Ireland now has a chocolate, beer and bacon tour - 'the three most amazing things in the world'
A new 'Salty, Malty and Sweet Tour' takes foodies on a weird and wonderful tour of Wexford, says Nicola Brady
Hold onto your belt buckles. There’s a new food tour on the scene, and it shines a light on the holy trifecta of treats – chocolate, bacon and beer.
The Salty, Malty and Sweet Tour, run by Gallivanting Tours, promises to take you on an exclusive jaunt around some of Wexford’s foodie highlights.
Running on select Fridays from July 6, participants will learn how the foods are made, fill your belly with samples and, in some cases, make something of your own.
The day tour costs €180pp, including lunch and all sorts of goodies.
You’ll start off in the beautiful farmhouse that’s home to Irish chocolate makers Bean and Goose near Ferns, spending time learning how to temper chocolate on a slab of marble, and create your own bar using ingredients either foraged or grown on site.
Think elderflower, lovage, gorse… even rose petals. You’ll also sample their own products (in case your chocolatier skills are lacking) and take two of their bars home, along with your own creation.
After a lunch stop at The Wilds, the cafe, craft and design shop in Enniscorthy, it’s on to the bacon.
The secret to the curing of O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon is closely guarded, but you’ll get a glimpse into the process with Mary O’Neill herself, as well as a bacon buttie and some rashers to take home.
After a quick stop in Kate’s Farm Shop outside Wexford town, you’ll finish up the day at the Drew Fox Brewery with a tour, some samples and two bottles to take home (there’s chilled storage in the vehicle, FYI, so your goodie bag will survive the duration).
The element of exclusivity is key – Bean and Goose offers private workshops, but neither O’Neill’s nor the Drew Fox Brewery offer public tours.
So, how did this tasty tour come around?
“My love of chocolate, bacon and beer!” founder Lorraine O’Dwyer told Independent.ie Travel. “They’re the three most amazing things in the world.”
Location was a part of the decision too.
“Wexford is a big county, and there are a lot of food producers here. These three are all close together, so it’s geographic, but also they pair perfectly together.”
O’Dwyer is also one of the founders of Taste Wexford, an operation promoting the various producers in the county.
“We’ve always had an amazing amount of artisan food producers and local farmers, but we’ve never shouted about it," she says. "What we’re trying to do now is to shout about it, and to tell people about Wexford and its food.”
NB: Tours run to September (gallivanting.ie and tastewexford.ie).
Four more foodie tours to try…
1. Galway goodies
It’s not just the city you can see with Galway Food Tours – Sheena Dignam also runs tours of Connemara and the Aran Islands, as well as a food and cycling tour. 2.5 hour city tours from €50pp plus booking fee. See galwayfoodtours.com.
2. A Sligo smorgasbord
Take yourself off on a self-guided tour with the Sligo Food Trail guide, or book a seaweed harvesting walk or pizza making workshop. Prices vary, with a 'Coney Island Experience with Dr. Prannie Rhatigan from €30pp. See sligofoodtrail.ie.
3. Delectable Dublin
The five-star Westbury Hotel has teamed up with Fabulous Food Trails, combining a three-hour foodie tour of Dublin with a stay for two in a luxurious suite and a full Irish breakfast the following morning. The overnight experience costs €590. See doylecollection.com/westburyhotel.
4. A bite of Belfast
Try some of the best produce in Belfast on a walking tour with Taste and Tour – they also do a Gin Jaunt... Prices start from £55/€62pp. See tasteandtour.co.uk.
Read more:The Irish Foodie Bucket List: 30 dishes worth travelling for