10 things to do in Northern Ireland

1.       Winter-Circus Belfast, 13 December – 1 January. Winter Circus is back again for its fourth year with The Winter Circus Show. The ever-popular show will be hosted in the fantastic, central location of Writer’s Square, Belfast. The Winter Circus Show will be an all human, all skill and all thrill event. Expect modern, high skilled acts, including acrobats, aerialists and jugglers in this one hour of hammer smashing Belfast inspired circus.

2.       Visit-Santa-at-the-Ulster-American-Folk-Park Omagh, 6December – 5 January. Visit Santa at the Ulster American Folk Park and take the family back in time to experience the magic of a traditional Christmas this festive season. Gather around the warmth of a turf fire and enjoy readings from The Night Before Christmas, singalong with the Christmas Mummers, taste seasonal treats and meet Santa and Mrs Claus in their workshop.

3.       The-Old-Inns-Glitter-Ball-Boogie Bangor, 13 December. Old world charm, meets the glitz and glam that only a party night in the dazzling Verina Suite can offer. Enjoy your red carpet entrance and your very own Onyx Champagne Bar at The Old Inn this season. Your glitz and glam party evening begins with a three course menu, then dance the night away with party favourites hosted by DJ Derek West until midnight.

4.       The-Snowman-and-other-Christmas-Favourites Derry~Londonderry, 15 December. Join Derry’s new symphony orchestra as they celebrate Christmas with their friends from the Allegri ladies and Allegri kids choirs and present The Snowman. Allegri’s singers will join forces with a live orchestra for the first time to celebrate the spirit of Christmas through song. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy this family favourite, as well as a wonderful selection of other festive music.

5.       Traditional-Irish-Bread-making-with-a-Christmas-twist Newtownards, 12 December. Join Tracey in her home, where you’ll be welcomed with the aroma of freshly made griddle breads, soda and wheaten, and a table laden with homemade treats. Learn how to make local Irish breads in a traditional thatched cottage on the shores of Strangford lough. If you’re looking for something off the beaten track and you’re keen to meet the locals and dine in a traditional home, then this is the perfect experience for you.

6.       Christmas-Cracker-at-Rowallane-Garden Ballynahinch, 7 – 24 December. Visit Rowallane Garden for their Yuletide Market from 7 – 8 December where you will find locally produced gifts from one of the specialist stall holders in the Stableyard. Discover a range of artisan foods and hand-crafted curiosities. You’re sure to find something to share with your loved ones this Christmas. From 14-24 December you will also be able to decorate your very own Gingerbread man.

7.       12-Days-of-Christmas-with-David-Lyttle Hillsborough, 14 December. David Lyttle continues to mentor and introduce new talent with his dynamic Christmas concert at Hillsborough Castle which will feature three of Ireland’s most promising young jazz musicians: Derry guitarist Joseph Leighton and twin brothers Michael and Conor Murray, saxophone and double bass, from Donegal. His celebrated collaborations with a long list of music legends brings jazz to new audiences in unusual venues.

8.       Wildlife-Wonderland-at-Belfast-Zoo Newtownabbey 14 – 15 December. Wrap presents for the animals and see Santa deliver these around the 55-acre site. You can also take part in Christmas crafts, win prizes with a reindeer trail, meet a selection of animals, and pose for photos with Santa and Mrs Claus. Wildlife Wonderland is suitable for both families and adults and does not include a Grotto experience. Normal admission price applies.

9.       Lost-Childhood-Exhibition Derry~Londonderry, 1 December – 31 January. Beginning this December, the award-winning Museum of Free Derry will host one of their most poignant exhibitions to date entitled ‘Lost Childhood’.

10.   Adam-Kay-Twas-the-Nightshift-Before-Christmas Belfast, 11 December. Join Adam Kay for his brand new festive show ‘Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas’ at the Ulster Hall for two incredible shows this December. Following the million-selling success of This Is Going To Hurt, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious peek behind the blue curtain at Christmas time. This brand new live show mixes highlights from the book with his award winning stand-up comedy and exclusive new content.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.discovernorthernireland.com

Food Focus: 10 things to do in Northern Ireland

As part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative for 12 weeks DiscoverNorthernIreland.com will have the top three food experiences and events in their weekly  10 things to do listing. DiscoverNorthernIreland.com has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week including three food experiences and events (25 Nov – 1 December)

1.       Childrens-Christmas-Baking-Workshop Dungannon, 30 November. Budding bakers can get stuck into Christmas baking in this fun hands-on class at Wee Buns Cookery School. Guests will learn about ingredients and baking techniques, pick up handy tips and have a go at piping. The children will be rolling out the cookies, baking and decorating them with royal icing. They will also each make and decorate a dozen chocolate fairy cakes.

