Taste the Island this Autumn in the Boyne Valley

Published on: 30th August 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Taste the Island is a new initiative from Failte Ireland that will showcase the very best of Ireland’s food and drink culture. That means everything from restaurants and local craft food and drink producers to festivals and food trails and everything in between! It is a wonderful opportunity to get out and see all the amazing producers and venues across the country and experience for yourself all the amazing tastes Ireland has to offer.

We have loads of amazing events happening throughout the Boyne Valley as part of Taste the Island.



November 2nd and 3rd - Kells, Co.Meath

SAMHAIN- a weekend celebration of Food & Culture, past, present and future, with a wonderful array of culinary contributors, taking place this November in Kells, Co. Meath. This event is taking place in conjunction with Hinterland Festival Kells and it will be a two-day festival which will take place on the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of November 2019. Michelin Chefs, Food Writers, international visitors and much loved personalities of Irish food will come to Kells to present, celebrate, and debate our relationship with food down through the ages and into the future. The newly opened Kells Courthouse will provide an arena for debate and discussion with some really exciting panelists and presenters on subjects such as ‘Ireland the Island Nation – our relationship with the sea’, ‘The impact of key figures on Irish food and a look at ‘What are we eating now’? Headfort Arms will host a demo stage bringing forgotten skills to life, shining the light on food trends and providing the backdrop for Intercultural Food celebrations. Authentic outposts will also form part of the weekend such as bread sessions at Martry Mill and foraging on Girley Bog to name a few.

This is a truly unique event with the chance for those with an interest in food, farming, forgotten skills or just good taste to enjoy interviews, discussions and talks and demonstrations on Food & Culture. This event is supported by Fáilte Ireland.



Contact The Cider Mill for tour dates and time

An up close and personal visit to The Cider Mill & Museum offers a unique backstage pass into the world of traditional farmhouse cider making and home of the multi award winning Cockagee Irish Keeved Cider. Situated on an old Georgian farmhouse and orchards in Stackallan, Slane, right in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East, with magnificent vistas of the Rathkenny hills and glens as backdrop. Learn about the rich history and heritage of our native apples and cider making in Ireland together with the fascinating story of the famous Irish Cockagee apple tree. First mentioned in written records in 1664 and celebrated in poems, novels and plays of the 18th and 19th centuries, this is the untold story of a forgotten part of Irish food and farming culture. Visit the cider barn and see first hand the apple washing, milling, pressing and fermenting process and how it has been done for centuries on a traditional Rack & Cloth Press and delve into the mysterious art of Keeved Cider, an ancient Irish fermentation method long abandoned but revived once again at The Cider Mill with Ireland's only Traditional Keeved Cider. This is followed by a visit to the tasting room and museum display where you can see and learn about the traditional food culture of rural Ireland with the unique collection of Irish vernacular furniture, food and drink related artefacts. Then enjoy a tutored tasting of four different cider styles, apple juice and local cheese pairing which will open your eyes and taste buds to a world of unique and elegant ciders that will excite, surprise and transcend your understanding of what real cider truly is. With the ultimate goal of returning cider to its rightful position as Ireland's national beverage and original wine of the land, as it once was for over a thousand years of Irish history.



September 7th - Dundalk, Co.Louth

Set in the intimate surroundings of the famous Spirit Store bar and venue in Dundalk Harbour, the Cattleboat is back for its second outing. This year the format is very different with the emphasis on connecting producers and consumers in an atmosphere of tasting, learning, and talking. The festival will feature producers from The Boyne Valley area and the Cooley and Mourne mountain regions. Entry is free and kids are welcome.September 7th - Dundalk, Co. Louth



September 21st - Annagassan, Co.Louth

The seventh annual Taste of Togher Festival will take place in The Glyde Inn, Annagassan, County Louth on Saturday 21st September 2019 from 12:00-17:00. Admission is free. The Crafty Rock will be showcasing a wide rage of local crafts, a food village and a cookery demonstration from Tara Walker from East Coast Cookery School and The Vikings are back and this year they will have the actual Viking Ship from The TV Series 'The Vikings'. Kids will be able to get aboard a real Viking Ship and discover what it was like to be a Viking. There will be a wide range of local products and produce to try, from cheese and honey to jam, cupcakes along with plenty of local crafts. In Keeping with the theme, local historian Micheál Mc Keown will give a viking walking tour of the Viking site in Annagassan. Micheál is a graduate of NUI. Maynooth (extra-mural cert. in local history) His speciality is the Viking and Anglo_Norman period. He is also a noted artist and sculptor best known for his iconic "Bull of Cooley" on the N1 motorway. Tickets for this walk are available from the Glyde Inn website. Traditional Music all day



