Saturday 21 April 2018

Taste of success - sun and drinks the perfect recipe for food festival

Clockwise from above: Tina Mooney, Dionne Taylor, Emma Thunder and Katie Lyons at Taste of Dublin Photo: Mark Condren
Clockwise from above: Tina Mooney, Dionne Taylor, Emma Thunder and Katie Lyons at Taste of Dublin Photo: Mark Condren
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Blistering temperatures in the capital city across the weekend saw massive numbers of foodies gobbling up this year's Taste of Dublin festival.

As Dublin sweltered in the glorious sunshine, a total of 35,000 people poured through the gates of Iveagh Gardens to quench their thirst in the city centre while munching down on a total of 80,000 dishes.

Last year saw organisers record a similar figure but as a sign of its growing popularity, this is up nearly 10,000 visitors from 2013 as the 2017 event was sold out to full capacity.

As further proof the good times are back in the hospitality sector, this year saw spending on food and beverages up a total of 25pc.

Over in the champagne-filled VIP tent, the amount spent on corporate hospitality was up a massive 32pc. The event also had the biggest line-up of experts ever, with more than 30 Irish and international chefs doing cooking demonstrations and pressing the flesh with the punters.

It's now in its 12th year, and Taste MD Avril Bannerton said that planning has already begun for the 2018 event.

"We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both our exhibitors and visitors over the past four days," she said.

"We have always sought to improve Taste of Dublin each year and we're certainly happy that we achieved that."

The party was in full swing in the southside venue for the last day of the festival as gourmands came together for a final hurrah.

Exhibitors were doing a roaring trade in everything from prosecco to elderflower custard and even gin and tonic popcorn.

Friends Helen Gallagher, from Dalkey, and Carolyn McDonnell, from Bray, said that they left the Dalkey Book Festival especially to attend.

"It's my third time here and it's an absolutely fantastic day. It's one big happy festival. It's just got that extra bit of joie de vivre," said Ms McDonnell.

Making their debut at the event were newlyweds Ashley and Gary O'Reilly, from Celbridge, Co Kildare, who got hitched in March and were still celebrating their union with a few tipples.

"This is our first time here. It's great craic, the sun is shining. It's a great experience. We don't want to leave," said Ashley.

Some came from further afield, including pals Sinéad O'Meara and Breda Hogan, who got the bus up from Tipperary just for the festival.

Irish Independent

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