2.       The-Great-Georgian-Banquet-An-Evening-in-Vienna Armagh, 29 November. Travel through the mists of time to join a Viennese banquet in the beautiful Georgian setting of the Archbishop’s Palace in Armagh. In the splendour of the Archbishops Palace, experience an evening in Vienna. Enjoy music, dancing and a sumptuous five-course meal with fine wines, evoking the tastes of the time, served with a modern twist.

3.       Sippy-Fest-Craft-Beer-Drinks-Extravaganza  Derry~Londonderry, 29 – 30 November. Sippy Fest started around a kitchen table in the City of Culture year which then grew to a festival with over 1200 people enjoying local brews, food and music in the Guildhall. Sippy Fest puts a strong focus on local produce, as well as allowing people to meet the brewers, discuss the products in a fun environment, with local live music and more.

4.       Friendship-Four-2019 Belfast, 29 – 30 November. The thrill and excitement of American college Hockey will return to Belfast at the SSE Arena this November. The Friendship Four tournament is a unique opportunity to watch the only NCAA college hockey tournament to be held outside of the United States. The tournament will feature elite hockey players from across the world providing hockey fans with an exclusive first chance to see up and coming stars of the future

5.       Christmas-Lights-Switch-On Ballycastle, 28 November. The Diamond, Ballycastle will be buzzing for the Christmas Lights Switch On. Come along and join in the carol singing and electric atmosphere as the countdown begins with live entertainment before the arrival of Santa Claus in his horse drawn carriage.

6.       Italian-Wine-Dinner Derry~Londonderry, 29 November. For an evening out with a difference, head over to Bonds Hill Restaurant for some fabulous Italian Wine Dinner. Enjoy Prosecco on arrival and a six course tasting menu with perfectly paired wines. A wonderful dining experience and a delight for foodies and wine lovers.

7.       Winter-Wonderland Enniskillen, 30 November – 14 December. Cancer Connect NI is delighted to announce the return of their Magical Winter Wonderland to Enniskillen. Once checked in at the ticket booth, families will be greeted by Mrs Claus and her elves upon arrival. Following some games and fun entertainment you will be invited to board their amazing Polar Express which will take you to a secret castle location

8.       A-Journey-Beyond-Prejudice Belfast, 25 November. This talk, which is part of the CS Lewis festival, will look into Lewis’s family background in early 20th century Belfast and the attitudes of that era, followed by Lewis expert Rev. Mercia Flannagan who will consider how Lewis’s later Christianity was broadened by his friendship with Tolkien.

9.       Observatory-Tours-Armagh Armagh, 30 November. Follow the Christmas star during a tour of the Armagh Observatory building. Learn about the Observatory’s history, current scientific research and its programmes of Science. As an option, you can journey back in time and learn about the star the Wise Men followed in their Planetarium seasonal ‘Mystery of the Christmas Star’ dome show.

10.   Adventure-Caving-at-the-Marble-Arch-Caves Enniskillen, 1 December. Delve off the beaten track with an experienced and qualified Cave Leader to explore the depths of the Marble Arch Caves system. Alongside a group you will have the opportunity to explore cave passages, negotiate boulder chambers and clamber through the well-known flyover to emerge into the public tour of the show cave before navigating your way out.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.discovernorthernireland.com. For additional Taste the Island events, please visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/tastetheisland

Food Focus: 10 things to do in Northern Ireland

As part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative for 12 weeks DiscoverNorthernIreland.com will have the top three food experiences and events in their weekly  10 things to do listing. DiscoverNorthernIreland.com has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week including three food experiences and events (18-24 November)

1.       Belfast Christmas Market 2019, Belfast, 16 November- 22 December. Visit the Belfast Christmas Market in the City Hall grounds for an award-winning taste of Christmas with over 30 international traders offering incredible foods and delightful gift ideas.

