An early taste of Christmas came to North Wales with a festive market.

Shoppers queued to snap up presents and handmade decorations and enjoy cookery demonstrations at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre’s Christmas Market.

Kicking off the show was Bodnant executive chef, Dai Davies, just back from Las Vegas, where he had been promoting Welsh produce to American chefs and tourist bosses.

The massive marquee in the centre’s courtyard hosts a range of Welsh gifts and foods, and was the brainchild of the centre’s retail manager Rebecca Williams.

“We had people queuing ready to be let in when we opened this morning,” said Rebecca. “Dai Chef was the first food demonstration, showing how to make a tasty Christmas meal with produce from North Wales. We will have other demonstrations by the bakers and butchers from Bodnant, and our dairy manager Aled Rowlands.

“We have concentrated on gifts made here in Wales, some with a Scandinavian or rustic theme. We also have special hampers that are suitable for vegetarians or which are gluten free, plus crockery and other Christmas essentials.

“During the week there’s a taste of Bodnant in offer, while at weekends we will have sample sessions with our different food suppliers.

“Plus in the evenings there’s mulled wine, chestnuts and hot dogs to get everybody in the festive spirit.”

The Christmas market, which runs until November 30, will also see local choirs performing, and Santa arriving on November 29. Youngsters can also join Santa for Sunday brunch in December.

Among those enjoying the cookery demonstrations was Helen Salvin and her friend Susan Philpot, both from Llandudno.

“There were some lovely ideas for Christmas, and I got to taste the sausage meat balls and the cranberry tartlets. Both were very tasty,” said Helen. “There are a lot of ideas for presents as well, and I’ll be taking a few things home with me.”

Mike and Karen McMillan from Penmaenmawr were also enjoying the range of Welsh products on offer.  “We like to give unusual presents and there are some great ideas, such as the cheese making sets, and children’s baking sets. We often come to Bodnant farm shop, and the Christmas market is a lovely way to get in the mood.”

For Mike Davies and his wife Mary from Mold, it was a chance to try out a few Christmas foods that was the temptation. “I really enjoyed the Christmas dishes that Dai was demonstrating. It’s all very inspiring,” he said.

For more information about Bodnant Welsh Food visit