The Irish food scene has exploded with freshness and flavour in recent years, bringing a sophisticated craft drinks industry along with it. Meetings, incentives, conference and events (MICE) participants in Ireland will be spoiled for choice when it comes to festivals, restaurants, and food trails, all dedicated to unlocking the delicious culinary experiences we’re becoming known for.
Johnnie Fox's, Dublin
Raise a toast
As glasses are raised for the traditional Irish toast of ‘slainté’ (meaning good health), vessels might be filled with the legendary Guinness stout, or perhaps one of the new native craft brews now earning global accolades. Ireland is brewing up a storm of new craft drinks, from hop-heavy beers and crisp ciders to select gins and whiskeys; MICE visitors can discover this first-hand on a series of immersive experiences in the nation’s breweries and distilleries. Learn how to pull the perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse or explore the magic of whiskey distillation on a Tullamore D.E.W. tour. There’s an amazing choice of local tipples to choose from when planning a meeting or team building activity, each guaranteed to add a note of authenticity to the celebrations.
A range of extraordinary experiences awaits within Ireland’s gourmet food and craft drinks sector. Sample medieval-style banquets in ancient castles, enjoy private cooking demonstrations in Ballyknocken Cookery School, or learn to bake authentic Irish soda bread; wherever you go, passionate artisan food suppliers are waiting to provide once-in-a-lifetime incentive programs for clients who demand the best.
Luxury tours of Irish breweries and distilleries offer samples of old family recipes and innovative new concoctions, while giving clients the chance to relax and strengthen friendships. The Guinness Storehouse, Teeling Whiskey Distillery, and Old Jameson Distillery all offer interactive and engaging experiences for groups, while micro-producers like Dingle Distillery and Walsh Whiskey Distillery provide an insight into handcrafted techniques.
From tours of the English Market in Cork (the gourmet capital of Ireland) to guided food trails that wind their way through Dublin’s cobbled streets, Ireland is waiting to tantalise the taste buds. Though the humble potato will always have its place, the nation’s food scene is re-emerging as a creative and dynamic sphere, so prepare to spice up your meetings in Ireland.
The Irish autumn reaps a harvest of food events, starting in September with Taste of West Cork, a celebration of the region’s abundant local produce. Waterford Harvest Festival Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival and Clarenbridge Oyster Festival follow, with October featuring Savour Kilkenny and the Dingle Food Festival. Any of these festivals will add an unforgettable flavour to MICE activities in Ireland, and a chance to interact and socialise with each other and the locals over some choice local delicacies.
The Dublin Bay Prawn Festival kicks off the spring season in March, while the Galway Food Festival, Cork Whiskey Festival and the West Waterford Festival of Food follow in April. In May there’s a chance to explore Cork’s Ballymaloe Cookery School at LitFest, a celebration of food and literature. Taste of Dublin and Bloom showcase the stunning range of cuisine that Ireland now boasts, with star appearances by top international chefs.
Escape the cities to see the rugged west and south-east coastlines burst with flavour during the Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival and Féile na Mara (Achill Island Festival of the Sea), both chances for MICE participants to immerse themselves in the incredible landscape of rural Ireland while enjoying honest, unpretentious Irish fare.
Northern Ireland for foodies
From bake offs to beer sampling, farmer's markets to food tours, gala dinner venues to gourmet goodies, it’s all on offer in Northern Ireland. Meetings, incentives, conference and events (MICE) participants will be spoiled for choice when it comes to fine dining, food trails, food-based activities and taste events. Find out more about Northern Ireland for foodies by reading this handy article.
Get in touch
For more information on Ireland's contemporary culinary culture contact the Meet in Ireland Team today.