2.       Christmas Cooking Demonstration, Dungannon, 23 November. Sit back, relax and learn how to get prepared for Christmas with this practical cookery demonstration at Wee Buns Cookery School. Learn how to get ahead for the day with lots of tips and delicious tried and tested recipes.

3.       Irish Whiskey Tasting at The Morning Star, Belfast, 21 November. Join The Morning Star for an Irish whiskey experience with their Irish whiskey ambassador Joe McGowan. Enjoy a number of very different whiskeys, tasting flight, cocktail demonstration, award winning tasty nibbles and learn some whiskey knowledge along the way.

4.       C.S. Lewis Festival, Belfast, 22-26 November. Be transported through the wardrobe into the incredible imaginative world of C.S. Lewis and his characters. The festival offers plenty of family-friendly events, a huge range of informative talks and discussions and lots of opportunities to explore your own imagination through bespoke workshops.

5.       Atlantic Sessions, Coleraine, 15-18 November. From traditional to contemporary, from electric to acoustic, Atlantic Sessions has emerged as a permanent music feature on the cultural calendar creating an energetic, vibrant atmosphere in the pubs, hotels, coffee shops and town halls across Portrush, Portstewart and Portballintrae.

6.       The Polar Express at the Culloden Estate, Belfast, 19-23 November. Climb on board and explore Santa’s Polar Express at the Culloden Estate & Spa. Meet Santa and his elves, enjoy the train journey and get your Christmas gift.

7.       Kirkistown Point to Point, Portavogie, 23 November. This exciting horse race in County Down provides an exhilarating day out with the first race starting at 12pm.

8.       Guildhall Craft Fair 2019, Derry~Londonderry, 22-24 November. Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, this annual event at the Guildhall showcases a wide range of bespoke craft items created by craft designer-makers and artists throughout Ireland.

9.       Tastes, Tales and Tunes, Ballygally, 20 November. Tastes, Tales and Tunes provides you with a great collaboration of food, tales and music from the surrounding Antrim Coast area. Enjoy tapas at Ballygally Castle, listen to tales with Liz Weir as traditional music accompanies these activities.

10.   Krazi Baker Baking Classes, Dromore, 24 November.  Enjoy this Christmas class which teaches how to bake an 8-inch Xmas cake, Stollen bread and sweet mince pies, the perfect homemade festive treats for the Christmas season. 

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com. For additional Taste the Island events, please visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/tastetheisland

Food Focus: 10 things to do in Northern Ireland

As part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative for 12 weeks DiscoverNorthernIreland.com will have the top three food experiences and events in their weekly  10 things to do listing. DiscoverNorthernIreland.com has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week including food experiences and events (11 – 17 November 2019)

