the festive 'Cwrw-istmas Beacons' that has been brewed with a blend of Christmas fruits and spices - just like a pud! If you fancy trying before you start buying, you'll find the brewery's cask ales at a wide range of pubs, restaurants and shops throughout the Brecon Beacons, just look for the Brecon Brewing logo. Alternatively, you could always visit the online shop and get your own 5-litre MiniCask! www.breconbrewing.co.uk
The Blaenafon Cheddar Company - As the name suggests, this specialist cheddar company was established in the famous World Heritage town of Blaenafon. If you were hoping to crown your Christmas dinner with a cheeseboard, how about a mild cheddar blended with the likes of Boddingtons Beer and pickle, or Scrumpy Jack cider with apple. They currently produce eleven distinctive cheddars and four varieties of goat's cheese, while their famous Pwll Mawr cheddar is actually matured at the bottom of the mine shaft at the Big Pit. If that doesn't get the dinner table conversation flowing, nothing will. www.chunkofcheese.co.uk
And what if all you're missing is a fantastic self-catering holiday cottage in which to enjoy this gorgeous grub? You can still get your hands on a Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottage over the Christmas period. Just visit www.breconcottages.com or call 01874 676 446.