Some of the food producers and food providers around Lough Derg who will take part in this year's Taste of Lough at its launch in Portumna Castle
A Taste of Lough Derg, now in its fifth successive year, returns this summer with over 30 food events taking place in villages and towns along the shores of Lough Derg.
The initiative is coordinated and supported by the Lough Derg Marketing Group and sees businesses from Clare, Galway and Tipperary come together to host food events to promote the Lough Derg Lakelands.
The calendar of events was officially launched in the stunning surrounds of Portumna Castle and newly opened tearooms by Sinead Hennessy, Fáilte Ireland’s food tourism officer.
The series is as a key guide in bringing visitors to the best destinations along the lake where an array of activities are on offer coupled with high quality food experiences and something to suit everyone’s taste buds.
The offerings will entice visitors, domestic and international, to linger and enjoy the unique and vibrant setting of Lough Derg with events such as paddle picnics; taste and make chocolate sessions; yoga in nature; meet the cheesemaker; guided foraging; mindful bread making; BBQs; garden tours, afternoon tea, tapas nights, and much more.
Ms Hennessy complimented Lough Derg Marketing Group and the food and activity businesses around Lough Derg for engineering such a large programme of events for 2018.
“Providing immersive experiences centering on Irish food and drink is a key objective for Fáilte Ireland and our recently published Food and Drink Strategy 2018–2023. It’s clear the businesses around Lough Derg have embraced this,” she said.
With a packed calendar of 38 events she added that “the businesses have focused on creating events that encourage visitor participation such as hands-on food making experiences, physical activities, fun and informative presentations”.
The series will also create an awareness locally of the quality food providers, award-winning restaurants, and artisans that exist on their own doorstep, said Ms Hennessy.
Joe MacGrath, chairperson of the Lough Derg Marketing Group, explained that “the co-ordination of events held each year has more than succeeded in meeting the initial objective of the Lough Derg Marketing Group of showcasing the local food offering around Lough Derg and getting food businesses to collaborate”.
He added that with the launch of the Lough Derg Blueway earlier this year the area now had an excellent tourism product to attract more domestic and international visitors to the region.
“A Taste of Lough Derg adds another dimension to the offering visitors can enjoy on the Lough Derg Blueway in counties Clare, Tipperary and Galway,” he said.
Áine Mc Carthy, tourism officer, said that the full programme of events was listed on www.atasteofloughderg.ie and most needed to be booked in advance. There is also a dedicated Facebook page and events will also be listed there.