Northern Ireland’s beef, lamb, game, seafood, dairy produce, fruit and vegetables are among the best in the world, and the region is gaining renown for the reputation of its local producers. With award-winning contemporary city restaurants in Belfast and Derry~Londonderry, enticing sea-front restaurants along the Causeway Coastal Route, snug seafood bars at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, luxury hotels to dine in in the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands, and hearty pub grub in beautiful rural spots – we have it all!
Not only can you experience Northern Ireland’s tantalising good food at one of our award-wining eateries but you can also learn how to make equally delicious dishes at home by participating in a course at one of Northern Ireland’s cookery schools.
Rachel Quigg, Destination & PR Officer, Tourism Northern Ireland is encouraging people to learn something new this month:
“No ‘foodie’ should leave our shores without exercising their culinary skills and using our local produce at one of Northern Ireland’s cookery schools. Spread across the region the cookery schools all have their individual specialities from seafood caught metres away from where it will be prepared to classes in traditional home baking.
This month is ‘Legacy & Learn to’ in the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink and we encourage everyone to stay somewhere beautiful, learn something new and eat something amazing,” added Rachel.
PLACES TO VISIT
Belle Isle School of Cookery, Lisbellaw, Enniskillen
The ultimate destination for food lovers. Discover the delights of creating modern cuisine in a foodie’s paradise. You will be introduced to some of Ireland’s most innovative and exciting ideas, in a relaxed atmosphere, with expert tuition from head tutor Joe Kelly and his team, using top-quality seasonal Irish produce. Their hands-on courses and demonstrations will ensure that you leave with the confidence to cook with style and flair in your own home.
Situated on the northern tip of Upper Lough Erne, Belle Isle is a 470-acre estate spread over eight picturesque islands. Inhabited since the 12th century, the estate offers a wide range of attractive self-catering accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. The Hamilton Wing sleeps 16 over 8 bedrooms which can be booked individually or in its entity to include the Abercorn Wing.
Mourne Seafood Cookery School, Kilkeel, Co. Down
Kilkeel is the “Seafood Capital of the Mountains of Mourne”. Whichever way you travel to Kilkeel you will enjoy stunning scenery “where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea”.
The Mourne Seafood Cookery School is an award winning state of the art cookery school located in the Nautilus Centre, with panoramic views of Kilkeel harbour. You will find the freshest fish and seafood in the home of Northern Ireland’s largest fishing fleet. For those seafood lovers this is an ideal way to learn more about what to look for when buying, handling and cooking seafood. It is aimed to be a fun, relaxed, learning experience. An exciting range of new cookery classes has been added to whet your appetite. Our renowned chefs will be on hand to give their expertise and answer any questions you may have.
The cookery school tries to source as much of the ingredients from local producers such as: dry cured bacon from Cunningham Butchers, Mourne Oyster Stout brewed at the Whitewater Brewery, seafood supplied by Mourne Seafoods etc.
Extend your trip by staying at the luxurious Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, Newcastle or the Kilmorey Arms Hotel in Kilkeel.
James Street South Cookery School, Belfast
The cookery school at James Street South opened its doors in 2011. Situated on the top floor of the newly renovated building also housing the Bar + Grill and private dining facilities, the Cookery School offers a purpose built interactive space. Whether it’s a private group booking, or one of the scheduled events they are certain they can offer something to entice. From effortless entertaining, to knife skills, or even sushi and cocktails, the aim is that you enjoy yourself, learn some new skills and leave filled with confidence in the kitchen.
Stay in the nearby Europa or Jury’s Hotel in Belfast, located a short walk from the cookery school and bustling city centre.
Belfast Cookery School, Belfast
The Mourne Seafood Bars in Belfast and Dundrum are known the length and breadth of the country and beyond for providing fresh, local, no nonsense, and affordable seafood. It was from this ethos and passion for food that the Belfast Cookery School was born. An award winning, fully purposed cookery school based in the heart of Belfast’s city centre in close proximity to a wide range of pubs, clubs and hotels, convenient to public transportation routes and on-street parking. All their Chefs are carefully chosen and are considered experts in their chosen cuisine. They have a wide variety of classes to accommodate all tastes and skill levels; so if you consider yourself a culinary genius or are donning on an apron for the first time you’re in good hands.
Orchard Acre Farm, Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh
About ten minutes from Enniskillen this small holding is run by Hugh, Teresa and family since 1989. They are both from a proud tradition of farming; together they have created Fermanagh’s only eco-tourism farm. The focal point on the small farm is the award-winning eco-barn. It is surrounded by the kitchen garden, creating private relaxed place, that is bathed in daylight and is a multi-functional and a fully wheel chair accessible building. They run a programme of farmhouse and modern cookery classes, Irish craft courses and foodie events. They offer bespoke events and activities for individuals, families, community groups,
Find out more about the Year of Food and Drink 2016 celebrations: https://www.discovernorthernireland.com/yearoffoodanddrink2016/