Live music & cocktails along the Bushmills Taste Trail as part of the Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival

Oct 11, 2022

Hurrah! We have reached 'hump day' which means if you are dreaming about weekend refreshments, that's ok! The upcoming Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival on the 15th and 16th October 2022 is imminent and there are drinks to be had and music to be enjoyed in addition to all the great food and activities.

Bushmills will be alive with music and this blog highlights a number of local venues that must not be missed!

Bushmills Inn Hotel and Restaurant

The award-winning Bushmills Inn Hotel & Restaurant has been firmly established in the village of Bushmills for over 30 years, although the original coach house and stables dates back close in time to 1608. The AA Rosette Restaurant offers all-day dining and serves the finest dishes using seasonal and locally-sourced produce in an elegant, atmospheric and relaxed setting. As well as fine dining in the Restaurant you can enjoy al fresco dining on the Patio, a choice of gastro pub dishes in the Gas Bar or a traditional Sunday Carvery.  Over the Festival weekend you can choose from their selection of menus which will include salmon inspired dishes or savour the taste of Bushmills with their whiskey flights and their own specially designed whiskey cocktail, the Honey Pie. With live music in their Gas Bar on the Friday & Saturday evenings 9.30-11.30pm of the Festival, it’s the ideal place to finish off your evening.


The Scotch House 

This popular, centrally located pub reopened almost a year ago after a complete refurbishment. Cosy snugs with an open fire,  rustic wood panelling and retro lighting make for a warm and inviting venue. Live music, karaoke and event nights are regularly featured. A well-stocked bar of a wide-ranging selection, including premium beers, whiskeys, gins and a growing list of cocktails.  Regulars rave about the shot menu with Baby Tennent’s proving the most popular. Call in for a delicious Bushmills Whiskey Sour, a classic cocktail perfected by the Scotch House Team, creating the perfect balance of sweetness, citrus and the aroma from the cask-matured Old Bushmills. Live music 5-7pm by Blue Skies.  


Market Square

A relatively new kid on the block Market Square is a licensed café restaurant housed in the historic trading market established in 1827. Neil Campbell and his energetic team offer season dishes featuring a range of local produce, many of which are from the Taste Causeway collaborative. A popular breakfast, brunch and lunch venue offering an extensive range of dishes and specials.  Reviewers rave about their MSQ Burger, Californian sourdough open prawn and Donegal Benny, to namecheck a few! Market Square is fully licensed and well stocked with local beers from Lacada, a great selection of wines and a cocktail list ready for Bushmills sundowners!  During the festival weekend, there will be whiskey and salmon themed specials on the go, including a Smoked Salmon Terrine – Hot smoked salmon mousse, wrapped in thinly sliced smoked salmon /Green House Brothers micro herbs/ lemon infused Broighter Gold rapeseed oil/ Bushmills whiskey pickleback vegetables and a selection of whiskey inspired cocktails and the world famous Irish coffees. There will be live music  on Saturday 15th October, 12 -1pm with Geoff Gatt and his Ukelele and 5-7pm, with Cahir McLaughlin.



The Bush House Bar with its quaint front bar area and back room snugs retain the traditional feel of this friendly public house. The beer garden is popular when the sun is out and the open fire is popular for hot Bushmills whiskies when the weather turns. Very appropriately the traditional Bush House  Bar will be mixing the classic whiskey cocktail ‘Old Fashioned’ over the festival weekend. Bushmills whiskey, soda, bitters and garnished with orange. This refreshing cocktail will be served in a tumbler over ice. Live music 7-9pm by Tommy and Gayle


The Cod's Way

Famous along the “Cod’s Way” coast, the Cod's Way is a sit-in version of its sister take-out, the multi-award winning Hip Chip. Enjoy a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, where walk ins are welcome and there is a  BYO option.  Famous for its freshly prepared produce and superb fish, in particular “Cod and Scamp', battered in their own special recipe. The menu changes  with the seasons. Other favourites include their  hand-crafted pastie stuffed with local beef, potatoes, and fresh herbs with their own secret additions and the Bush Stack with traditional potato bread stacked with sausage, bacon and egg.   Follow their Facebook page for opening hours and menu updates. Music by Geoff Gatt and his Ukelele 2-3pm.