  1. Twilight-Market Belfast, 12 – 13 November.  Featuring over 100 traders specialising in local and continental foods from around the world, handmade arts and crafts and chef demonstrations too, bring the whole family and enjoy the very best in live music or simply treat yourself to some delicious food.
  2. Shortcross-Distillery-Experience-and-Masterclass Downpatrick, 15 & 16 November. The Shortcross Distillery Experience and Masterclass is not to be missed. Unlock some of the exciting secrets and skills that go into creating Shortcross at Rademon Estate, and listen to David Boyd-Armstrong, the head distiller, walk through the fascinating process.
  3. Taste-of-our-Waters Craigavon, 15 November. This November celebrate Northern Ireland’s wonderful produce from our magnificent waterways, loughs and seas. They have created a wonderful six-course tasting menu that will showcase local freshwater fish, sea fish and seafood alongside homegrown and local vegetables.
  4. Murder-in-Narnia Newry, 15 November. A Narnia themed Murder Mystery banquet with the finest local food and drink produce from the Newry, Mourne and Down region. Throw on your best fur coat, paint your face and prepare yourself for an exciting Narnia themed Murder Mystery.
  5. Picnic-in-Narnia Newry, 17 November. This magical day features a sumptuous breakfast, before following the Narnia Trail in the company of Narnian characters up to a special picnic at the Cloughmore Stone, a possible inspiration for Aslan’s How. Celebrate Rostrevor’s unique connection to the Chronicles of Narnia and discover the wonderful local produce of the area.
  6. Dram-on-the-Bann Coleraine, 16 November.  A marvellous opportunity to appreciate the historic town from a different perspective, and a perfect afternoon spent with family and friends. Guests will be treated to a selection of delicious canapés celebrating their award-winning local produce.
  7. Pink-and-Blue Belfast, 17 November. Two clowns discover Pink and Blue and playfully explore all these questions. With silliness and fun, come along and join the Crescent Arts Centre for this show that aims to find out if we can all be who we want to be and accept others as they are too.
  8. Naturally-North-Coast-and-Glens-Artisan-Market Ballycastle, 17 November. Naturally North Coast and Glens Market provides the opportunity to experience a unique artisan market in and around the Causeway Coast and Glens region of Northern Ireland. Market visitors will have every sense enticed through the colourful art and crafts, the delicious aromas, taste of fresh food produce and the sound of musicians.  
  9. Whitehead-Sea-and-Food-Tour Carrickfergus, 15 November. Experience the famous Causeway Coast as you depart Whitehead and kayak around Blackhead Lighthouse to The Gobbins, with qualified instructor Anne from Causeway Coast Kayaking. This special two hour kayaking tour will take in the sights and sounds of local wildlife offering a different perspective of The Gobbins.
  10. Belfast-Christmas-Market-2019 Belfast, 16 November. Visit the Belfast Christmas Market in the City Hall grounds from for an award-winning taste of Christmas. With over 30 international traders will be offering incredible foods and delightful gifts ideas, you’ll never be stuck for choice.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com. For additional Taste the Island events, please visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/tastetheisland 

Food Focus: 10 things to do in Northern Ireland

As part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative for 12 weeks DiscoverNorthernIreland.com will have the top three food experiences and events in their weekly  10 things to do listing. DiscoverNorthernIreland.com has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week including three food experiences and events (04 – 10 November 2019)

1.       The-Hillside-Game-Evening Hillsborough, 7 November. The Hillside are offering an experience like no other this November. Join them for a five-course gourmet meal focusing on local County Down game. The Hillside chefs work with Hillsborough’s local gamekeeper to source the best game produce from wild duck to rabbits and venison. A bespoke menu will be created and paired with fine wines, and a Copeland gin reception will welcome guests on the evening.

2.       Winter-Cookery-Demonstration-by-Ian-Orr Derry~Londonderry, 9 November. In celebration of Taste the Island, join the talented Chef Patron Ian Orr for a winter cookery demonstration. Ian will share tips for preparing amazing meals at home, and the demonstration will be followed by a delicious three-course meal.

3.       Fire-Feast-Ultimate-Game-of-Thrones-Tour Ballymena, 7 – 14 November. This Game of Thrones themed tour will include a full day fire and feast experience visiting several filming locations, with themed food and drink tastings, outdoor cooking, plus carving and spear throwing. The tour will also include a visit to the Game of Thrones® Doors carved from fallen trees of the Dark Hedges. This tour includes a two night stay at the four star Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort, a full Irish breakfast and use of the thermal spa.

4.       RUA-Saturday-Tours-2019 Belfast, 9 November. Guided tours of this year’s Royal Ulster Academy exhibition led by experts in contemporary art and as well as exhibiting Academicians. These tours last approximately 40 minutes and offer audiences new insights into the 389 works in this year’s exhibition.

5.       An-Evening-of-Music-and-Dance Belfast, 8– 9 November. Enjoy an Evening of Music and Dance as Birmingham Royal Ballet’s world-class orchestra showcases the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, under the baton of Northern Ireland’s own Paul Murphy. Alongside the company’s internationally-acclaimed dancers will be Belfast-born Melissa Hamilton, the rising star of the sister company The Royal Ballet.

6.       World-Wars-Coach-Tour Bangor, 9 November. On this tour you will have the opportunity to visit three key sites: North Down Museum, Grey Point Fort and the Somme Museum, along with other sites that link to momentous events including the Battle of the Somme and D-Day. A knowledgeable guide will entertain you with some interesting facts that might surprise you.

