Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon’s premier food and drink celebration kicked off the harvest celebration with a stunning tasting menu of inspiring events.
Artisan food, scrummy cider, cookery demos and tastings were back in full flow at this year’s hugely successful Armagh Food and Cider weekend after a major show of support from visitors, participants and locals alike – and planning for next year’s food heartland spectacular is already under way.
Brimming with fine foods, foraged lunches, cider tasting, tours, talks and fiction amongst apple-laden orchards and other beautiful locations, the award-winning premier event marked its sixth anniversary this year with an unrivalled four-day schedule of events designed to celebrate the city and the Orchard County’s world class food and drink offer.
Famed for its thousands of acres of crunchy Bramley apples and its growing range of award-winning ciders, with more events, participants and visitors this year, the event has already been hailed a major triumph for its unrivalled choice of quality and engaging entertainment.
Described by the Irish Times as “one the world’s best food destinations”, there were dozens of exciting events, including specially-arranged dinners and lunches in unique Armagh locations stuffed with the best local ingredients, food tours, markets with artisan producers and food experiences – and plenty of apple juice and cider to enjoy.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr, said: “I’m delighted to see Northern Ireland’s premier food and drink event continue to add to its continued success.
“The Armagh Food and Cider Weekend proudly and expertly showcases the city and region’s rich culinary quality and heritage and the depth and experience of our food producers, suppliers and hospitality industry.
“Given the excellent feedback received this year, I commend the organisers and all the participants for their work delivering the finest festival event yet and I look forward to its return in 2022.”
Armagh’s historic Crannagael House, the Keepers Cottage close to Gosford Forest, Armagh Robinson Library and Milford House all featured in the impressive programme of inspiring food and drink events this year, which complemented a choice of apple-picking, tours, breakfasts, lunches, afternoon teas at the multi award-winning Blackwell House.
The beautiful orchard surrounds of Armagh Cider and Long Meadow Farm and the rolling hills of Brookvale Farm were also a big hit this year.
This year’s event, which kicked off on Thursday, September 9, and ran until Sunday, September 12, was supported by Tourism Northern Ireland, DAERA and the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme.
An annual festival favourite since 2015, Armagh Food and Cider Weekend has grown to become one of the most successful foodie events in the UK and Ireland and is supported by Food Heartland chefs and local food and drink producers, restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops.
Officially one of the top foodie destinations on the island of Ireland, this fast-growing annual event won best ‘food and drink experience of the year’ in 2019 at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards.
n The district of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon is among 20 across the UK vying to become City of Culture 2025.