We are part of the Burren Ecotourism Network (BEN), a group of businesses from every spectrum related to agriculture, food or tourism in the North Clare area. The network offers some authentic experiences, from food festivals to adventure activities. The Burren was even voted by the Restaurant Association of Ireland and the public as the best Food Destination in Ireland 2015!
The Burren Ecotourism Network has members who provide these three main services: Accommodation, Food (production and service) and Activities.
This page is dedicated to the Food side of things.
Burren Food Trail & Burren Food Festivals
The food businesses among the BEN members have created a very special trail, the Burren Food Trail, and the Burren Smokehouse is of course part of it. The Trail was honoured as the Irish winner of the 2015 EDEN (European Destination of Excellence) Award for developing a tourism offering based on their local gastronomy that balances sustaining the local environment with the promotion of viable tourism.
We invite you to get involved in the Burren food story. All the Food Trail members are passionate about food, growing and producing it locally for you to enjoy. The Burren Food Trail is more than a listing of quality food establishments in the area – it aims to uncover for you the path that your food takes from field to plate. You can decide for yourself how to follow the trail – stop at every point or else dip in and out along the way, according to your taste, interest and location. You have the choice between restaurants and cafés, or artisan food producers.
Some examples activities: Long Table Dinners in unusual locations, a vegetarian feast, a summer solstice evening party, cookery demos, BBQ’s, guided walks with lunches or afternoon teas, farm tours with ice cream or Burren cheese, gourmet salmon & wine pairing and many more events.
Burren Slow Food Festival
The Burren Slow Food Festival takes place in May in the Pavilion in Lisdoonvarna.
This weekend festival is a treat for the whole family and all individuals who care about food. As the longest running slow food festival in Ireland it attracts people from far and wide.
There is always a farmers market where people can stock up on locally produced delicacies. A great array of activities is organised: cookery classes for kids, a food forum with well-renowned food-associated celebrities, interesting talks, cookery demos, historical food walks in the Burren, and delicious banquets.
Visitors have the opportunity to get to know the artisan producers of the local area and the whole of Ireland who display their produce and talk about how they produced them.
Click on this link for information about the Burren Slow Food Festival.
Burren Food Fayre
The Burren Food Fayre is part of the Winterage Festival in the Burren, honouring our own unique terroir and food culture. On October Bank Holiday weekend, the Burren Ecotourism Network celebrates the harvest with the Burren Food Fayre at the Pavilion in Lisdoonvarna.
You will have a chance to judge the 'Best Taste of the Fayre' and 'Most Attractive Stall' of the Artisan Food Producers as you enjoy the tastes of the Burren food on offer.
You will enjoy cookery demonstrations covering preparing seafood, using local meats and artisan foods, gluten free baking and preparing dishes with foraged foods, talks on and tasting of wine and chocolate, and workshops according to an annual theme.
The Burren Masterchef Competition (including a Junior Masterchef Competition) is one highlight for all enthusiastic cooks, in which the winners will be chosen through blind tastings by a panel of judges. The competition encourages the use of wild, seasonal, foraged and local foods to produce award-winning culinary creations.
Click on this link for information about the Burren Food Fayre.
Activity & Adventure Trail
The members of the Burren Ecotourism Network have put together a fantastic array of activities into an Activity & Adventure Trail. You can choose between themed walks with knowledgeable guides who will reveal the secrets of the Burren for you at a leisurely pace. If you are more one for adrenalin and equipped with a sense of adventure, you could choose between rock climbing, kayaking and caving for which the Burren are famous. There is something for every taste!
Click on this link for more information.