Food Travel on The Hard Shoulder with Taste the Island

Newstalk The Hard Shoulder on 28th August 2019

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This autumn is set to be a wonderful time for food lovers all over the Island of Ireland as a host of festivals will unfold. To find out what is happening and where to go, the Discover Ireland website has plenty of exciting ideas and inspiring events so it is worth taking some time out to explore somewhere new close to home.

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A Taste of the North

The year of food and drink, hosted by tourism Northern Ireland a couple of years ago, started a campaign celebrating Irish Food that is now being continued all over the island of Ireland.

Armagh Food and Cider Festival

Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd September

Festival visitors to the iconic city of Armagh and its surrounding fruit-laden orchards can expect to raise more than a glass to an incredible spread of mouth-watering events. An international extravaganza featuring multiple can’t-miss events in venues right across Ireland’s Orchard County, the Armagh Food & Cider Festival is this autumn’s hottest ticket.

Sample the events here there are plenty to choose from:

Armagh Heritage and Food Walking Tour September 21st 2.00pm – 5.00pm | £30.00 | Departs: Shambles Yard, Armagh

The best way to discover The Food Heartland of Armagh City (featured in the top 5 Foodie Destinations of Ireland) and all its many culinary wonders is by joining this Festival Heritage & Food Walking Tour. During the course of this informative historical tour, you will visit restaurants to sample our very best local food and drink and will hear the stories of our passionate producers.


An open air market will operate all day on the 21st September

On Saturday 20th another open air market at sundown operates at Banbridge

Opening Hours: 16.00 – 21:00

Solitude Park will be buzzing with this special market specialising in great local produce. An assortment of delicious street foods will be available set against a backdrop of talented musicians to help set the relaxed scene. Join in with family and friends and celebrate the start of the Food and Cider Festival weekend!

Stay over?


Indulge yourself in a “foodie” stay during Armagh’s Food & Cider Festival and enjoy food prepared by our Award Winning Chef. This appetising Break includes: “Apple Inspired” 4 Course Dinner in the Friary Restaurant Overnight accommodation  Full Irish Breakfast Use of the Health & Fitness Club Free Wifi Complimentary Car Parking Live Music in the Callan Lounge

£68.50 per person


Art in the Orchard with Deborah Malcomson

21 September 2019


Long Meadow Cider

10.00am – 4.00pm | £45.00 | Long Meadow Cider Company, Portadown

Art in the Orchard offers a day of creativity combined with good food right in the heart of this working family apple orchard. The workshop, suitable for the complete beginner, budding or seasoned artist, will provide the opportunity for participants to apply their creative response to the surroundings – trees, apples and landscape. Deborah Malcomson, professional visual artist will guide and support each artist through the process of exploring line, colour and form through a range of media. Event includes morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and all materials and equipment.


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A Taste of the East

Artisan & Street Food Village, Craft Beers, Botanical Spirits, Backwood Cooking & Bushcraft, Kitchen Demos, Live Music & Workshops, Garden & Biodiversity Walks, Sustainable Living, Mindfulness & Much, Much, More!
No tickets, no food tokens, 100% Free Entry all Weekend, 9.30am – 5pm


Airfield Festival of Food & Zero Waste 2019

Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th September

Airfield Estate, Dundrum, Dublin 14


*Car Parking available on-site €5 or better still, ditch the car and take the Green Line Luas to Balally!


Airfield Estate is delighted to host its 4th consecutive, Festival of Food & Zero Waste this September.

This family focused weekend will take place at Airfield’s award-winning Dundrum food and farm destination on Saturday September 7th and Sunday September 8th 2019 and is designed with sustainability in-mind encouraging patrons to use public transport and reduce plastic consumption.

All food vendors will use only compostable or recyclable food containers and festival goers are encouraged to bring their own lunch boxes & keep me cups to help reduce the amount of waste generated from the festival!

100% free entry for the entire weekend ensures fans of local, seasonal and sustainable food can choose from the delicious offerings from over 50 producers, showcasing the very best of artisan and locally produced goods.

Firm favourites returning in 2019 are the award winning Green Earth Organics delivering fresh fruit & veg boxes to homes in every county across Ireland and Bare Necessities who offer a range of zero packaging food & natural beauty products.

Multi-award winner and local food hero Wild About will be in attendance as will artisan Irish products from Organic Permaculture Farm in Co. Wexford, Om Nibbles and Eco products ‘Made for You & the Planet too’ packaged in earth friendly home compostable packaging.

There’ll be delicious plant based meals from Fiid or why not enjoy delicious, food harvested from Airfields farm and garden from Ernesto – the Airfield smoking BBQ – as carbon neutral as you can get!

