Immersive experiences are a huge part of what takes our interests to the next level. Whether it’s living like a local in an exotic destination, writing and acting in your own play or learning to make the perfect coffee.
The same can be said for food lovers, and with our ever-increasing curiosity about the sourcing of our products and the creative process from farm to fork, it’s no surprise that there’s a strong demand for food experiences and tours.
With our rich landscape and huge variety of produce, there’s no shortage of food experiences and trails on the island of Ireland. There’ll definitely be one that whets your appetite and tempts your palate.
Bake the Perfect Sourdough at Firehouse Bread School
Have you always wanted to bake the perfect loaf of bread but constantly struggled with the consistency, flavour and well, everything? Spend a day at Firehouse Bread School in Cork and get a complete hands on experience over the course of one day. Learn to produce authentic soda bread, along with some sweet and savoury treats. This exciting course is incredibly popular and sells out months in advance, so best to schedule yourself in as soon as possible. You won’t regret it. For more information, visit thefirehouse.ie.
Prepare Authentic Street Food at Home
Dublin Cookery School offers a number of classes for the budding chef in your life. From gourmet cooking and whole foods to the cuisines of the world like Indian and Italian, there’s something for every palate here. One of the one’s that sounds particularly drool-worthy is the World Street Food Class. Describing the concept of street food as a social one, the class will take you on a culinary taste tour of Latin America, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Far East. With so many flavours, you’ll get all the variety of life in one day. For more information about this and the other classes available in Dublin Cookery School, visit dublincookeryschool.ie.
Oyster Farm Tour
Oysters have been farmed in Ballinakill Bay, Connemara since 1893. As one of the country’s oldest oyster farms, DK Connemara is the perfect place to learn everything about the ultimate aphrodisiac. During their farm tour, you will see how oysters are grown over a three-year period from seed to plate. As part of the tour, you’ll get to taste a fresh Connemara oyster from Ballinakill Bay. If you want to prolong your experience, they also offer extended tours that include a walk to the oyster beds. For more information, visit dkconnemaraoysters.com.
One Day Wild Foods Masterclass in Brooklodge
Experience a unique tour and masterclass in Macreddin Village, which is home to a variety of wild foods. Tour The Kitchens and Wild Foods Pantry in The Strawberry Tree restaurant at Brooklodge. This is followed by an in-depth look at the full list of wild foods available along 327,000km of local hedgerows. Your masterclass will take place with the chefs of The Strawberry Tree Restaurant and Evan Doyle, co-author of the best-selling ‘Wild Food’ book. Covering identification as well as instruction on how to gather, cook and preserve using traditional methods such as sugar, oil, drying, vinegars and alcohol. After enjoying lunch in The Waterside Lounge, participants will be brought outdoors with The Strawberry Tree’s Wild Food Forager to do some gentle hands on foraging around Macreddin Village. If this sounds like your perfect day, visit brooklodge.com for more information.
Kinsale Food Tours
Spend just over 2 hours exploring all the beautiful town of Kinsale has to offer. Taking you to a number of eateries around the town, guests will be immersed in the food culture, meeting food producers from the area and a local character or two. If this isn’t enough of an experience for you, there are also extended tours which include a spot of foraging, be it shellfish, seaweed or plants. For more information about the Kinsale Food Tours, visit kinsalefoodtours.com.
Mourne Foods and Films Cycle Tour
A unique self-guided tour through the plates and pictures of the Mournes, this tour was devised by Enniskeen Country House Hotel in Down and a number of local food producers. Begin at Spelga Dam and cycle through the quiet rural roads. Along the route, stop in and meet producers like Abernethy Butter. This tour is priced at £32 per person and you can find out more information at enniskeenhotel.co.uk.
Burren Cheese Trail
Who doesn’t love cheese? It’s the one true love of my life (joke, maybe). Venture along the Burren Cheese Trail, visiting St. Told Goat Farm, Curren Gold Cheese in Aillwee (be sure to visit Aillwee Cave as you’re there), Ballyvaughan Farmers Market and finish up with dinner at Gregans Castle Hotel, where you simply must sample the signature dish of Pickled Beetroot and St. Tola Goat’s Cheese Ravioli with Burren Smokehouse Trout and Avocado. For more information about this cheesy route and the opening times for all stops, visit burren.ie.
Sligo Food Trail
The Sligo Food Trail has an incredible amount of food experiences on offer, with the Coney Island Experience immediately catching my attention. As part of this experience, participants learn to harvest their own seaweed with Dr. Prannie Rhatigan. This culinary adventure takes you on a journey through the world of edible seaweed foraging. After walking the beautiful Sligo shoreline, you will be treated to a delicious lunch of local Lissadell Mussels prepared by Trá Bán’s Anthony Gray. Visit sligofoodtrail.ie for more information and to book this unique and immersive experience.
Catch and Cook Experience
Journey down to one of the most scenic spots in Ireland for an unforgettable catch and cook experience. Hosted by Good Food Ireland, you will be taught the art of fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Dingle. Catch your lunch and then cook it up while also learning how to identify, fillet and put the finishing touches on your dish. So if you’ve always loved the idea of catching and cooking your seafood dish from scratch, then this is the food experience for you. For more information and to book, visit goodfoodireland.ie.
Vegan Cooking Class
Expand your vegan repertoire with a private vegan cooking class. Helping you feel totally relaxed, the cooking class takes place in the comfort of your own home so that you can learn to cook using the appliances available to you. The class is 3 hours long and is suitable for up to four people at a time. For more information about the classes and the food you will learn to cook, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, visit veganinireland.com.
Visit Kilkenny’s Food Producers
Travel along the Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail and immerse yourself in the day-to-day lives of the county’s food producers. This behind-the-scenes look is a must for all food lovers, with Highbank Farm, Kilkenny Free Range, Goatsbridge Trout Farm and Knockdrinna Cheese all open for visitors. Meet the makers and sample their produce, all while learning about how the product is produced. Visit trailkilkenny.ie for more information.
Connemara and Aran Island Food Tour
Take a tour through the rugged natural landscape of beautiful Connemara and the majestic Aran Islands. This food tour brings you to some of the best food producers, brewers and farmers in the region. A true taste of Connemara, you will experience the flavours of the west, while also embracing the stunning scenery prevalent in this part of Ireland. For more information, visit galwayfoodtours.com.
Sarah has always had a great love of travel, food and photography. Following her journalism degree at DCU, she developed a passion for travel writing while living in Spain.
Sarah loves exploring new places and sampling the local cuisine. Working with TheTaste.ie combines her love of food and travel.
A big people person, especially when it comes to hearing other people’s stories, Sarah loves interviewing chefs, food producers and more.