There's a very festive feel here this week as the National Eisteddfod, an annual cultural celebration of poetry, music and literature, is being held just down the road from my house. The whole area seems to be participating, with bunting and flags flying from almost every building.
This company was established by Margaret Carter in 1982 when she began selling her homemade pâté to pubs near her home. After five years, the number of customers had grown considerably and the business moved to a purpose-equipped factory in Ruthin. Despite the commercial scale today, everything is still hand-made in small batches, without artificial colouring, additives or preservatives, to Margaret’s original recipes.
The product is quite unlike any other commercially-produced pâté. The first difference is in the texture; Patchwork is soft and smooth, with no hint of the rubberiness that sometimes characterises other pâtés. The second difference can be seen in the variety and combination of flavours available. Purely personally, I like my pâté to have some alcohol in it, to contrast with the rich, meaty taste and Patchwork obligingly produces a vast range to choose from. My absolute favourite is the one seen in the photo above: Cointreau and Orange Chicken Liver Pâté. Beautifully balanced, the zesty orange tastes fresh and subtle against the savoury chicken livers. Other delicious flavours include Chicken Liver, Marmalade and Whisky; Welsh Dragon's Pâté (Venison Liver with Chilli); vegetarian Sun Dried Tomato Pâté with Welsh Mead and new this year, a pâté using local cider and apples, Paté Iau Cyw Iar Afalau a Seidr Cymraeg - Chicken Liver Paté with Apple and Welsh Cider.
Llaeth y Llan - Village Dairy
This family-run business has been producing probiotic yoghurt using local Welsh milk since the 1980s, from a farm nestling in the beautiful hills not far from Denbigh. The recipe has been perfected over the years and the beautifully thick and creamy yoghurt has won various awards including Gold Winner at the True Taste of Wales awards and a gold again at the 2013 Royal Welsh Show last month. There are thirteen flavours to choose from; Rhubarb, Gooseberry and Mandarin are personal favourites while their natural yoghurt is perfect for using in cooking.
These beautiful, coloured, free range eggs have a deep orange yolk that I haven't found anywhere else. The farm, situated in the Vale of Clwyd, has been in the family since 1739 and all their eggs come from a variety of traditional breed hens who happily roam around the fields, truly free-range. Visitors are always welcome on the farm, to see first-hand how the hens are looked after. As you can see from the photos, you get seven, multi-hued eggs in every gorgeous box.
Disclaimer: I was not sent any of these products, I have not been contacted by any of these companies and I have not been asked to write a review. I buy these things regularly and I simply chose to share my views and opinions here as I think that their products are excellent and I like the service standards and ethos of the companies.