7.       Loughbrickland-Poin-to-Point Banbridge, 9 November. Loughbrickland point-to-point is the perfect day out for all the family. Unlike most racecourses, spectators can stand beside one of the fences and get close to the winning post for a bird’s-eye view of the thrilling action. The track is also the perfect location for a picnic where you can enjoy the action whilst entertaining friends and family.

8.       Boat-Fishing-Competition  Portrush, 2 November – 7 December. Portrush Yacht Club is proud to host the 2019 Boat Fishing Competition series in conjunction with Causeway Lass. In addition, a raffle will also take place on the day and all prizes will be awarded in Portrush Yacht Club after the event.

9.       Lurgan-and-the-1641-Rebellion Craigavon, 5November. In this lecture Dr. Naomi McAreavey of University College Dublin will examine the events of the 1641 Irish rebellion and the impact it had on the emerging town of Lurgan. Her talk will be based on an analysis of the witness statements taken during the 1641 depositions, which provide eyewitness accounts of the events in question.

10.   A-Conversation-with-NASA-Scientist-Dr-Sarah-Noble Belfast, 6 November. NASA scientist Dr Sarah Noble will present on lunar geology in the past, present and future. This is followed by a conversation moderated by journalist Sarah Travers, highlighting what we have learned about the Moon from the Apollo programme and more recent missions, what the future plans are for lunar exploration and what we want to learn when we do go back.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com. For additional Taste the Island events, please visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/tastetheisland 

Food Focus: 10 things to do in Northern Ireland

As part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative for 12 weeks DiscoverNorthernIreland.com will have the top three food experiences and events in their weekly  10 things to do listing.

DiscoverNorthernIreland.com has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week including three food experiences and events (28 October-3 November)

1.       Enniskillen Taste Experience, Enniskillen, until 30 November. This tour, happening on Saturdays, starting at Enniskillen Castle, showcases the culinary delights local businesses have to offer and will delight customers with a substantial and memorable experience.

2.       Attack of the Killer Bees Halloween Slemish Market Supper Club, Ballymena, 1 November. Join the Supper Club in Adair Arms  for a Spooktacular evening of food, fun and a County Antrim ghoulish story at the “Attack of the Killer Bees” Halloween Slemish Market.

3.       Twilight Market, Newry, 1 November. Newry Market is transformed into a food and drink heaven where visitors are able to feast on some of the unique food and drink elements available in the region. Enjoy a wide selection of food and drink producers, pop-up restaurants, combined with chef demonstrations, food tastings, live music and full bar facilities.

4.       Derry Halloween 2019, 25 October- 1 November, Derry~Londonderry. Stay in the Walled City of Derry~Londonderry and take part in the city’s eight-day long Halloween festival, which features over 100 events with 1,400 performers across 40 venues in and around the city and its famous 400-year-old walls.

5.       Sound of Belfast 2019, Belfast, 1-10 November. Sound of Belfast includes a mix of collaborative, independent and partnership events involving showcases, gigs, industry talks, panels and workshops, youth, family, community events and the NI Music Prize including the Oh Yeah Legend Award. There are over 45 events this year, with over 70 performances and 18 participating venues.

6.       Museum of the Moon, Derry~Londonderry, 26 October – 1 November. Bathe beneath the light of the Samhain Moon as it evades capture in the Guildhall. Experience Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon. Touring internationally, this work features detailed NASA imagery of the Moon and an atmospheric soundtrack created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer, Dan Jones.

7.       Ladyboys of Bangkok, Belfast, 2-17 November. For its 21st year, the Ladyboys of Bangkok will be bringing audiences a show that is even more glitzy and glamourous. Every year there is a new theme, and ‘The Greatest Showgirls Tour’ allows you to celebrate your favourite divas.

8.       Hunter’s Moon of Airgialla, Killeavy, 2-3 November. A new Irish play written and brought to you by local Newry playwright, Rosemary Tumilty.  These wonderful evening events, incorporating dramatised readings, are presented by Oriel Dramatic Players, as they unveil a beguiling story that invokes the wit, will and wisdom of the 18th century poets of Creggan.

