First Fermanagh Restaurant Week goes down a treat
NI Year of Food and Drink
Published September 27, 2016
Fermanagh diners have been wowed this week by the fantastic range of events happening in local eateries and attractions as part of the county’s first Restaurant Week. The initiative, which has been organised by Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism in conjunction with the tourism trade, saw a ten day celebration of local food and drink inspired by the 2016 Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink.
The ‘Week’ started off on Friday 16th September with a tapas night at Tullymill Restaurant in Florence Court which, after selling out, ran a second night the following week off the back of its success. Many local restaurants ran specials throughout the week to give discerning diners something they wouldn't normally see on their menus. Cafe Merlot ran Game of Thrones menus to highlight the presence of the Game of Thrones door in the Blakes of the Hollow complex while the Killyhevlin ran a 'Taste of Killyhevlin' menu for a number of nights. Pat O'Doherty's Black Pudding Festival finale took place in Magee’s and was a wonderful night for all involved.
Other highlights of the week included three signature events which took place at the newly refurbished Enniskillen Castle - where the venue became a restaurant for three nights only. Wednesday 21st saw the Castle host a medieval banquet organised by the Westville Hotel. Customers were treated to a traditional medieval night where a wonderful five course banquet was served. Saddlers Restaurant was the venue on Thursday 22nd when a Northern Ireland gourmet dinner was served by candlelight. Both these events took place in a marquee in the grounds of the Castle and were a sell-out success with over 80 people attending each night.
The Lough Erne Resort, under the supervision of their executive head chef Noel McMeel, produced a 'Fall in Love with Lough Erne' menu which was served on the new first floor level of the visitor centre with panoramic views of the grounds of the Castle on Friday 23rd September. This was another sell-out with nearly 100 people in attendance.
Theresa McVeigh from Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism said, "Fermanagh has such wonderful restaurants and food produce that Restaurant Week was the perfect way to celebrate this during the Year of Food & Drink. We were overwhelmed by the support it received from our trade who were delighted to be part of the event and really got behind it, with over 50 events taking place over the ten days. We hope that those who attended the events enjoyed it and got to experience the exceptional quality our food industry has to offer. The pop-up restaurants at the Castle were a great success that highlighted one of our iconic visitor attractions and how it can be used for a variety of events."
Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism conducted an extensive marketing campaign around the event which included the production of 65,000 detailed programmes which were distributed throughout every home in Fermanagh and Omagh, banners and roadside signs, local newspaper advertising, PR activity, extensive social media campaigns, attendance at various promotions throughout the year and production of promotional collateral.
Some of the other events which took place during Restaurant Week included afternoon tea at Florence Court, local Black Bacon pizza at Little Wings, a European Tasting Menu in the Westville Hotel, a Pokertree craft beer event at The TapHouse, a cookery demonstration at the Watermill Restaurant as well as some on-the-water dining experiences by Lady of the Lake at the Manor House Country Hotel, Erne Tours and Erne Water Taxi. All establishments who took part have reported increased business over the course of Fermanagh Restaurant Week.
Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism would like to acknowledge the funding and support received through Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and Lakelands & Inland Waterways Initiative (funded by Waterways Ireland and Failte Ireland).
CAPTIONS: Top, Lough Erne Resort's Pop Up Restaurant in the new Visitor Information Centre at Enniskillen Castle and Bottom, Norman Coalter from Saddlers Restaurant Enniskillen hosted a Pop Up Restaurant at Enniskillen Castle
Posted by Tourism NI
Produced by Tourism NI