Speciality Food Fair returns to Moira Demesne bigger and better

Speciality Food Fair will return to Moira Demesne on Saturday 18th August for its fourth year with a focus on local artisan food with sustainability and preservation of food a key focus for 2018.


The Food Fair has grown in popularity among traders and consumers alike as a key date in Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s summer events calendar. This year’s event will benefit from additional funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme, with new features added to the event programme.

Popular features from previous years will be retained, with an extended artisan food hall, chef demos, café bar, street food and picnic village. This year an ‘edutainment’ element will be added to the line-up featuring expert talks, workshops and masterclasses for both adults and children.

Reflecting on the popularity of the Speciality Food Fair, Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Development Committee said, “We are delighted to welcome the return of the Speciality Food Fair to Moira for its fourth year. We are very pleased with the growing interest in the event from award-winning producers based within the Council area and further afield. Produce will be on offer to suit all tastes and dietary requirements, so we hope to see many local visitors as well as foodies from across Northern Ireland celebrate the top-notch producers and products against the stunning backdrop of Moira Demesne.”

Producers from varying artisan backgrounds will take part including Abernethy Butter, Ke Nako Biltong, Krazi Baker, Harnett’s Oils, Burren Balsamics, The StillHouse Moira, Crumbs Vegan Bakery, Bara Bakehouse, Ispini Charcuterie and Ballyriff Buffalo among many others.

Head of DAERA’s Regional Food Programme, Louise Millsopp said, “I am delighted that the Department is providing support to the Council’s Speciality Food Fair through the Regional Food Programme this year. The event will be a fantastic showcase of Northern Ireland’s local, award-winning, agri-food industry highlighting the quality, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship that exists across the food and drink sectors. I’m sure it will be a really enjoyable day with something to suit all the avid foodie enthusiasts among us.”

Enjoy the great outdoors at the Food Fair

Set amongst the lush backdrop of Moira Demesne’s stunning parkland, guests will enjoy plenty of opportunities to indulge their interests, whether it is chatting to producers or going along to the chef demos in the Kitchen Sessions, or to one of the expert talks. There will be plenty of options also to enjoy speciality treats al fresco, whilst relishing in live entertainment from local musicians.

As always, the street food village and picnic area will be a primary outdoor feature at the Food Fair with an even greater choice on offer, reflecting Northern Ireland’s burgeoning gourmet street food scene. Guests are encouraged to get acquainted with emerging faces on Northern Ireland’s gourmet street food scene, including Dickie D’s Grilled Cheese, Fionnbobs Food Wagon, Burger Republic, The Hatch as well as more established names such as Pheasantshill Farm.

Plenty to quench guests’ thirsts

The Café Bar will also return, serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages suitable for all ages, with local apple juice, cordials, craft beers, ciders, and spirits. Speciality coffees for those in need of a caffeine fix will be served up alongside teas and hot chocolate. The StillHouse will up the ante in the café bar, bringing a taste of what is on offer in their newly created Distillery Bar located a stone’s throw away in Moira village.

Fun for the whole family with children’s workshops and Kitchen Sessions

The popular Kitchen Sessions will return to this year’s Speciality Food Fair in addition to fringe events featuring leading chefs and experts. Award winning Moira chefs, Chris McGowan of Wine & Brine, Danni Barry of Clenaghans Restaurant and Stephen Jeffers of Forestside Cookery School will lead the charge with Chris focusing on a modern twist to traditional food preserving, Danni giving a workshop on foraging and incorporating your finds into your home cooking and Stephen offering a skills masterclass in addition to cooking a dish from his new cookbook.

‘Edutainment’ will once again be the key focus for all interactive family fun activities, encouraging kids to learn about the natural world around them and to get involved in planting their own food. Interactive activities will include bug hotel making, observational beehives, beeswax wrap making, all as 30-minute workshops running from 10am-3pm. For a full schedule go to the Visit Lisburn Castlereagh website.

Entry and parking to the Speciality Food Fair is free and will run from 10am – 6pm on Saturday 18th August. Access for disabled visitors is provided.

For more information on traders and a full programme of events visit visitlisburncastlereagh.com or follow Visit Lisburn Castlereagh on Facebook.com/enjoylisburn, Twitter @VisitLisburn and Instagram @visitlisburncastlereagh.