1. Cooper’s Deli
Fiona serves one of the best cups of tea I’ve ever had (big statement) in Royal Albert fine bone china cups. Along with this comes little hot toddy scones, drunken jam and cream as well as Broughgammon Farm goat bacon on bite sized slices of baguette. The gorgeous food is accompanied by stories of three generations of coopers at the Bushmills Distillery (her father, brother and nephew).
2. Glass’s Fruit Shop
This fruit and vegetable shop has been here for generations and showcases produce sourced fresh from Magilligan each morning, local jams and chutneys and, of course, soup veg and potatoes. Irish Feast guests learn what ‘soup veg’ is and experience stone dried dulse in season - an old fashioned food rediscovered as a modern super-food.
3. The River Bush
The river Bush has spawned mills and salmon and viking raids and leisurely Saturday fishing for over 1000 years. Salmon still spawn up river in Armoy each year and run in spring. There’s a bridge which was donated to the village by Diageo on the 400th anniversary of the license to distill whiskey in Bushmills. Standing here is one of the prettiest views in a very pretty village - we sometimes still see salmon leap whilst crossing it.
4. The best picnic sandwich ever.
Part of the Bushmills Food Tour has to be salmon. At picnic benches looking back towards the internationally important salmon research station, we eat North Coast Smokehouse hot roasted smoked salmon on locally baked wheaten bread, flavoured with Broighter Gold rapeseed oil and The Woman Next Door’s beetroot and dill chutney. A taste bud tantalising mouthful of deliciousness.
5. Old Bushmills Whiskey Distillery
A whiskey connoisseur talking you through a glass of unique, 12 year old whiskey only available here, at the distillery. I don’t think I need to say more...
6. Tartine at the Distillers’ Arms
Gary Stewart is the current holder of the best Ulster Chowder as well as Chef of the Year. He serves us a treat to the senses - sometimes its a sweet, sometimes its a savoury dish. Always it is amazing. It is hard to leave this beautifully designed and luxuriously decorated restaurant but we’re only at number six on our list, so onwards we go!
7. The Cod’s Way
Geoffrey McKillop uses the freshest, flouriest potatoes and cooks them three times to get crispy, fluffy chips that, no matter how full you are, you just HAVE to douse in salt and vinegar and inhale. Who could resist?! To add to this most traditional of treats, there’s honey and whiskey sausages from Mark Kane’s butchers - absolutely delicious.
8.The French Rooms
Stella Bolton is an excellent cook and a superb patisserie chef. The little trays of perfect sweet bites, decorated with edible flowers and tendrils, are irresistible. Served with a cafetiere of fantastic, fresh coffee, it’s a feast for the senses - sight, sound, smells.
9.The Bushmills Inn
There’s a secret library here and soft sofas you can sink into. Your Irish Feast guide leaves you here in the friendly, efficient hands of the waiting staff, with the words ‘espresso martini’ floating through your minds.
Are you convinced of the foodie fabulousness that is the Bushmills Food Tour? Do you want to experience this for yourself? And not once do we mention the Giant’s Causeway! Oh, OK, just the once, maybe...
Come and join us! Because...
10. We're very good at what we do! Cheers!