There’ll be something to satisfy all tastes with La Tia Juana’s authentic Latin American Arepas, the ultimate pit-masters, Coolagh Smokin Soul, Narra Thai, Feasty Vegan Kebabs, Our Table and family run Dutchess Foods making Poffertjes (Mini Dutch Pancakes).

Liquor lovers can sip their way through the Botanicals and Brews area, with craft beauties from the master brewers at The Porterhouse.

Enjoy a top tipple with the delicious Glendalough Distillery, or join their master forager Geraldine Kavanagh for a walk and masterclass and learn how fresh & wild foraged ingredients are distilled within the day creating a unique blend of flavours.

For those who love to bake, bottle and grow, Airfield invites entries each day for the Best in Show Competitions – Home-baked Brown Bread, Seasonal Preserves, Most Original Fairy Bun (under 12yrs) & Most Nutritious Home-grown vegetable.

Entries should be delivered to the ‘Ask About Airfield’ Stand before 11am each day, entries will be judged by Airfield Master Baker, Shane Smith and Head Gardener Colm O’Driscoll.

Cooking Demos at the fire pit include Expedition Chef, Kieran Creevy cooking sustainable fish, Phoenix Forest School’s Lucy O’Haganshowcasing fire lighting techniques, fish skin tanning and wild game preparation and Smokin Soul slow cooking a goat on their homemade Asado grill. Other demos include heritage crafts such as willow weaving, green wood turning, whittling & The Museum of Country Life and Harvest Knot making

A series of talks, workshops and cookery demos on sustainable living and reducing food waste will also take place over the weekend.

Relax and be entertained with live MusicMusic Workshops, DJ sets, Soap Box talks, Pound Fitness, Yoga & Mindfulness. Enjoy the natural beauty and peaceful surrounding of Airfield Estate.

Airfield Festival of Food will be a laid-back weekend spread across 38 acres of farm and meadow, a countryside haven smack bang in the middle of the urban sprawl. Unmissable. No tickets, no food tokens, 100% free.


For the full programme of events, visit




As part of the Taste the Island initiative, Pearse Lyons Distillery is delighted to host “Meet the Distiller” tours every Thursday from 5 September to 7 November. Guests upon this tour will have the opportunity to see first hand how a boutique distillery operates, while smelling, touching and tasting every step of the distilling process. This one hour and 30 minutes tour finishes with a tasting of their award winning Pearse Irish Whiskey range. Upon this tour guests will discover over 800 years of history and awaken their senses with whiskey tours and tastings at Dublin’s only boutique distillery. Winner of the Irish Tourism Industry Award for Dublin’s Best Visitor Experience 2019, Pearse Lyons Distillery, offers visitors a unique blend of Irish history, culture and whiskey in a working distillery. More about Pearse Lyons Distillery: Located in Dublin’s historic Liberties, Pearse Lyons Distillery, is a five-minute walk from The Guinness Storehouse. Nestled in the former Church of St. James, this distillery has a colourful history dating back to the 12 Century. On tour of the distillery and surrounding graveyard, guests are introduced to the compelling characters from Dublin’s famous distilling and brewing district. This district, rich in history, culture and tradition, was once a place of booming industry known as The Golden Triangle. Once guests step inside the 18 Century church, they are greeted with the smell of fresh brews from our distilling process. Here guests can smell, touch and taste every step of the distilling process. With open fermentation vessels, guests can taste the sugary worth before it runs through our two famous pot stills, Might Molly and Little Lizzy. To finish the guided tour, guests are introduced to the Pearse Irish Whiskey range at the tasting bar. Here guests can choose from a range of tasting from the award winning whiskey; Pearse Original, Distiller’s Choice, Founder’s Choice, a 12 year-old single malt, the limited edition sherry-cask Cooper’s Select and a special tastings of the limited edition Pearse Five-Year-Old Single Malt. For more information, check out website. This event is part of Taste the Island


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A Taste of Ireland at InterContinental Dublin

Taste the Island at the five-star InterContinental Dublin with a gourmet dining experience featuring a special three-course menu, carefully curated by Executive Chef Alberto Rossi and his team, in collaboration with Fáilte Ireland.

Specially prepared using fresh, local Irish ingredients, this menu is served in the stylish surroundings of Seasons Restaurant, which was recently awarded two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence 2018.

Guests can begin with tangy Salted BeetrootSmoked Duck BreastSoy Glazed Confit Pork Belly, or fresh Smoked Salmon, before moving onto mains of juicy Aged Beef Fillet served with Ossobucco Croquette, Parsnip and Horseradish, Vegetable Parcel and Blueberry JusSeared Fillet of Halibut with Broccoli & Sweet Basil, Butter Poached Queens, Sherry Pickled Shallots and Almonds; succulent Corn Fed Chicken served with Torched Corn, Garden Peas, Confit Wing, Rooster Potatoes and Chicken Jus, or Aubergine and Courgette with Ratatouille, Tahini Yogurt & Coriander, Dried Tomatoes and Micro Cress.

