Don’t let the fact that summer is behind us get you down - there’s a whole load of tasty autumn activity happening in the food and drink events world. Timely pop-ups, festivals focused on excellent seasonal ingredients, drinks to be drunk and plenty of fun to be had. Here’s a roundup of a few that are worth seeking out, all that’s left to do is get booking...
A Taste of West Cork Food Festival, 7th to 16th September
This part of the country is a microcosm of brilliant food producers, restaurants and creative hubs so you know a festival based here is going to throw up some gems and the lineup for this is one of the most extensive and impressive going. Expect a unique mix of food markets, cooking demonstrations, dinners, brunches and banquets with guest chefs, food-tastings, talks, exhibitions and children's events. Some highlights include a Jazzy Brunch in the stunning Glebe Gardens on Sunday 9th, Heron & Grey takeover at Mews Restaurant in Baltimore on Tuesday 11th and ‘Plenty of Fish’ at Restaurant Chestnut in Ballydehob with chef Rob Krawczyk and seafood legend Niall Sabongi on Friday 14th. With plenty more between.
Cliff Oyster Festival, across September
September is possibly the best time of year to eat oysters in Ireland, our famous seasonal natives are ready to be harvested, a world famous delicacy it’s no wonder we have plenty of events celebrating them. Seafood favourite The Cliff Townhouse hosts it’s 7th Oyster Festival this time expanding to its sister properties Cliff at Lyons in Kildare, and Cliff House Hotel in Waterford. The month long celebration will see a Jazz & Oyster Sunday Lunch on 16th in Dublin and an Oyster Tour & Supper with Harty’s Oysters in Ardmore on Thursday 27th. And throughout the month of September, all three properties will be doing oyster specials, the perfect time to dive in.
Brewtonic Beer Festival, 21st to 23rd September
No beards, check shirts or tatoos needed to join in with Brewtonic’s Beer Festival hosted across Eatyard and The Bernard Shaw. They’ve curated a chilled out beer festival with a strong food focus that should appeal to beer nerds and novices alike. Brew & Chew see’s Eatyard vendors join up with craft brewers for fun food pairings, pop-up bars across the weekend include Rascals, Kinnegar, Beavertown, Hopfully, Five Lamps and drinks experts Grand Cru. There are well curated talks, chats, games and demos happening and Sunday see’s The Dublin Mikkeller Running Club doing a few laps around the (hopefully) sunny environs of Portobello.
Galway Oyster Festival, 28th to 30th September
Probably the best known oyster festival and with good reason, it’s been 64 years in the making and people come from all over the world to Galway to celebrate this great Irish mollusc. Over the three days the city comes together to celebrate everything oyster, expect to find seafood trails, oyster hotspots, talks, tastings, demos, live entertainment and the pinnacle of the weekend - the highly competitive World Oyster Championship on the Saturday, which is a marvel to watch. There’s a Masquerade Mardi Gras, family day on the Sunday and with plenty of local businesses and restaurants joining in with oyster specials. A tasty way to spend a weekend in buzzing Galway.
Grandmothers Day at Ballymaloe, 30th September
The first ever Slow Food Grandmother's Day takes place on Sunday 30th September at Ballymaloe Cookery School hosted by Darina Allen who is keen to celebrate the special bonds between grandparents and grandchildren and the sharing food knowledge and skills. Rebecca O’Sullivan author of Granny Skills and previous guest at Ballymaloe Lit Fest is over from Australia. A packed day will include talks on edible flowers and herbs for health, how to make edible skin-care, seed sowing and farm tours. Demonstrations will span ferments, spoon carving, butter making and baking. All happening in the beautiful grounds of the Ballymaloe cookery school.
Dingle Food Festival, 5th to 7th Oct
As if you’d ever need a excuse to visit Dingle, but if you do, seek out their food festival in October. The charming seaside town already has a strong food reputation and the headline act is definitely Dingle itself with unabashed involvement from the whole town. The exceptional ‘Taste Trail’ includes over 70 venues around from pubs, galleries, shops to the restaurant favourites, Out of the Blue and The Chart House. Expect plenty of ingredients farmed, foraged and fished from the surrounding peninsula including local seafood, fresh bakes, Atlantic seaweed, Kerry lamb and plenty of Dingle Gin. There are cookery demonstrations peppered across the weekend and street entertainment galore.
SPIT Wine Festival, 11th October
Don’t let the name put you off, you will not be expected to spit all your wine. SPIT stands for ‘Special Professional Independent Tasting’ but lucky for us they open the doors to non-professionals for this fun, independent wine event. Held this year in the smart industrial chic Chocolate Factory expect a chilled wine tasting event focused on out of the ordinary and artisan wines. This informal tasting is open to professionals, enthusiasts and novices alike. With they guys behind the hugely popular Piglet Wine Bar part of the team you know you’ll be looking at fun and accessible drinking. Tickets cost €30 and can be booked online through www.spit.ie
Bean and Goose Chocolate Workshop, 13th October
Anyone who’s tasted Bean and Goose will know these gals know their chocolate. They make exceptional and beautiful artisan creations with a focus on single origin cocoa and foraged local seasonal ingredients. This workshop will concentrate on the art of truffle making, teaching you skills like ganache infusing and truffle rolling with a focus on herbal and fruit flavours. You’ll make your own truffles to take home and it all takes place in the beautiful surrounds of Firmont House. A sweet afternoon guaranteed.
Eat-ith at The Fumbally Stables, across September & October
The Fumbally Stables have been quietly upping their food event game over the past few years and this season sees no slowing down with an impressive selection of workshops, events and talks surrounding food culture in Ireland under the name EAT:ITH. They are collaborating with some of the country's best names in all areas of food so there’s something for all levels of interest and budget. An absolute must should be the closing night dinner. A six course meal cooked by Jess Murphy from Kai, Carmel Somers from Good Things Café and Rose Greene from de Wulf, Coombeshead. Matching wines for this feast will come from Le Caveau taking inspiration from some of the finest female winemakers on their list. The Dinner takes place Saturday 27th October and tickets are €60. You can book at www.eat-ith.com