Ireland’s Orchard County cooks up a decadent feast of food, artisan ciders and plenty of cheer next month, writes Shauna McCrudden
Scrumptious food, bubbling cider, and a huge serving of top-end gastronomic experiences are all back on the menu next month when Armagh’s award-winning Food and Cider Weekend gets underway on Thursday, 9th September.
Celebrating a heritage of more than 3,000 years of apple-growing, Ireland’s Orchard County is promising outstanding culinary events. These include a range of undercover and outdoor dining experiences, food masterclasses and demos, food trails and foraging, cider tastings and tours and much more across a range of stunning locations.
An annual favourite since 2015, Armagh Food and Cider Weekend has grown to become one of the most successful foodie events in the UK and Ireland which is supported by Food Heartland chefs and local food and drink producers, restaurants, cafés, pubs and shops.
Officially one of the top foodie destinations on the island of Ireland, this fast-growing annual event won the best ‘food and drink experience of the year’ in 2019 at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr, said, “Built on years of excellence in food and drink production with Armagh Bramley apples at its heart, this year’s Armagh Food and Drink Weekend puts real quality, Food Heartland provenance, culinary skills and sheer enjoyment into one amazing programme of culinary events that really showcases the history, heritage and rich food culture of this unique and expansive location.”
Armagh’s historic Crannagael House, the Keepers Cottage close to Gosford Forest, Armagh Robinson Library, and Milford House all feature in the programme. They inspire food and drink events that complement a choice of apple-picking, tours, breakfasts, lunches, and afternoon teas at the multi-award-winning Blackwell House with the beautiful orchard surrounds of Armagh Cider and Long Meadow Farm or the rolling hills of Brookvale Farm.
Armagh’s Bramley apple orchards stretch across more than 4,000 acres from Armagh city to Portadown with the greatest concentration on the gentle slopes around Loughgall. In an industry worth millions of pounds every year to the local and regional economy, it directly employs more than 1,000 people and supports many more.
Armagh Food and Cider Weekend has achieved official ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation, which means visitors can be assured that all current and mandated safety guidelines will be in place at all times. With a range of free and paid-for events, it will also be important to book your chosen event early.
The Lord Mayor added, “As this year’s summer heat dissipates into autumn, this important event in the Northern Ireland foodie calendar promises a delicious menu of culinary enjoyment over four days for everyone. We can’t wait to celebrate the best of Armagh and devour everything it has in store over this tasty weekend.”
This year’s event runs from Thursday, 9th September until Sunday, 12th September. It is supported by Tourism Northern Ireland, DAERA and the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme.
To see the full programme and book your place for these unmissable events, visit visitarmagh.com/foodandcider
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