Recently, myself and a few fellow bloggers were treated to the most extraordinary day out.
We went on the very first McComb’s Grub Crawl. A tour that brought us round some of Northern Ireland’s innovative food and drink makers before we had a slap-up lunch.
So what I know is that the grub crawls won’t always take in the same places or format. We visited the legendary Abernethy Butter, Kilmegan Cider and had lunch at the Poacher’s Pocket in Lisbane. I know that some trips will take in the Mourne Seafood Bar and Echlinville Distillery instead.
I don’t need to tell you much about Abernethy Butter. It’s famous all over the UK and is stocked in the best artisanal food shops and hotels. If it’s good enough for Heston Blumenthal then it’s good enough for me.
We were greeted Alison and William Abernethy themselves who gave us the most wonderful demonstration. Alison kicked things off by making soda farls for us right in front of our very eyes and while that was cooking William started churning butter.
Abernethy butter was started by Alison’s father who would make his own in the little butter churn you can see in the pictures here. It was sold at farmer’s markets until Alison and William decided to widen their horizons. Now William rolls about 700 pats of butter by hand EVERY DAY. You’ll only see one size of Abernethy Butter and that’s because there’s only one size of the butter pats used to shape it.
We finished off that visit with tea and soda farls slathered with butter that had been made right in front of us. Amazing.
Next on to the lovely Andrew at Kilmegan Cider. He showed us the different kinds of ciders he produces and how they are made. Again, this is lovely stuff. Not at all like the tasteless mass-produced stuff you get in bars.
Finally we finished off with lunch at the Poacher’s Pocket in Lisbane, helmed by the famous Danny Miller. It serves nice local fare – I had fish and chips and the fish was the fluffiest I ever had.
This is a fantastic tour where you will certainly eat and drink your fill. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It’s the kind of thing you would take visitors on if they’ve been to Northern Ireland a few times and have seen all the main attractions. I’ll admit, Abernethy Butter was my favourite stop but I really enjoyed myself at all of them.
The Grub Crawls will run on Fridays and Saturdays from April 22 with a special introductory price of £65 per person. To book or for more information go to McCombs Coaches. I would thoroughly recommend it!