To finish, indulge in a Rich Chocolate TartOrange Drizzle SpongePistachio and Raspberry Gateaux with Pistachio Sable, Financier and Raspberry PannacottaBlackcurrant, Sheep’s Milk and Caramel served with Brown Sugar Genoise and Caramel Crisp, or a selection of delicious cheeses.

Then, sink into luxury with an overnight stay in a refurbished guestroom with a Full Irish Breakfast in Seasons the following morning.

Guests can also enjoy access to the 14m heated indoor pool, Thermal Suite with jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, Health Club plus a 10% discount on treatments in the Spa. The package also includes complimentary WiFi and complimentary parking for one car.

Running from this September, Fáilte Ireland’s Taste the Island initiative will promote the island of Ireland’s extensive catalogue of food and drink experiences to domestic and international visitors, creating opportunities for Irish businesses to attract higher numbers of visitors outside of the already busy summer months.

This Taste the Island package is available from €137.50pps per night, until 30th November 2019. To book, call 01-6654000 or see

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Autumn Game Sunday Lunch at Marlfield House

At the wild game season draws to a close, Marlfield House will host a wonderful Autumn Game Sunday Lunch on Sunday, the 24th of November, as part of Taste the Island.

The menu on the day will be entirely dedicated to wild Irish game from the area, showcasing the finest local and seasonal ingredients. An esteemed speaker will lead a discussion on Irish game, how best to cook it and which wines best accompany it.

When: Sunday 24th of November at 12:30pm

Price:    €85 per person including pre lunch reception, the lunch and wine pairings

Overnight packages are available

For more information, please see or contact Marlfield House directly on 053 942 1124

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A Taste of the South



20-22 SEPTEMBER 2019

In association with Fáilte Ireland and Taste The Island

The Cork Oyster & Seafood Festival 2019 will take place in The Metropole Hotel from 20th – 22nd September.

This year, they are working with title sponsor Murphy’s Irish Stout to provide a weekend festival of celebration of seafood, culture and music. The wonderful team from Harty’s Oysters in Waterford are also on board this year. This year, they are delighted to be supported by Taste the Ireland an initiative of Fáilte Ireland.

Events include The infamous Cork Gourmet Trail, featuring some of Cork’s best restaurants. The second annual Cork Oyster & Seafood Festival All Ireland Oyster Shucking Competition will also take place. There are two gigs scheduled as part of the 2019 festival. On the Friday night, the 20th of September 2019, enjoy Paddy Casey (tickets €15pp) while you can dance the night away to The Frank & Walters on Saturday, the 21st of September 2019. Throughout the weekend, the Guinness Book of Records fastest Oyster shucker, Paddy the Shucker and The Lazy Chef, Simon Lamont will be on hand.

Where to stay?

The hotel Metropole has a two night stay for €147 that includes dinner and tickets to all of the events and of course murphys and oysters!

Staying in Cork these two popular properties from Ireland’s Blue Book are hosting events

A Taste of Ballymaloe – Garden to Table Experience
As part of Taste the Island and the East Cork Food and Drink Festival, Ballymaloe House invite guests to join them for a Taste of Ballymaloe – Garden to Table Experience
Arrive into the drawing room at Ballymaloe for a welcoming garden-inspired cocktail. From here guests will be escorted to the walled gardens where Ballymaloe’s gardener will explain how the produce is grown and how it influences the menus and dishes served at Ballymaloe House. Back at the house guests will dine on a special menu prepared using the produce growing in these very gardens.

When: Saturday, 7th of September at 11am

Price:    €55 per person including welcome cocktail, garden tour and 3 course lunch

For more information, please see or contact Ballymaloe House directly on 021 465 2531

Staying in Cork

Harvest Lunch and Walled Garden Tour at Longueville House
To coincide with the annual harvest of their walled garden. Longueville House is hosting a special Harvest Lunch and Walled Garden walk, talk and tasting tour.
Owner William O’Callaghan, and Head Gardener Anthony Hartnett, will take guests on a tour through the orchards, the cider house and the distillery where guests have the chance to learn, from the experts, about growing and harvesting seasonal fruits and vegetables.
After the tour, guests can enjoy a pick-me-up cider cocktail before a luxurious luncheon, including starter, dessert and cheese buffet and the main event, a sumptuous roast, cooked slowly on an open fire throughout the morning. Fish and vegetarian options will also be available.