Cheese, cheese and more cheese might draw us in but does not adequately cover what the magical Maegden offers. It truly is a proper cheesemonger. Their stunning counter showcases the best of Irish farmhouse cheesemaking - from Northern Ireland’s Young Buck to Co Cork’s St Gall - with some excellent Scottish and English cheeses added in to the mix. This bustling space is surrounded by shelves filled with enviable larder ingredients and unique artisan products, all individually hand-picked by owners, Emma and Jo, for their quality, authenticity and integrity - the ethos which is very much at the heart of all Maegden offers. The menu includes their infamous grilled cheese sandwich selection, sweet treats and snacks, and incredible speciality coffee. A visit to Maegden is an experience in itself and a must-stop if visiting Bushmills. 

Over the Salmon and Whiskey Festival weekend, you can enjoy the best local produce from their deli - such as North Coast Smokehouse organic salmon - and special cheese platters featuring Bushmills whiskey-infused pickles. We defy you to leave without a bag (and stomach) crammed full. Look out for music by Cam and Bert at the Cheesemongers 12-2pm on Saturday 15th October.

Sunday 16th is very exciting for those of you that love local produce, music and getting up close and personal with our local talent. From 12 to 5pm you can enjoy live music, chef demonstrations by local chefs who champion local produce but are willing to share some of their culinary secrets and techniques with us all and it all takes place next door to Maegden.  Grab a coffee, a sweet treat, a moreish toastie and stock up on all the ingredients you need to do your own demo at home! 


The Bushmills Salmon & Whiskey festival is one of our favourite events of the year and the Tartine at Distillers Arms team are proud to contribute to this local food and drink celebration.

As part of the Taste Trail we will be offering our award winning Seafood Chowder. We will be open for lunch on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th with a selection of Salmon & Whiskey themed dishes, drinks and Cocktails. We have traditional music by Bri for all diners on Saturday evening between 8pm and 10pm and we will have free tastings of our Great Taste Award winning Distillers Pickle Sauce throughout the festival. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Bushmills.

Catch up with Gary Stewart over the Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey weekend with his Chef demo's and award winning product tastings. You will find him in the Designerie on Saturday 15th and on Sunday 16th he will be up beside Maegden demonstrating some delicious local dishes.



Old Bushmills Distillery is home to the world’s oldest licensed distillery and some of the finest Irish whiskies in the world. 

On the Saturday of the festival weekend only, the team of Old Bushmills Distillery guides – the Whiskey Educators, will be running tours which can be pre-booked.  

See first-hand how the craft of whiskey-making and the living history of our grain-to-glass processes.  Experience the impressive sights and rich scents of each stage, from mash tun to pot still to barrel. Complete your tour in the 1608 bar to taste for yourself the culmination of more than 400 years of expertise and innovation.

The price per head is £15, including a drink. Whiskey tasting and special whiskey cocktails are also available at the famous 1608 bar.  The gift shop is open.


Saturday live music line-up

11 am - 12 noon Market Square, Geoff Hatt & his Ukulele
12 noon - 2pm Maegden, Cam and Bert
1 pm - 2 pm The Cod's Way, Geoff Hatt & his Ukulele
1 pm - 3 pm The Designerie, North Coast Trad
1 pm - 4 pm Main Street, Beat n Drum
3 pm - 4 pm, The Cod's Way, Tommy McMeekin
3 pm - 5 pm, The Designerie, Seefin Strings
4 pm - 6 pm, Market Square, Cahir McLaughlin
5 pm - 7 pm, The Scotch House, Blue Skies
7 pm - 9 pm, Bush House, Tommy McMeekin
8 pm - 10 pm, Tartine at Distillers Arms,Bri
9.30 pm - 11.30 pm, Bushmills Inn, Barry McCrudden & Scott Flannagan
Sunday, 16th October, street music is available to compliment the arrival of the aw

 There are 21 businesses participating in the Bushmills Taste Trail. For more information, check out our Bushmills Banquet website for programme details (subject to change). Weather watchers can rest assured that the majority of offerings are indoors, and you can sit in and enjoy what's on offer without having to brave the elements. When you spend in a small local business, you are supporting local jobs and helping these hard-working businesses prepare for the tough winter ahead of us. We appreciate your support and hope you enjoy the festival wekend.