Cookstown’s celebrations for the Year of Food and Drink and the completion of a public realm scheme carried out by the local council will mean the County Tyrone town will be ‘looking good and tasting great’ for this year’s Continental Market.
Taking place from Friday 2 to Sunday 4, September, the market is organised by Mid Ulster District Council who this year will place local produce at the heart of the activity. Foodies will not only get the chance to sample cuisines from all over the world, but also a flavour of the best of local produce, with a showcase of local food and a series of cooking demonstrations.
The weekend-long event will also ensure children are entertained and will feature a range of music with performances in the town centre on Friday and Saturday evenings and a stage for local talent on Sunday afternoon.
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council are ready to ‘meat’ the challenge of building on last year’s Moira Speciality Food Fair after securing sponsorship from Tourism NI as part of the Year of Food and Drink.
The council has announced a packed line-up for the fair’s second appearance in Moira Demesne on Saturday, 20 August which is being supported this year by the Year of Food and Drink Tourism Events Scheme. Scheduled to take place during Love NI Meat month, the event could not be more ideally placed with Moira being home to some of our most celebrated meat champions.
Tourism NI teamed up with Ulster GAA last week as part of the organisation’s Golden Ticket initiative which seen three lucky football supporters clinch the prize of a short break in Northern Ireland.
The Tyrone senior footballers and Donegal minors were not the only victors on Ulster Football Championships Finals Day last Sunday (17 July) as one lucky supporter from the 33,433 crowd left the ground with something extra to celebrate.
Nearly 2,000 delegates from 55 countries gathered in Belfast Waterfront this week for the 2016 World Credit Union Conference, bringing a welcome £3.7m to the city’s economy.
The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is dedicated to strengthening local communities through helping stimulate economic growth and its annual 4-day conference was no exception. WOCCU worked with over 60 local suppliers including 20 hoteliers to maximise the positive impact its event had on the region’s economy.
With our fresh, local produce central to the visitor experience and with many of our visitors choosing the self-catering option for their stays in Northern Ireland, advice from accommodation providers on where to access the best of our natural larders is becoming increasingly important. Welcome hampers packed with local breads and jams, cereals and yoghurts are now a common addition to the self-catering package however, for the more perishable goods, such as the excellent seafood provided by our pristine marine environment, on-the-ground knowledge and ease of access is essential.
Enter the white fishmongers’ vans which for generations have left Northern Ireland’s fishing ports laden with top-quality local seafood to serve customers in county markets, through door-to-door sales and on ‘patches’ established over years and passed down through families.
The Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 continues with a ‘Seas, Rivers and Loughs’ theme throughout the month of July. Tourism Northern Ireland held a special event at Belfast Cookery School where local chef, Stephen Jeffers taught a selection of local press how to cook two delicious meals using a selection of Northern Ireland’s tasty fish from supplier, Ewings Fishmongers. Crawford Ewing from Ewing’s Fishmongers talked about how important it was to include fish in your diet and encouraged everyone in NI to try more fish.
Tourism NI Chief Executive John McGrillen has congratulated four golf courses from counties Antrim and Fermanagh on being accredited with a Golf Quality and Assurance award.
The addition of Ballyclare, Knock and Dunmurry parkland courses to the award scheme and the Castle Hume lakeland course at Lough Erne Resort brings the total of accredited golf clubs in Northern Ireland to 35.
It might seem contradictory for those behind a water taxi service to enter unchartered waters but that’s the case with a Fermanagh couple running Ireland’s only water-based food trail.
Barry and Helen Flanagan launched Erne Water Taxis in March along with the Lough Erne Food Trail which offers a series of tours around the lake. Placing food, landscape and story at the heart of the visitor offering, the trail captures the essence of the Year of Food and Drink and was launched to coincide with the initiative.
“We wanted to do something for the Year of Food and Drink with the food trail being the idea from the beginning,” said Barry. “As we all know there has been a growing recognition of food as a vital part of our culture, heritage and landscape but here in Fermanagh I’d seen an even greater awareness since the G8 summit. That event put a global focus on Fermanagh as a place with top quality local produce with chefs like Noel McMeel [head chef at the Lough Erne Resort where the world leaders gathered] shouting from the rooftops about its quality. That confidence spreads and the Year of Food and Drink has given people yet another opportunity to buy into that.”
Belfast Metropolitan College has acknowledged the importance of the city’s first fish frying apprenticeship scheme as part of the Year of Food and Drink’s ‘Seas, Rivers and Loughs’ month.
Supported by Seafish, the programme is being run in conjunction with John Dory’s award winning fish and chip shops.
The fish frying apprenticeships recognise the skill of employees whilst adding a valuable qualification framework to this thriving local industry.
Belfast Met tutor Ben Polley, said the college was ‘thrilled’ to be delivering the scheme along with the local fish and chip business and the industry training body.
Belfast’s last surviving indoor Victorian market has long been a magnet for locals, stocking up on the weekly shopping from the myriad of stalls within its walls. Built in the 1890s and designed by the then city surveyor, JC Bretland, St George’s has now been serving its citizens for over 120 years.
However, the striking red bricked landmark on the edge of the Markets area is also reflecting the ongoing growth in the city’s tourist trade. Its recent emergence as a vibrant attraction has seen it placed as a must-see for visitors, both domestic and international, who beat a path to its doors. As both the starting point and core of some of the city’s burgeoning food tours – as well as a popular venue for industry conferences during this Year of Food and Drink - the market is fast establishing itself as an integral part of the food tourism trade.
Tourism Northern Ireland
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This is the industry site of Tourism Northern Ireland. Click here to visit our consumer website, DiscoverNorthernIreland.com