When: Monday, 2nd of September at 11:30am

Price:    €85 including walled garden walk, talk tour, tastings and luncheon with cocktail, ciders and apple brandy.

For more information, please see or contact Longueville House directly on 022 47156


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A Taste of The West



Westport House

August 2019: On Friday, October 4th, historical Westport House will open its doors to host a Special Taste the Island Harvest Banquet with pre-dinner drinks from 7pm followed by a banquet with wine pairings at 8pm. The Harvest Banquet is set to be a superb evening with a truly outstanding menu celebrating all that’s great and good in local and seasonal food & drink. The only one of its kind along the Wild Atlantic Way, it incorporates a venue steeped in history and new innovative products from local suppliers.

A team of Chefs form Hotel Westport will partner with local artisan producers to prepare the very best ingredients and local produce featuring: Starters including Goats Cheese, Beetroot, Clew bay shrimp or Achill Island Smoked Salmon and Smoked Haddock.  Following the delicious starters guests will cleanse their palates with a Blackcurrant Sorbet. Main course options will feature Killala Bay Monkfish, Black Faced lamb, Newport Black Pudding and local seasonally Vegetable and potatoes followed by a Harvest Fruits Pavlova and closing with Dozio’s of Mayo farm Cheese.


Tickets are now on sale at €100 per plate or why not stay over in four star Hotel Westport (set right on the estate itself) from €189 per person sharing to include the Banquet ticket.  For more information, tickets to the Harvest Banquet or to book your overnight stay in Hotel Westport, please visit

Set on a 400-acre estate in the heart of the heritage town of Westport, built it in 1730. Unlike many modernised historic homes, it still retains all the original character as well as its original contents, allowing you to go back in time to the 18th Century. You will dine in the original Drawing Room with its original parquet flooring – considered to be the finest in Ireland – and be treated like a real Lord or Lady.  Nothing is too much trouble.The expert on-site coordinators will be at hand to guide you through the Westport House experience and to answer all culinary questions.

With many years of experience in helping couples and corporates realise their perfect celebration, and providing unrivalled level of expertise and attention to detail to all clients, Westport House is a smart choice for discerning customers.

Consider Westport House for another special occasion, there are a variety of great rooms in which you can host your exclusive event. Whether it’s an intimate dinner for 10 people or a larger celebration for 120 people. Choose a private dining room such as the Drawing Room overlooking the front lawn, the impressive Long Gallery where you’ll be surrounded by portraits of the Browne family or enjoy the Wyatt-designed and most formal room in the house, the Large Dining Room. If you’re looking for something more informal – consider the lovingly restored Old Kitchens.

Dazzling entertainment can be also organised – choose from an array of live music acts, Irish dancing displays, sheep herding trials, interactive receptions with local food producers, Murder Mystery Night, Mentalist or Magic Shows (prices available on demand).  Birds of Prey Shows or a spectacular Horse & Hound welcome also available.

Overnight accommodation can be facilitated at our sister property 4* Hotel Westport.    With 129 bedrooms ranging from standard, premium, balcony as well as suites, all guests have complimentary use of Leisure Centre with 20m pool, Senses Spa to relax and unwind, crazy golf, table tennis, and 400 acres of Estate to roam plus corporate and group rates on available on request.

For enquires about Westport House for your special occasion, and activities and special offers, or telephone 098 27766 or simply email with your question

Oktoberfest on 5th October in  WESTPORT, MAYO

Beer, Bratwurst and Bavariana in the grounds of Westport House with live bands & the best European Oktoberfest DJs Mescan Brewery will be building on the success of it’s previous Oktoberfests with a new offering this year that promises to be bigger and better. They will be teaming up with local chefs to bring you the best bratwurst outside of Germany to complement their specially brewed Oktoberfest beer. The party kicks off at 13:00 and they plan to keep you dancing (on the tables is optional!) all day with their great mix of live bands and party music curated by the European DJs that are flying in for the event. No need to go to Munich this year to experience the fun of Oktoberfest! This event is part of Taste the Island

Also in the West the lovely Coopershill Farm in Sligo are part of Ireland’s Blue Book

Taste of Coopershill Farm and Gardens
A celebration of the fantastic produce from Coopershill. Coopershill actually rear their own venison on the estate. Their organic kitchen garden also produces a wealth of wonderful, colourful vegetables which are much more than just an accompaniment to the meat, but truly earn their place on the plate. Fish caught just off the coast of Sligo will also be served on the evening.
When: Wednesday 4th of September and Thursday, 10th of October
Price:    €364 including Taste of Coopershill Farm and Gardens Dinner, Bed and Breakfast for two sharing
For more information, please see or contact Coopershill House directly on 071 916 5108


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