Categories: Food & Drink

Home grown, fresh and tasty

The Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion is a veritable smorgasbord of delightful and tasty experiences for foodie fanatics. Take a pinch of the freshest air, the finest land and cleanest oceans and mix it up with the finest quality meats, indigenous herbs, hand-picked botanicals, freshly grown fruit, organic vegetables and you’ve the makings of one giant kitchen that caters to every taste imaginable.

Sweet retreat

Get your food retreat off to the sweetest possible start at NearyNógs Stoneground Chocolate Makers near Newry, the first bean to bar chocolatier in Ireland. Everything they use here is ethically sourced and sustainable. This family run company pays above market value to ensure that the farmers who produce their cocoa beans and their families can make a decent living. You can find out more about the cocoa bean’s fascinating journey and sample the results with a tour of their factory.

The Killowen Distillery hosts tours of their traditional small batch distillery daily. Not only will they take you through their entire production process for gin, poitín and their top-class pot still Irish whiskey, they'll also give you a run-down of the history of distilling in Ireland and how it has left its mark in very different ways around the world. They might even get into some of the local stories of years gone by when distilling in these parts was maybe not so legal.

Teetotalers should head straight for the Canal Court Hotel in Newry and indulge in a sumptuous afternoon tea. It’s the perfect spot to settle down after a day out shopping with a range of teas having been selected to accompany the three tiers of food that come with the hotel’s wonderful offering. Enjoy a selection of finely cut sandwiches and savouries, before starting on the home baked scones and sweets.

Foody adventurers will find NI Food Tours a great way of getting to see and taste a little bit of everything in the heart of Visit Mourne. Not only will you get your hands a little dirty making your own soda bread but you’ll harvest and eat your own oysters and discover more about the inner workings of a cider brewer. Along the way, you’ll eat at award-winning restaurants where everything is fresh and local.

Aspiring chefs will enjoy the Catch to Cook Experience at the Mourne Seafood Cookery School where you’ll get some great hands-on cooking lessons from some top local chefs. Given its location near the coastal village of Kilkeel, it’s no surprise that there’s a focus on fish. You’ll learn more about what to look for when buying, handling and cooking seafood and you’re sure to come away with a whole new pool of knowledge that will impress your guests at your next dinner party.

Killeavy Castle Estate has a number of great experiences on offer for those interested in the culinary arts. Whether you join the estate forager for an engaging wild food and foraging experience or find out all about pickling and fermenting on a masterclass with their head chef, you will certainly pick up some tasty tidbits and more than a few morsels of food knowledge. Why not stay the night though for their seven course farm to fork tasting experience. All of the ingredients are either grown in their walled garden or come from local producers.

A brewery with a story for the ages

Given that Bernard and Kerry Sloan started Whitewater Brewery in their grandfather’s shed, you would have to say they have come along way. You’ll hear the story of how it all began on their fifth generation family farm in 1996 and grew from a few bottles to a business that exports all over the world. Their two-hour Grain to Glass Plate Experience lets you enjoy their tasty brews while indulging in the best of local street food.

Combine your love of the great outdoors with some of our finest locally brewed craft beers on the Trails and Ales Tour. Choose one of three guided excursions, and sample Whitewater Brewery’s beers in the landscape which inspires them. 

Get shaking and stirring

Shortcross Gin’s distillery on the grounds of Rademon Estate is quite the site. On arrival, you’ll see the stunning glass still house which displays their shiny copper stills. You’ll be licking your lips straight off the bus and want to get in and start shaking up your very own cocktails.

Speaking of cocktails, you can mix it up even more with the resident mixologist at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa. Take a two-hour masterclass and enjoy the spoils of your work before taking your newly acquired knowledge away and wowing your friends with Daiquiris and Death by Chocolate.

Tea-totallers might prefer to spend some time at Montalto Estate where you can find out more about the splendour of this Georgian House on a private tour before settling down to a magical afternoon tea. Served on the finest china in the aptly named Chinese Room, you can take your sweet time making your way through the delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and the colourful variety of handcrafted miniature pastries and sweet treats. In summertime you can expect refreshing iced tea and in December look forward to their famous mince pies.

With so many experiences to choose from you’ll be dining out on the stories for years to come.

Canal Court Hotel and Spa
View of the front of the Canal Court Hotel and Spa building, fountain also in the picture.

The Canal Court Hotel & Spa is a fine four star property, with a total of 110 bedrooms & suites, extensive Health & Leisure Complex and stunning Spa, perfectly located in the heart of the City close to both Bus & Rail Stations.

Mourne Seafood Cookery School
Cookery School
Mourne Seafood Cookery School

The state of the art Mourne Seafood Cookery School offers a range of cookery courses and demonstrations on local seafood.

Killeavy Castle Estate
Aerial view of Killeavy Castle Estate. A luxury Hotel Spa destination in Newry, Northern Ireland.

Welcome to Killeavy Castle Estate, the perfect antidote to the modern fast paced world. Named winner of the Luxury Castle Hotel (Europe) Award at the prestigious World Luxury Awards 2021, it’s the ideal place to escape and unwind, and is located just 10 minutes outside Newry City.

Whitewater Brewery Tours and Tap Room
Brewery/Distillery Tour
Whitewater Brewery Tours and Tap Room

Join us for a look around our brewery, see how we make some of our award winning brews, then head back to the Tap House where you can try some ales and hear some tales.

Slieve Donard Resort and Spa
Slieve Donard Exterior

A beloved destination for families, golfers, and holiday travellers, Slieve Donard is a local landmark that’s equal parts homey and breath-taking. The resort sits at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, on the edge of Royal County Down Golf Club, ranked no. 1 in the world by Golf Digest.

Montalto Estate
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Picture of Montalto House, Montalto Lake and Boathouse all within Montalto Estate in Ballynahinch.

Montalto Estate in Ballynahinch is a mystical and enchanting estate, set in magnificent natural surroundings. Visitor experience includes access to the estate's beautiful gardens; historic walks and trails and an exciting play area where children can engage, explore and learn.