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Kilkenny Food Festival: bring gourmet gifts home with Irish Ferries

11 Sep 2018

Savour Kilkenny food festival ( will be holding its 11th event over the long weekend between Thursday 25 and Monday 29 October 2018.

Kilkenny is a great destination at any time of year (good food, good beer, historic sights, independent shops, lively bars thanks to its student population) but this weekend is unmissable.

It’s an opportunity to stock up on the best Irish food and drink, from artisan cheeses to smoked meat and boutique whiskey brands. Take your own car to Ireland with Irish Ferries and there’s room for it all, with no baggage charges to worry about.

There are talks and demos from Irish chefs and foodies including Rory O’Connell, joint founder with his sister Darina Allen of Ballymaloo Cookery School; Patrick Hanlon and Russell Alford aka The Gastro Gays food and travel bloggers; athlete turned healthy living guru Dervla O’Rourke.

The Market on Saturday and Sunday features 100 stalls, including dozens of small food producers and their wares. There’s a marquee full of craft brewing and distilling operations. There are even walking and cycling trails.

Workshops covering everything from foraging to bee-keeping are also timetabled, and there are child-friendly events too.

Kilkenny is the home of Smithwick’s Brewery, which is a great visit in itself, and the city boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, Campagne, plus other highly-recommended eateries.

Kilkenny town is about 90 minutes’ drive from either of Irish Ferries’ ports: Dublin (depart from Holyhead) and Rosslare (sail from Pembroke).

A four-night Irish Ferries self-drive break (so you can fill the boot with Irish food and drink to bring home) costs £398 per person based on two people travelling in the same car and sharing a double room at the Pembroke Hotel, a boutique four-star on Patrick Street. This is arriving Thursday 25 October for four nights and includes breakfast each morning.