Tour Code: 46879P1
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Ballycastle Food Tour is a 6-stop food tour showcasing local Irish foods, producers, chefs, history and culture, only approx. 55 miles (89 km) away from the capital Belfast. Ballycastle’s eating places reflect its coastline, countryside and love of a ‘good feed’. It showcases everything from an Ulster Fry to bread and cakes, from fresh fish to high class patisserie, from cheese to ale, from local farmers to artisan producers. You stop at The Bay Café for a breakfast stack; walk around the local Spar tasting local cheese; Thyme and Co for cake and scones; The Central for seafood chowder and Guinness bread; O’Connors for a daily special and Rathlin Red Ale; Ursa Minor for sourdough bread and patisserie. It showcases other foodie and non-foodie gems, gives guests a sustainable cotton bag and local leaflets about what’s available in the town such as the Seaweed Spa and art galleries/shops. Your qualified Heritage Guide will guarantee you'll have great 'craic' (fun and laughter)!
Meet at the Ballycastle Visitor Centre at 10am, beside the Rathlin Ferry Terminal near Ballycastle Harbour. Before the tour commences, your guide will give you a health and safety brief, information about Rathlin, Ballycastle Harbour and the Ulster-Scots Kingdom of Dalriada. You will then move on to the Bay Cafe for an Ulster Fry breakfast stack and learn soda bread, potato bread (fadge), an Ulster Fry as well as local habits.
After breakfast, you are on to The Spar at the seafront for local cheeses (blue, seaweed, fruit, goat's, cow's...). See huge varieties of potatoes on sale and know which ones are for which meal, see a local grocery and deli and taste yummy artisan cheese. This is followed by a visit to Thyme and Co. where you get to taste local scones, cake, wheaten bread and kelp pesto, and hear from Tom and Eimear about this award winning cafe's ethos and produce.
At 11.30am you visit The Central Wine Bar, a sea food chowder. Sea food is a huge part of life on the north coast of Ireland, as is soup, and eating lots! Taste this delicious chowder with Guinness Bread, and fennel and pumpkin seed wheaten, after which you head to O'Connor's for a daily special depending on what's in season, what the chef liked that morning, which is always a surprise! As an extra treat, you get a tasting sample of The Glens of Antrim Craft Ale and Beer's Rathlin Red Ale - delicious, brewed less than 5 miles (8 km) away and goes with much of the local food. Yum!
Your last stop of the day will be Ursa Minor Bake House to indulge in some sourdough bread baked on the premises and handmade mini patisseries. Dara and Ciara are an inspirational young couple who, after travelling for some time, came back to Ballycastle and recreated the fresh, healthy, seasonal deliciousness served with quality coffees and teas that has led them to be multi-award winning in a very short space of time.
In season you also visit Ballycastle Museum to see artefacts stretching back over 10,000 years of settlement in this area and hear how the area became what it is today.