9.       Halloween at HMS Caroline, Belfast, 26 October- 3 November.  Get your costumes ready and explore the ship with the Black Cat Trail, inspired by HMS Caroline’s mascot Tom the black cat who lived on board during the First World War. Explore all the dark spaces on board the ship and hunt for all sorts of creatures along the way.

10.   Spooky Space, Armagh, 28 October-2 November. Come along to Armagh Planetarium this Halloween,  see their brand new show and  meet monsters, zombies and ghosts. On the 1st November they also have an ‘Adults Takeover’ for a more sophisticated night in the dome.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com. For additional Taste the Island events, please visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/tastetheisland

Food Focus: 10 things to do in Northern Ireland

As part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative for 12 weeks DiscoverNorthernIreland.com will have the top three food experiences and events in their weekly  10 things to do listing. DiscoverNorthernIreland.com has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week including three food experiences and events (21-27 October)

1.       Taste the Island Slow Fish Event, Portrush, 27 October. An evening of cookery at Arcadia Cafe, tasting plates of sustainable and seasonal fish dishes and local drinks with local chef and Slow Food NI director, Paula McIntyre.

2.       Haunted Harvest Market, Derry~Londonderry, 26 October-1 November. Taste terrifyingly tantalising treats and drink bewitching brews while a world of magical wonder unfolds before your eyes outside the Guildhall this Halloween.

3.       Wee Buns – Bake Your Own, Dungannon, 26 October. Wee Buns Cookery School provides a warm welcome off the beaten track in the beautiful countryside of County Tyrone. Enjoy making some great baking classics in this fun hands-on class including a dozen fairy cakes and your own light-as-a-feather buttermilk scones.

4.       Spooky Paws Walk the Walls, Derry~Londonderry, 24 October. Organised by The Rainbow Rehoming Centre, join in the Halloween celebrations by taking part in their fancy dress dog walk around Derry’s walls. All donations raised will go into their new site fund.

5.       Hallowe’en Fest & Craft Fair, Enniskillen, 27 October. Come along and enjoy a fun filled family afternoon at the Hallowe’en Fest and Craft Fair at Florence Court with lots of ghostly activities on offer including craft stalls, spooky trail, live music and face painting.

6.       Whitehead Tour Through Stories & Food, Whitehead, 26 October. Enjoy this leisurely and flat-levelled walk in the Victorian town of Whitehead, which includes a food tasting deli plate and homemade soup, with local guide, artist and storyteller Audrey Kyle.

7.       Circe’s Supper Club: The Ark after Dark, Newtownards, 26 October.  Step inside Mount Stewart for a 1920s celebration of the unusual and unexpected. Join Circe for an evening of music and unusual theatricals, where the worlds of reality and myth will become thoroughly confused.

8.       Terror on the Tracks, Downpatrick, 26 October. Hop aboard an adults-only steam train to a haunted graveyard with the Downpatrick Railway and County Down Railway. Witness what is stirring in the night, watch out for strange characters and listen to dark tales of the past.

9.       City of Derry International Choir Festival 2019, Derry~Londonderry, 23-27 October. Enjoy a stellar line-up of guest artists and 100 participating choirs for a jam-packed five-day festival, opening at the Guildhall and performances in a number of venues across the city.

10.   Pumpkinfest, Strangford, 26-27 October. Pick, scoop and carve a pumpkin, enter a scarecrow into the scarecrow competition and solve the clues on the trail at Castle Ward this Halloween.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com. For additional Taste the Island events, please visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/tastetheisland

Food Focus: 10 things to do in Northern Ireland

As part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative for 12 weeks DiscoverNorthernIreland.com will have the top three food experiences and events in their weekly  10 things to do listing. DiscoverNorthernIreland.com has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week including three food experiences and events (14-20 October)

1.       Dine and Stay, Kilkeel, 19 October. A pop up restaurant in The Barn at The Green Holiday Cottages will be the setting for a delightful evening meal. With a focus on local produce and producers the menu will be based on the fishing and farming heritage of the Kilkeel area.

2.       Goatober Supper Club, Ballycastle, 12 October. The forward-thinking  Broughgammon Farm is run by The Cole family, who aim to maintain high standards in the industry by paying particular attention to animal welfare, the environment and global food security. The theme for their supper club evening this month will be goat.

