I had the pleasure of attending the Waterford Festival of Food last weekend for the first time and it didn't disappoint! The festival programme was jam packed with tons of events for foodies and non-foodies alike. Some of the events were ticket only and all were very reasonably priced, there were also lots of free events on offer too. We attended the bar-b-que in Lawlors Hotel on the Friday night and for €20 we had a delicious big plate full of fresh local pork, lamb and chicken. It was slow cooked over a large bbq and served with beautiful salads and finished off with scoops of local farmers ice cream and tasty hot brownies! As the dance floor became packed we made a quick exit and hit my favourite bar in Dungarvan, Merrys Gastropub. There was great craic in Merrys and we heard all the news from people spilling in from across the road in The Tannery (my favourite restaurant in Dungarvan) where Michelin Star Chef Angela Hartnett was guest Chef for the evening.
Saturday we had booked ourslves on the 'Bia Bus' tour which was a
fantastic experience. We all piled on to our minibus where a local
school teacher was our tour guide for the day. He was full of really
interesting stories about the many townlands we passed through as we
headed through the beautiful scenery of West Waterford and along the
Blackwater river. Our first stop was Eamon Lanergons farm where he
produces Knockanore Irish Farmhouse Cheese.
We got to meet Eamon as he brought us on a tour of his cheese making
facility and we leant all about the history of his farm which finished
with an opportunity to taste the wonderful cheese he produced in his
farm. My favourite was his Oakwood Smoked Semi Soft Cheese. From there
we headed to a neighbouring farm ran by Thomas Baldwin where he produces
Baldwins Farmhouse Icecream.
Even though it was a cold day, we couldn't resist the tub of tiramisu
ice cream Thomas gifted us on our departure form his farm and it was
fabulous! The final stop on the Bia Bus Tour was at Lismore,
a really beautiful heritage town overlooked by the beautiful Lismore
Castle. After a stroll around the small farmers market we had a well
deserved cup of tea in the local tea rooms before our bus took us back
to Dungarvan. We really enjoyed the bus tour and I even had the pleasure
of meeting fellow blogger,the lovely Ailbhe from www.simplysplendiferous.com
Dungarvan Brewing Company), Eunice Power (Cooking for You) and Niamh Shields (Eat Like a Girl).
They transfomed the atrium of the civic offices into a top notch
restaurant and I have to admit that the food was better than a lot of
restaurants I've eaten here in Dublin. My favourite was the duck terrine
starter (above) and I also loved Niamh Shields bacon jam. For main
course I had a beautiful monkfish and mussels dish and I finished off
the meal with a scrumptious chocolate mousse. The evening was a great
success and we really enjoyed all of the fantastic food, wine, local
beer and entertainment.
I am a regular visitor to Waterford but
this was my first time at The Waterford Festival of Food and I have to
say it was one of my most enjoyable weekends away in a long time. The
festival was really well organised and it had a very local feel to it. I
got to see parts of Waterford on the Bia Bus tour that I hadn't
previously seen and as always Waterford never fails to surprise me with
its diverse beauty. I can safely say that The Waterford Festival of Food
will be an annual event for me and I am looking forward to 2013