5 Unique Food Experiences in County Wicklow, Ireland’s Garden County

Known as ‘The Garden of Ireland’, County Wicklow is located mere moments from Dublin. This beautiful region has it all – from the wild Atlantic sea to the ancient monastic settlement of Glendalough and some of the highest mountains in Ireland. After a windswept walk along the coast or a climb through the Wicklow Gap, you will be hungry and ready for a host of excellent food experiences! Here are some of our top 5 foodie experiences in County Wicklow.


1) Kilruddery Farmer’s Market

The beautiful 800-acre Kilruddery Estate is a sustainable, bio-diverse farm that includes flowering woodland, 17th century gardens, a Faerie Woodland Village and a gorgeous outdoor café. One of my favourite things to do at weekends is to take a stroll through the Gardens and then head over to grab lunch at the Kilruddery Farmer’s Market which takes place on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm. Here you can meet local producers and makers, many of whom we will be working with. You can enjoy baked goods, sweet and savoury crepes, wraps and salads and much more fresh food as well as goodies to stock up your fridge and pantry at home. The market has Kilruddery’s very own farm shop. Check out their jam; it will bring you back to your childhood! To plan your visit, go to www.killruddery.com/visit/farm-market


2) Wild Foraging Walk 

Geraldine Kavanagh grew up in Wicklow and spent most of her time outdoors as a child, she has an innate knowledge and a great love of plants and nature. Geraldine is happy to share her knowledge of wild foods with others. She feels it is so important to pass on this ancient skill to future generations, after all these are the foods that we lived on for most of human history." Geraldine gives guided foraging walks in the Wicklow countryside from March to October, the walks offer an in-depth introduction to the world of wild food, for beginners and the more advanced. For more information visit www.wicklowwildfoods.com


3) Hands on Chocolate Making Session

Nestled on the Carlow/Wicklow border, we could not resist the opportunity to write (and dream) about this most delicious of chocolate experiences. Established in 2001 by Jim and Mary Healy, visitors to ‘The Chocolate Garden of Ireland’ can learn all about artisan chocolate making before enjoying an afternoon tea in their cosy café. How is chocolate made? Get the background to how cocoa is grown, harvested and processed into yummy chocolate. Keep your taste buds awake by tasting different grades of chocolate throughout the workshop. The makers will then give you a chocolate making demonstration to show you how they make different chocolate products. Lastly, enjoy a hands-on chocolate-making session where you get to make and decorate your very own unique chocolate product to take home with you. To find out more visit the Chocolate Garden of Ireland website: www.chocolategarden.ie


4) The Wicklow Brewery

The Wicklow Brewery opened its doors 6 years ago after its owners had operated the very popular Mickey Finns pub for over 35 years. If you are a beer aficionado or simply are curious about the beer making process and want to meet enthusiastic, artisan makers, you are in for a treat. Brewery tours are available for those who wish to learn more about The Wicklow Brewery and I would highly recommend one! Your guide will show how the beer is made, from the milling of the grain in the malt mill to the kegging at the end. The tours are personal and up and you can be assured of a knowledgeable tour whilst enjoying the smell and taste of artisan hand-crafted Irish beer. To find out more visit www.wicklowbrewery.ie


5) Authentic Irish Cooking Class at Ballyknocken House

It is hard to think of a more picturesque setting to while away a morning or afternoon than at Ballyknocken Cookery School in Ashford, County Wicklow. Surrounded by herb, vegetable and soft fruit gardens, this is an inspiring setting to think and dream up new recipes. Run by Irish chef Catherine Fulvio and her team, this is a great spot for spending time in the Wicklow countryside and sharing your passion for good food while upskilling your kitchen skills! From novice chef to experienced cook, there are plenty of class options and culinary styles to suit all. I find the ‘Fresh from the Garden’ class particularly appealing. Using herbs, vegetables, berries and fruits from the garden, you will be cooking using ingredients just harvested from the ground. An authentic and local food experience. To find out more visit www.ballyknocken.ie