Boyne Valley Flavours A Review of 2019

Published on: 16th December 2019 @ 12:10 PM


As 2019 comes to a close we thought we would take a look back and see what we got up to throughout the year. It was a super year for Boyne Valley Flavours, we were named as one of the World’s Best Food Destinations in National Geographic, we celebrated the 6th year of the Boyne Valley Food Series, we launched our new initiative Place On A Plate and we won Most Innovative Marketing Campaign for a Food/Drink Destination at the Food Trekking Awards to mention just a few highlights!

 

February

The Boyne Valley featured in National Geographic’s World's Best Food Destinations 2019.

IRELAND: BOYNE VALLEY

Less than an hour north of Dublin lies a cluster of castles, cairns, high crosses and 5,000-year-old passage tombs. While its heritage hits are well-known, the Boyne Valley’s sprouting food scene is a more recent development. From craft beer and cider to fresh seafood and unexpected treats such as Irish smoked garlic and blue cheese, there’s a growing sense of place on the plate.

Essential stops: After a bracing walk around Clogherhead, drop into Fishermans Catch, just a stone’s throw from the fishing boats, for a bowl of chowder. A little further south, Eastern Seaboard in Drogheda offers sizzling takes on local produce, or go north for fresh oysters, crab claws and hake with purple heritage potatoes at the Glyde Inn. Inland, swing by Slane Castle for a tour of its whiskey distillery.

Alternative: Dotted around the karst landscape of coastal Burren National Park in County Clare, you’ll find a surprising food scene that spans everything from hand-smoked Atlantic salmon to stoneground chocolate. Pol Ó Conghaile

https://boynevalleyflavours.ie/blog/general-news/the-worlds-best-food-destinations-in-2019/

This month also saw the launch of the inaugural Taste the Island Campaign. A new initiative developed by Fáilte Ireland taking place nationwide from September- October. 

 

March

We launched the Boyne Valley Food Series 2019 and the Place On A Plate initiative in The Conyngham Arms Hotel in Slane. Introducing our brand new illustrated Producers Map and Boyne Valley Food Series brochure 2019. 

 

April

The Boyne Valley Food Series 2019 got underway with a Meet the Producers of the Boyne Valley event in The Whole Hoggs shop in Lobinstown. We also had a beautiful Apple Blossom walk with Dan Kelly Cider at their Boyne Grove Fruit Farm. It was the 6th renewal of this popular event and visitors enjoyed lots of yummy tastings and discovering all about the history and production of cider.

 

May

A busy month in the BV Food Series calendar with 5 events taking place.

We began in The Bective restaurant in Kells for their Seafood Festival, lots of delicious seafood was enjoyed over the 4 days.

Next we headed to Slane for the Conyngham Arms Hotel’s Discover Doorstep Dining event which featured a beautiful menu of locally sourced, seasonal dishes and drinks. 

 

We celebrated the arrival of Spring in Rock Farm Slane with their Bealtaine event, with tours of the farm and gardens, lots of yummy local food and a farmers market it was a fantastic day for all the family. 

May’s events finished on a high with one of the highlights for all lovers of Irish food and drink the Sheridan’s Irish Food Festival which took place at their Meath shop at Virginia Road Station. This year's renewal did not disappoint, with a huge variety of food and drinks producers showcasing their fabulous products. The Boyne Valley Flavours marquee was alive with the many flavours of the Boyne Valley and it was a great opportunity for producers to showcase what they have and interact with customers. 

 

We also enjoyed a Taste the Island workshop this month in the Headfort Arms Hotel. The Boyne Valley workshop welcomed attendees from the region as well as Cavan, Monaghan and Wicklow, and showcased some of the Favours of the Boyne Valley with Maperath’s Mobile Farm, a producers’ showcase and ‘Taste of The Boyne Valley’ lunch, all held in The Headfort Gardens.

 

June

The busiest month in the Boyne Valley Food Series with 8 fabulous events!

We kicked off with the launch of Summer of Seafood in Louth, a summer long initiative to encourage people to try the delicious local seafood on offer in local restaurants. 

A Gourmet Movie Night at The Vanilla Pod saw a sold out crowd descend on the beautiful garden in the Headfort Arms Hotel for an outdoor screening of Grease along with loads of delicious treats from the pop up prosecco bar, fire roasted gourmet pizzas and lots more treats.

Next we headed for Bellurgan Park, Dundalk for the Louth Agricultural Show which had an Artisan Food Tent which was full of local produce.

From Valley to Valley in Tankardstown House was a wonderful evening celebrating produce from the Boyne Valley and wines from some of the finest producing valleys in Europe and beyond.

The Great Boyne Valley Bake Off in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan was next up and saw a fierce competition take place with all 3 winners coming from St. Carolans College, Nobber. 

We celebrated Father’s Day in Teltown House with a Father’s Day BBQ Demo with Chef Tara Walker. A wonderful sunny afternoon was enjoyed by a great crowd who got lots of great BBQ tips from Tara.

We celebrated the Summer Solstice with a spectacular celebration at Boann Distillery’s Summer Solstice Supper. Always one of the highlights of the year for local foodies, the delicious feast was created by Reuven Diaz of Eastern Seaboard Bar and Grill with guest Chef Jess Murphy. A truly fabulous evening was enjoyed by all full of yummy food and delicious drinks from Boann Distillery.

The Meath Food Safari always a popular event in the Food Series saw visits to Boyne Valley Farmhouse Cheese, Slane Cider Mill, Rock Farm Slane, Newgrange Gold and Boyles Pub. Lots of delicious local produce and great fun was enjoyed by all.

