Now and again I’m lucky enough to be invited to a special event. Yesterday was one of those days and this was an event that will be very hard to beat. I got to try some of the most fabulous food – all produced in Sligo and enjoyed the company of some lovely people.
Sligo Food Trail contacted me and asked if I would like to come along to their Harvest Feast. It was an early start with me joining some of the Food Trail members on the Sligo train to head to Connolly Station in Dublin. We did see a beautiful sunrise though.
When we arrived we were met by Kieran Quinn, and his baby grand piano, he was doing a wonderful job of entertaining the commuters.
The food trail members were handing out samples of some of the gorgeous Sligo food and I enjoyed handing out leaflets and telling people about our beautiful part of the world.
We were joined by other bloggers, journalists and media and boarded the train back to Sligo. Now this wasn’t your normal train this was a ‘food train’. I’ve never seen anything like it, the most beautiful food was awaiting us.
There was granola from Knox, juice from Sweet Beat, bread from My Strandhill Bakery, salmon and brown bread from the Riverside Hotel. Seaweed cheese straws from Eithna’s by the Sea. Teresa from Cawley’s Hotel was there with Guinness Bread and Rum Truffles. Aisling from WB’s Coffee House had some beautiful cup cakes. My Strandhill Bakery sent along buns and apple tart.
The ladies from Beltra Country Market had all kinds of everything including the most gorgeous beetroot burgers, fabulous falafel, ‘buzz balls’ (little peanut and seed balls), lemon drizzle cake, scones, apple tart and so much more! Not only that they even had a song for us!
I have never known a train journey go so quickly, it was just wonderful, and it wasn’t just about food.
Noelle from the Wild Atlantic Way told us all about this epic coastal drive. We were given a Wild Atlantic Way Passport which we can get stamped at over 188 signature points along the way. It’s a great excuse to go exploring – perhaps I’ll actually make it to Cork!
When we arrived at Boyle Station, Simon Cooper from Coopershill boarded the train with some beautiful venison. Coopershill is not just a venison farm it’s also a country house dating back to 1774 and offers luxury accommodation or a beautiful location for weddings.
At Ballymote Station we saw Adrian Sheerin from Sheerin’s Meatin’ Place. He gave us some of his award-winning sausages. They are available in all different flavours and he even has gluten-free ones, all delicious and the Maud Gonne ones caused a stir.
The journey didn’t stop when the train arrived in Sligo Station. We were met by The Sandbars Barbershop Quartet. I’ve never been serenaded getting off the train before – but I could get used to it!
Next stop was to lovely Lissadell House where Constance Cassidy was there to welcome us with champagne in the sunshine. After hearing some of the history of the house most of our group joined Dr. Prannie Rhatighan for a Seaweed Walk on Lissadell Beach.
I had the wrong shoes on so joined the Food Trail members to relax in the courtyard. It was heavenly sitting out in the sunshine enjoying apple juice from the Organic Centre, Rossinver and chocolates from the Glasshouse.
When the walkers arrived back they enjoyed Wild Atlantic Oysters and more champagne. I stayed on the apple juice as I was driving but it was delicious.
We were then invited in for lunch in Lissadell House which was prepared by the two chefs from Eala Bhan Restaurant.
After a gorgeous sweet potato and celery amuse bouche, we enjoyed a ‘Taste of the Wild Atlantic Way’; Lissadell mussles, pan seared scallop, kataffi prawn, lemon foam and all served on a bed of seaweed on an Easkey Rock.
The next course was Sligo Lamb from Sherlock’s of Tubbercurry, this was dressed in a herb crust with red wine and rosemary reduction, mini courgette puree and a creamy seaweed mash.
For dessert we were spoilt for choice with lovely little desserts including peanut better cake, mango and chocolate cake, Eton mess and a fruit meringue pastry. It was all delicious and an effort to move after such a lovely feast….and it wasn’t over!
Onwards to Laura’s of Carney – one of the newest Sligo Food Trail members – and a gorgeous Italian Restaurant. I was hooked from the moment I looked in the door and saw the Pug cushions. The food looked beautiful, but I have to admit I was too full to eat anymore, so I’ll just have to go back again.
As the sun set over Benbulben I bid farewell to the Sligo Food Trail party and headed home, the party continued for the others as they headed to Eala Bhan for dinner followed by Thomas Connolly’s Pub. I’d say there were some sore heads today!
A sincere thanks to all involved for a really wonderful day. It was such a pleasure to be part of it so thank you for asking me.