September 22nd - Kilmessan, Co.Meath

Join the Bee Wise Nature Trail to learn about the story of honey from flower to jar. Take a guided tour with their resident Beekeeper around the 5 acre bee friendly woodland trail to learn about the different types of bees (honeybee, bumblebees and solitary bees) and their habitats. Learn about and see a variety of flowers and plants the bees work to produce our honey. See the bees working in their observation hive, complete a nature activity trail, and finally go through the insides of a hive from empty frames to spinning honey. And of course, the important part, tasting the different types of honey. Booking essential - through the website, private message on Facebook, email or phone/text €6 per adult, €4 per child, €20 family (2A + 3C)



October 5th - Kilmessan, Co. Meath

Come for a walk through the Cooney family orchards with a mulled Cooney’s Irish Cider in hand. Located at the foot of the Hill of Tara in Co Meath, the Cooney family orchards have 6500 cider apple trees planted. Learn how to manage an apple orchard during the year and see how the harvest machinery works in demonstrations and talks on the importance of honey bees from local Kilmessan beekeeper "Beewise Nature Trail" on the day.



October 18th & 19th - Drogheda, Co. Louth

Listoke Distillery and gin school is an exclusive all interactive experience - over 18's only. Following a tour of the gin distillery - the only distillery in Ireland specifically focusing on gin, they go through a little bit of the history of gin - "ginformation" and explain the background to their development and their branding. The visitor is then introduced to the collection of botanicals - up to 50 including fresh fruits, hedgerow herbs and many other spices and floral selections. Each visitor has their individual mini copper pot to then distill their bespoke bottle of gin. During the distillation process they serve local foods from The Boyne Valley including breads, cooked meats, cheeses and dips. Throughout the event - which lasts 3 hours, they offer the visitor Listoke 1777 Gin and tonics while also introducing them to their Cacao and Raspberry and Sloe Gin. Having finished the food they then dilute down the collected spirit - usually around 73% proof while letting the visitor taste it at the various stages so they can decide on the final taste and strength. It is a very hands on and interactive event that Listoke Distillery run weekly throughout the year.



October 27th - Navan, Co. Meath

On the 27th of October, various bars, restaurants and cafes around Navan will come together to offer a food and beverage crawl like no other. For those interested in high quality food, sourced locally, and prepared with love- this will be a date for their diary. Starting at one of two locations in the town, visitors will visit between 5-6 local eateries for a tasting plate of local produce and a local drink to wash it all down. Producers will be available to provide commentary on the dishes featuring their produce as well as chefs providing cooking tips to the group. MORE DETAILS


November 13th - Ashbourne, Co. Meath

Join Hugh inside his butcher shop in Ashbourne to work with his favourite cuts of pork, exploring the purity of traditional butchery; curing and smoking in their simplicity. Students will learn hands-on nose-to-tail butchery, review anatomy and discuss the importance of sourcing and sustainability in our local food system. While the art of butchery is infinite, you will come away with the knowledge and skill that is required to breakdown the four-legged livestock carcass. As butchery serves cookery, you will also find that no cut of meat is out of your culinary reach. You will be provided with the knowledge that is required to break down a pig, cure your own bacon and learn valuable butchery skills.



1st September- 30th November Slane, Co. Meath

Slane Distillery is a working whiskey distillery and visitor centre, situated in the original historic 18th century stable block buildings of Slane Castle. Visitors will enjoy a fully guided and immersive one hour tour and tasting experience. The tour includes the visitor centre and working whiskey distillery where you will be able to see, feel, smell and taste Slane Irish Whiskey. Visitors will be brought on a journey from grain to glass where you will hear from the trained guide that Slane Irish Whiskey is made from local ingredients such as water from the River Boyne and barley that is grown on the estate. This provides greater control and traceability on how the whiskey is created and also lowers the carbon footprint. Visitors will witness the state-of-the-art whiskey distillery in action. You will see the beautiful wooden fermenters, the mash conversion vessel, lauter tun, column stills and three handmade copper pot stills in full operation. You will then be brought through the cooperage to hear the incredible barrel story followed by the maturation warehouse where Slane Irish Whiskey is maturing. The tour will finish with a tasting of Slane Irish Whiskey in the premium whiskey tasting room. Slane Distillery is where Slane Irish Whiskey is produced and it was born out of a partnership of the Conyngham family of Slane Castle and the Kentucky based Brown-Forman Corporation who own the Jack Daniels brand. Brown-Forman invested €50 million into restoring the original stable block of Slane Castle converting it to a brand new visitor centre and working whiskey distillery. Visitors to the distillery will enjoy Irish hospitality from the staff, most of who come from the local area and are very proud to showcase not only the distillery but Slane in general.


To learn more about Taste the Island visit their website HERE

Make sure to stay tuned to our social media for more details on all our Taste the Island celebrations. This promises to be an amazing 3 months full of food, fun and discovery so get out there and Taste the Island!

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