3.       Long Meadow Farm/Cider Tour, Craigavon, 19 October. Immerse yourself in this unique experience whilst being guided through our 30 acre orchard with various plantations and see how the famous PGI Status Bramley Apple is grown, harvested, processed and pressed to be transformed into brands of award winning artisan ciders, apple juice and apple cider vinegar.

4.       Wild About Food: Brilliant Berries, Larne, 19 October. Autumn is the perfect time to forage for wild berries and learn how to make your own delicious jam and chutney. Walk led by Forage Ireland expert Dermot Hughes.

5.       A Night of Belfast Music, Belfast, 19 October. With proceeds going to Extern charity, this show at the Empire features the talents of Leah McFall, David C. Clements, LARKS, Emma Wallace and Rebecca Fitch.  Enjoy some of the hottest up and coming talent that the city has to offer while supporting a good cause.

6.       Aly Harte Art & Food Workshop , Whitehead, 15 October.  Aly Harte is a talented local artist, who at this event will give you some fantastic painting pointers in a perfect coastal setting, while Lighthouse Bistro serves delicious freshly made canapés at the table using locally sourced produce.

7.       The Lurgan Lectures: ‘Place-names in Lurgan: From Plantation to Present, Lurgan, 14 October.  In this lecture at Brownlow House, Dr Frances Kane and Prof Michael O’Mannion of the Northern Ireland Place Names Project will provide an insight into the origins, meanings and transformation of the townland names of Lurgan and the surrounding area.

8.       Belfast International Arts Festival, Belfast, 15 October – 3 November. This festival brings an eclectic fusion of cutting-edge performances to Belfast with world-class theatre, dance, visual art, music, film, literature and talks. With over 200 events to choose from, the 57th edition promises to stretch minds, challenge perceptions, and to surprise and delight audiences.

9.       Athenry: Dance of the Celts, Belfast, 16 October. Ta Da Irish Dance Company presents the tale of the famous song ‘The Fields of Athenry’ as you’ve never seen it before at the Cabaret Supperclub.

10.   Ghosts and Gourds Spooktacular, Ballynahinch, 19-20 October. Halloween is approaching and at Rowallane Garden there is a strange feeling in the air. See the garden come to life with mystical and magical myths inspired by local folklore. Bring the whole family along for some good old-fashioned, eerie fun.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com. For additional Taste the Island events, please visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/tastetheisland

Food Focus: 10 things to do in Northern Ireland

As part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative for 12 weeks DiscoverNorthernIreland.com will have the top three food experiences and events in their weekly  10 things to do listing. DiscoverNorthernIreland.com has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week including three food experiences and events (7-13 October)

1.       Slow Food Festival, Derry~Londonderry, 9-13 October.  Slow Food is a global, grassroots organisation that promotes true enjoyment of good food with the commitment to community and the environment – this two-day celebration showcases the best of local, clean, fair food with  talks and demos, tours and tastings, street food, family fun and much more at Guildhall Square.

2.       Taste Causeway 2019, Coleraine, 4-27 October. The Taste Causeway event will showcase the vibrant restaurant scene as well as offering a  full programme of food and drink experiences, including themed nights, taster menus, cookery classes, food tours, Econmusee tours, and opportunities to ‘meet the maker’.

3.       Mourne Mountains Food Trail, Annalong, 12 October. Let NI Food Tours take you off the beaten track into County Down, meet the local producers and farmers, hear their stories and taste their award winning food and drink.

4.       Portrush Motorcycle Beach Races, Portrush, 12-13 October. The East Strand will be the spectacular venue for the annual motorcycle beach races, organised by the Foyle District Motor Cycle Club, in conjunction with Causeway Coast and Glens Council.

5.       One Pot Feeds All: Talk and Book Signing with Darina Allen, Bellaghy, 7 October. Seamus Heaney HomePlace is delighted to welcome world-renowned cookery school owner and bestselling author Darina Allen for an intimate talk, cookery demonstration and book signing.

6.       Oktoberfest, Belfast, 4-19 October. Held in Custom House Square, the festival will have a full range of beers to suit your palate, including Paulaner Oktoberfest Lager which is only brewed for the Munich Beer Festival. All the food and beer will be served by friendly staff in traditional Bavarian costumes.

