2016 – Year of Food and Drink in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has some of the best regional food choices in the world. Culinary finds abound in the country, and during 2016 some of the best will be celebrated at food and drink festivals. Some are annual events, and some are new ones that you’ll want to make sure you put on your calendar! If you want to sample and feast on some of the best cheeses, wines, brews, oils, spices, meats, and more, here are some great events to fill your diary with…

First up on the list – if you’re quick – is the Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival which will take place on June 18th and June 19th. The weekend is packed full of cooking demonstrations to teach skills and recipes to visitors. Of course, there will also be some cocktail demonstrations, and even some that are tailored for children along with suitable kid’s activities. Additionally, the Bushmill’s Distillery will have a free whiskey tasting over the weekend, and while walking the streets of Bushmills you can also enjoy the Naturally North Coast and Glens Market.

Arrive Hungry!

The following weekend, make sure to pop in at the Irish Game Fair and Fine Food Festival, which is in its 28th year and features polished entertainment, superb fine dining, and some of the best country shows and country sport demonstrations. The event will take place at Shane’s Castle in Antrim, and this year as part of the NI Year of Food and Drink 2016, there will be a Fine Food Festival pavilion where some of the best artisan food and drink producers offer some of their best creations from oils to cheeses, breads to chutneys, and more. There are also some carefully crafted beers and ciders that you have to taste to believe.

Next up on the NI Year of Food and Drink programme is the Comber Earlies Food Festival which will take place within Comber town centre. Not only can you sample some great dishes created by fantastic chefs, but you can also try out some of the amazing locally produced food throughout the Food Fair. Live cooks will be offering demonstrations throughout the day and the programme is filled with activities from Highland Games, to live music, to a hay bale picnic, to crafts for kids at the Craft Big Top.

You can also check out some great local cookery demonstrations and much more at the Heart of the Glens Festival, which will be taking place from August 6th to August 14th. Now in its 26th year, the festival is one of the most well-known in Northern Ireland, and is varied every day to include something for everyone from the Lurig Run to Dance Workshops, cookery demonstrations and Vintage Family Fun Day. Additionally, the food village will manage to delight all of your senses!

Visit the NI Tourism website to find out more