In My Blogroll, My Travels

Some of my summer highlights are always the food festivals.

Anyone who knows me knows how much of a foodie I am. And when June rolls around, the markets start to open up and my two favourite food festivals – Bloom and Taste of Dublin – come around.

This year I was lucky enough to attend Taste of Dublin courtesy of Bank of Ireland who are currently promoting their new graduate account. Yes, a year or two may have passed but I do still find it strange to be out in the real world now and walking through life as a graduate. But more on that later. Much later.

The weather was glorious!

So yes, Bank of Ireland gave myself and Conor VIP passes to Taste of Dublin and we couldn’t have been happier. As if there wasn’t enough food at the festival already, BOI gave us dinner and a free bar in their suite before we’d even ventured around the main part of the festival. We did our best to make the most of it, but I think I was a little too keen to see the rest of the stalls and sadly had to pull Conor away from the bar before he’d really made full use out of it! Next year maybe.

The BOI suite at Taste of Dublin

Taste of Dublin was on, as per usual, in the Iveagh Gardens. I always love the gardens, home to quirky summer gigs from Lisa Hannigan and Fleet Foxes, as well as providing a brilliant hidden garden on Harcourt street for when Stephen’s Green is just a little too packed with tourists.

But I always forget how surprisingly large the gardens are. Stalls upon stalls were placed throughout them, and each one boasted incredible Irish foods from all over the country. I sampled as much as I physically could. Ask Conor – I think he was part amazed part shocked at just how many samples I needed to try.

We also attended a few different talks and demonstrations throughout the festival, but one of our top talks had to be the Teelings whisky tasting. And we stumbled across it entirely by mistake. I was under the impression from the timetable that we were attending a talk on summer recipes but there must’ve been a change to the list as we landed in just in time to hear Teelings tell us the history of whisky in Ireland while giving us several glasses of their own whisky to sample.

I’m not a whisky drinker myself and only visited Jameson for the first time about two months ago, but since then I’ve gained a newfound appreciation for the drink and its place in Irish history. You’d never think how many incredible stories and Irish lives revolved around producing whisky here in Dublin and if any of you ever have visitors from afar, I’d 100% recommend taking them to one of our many distilleries. They make for a very interesting afternoon.

Aside from the whisky tasting, we also stopped to see a cupcake decorating class, watched some Thai boxing demonstrations and relax with a few cocktails provided by Barry’s Tea (I know, I was suspicious of their tea cocktails too, but they were incredible) on a Just Eat blanket. The advertising game in the gardens was high that day, but we were very happy to lap it all up.

Loving being VIPs for the event

I think Taste of Dublin is a very well organised event for Irish producers to showcase their finest foods, but we did both think that the event can make you spend far more than you initially might intend on so be warned! It’s a non cash event, so a person has to buy tokens at pop up stalls throughout the gardens in order to purchase food and drink. We ended up buying a lot more than we needed as we didn’t realise that BOI had kindly given us more than enough tokens to do us for the evening and we ended up sampling cocktails and cakes from almost every supplier in the place. Now I’m willing to admit that we went all out. I dare say we were even a tad excessive. But taking that into account, we tallied up how much we would have spent had we not attended with BOI, and we figured that the afternoon cost us about €80 or so, tickets included.

Not something you could attend every weekend, but worth it for an annual foodie event.

I’ll do a comparative post about Bloom, but for now I just wanted to write a little about my June. Taste of Dublin was a truly lovely way to end a weekend and a great way to spend a Sunday evening, but I did think it was a little weather dependent. We’ve been so lucky in Dublin lately, the sun has appeared far more than we’re used to, but I’ve been loving it.

Long may it last as far as I’m concerned.

Sorcha x

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