TV presenter and journalist Tom Doorley visited Killaloe / Ballina this week to officially launch A Taste of Lough Derg.
The popular food series will kick off on 31st August and continues through the month of September in towns and villages around Lough Derg.
Now in its sixth year, A Taste of Lough Derg will be rolled out by businesses and attractions and will be supported by The Lough Derg Marketing Group, which aims to share excellent local produce, hospitality and knowledge with visitors from near and far.
Food producers, restaurateurs and managers of attractions from Clare, Galway and Tipperary came to The Lakeside Hotel launch to hear Tom Doorley provide advice from his experience as a food and wine critic.
Tom detailed some opportunities for rural food establishments and recommended the continued symbiosis between local food producers and restaurants to clearly demonstrate “a taste of place”. “A Taste of Lough Derg provides a great platform for local businesses and clearly demonstrates the willingness and creativity of providers. This programme of compelling and unique events offers locals and visitors alike the chance to experience their venues in a novel way,” he said.
There will be many different ways to experience food at Lough Derg. The team at Portumna Castle has planned a multi sensory event that includes a talk and a walk through the walled garden, there will be a day of historic talks organised by The Workhouse, Portumna the following week. Lough Derg’s gastro pubs are really getting into the spirit of occasion with Nuala’s in Tuamgraney offering a tour through the village, followed by a special set menu; Larkin’s of Garrykennedy will hold an evening of local food and music and there will be grand medieval banquet at The Derg Inn, Terryglass. Cheese and drink pairing will be the theme at both The Wine Buff and Una Powell’s in Nenagh, with a focus on small family produced vineyards at the Wine Buff and the addition of a history of brewing being presented by archaeologist Caimin O’Brien at Powell’s; there will be the opportunity to taste fine beverages and cheeses at both events.
Lough Derg is famous for its beautiful scenery and its crisp air; there will be a number of outdoorsy events so that visitors can enjoy the best of what the lake has to offer. The Ring of Lough Derg BBQ competition at Flanagan’s, Ballina will take place this weekend, then there will also be the collaboration of Killaloe River Cruises with Tuscany canapés and ‘Sling Shot’ gin on Lough Derg, and in another relaxing event, you can take in the views from Brookfield farm as you enjoy your yoga practice in the open air! Visitors can experience dining with a difference at The Peppermill restaurant, Nenagh, with locally sourced small plates to celebrate the event and there will be a chance to enjoy a long table dinner overlooking Lough Derg at the Old Barracks ‘Quest Recovery Lunch’ in Birdhill. There’s a wonderful opportunity to get to the source of the food in two locations in Co. Clare with Irish Seedsavers holding a harvest festival for all the family in Scariff and a chance to have a delicious insight into the work at a real working chocolate factory at Wilde’s Irish Chocolates, Tuamgraney.
A Taste of Lough Derg is running in conjunction with the all island ‘Taste the Island’ initiative and will be highlighted as part of a busy promotional campaign this week, with advertisements on radio, in national press, as well as an engaging social media campaign. Keep an eye out for the dynamic ‘Taste the Island’ television ad which will be aired over the next few weeks.
Sinead Hennessy, Food Tourism Officer at Fáilte Ireland said: “We are delighted to support A Taste of Lough Derg as part of Fáilte Ireland’s new ‘Taste the Island’ initiative, a 12 week celebration of Ireland’s food and drink taking place this September, October and November, in conjunction with Tourism Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland. Our research tells us that tourists are not always aware of our high-quality produce and the sustainability credentials around our food and drink before visiting. We are aiming to address this lack of awareness and highlight Ireland’s seasonal ingredients, adventurous tastes and bold experiences through ‘Taste the Island’ and A Taste of Lough Derg brilliantly showcases Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and Ireland as an innovative food destination.”
Full Details can be located on social media and on www.atasteofloughderg.ie.