A voayge of discovery with Toast the Coast
It was a bright, crisp Thursday morning in August when we set off on our coastal adventure.. Meeting in the very familiar foyer of the Europa Hotel, our team of intrepid adventurers eagerly awaited the arrival of our tour guide for the day and our transport. Unsure of what exactly the day would bring, but excited for the experience, the mini-bus pulled up on Belfast’s Glengall Street right on cue at 9am.
Hopping on board we were greeted by our guide, Portia Woods. We were handed tour packs which included a menu for the day, detailing each of our stops and listing the treats we would sample at each location. We were also furnished with chilled bottles of water from the on-board fridge. From these early surprises we knew from that moment we were in for quite a day.
Stop1. The Bank House, Whitehead
A destination, shopping and gift emporium, this stop offers tour guests the chance to experience Northern Ireland’s newest and inviting Deli celebrating both local and international cuisine with an innovative breakfast board with some surprising and delicious treats.
Stop 2. Ann’s Pantry, Larne
One of Northern Ireland’s most famous family run bakeries, Ann’s Pantry has been baking up a storm for generations. Tour guests had the opportunity to sample the bakery’s wheaten and soda bread, some local bacon, and the speciality Black Pudding Potato Bread.
Stop 3. Ballygally Castle
We couldn’t possibly have a food tour of the Antrim Coast without a visit to the Ballygally Castle. Guests are treated to a spiriting experience offering up a real taste sensation with a platter of Northern Ireland Tapas washed down by Jaw Box Gin, Yellow Man and fruit cocktails.
Stop 4. Glenarm Castle Estate
Explore the beautiful gardens before sampling a selection of the Beef and Salmon that Glenarm has become renowned for across the globe.
Stop 5. The Londonderry Arms Hotel, Carnlough
Toast the Coast guests will toast the ‘water of life’ with a whiskey tasting experience at the Londonderry Arms. Accompanied by Carrickfergus produced Fudge, guests will be regaled with stories in the Arkle Bar. Soft drinks available upon request.
Stop 6. Mary McBride’s and The Little Black Door, Cushendun
Guests will enjoy a final toast in the venue with a selection of local craft beers and spirits on offer. Accompanied by a light snack to set you up for the return trip to the big-smoke.
And if the culinary delights provided at each of the stops don’t fully satisfy your cravings, guests are treated to some surprises along the way. We were particularly taken with the marshmallows, bags of potato chips and for those with a sweet tooth, the fifteens distributed on the bus journey back to Belfast were a particularly welcome treat.
The Toast the Coast tour is the ultimate day out on the Antrim Coast for any food-lover. With an extensive knowledge of the area, As a tour-guide Portia expertly shared a number of stories throughout the day based on her extensive local knowledge while also identifying for guest key landmarks.
For further information and to book your very own Toast the Coast tour visit http://www.toastthecoastni.com/
Competition - Wednesday 4th October 2017.
The Europa Hotel Belfast has partnered with 'Toast the Coast' to give away the ultimate Autumn package. Stay overnight in the heart of Belfast City on Thursday 16th November before being whisked off on a guided food tour of the Antrim Coast on Friday 17th November. The winner will have the chance to experience the finest and freshest local produce on offer with stops including Ballygally Castle and Glenarm.
Entrants should like the Europa Hotel Belfast Facebook Page, like and tag two foody friends in the competition post.
The winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday 18th October and will be announced on the page.
This prize is non-transferable and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. The prize has no cash value and the package does not include meals at the Europa Hotel, or transfers between the winner's home address and the hotel. The adjudicator's decision will be final.