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“Donegal Good Food Taverns” to Launch on Monday, May 16th.

Diligent research always provides results and Enda O’Rourke from the award winning ‘Village Tavern’ in Mountcharles and Hugh O’Donnell from ‘The Seafood Bar’, 22 Main Street, Killybegs, are proof of this point! The two catering entrepreneurs realised that good regionally sourced food, served in the casual setting of a bar environment accompanied by traditional music, is one of the main criteria that the touring visitor is looking for in Ireland.

They set about bringing like-minded pub owners in the county together to form the new brand. As a result, the ‘Donegal Good Food Taverns’ group is due to launch, at a function
in the famous Nancy’s Bar, Ardara on Monday May 16th.

“The Very Best of Traditional Locally sourced Foods” is their motto!

Their philosophy is to serve up a generous serving of "Donegal on a Plate" using locally sourced seafood, lamb, beef, pork and vegetables, washed down with Irish & Donegal branded whiskeys and McDaid’s flavoured waters.

Add to this, the haunting sounds of Donegal musicians, fiddlers and storytellers in the corner of the eating-house and they surely have a recipe for success! They have built an itinerary of traditional Irish music, seven evenings a week at different venues throughout the trail.

The participating bars and restaurants have signed up to core principles and will be externally audited to authenticate that all principles are being delivered upon in the proper way! All group pubs have signed up to the sourcing of locally produced ingredients, highlighting freshness and quality.

Each Tavern will serve the signature dishes of local Oysters and a selection of genuine Old Irish Recipes on their individual menus. The group has also undertaken to provide a Traditional Music trail 7-nights a week, coupled with cultural nights, coffee making demos, stew making demos and story telling, early-evening and early-night!

Their studies found that many foreign tourists are in the habit of getting up earlier than their Irish counterparts and therefore the group decided to start the entertainment earlier for their enjoyment. This, I think, is a good idea. Far too many music sessions in Ireland, that are put on primarily for the visiting tourists, start much too late even for some of the musicians!

The participating bars in the Donegal Good Food Taverns group are:

Leo’s Tavern, Crolly
Nancy’s Bar, Ardara.
The Seafood Bar, 22 Main Street, Killybegs.
The Lobster Pot, Burtonport.
The Traveller’s Inn, Milford.
The Beachcomber, Rathmullan.
Dawross Bay Hotel, Narin & Portnoo.
The Bayview Hotel, Dungloe
The Tavern, Killcooney
The Village Tavern, Mountcharles

The Donegal Good Food Taverns group are working alongside the cream of Donegal’s artisan food producers so that they can showcase each other- the producer, the retailer and the entertainer! Some of the local food producers included in the program are: Filligans Chutneys, Burtonport Sea Veg, McDaid’s flavoured waters, Tyrconnel whiskeys & Donegal Rapeseed Oils.

Local fishermen, honey producers, cheesemakers, our own garden vegetables, oysters from Donegal Bay, home baked breads and desserts are to be prominent on all the menus. Any other local food producers that wish to get involved can contact any of the members.

The group’s website went Live this week and will eventually link in with Failte Ireland's "Place on a Plate" programme, Facebook "Places" Project, the Tourism College Killybegs, LYIT Letterkenny and the Donegal County Enterprise board’s own food programme "Donegal Coastal Food".

After a day taking in the sights of what this diverse and beautiful county has to offer, an evening in one of these Donegal Good Food Taverns would be the near perfect end to a perfect day!

The Wild Atlantic Way is the world's Longest Coastal Route