7.       Walled City Brewery Beer Masterclass, Derry~Londonderry, 12 October.  A 1½ hour interactive experience where you can relax and let the Walled City Brewery’s talented brewers tell you the extraordinary 9,000 year old story of brewing whilst tasting their ten house beers matched with artisanal local snacks.

8.       ‘Learn to’ Workshops, Lisburn, 12 October. As part of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Food & Drink events calendar, Larchfield Estate is hosting a series of ‘Learn To’ workshops. From bee keeping to fermentation and bread and jam making there’s a range of interesting workshops on offer.

9.       Fright Night, Magherafelt, 12-31 October. This year’s Fright Night at Jungle NI will see the return of the horrid and harrowing “Woodland Trail”. Freaky sets frame a haunting story to send shivers up your spine, coupled with special effects, atmospheric lighting throughout and a creepy cast of nefarious creatures.

10.   2 Hour Paranormal Investigation, Belfast, 11-31 October.  The chilling expert led two hour paranormal Investigation gives visitors the opportunity to interact with the spirits as they get hands on with authentic experiments using paranormal investigating equipment. The serious paranormal investigation will visit various hotspots of the Crumlin Road Gaol, where paranormal activity has been reported and sighted.For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com. For additional Taste the Island events, please visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/tastetheisland

Food Focus: 10 things to do in Northern Ireland

As part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative for 12 weeks DiscoverNorthernIreland.com will have the top three food experiences and events in their weekly  10 things to do listing. DiscoverNorthernIreland.com has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week including three food experiences and events (30 September – 6 October)

1.       Taste the Island on Rathlin Island, Rathlin Island, 4-5 October.  Slemish Market Supper Club presents “Taste the Island on Rathlin Island”. Hosted by two top chefs in two top venues, this weekend showcases the best of NI food and drink.

2.       Sustainable Seafood Soirée, Belfast, 4-11 October. This event being held at Fish City restaurant is aimed at seafood lovers who strive to be a conscious consumer. Enjoy a two-course seafood meal while hearing Fish City’s aim for sustainability and taking home a copy of ‘The Good Fish Guide’.

3.       The Randox Northern Ireland Potato Festival, Bushmills, 5 October. This festival at the Causeway Hotel, brings together members of the public and the farming community in a celebration of all aspects of the local potato industry.

4.       Waggy Races – The Castle Ward 5k, Strangford, 6 October. Waggy Races is a 5k fun run where you can enter as a runner, jogger or walker, with one or two dogs or in a pack, two runners and one dog. Race entry includes admission to Castle Ward, goody bags and prizes.

5.       Irish Vegan Festival, Belfast, 6 October.  The aim of this festival at the Europa Hotel, is to promote a vegan diet, sustainability and animal welfare in a positive atmosphere. It offers a range of stalls selling amazing vegan products ranging from cakes to jewellery to makeup and more.

6.       Hatch, Strabane, 5-6 October. This performance at the Alley Arts Centre introduces you to Bláithín, who loves caterpillars, moths and butterflies. Follow her on her adventurous journey with Uncle Rusty to find Pearl, the most extraordinary butterfly with the most exquisite colourful wings.

7.       Irish Gin and Cheese Pairing, Belfast, 3-4 October.  Taste and Tour have teamed up with industry experts to bring together an exciting evening, combining two of life’s greatest pleasures, gin and cheese.

8.       Broighter Gold Farm Tour, Limavady, 4-5 October. Visitors will tour the farm, before visiting the sheds and learning how the Broighter Gold journey started. Press and bottle your own Broighter Gold oils, before visiting The Lime Tree restaurant for lunch.

9.       Autumn Wellness & Natural Remedies, Ballycastle, 6 October. Learn how to make natural remedies to help aid a healthy and nourished autumn with Broughgammon Farm including a range of teas, honeys and gels.

10.   Signature Full Day Food Tour, Whitehead, 5 October. Hosted by Toast the Coast, this tour celebrates Northern Ireland food & drink as you journey by coach along the stunning scenery of the Causeway Coastal Route, with food tastings at each stop, light guided commentary and a meet & greet with locals to hear their stories.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com. For additional Taste the Island events, please visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/tastetheisland