 

July

Another busy month of events in the Boyne Valley which began with the first Killua Castle Country Fair, a beautiful day saw a massive crows flock to the scenic venue on the outskirts of Kells to enjoy a day full of local produce, farm tours and lots of activities.

 

Taste of a Farmer’s Market in Scholars Townhouse Hotel saw a menu featuring  dishes brimming with Boyne Valley produce paired with award winning wines and a Q&A session with local producers.

Farmfest at Finnegan’s Farm was another great success with a huge crowd descending onto the family farm in Balrath Co. Meath to learn all about potatoes! Visitors enjoyed a huge array of fun activities from tractor rides, dig your dinner and a farmer’s market full of local produce.

The final event of July 2019 was The Story of Honey in Bee Wise Gardens, Kilmessan Co. Meath. Paddy and his family welcomed a sold out crowd to their gorgeous 5 acre bee friendly garden. Visitors got a guided tour of the gardens and learned all about bees and honey.

 

August

We started off August in the scenic Carlingford with the Carlingford Oyster Festival a 4 day celebration full of food and music. This year was the 40th anniversary of the famous festival and as well as celebrating the oysters is also incorporated a Music Extravaganza. 

We got glammed up for the Great Gatsby Summer Soirée in The Vanilla Pod which welcomed a sold out crowd to enjoy fabulous cocktails and a delicious feast. 

The historic Martry Mill was the venue for the next Food Series event with Working Water Mills- The Miller’s Story. James the owner of the mill and his family welcomed visitors to his mill and gave them guided tours of the mill. Local Chef Gerry Meade was also on hand for a brown bread masterclass featuring flour from the mill.

 

September

We were back in Sheridan’s Shop for their Harvest Day Market, a celebration of the annual harvest where local producers were invited to bring the fruits of their labour. With lots of local produce on offer as well as plenty of delicious cheese it was a super day.

BRÚ Brewery in Trim hosted their annual Open Night, a great opportunity to see inside the award winning brewery and to enjoy some of the brews. A night full of good food and drink with plenty of fun was enjoyed by all.

The annual Taste of Togher Festival was another great success this year. This year it was extended to a 2 day celebration with a Annagassan Razor Clam experience on Day 1 and the Taste of Togher showcase on day 2. All taking place in the award winning The Glyde Inn, it was a fabulous weekend.

Rock Farm Slane opened its doors again to celebrate Strawfest- a celebration of the end of the harvest with farm walks, a farmer’s market, music, cookery demos and loads of yummy food.

Bermingham’s Bar in Navan held their first Food Series event with A Celebration of Oysters and Stout featuring local oysters from Carlingford and stout from BRÚ Brewery among others. 

Meade Potato Company hosted a celebration of National Potato Day with a 5k race followed by a great host of activities with a showcase of local producers, a cinema, go kart races, bouncing castles, pony rides, music and lots more fun. All proceeds from the day went to local charities.

 

This month we also announced our new Brand Ambassadors- the Gastro Gays. Russell and Patrick are based in the Boyne Valley and are passionate about supporting local producers. Since they have come on board they have been working with us on our Place On A Plate initiative. 

 

October

October began with Oktoberfest at The Central, Navan. A 2 day celebration of Oktoberfest featuring local brews from Boyne Brewhouse along with fancy dress competition.

Finnegan’s Farms celebrated National Potato Day with a schools visit to their farm allowing children the chance to dig for their dinner and learn all about the humble spud.

We enjoyed a lovely day at Cooney’s Family Orchard for their annual Apple Harvest Walk. The Cooney family welcomed visitors with delicious homemade mulled Cooney’s Cider before a guided tour of the extensive orchards and beehives. All proceeds from this event went to Breast Cancer Charities. 

The final event of Autumn 2019 was the Dowth Point to Point and Country Fair. A colossal crowd descended on the beautiful grounds of Dowth Hall to enjoy a great days racing and lots more. The Boyne Valley Gourmet Tent saw a constant stream of visitors who got to sample and purchase lots of yummy local produce. 

 

This month many Boyne Valley producers headed for Dingle and the Blas na hÉireann awards and achieved phenomenal success with 20 awards being brought home! 

 

November

This November was a groundbreaking one for Boyne Valley Flavours as we launched our new festival in conjunction with Hinterland Festival Kells- Samhain Festival A Celebration of 5,000 years of Irish Food. Taking place in Kells 1-3 November as part of the Taste the Island celebrations, we had a fabulous weekend with over 30 events and lots of amazing culinary artists joining us. 

Feast of the Spirits took place in Slane Castle and it was a great night with a delicious menu and Slane Whiskey cocktails. 

The Captain’s Banquet took place in newly opened The Smugglers Rest in Clogherhead and the event had lots of delicious local food, music and live performances.

The Púca Festival was another new festival taking place in the region this month between the towns of Drogheda, Trim and Athboy. 

 

To put the icing on the cake for a brilliant November we also scooped an award at the World Food Travel Association’s Food Trekking Awards in London for Most Innovative Food or Beverage Marketing Campaign for a Destination beating stiff competition from the likes of Discover San Sebastian (Spain), Esperienza (Italy), Bike Food Stories (Italy), Miami Seafood Restaurant (Greece) and many more destinations. 

 

December

This month we still have Boyne Valley Food Series events for you! With The Cattleboat Christmas Market taking place in The Spirit Store, Dundalk on 14th December and Sheridan’s Christmas Markets taking place on the weekends 14/15th and 21st/22nd December in their Meath base.

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