By Rachel Nurse
Disappointingly, the House of Caws cheese festival wasn’t what I expected. I don’t know what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t that the food would be sold out early in the night and fort options to be limited. Unit Nineteen itself was a cool location. One you’d go to get celebratory cocktails with your closest friends with at noon after an exam or somewhere to go to so you can revise and take edgy Snapchats and Instagram stories for all your friends to see that you’ve been ‘revising’. The Unit Nineteen staff on the door were friendly and told us to look forward to the event.
The actual cheese festival itself wasn’t as big as I predicted. There were five stalls and a bar. However, I went in with an open mind and thought I’d try everything from each store (if possible). Ironically, the most lactose intolerant person I know who’s also a vegan (me, myself and I) was thrilled of the thought of going to a cheese festival, as there would be vegan options able. My best friend who came with me adores dairy cheese and expected a great outcome from the event too. We’d spent the day sending cheese GIFs to each other in anticipation. We assumed there would be talks on, free samples and various different stalls to choose from alongside interactive elements for everyone to get involved with, rather than solely eating cheese products.
We arrived at the venue at 6:30pm at which I had a pint of cider to make up for the notorious rush hour traffic between Cardiff and Swansea.We started to wait in a queue for the busiest food stall and by 6:50pm, we’d been informed that their food had sold out, despite the event starting at 5:00pm. The staff said that they didn’t expect the event to be so busy and had been run completely dry. To my disapproval, that was the only vegan stall also the only store with gluten-free options available even though it was advertised that there would be plenty available. The other stalls were pizza, meat, toasties and cheesecake, so I couldn’t really eat any of the products. Still, my friend who was hoping to try every product going wasn’t jumping for joy with the selections on offer as they too were mostly sold out. The limitation of the food selection made us feel we couldn’t judge the event to its fullest. We were looking forward to trying unusual food products that we can’t try anywhere else rather than the typical pizza or a toastie option.
Unit Nineteen itself was a great place and I would recommended to go to if you’re in the Swansea area. They do various events throughout the year and is definitely somewhere to check out. The House of Caws Cheese festival on the other hand was a miss, unless you were there as soon as the doors open to make sure you ate exactly what you’re hoping for. With any luck, any future events will be better stocked to avoid dissatisfaction for anyone who doesn’t arrive right as the doors open.