Food dreams - Irish food festivals

With a name like mine it's hardly a surprise that I have Irish ancestry.

Travelling to Ireland to where the mountains of Mourne run down to the sea, the place my grandfather said our family originated, is still on my to do list.

I'm now adding one of these Irish festivals to the list. Ireland has a frenzy of food festivals set to entice and excite your taste buds this September and October. Highlights not to be missed include the Galway Oyster Festival, Arthurs Day, the Taste of West Cork Food Festival and the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival to name just a few.

Taste of West Cork Food Festival, 10th-16th September
Something is brewing in the south of Ireland’s gourmet capital, the Taste of West Cork Food Festival. The main highlight of the festival is the much anticipated ‘Celtic Cook Off’ which showcases some of the best local produce and talent on offer from across the Celtic Isles. Watch chefs cook off against each other using only local produce plus one ‘wild card’ ingredient from their local area. Pick up some new cookery skills throughout the festival while you sample some of the freshest and finest local produce that Cork has to offer.

Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival , 28th- 30th September
Ireland has a long standing reputation for producing some of the finest seafood in Europe so it comes as no surprise that we are home to the oldest oyster festival in the world. Recommended by Lonely Planet and noted by the AA Travel Guide as one of ‘Europe’s Seven Best Festivals’, there is something for everyone to enjoy from the uniquely Irish opening ceremony to the World Oyster Opening Championships and the city-wide celebrations. Start practising your shucking technique and spoil yourself with the abundance of fresh seafood and oysters on offer, guaranteed to satisfy!

Arthurs Day 2012, 27th September
On September 27th at 16:59 Guinness Fans worldwide will be encouraged to ‘Raise a Glass to Arthur’ and where better to celebrate than in the heart Ireland! The country is set to come alive with electric festivals and events that always aim to delight and top previous years. Expect impromptu performances from international artists, parties to last long into the night and of course, a pint of the ‘black stuff’ in everyone’s hand! 

Savour Kilkenny Food Festival, 25th - 29th October
What better location to sample gourmet delights than against the regal backdrop of Kilkenny Castle on an Autumnal evening? Acknowledged in Ireland as one of the main counties leading a food revolution, discover how local chefs mix their favourite Irish produce with flavours from around the world, to give you exciting and new dishes that will leave you hungry for more.

And if that is not enough don’t forget The Clarinbridge Oyster Festival, 15th - 16th September; Taste of Monaghan Food Festival, 4th-7th October; The Dingle Peninsula Food and Wine Festival, 5th -7th October; and The Kinsale Gourmet Festival, 12th-14th October.

For more information, visit

Not your food dream?  Here are some others to consider or leave a comment below and share food dream love.

Beachside paddock to plate
Gourmet food race

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