Put simply, Northern Ireland is destination delicious. Here, out of a landscape of lush green fields, fresh pure lakes and crystal clean Atlantic and Irish Sea waters, a distinct food culture has developed, with a focus on the very best local ingredients.
Love Dairy, Love NI Meat, Bread & Baking, Brewing & Distilling… these are just some of the fantastic themes you can taste
But how do you celebrate what’s already a mouthwatering occasion? Easy: we have selected 12 of our favourite food and drink themes to celebrate the different delicacies on offer across the whole of Northern Ireland! Take your pick, your tastebuds will thank you for it.
From top left: Established Coffee, Belfast; Bushmills Inn, County Antrim; Balloo House, County Down; Sheelin Brewery, County Fermanagh; Pat O'Doherty, Lough Erne
Local food and drink heroes
Wherever you go in Northern Ireland, you’ll naturally find fabulous food and drink, but you’ll also hear stories of the passionate people who rear, make, cook, distill and serve these feasts to your table.
Take Bernie McClelland, who asked her chef proprietor at Rayanne House to recreate the Titanic’s last meal – after all, they are in the home of the Titanic in Belfast. Or husband and wife team, Fiona and David Boyd-Armstrong, who built their own baby distillery a few years ago and now make their Shortcross Gin using only botanicals grown in their own garden!
And the folks at Ballygally Castle Hotel had so much fun when HBO’s Game of Thrones was filming nearby that they decided to launch their own themed afternoon tea – just taste their Dothraki Trifle with Mini Dragon’s Eggs!
Handled by the experts…
Of course, all that great produce needs to be handled with respect and a legion of excellent chefs, from Noel McMeel at Lough Erne Resort in County Fermanagh to Derek Creagh at Harry’s Shack in Portstewart, County Londonderry, certainly know what they’re doing. It’s what makes travelling here so rewarding – from small village delis to luxury resorts, there’s a real sense of creativity, quality and innovation.
Created by you...
Want to brush up on your own skills, or learn something new? Cookery schools in Northern Ireland will broaden your culinary vision, with panoramic backdrops that really elevate the experience. Just look at the Belle Isle Cookery School on the magnificent Belle Isle Estate in County Fermanagh, or the Mourne Seafood Cookery School, in County Down overlooking pretty Kilkeel Harbour. It’s a great way to create something new.