Bushmills Taste Trail
The Bushmills Taste Trail is a Bushmills Bushmills Association initiative and is a key feature of the annual. Food, drink, live music and much more are part of the trail over the festival weekend. Check out the Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival 2022 programme with its Taste Trail map summarising participants. Scroll down for a detailed entry for each business.
Bushmills Taste Trail preview with Gary Stewart
Our most recent Bushmills Taste Trail was over the Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival weekend, 14 -16 October 2022. Join Gary Stewart, award-winning Chef, Producer and Patron of Tartine, at Distillers Arms for a whizz around the village to see what was featured.
Bushmills Taste Trail - the full story
The Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey festival 2022 programme map includes an abbreviated listing of what you can expect to enjoy in participating venues over the festival weekend. We have the full story about each venue and what makes them unique, different and worth visiting here on our Bushmills Banquet website!
A staggering 21 local businesses are on the Bushmills Taste Trail, and we plan to add more over the coming months. In addition to eating and drinking, there is music to enjoy and lots of shopping opportunities for stylish, sustainable fashion, antiques, fine art and crafts and much more. Our Experience Bushmills showcase is worth a look before you visit - Experience Bushmills (bushmillsbanquet.com)
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 makes 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.
Lorna kitchen in the heart of the village is the place to visit for a flavour of traditional north coast food. Lorna heads to her kitchen at the crack of dawn to ensure that customers are served the freshest selection of firm favourites. Freshly baked scones, tray bakes, her legendary fry ‘The Big 1’, made to-order omelettes with your choice of filling are just a few of the popular all-day breakfast options. Classics include Irish stew, warming soups with homemade wheaten bread and a wide selection of sandwiches, paninis, goujons, burgers and much more!
Available to sit-in or take away Lorna’s Kitchen is warm and cosy café with a big heart! Over the Bushmills salmon and whiskey festival you must try Lorna’s very popular signature salmon dish ‘Kitchen Salmon’, a pan seared salmon cooked in a delicious lemon butter, served with baby boiled potatoes and hollandaise sauce.
Located in the centre of Bushmills, this light and airy café showcasing stunning local art is a firm favourite with its outside tables being one of the hottest seats in town! Bilberry Mill is dog friendly and has a special menu for your furry friends. This hard-working team includes talented bakers that bake a mouth-watering range of delicious bread, savouries, scones, decadent desserts, and tray bakes every morning to enjoy in-house or to take away. Expect a delicious and varied menu of freshly prepared food. Favourites include daily lunch specials, sandwiches, toasties, paninis, burgers and all the daytime dishes designed to refuel a trip to the Giants Causeway or recharge the batteries on a lunch break from work or a much-needed catch-up with friends.
Over the festival weekend you must try their Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon, lightly poached eggs topped with buttery hollandaise sauce. It is absolutely delicious and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. A full extensive barista-style menu is available, along with a wide variety of hot and cold drinks.
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.
Carleton Newsagents and Confectionary
An essential stop on the ‘Bushmills Taste Trail’ is Carleton Newsagents & Gift Shop for their very own but handmade ‘Carleton of Bushmills rock’ as well as essentials, a huge range of confectionary, crafts, gifts, Bushmills memorabilia, gift hampers and a really interesting selection of magazines including a number of top angling publications such as’ Salmon & Trout’.
Owner, Karen, is an award-winning window designer who creates an unique and ever changing display, the window has its own following! Karen embraces the theme of the Salmon & Whiskey festival each year with a Salmon and whiskey inspired window display which really adds to the atmosphere of the weekend. Look out for her collection of unique pieces and beech-combed treasures painstakingly gathered, cleaned and persevered from local shores to as far away as Brunei!
Mike's Coffee Shop
This family-run café has been operating in the village for 40 years, a firm favourite with visitors and locals alike. Their substantial Ulster Fry is legendary, sustaining visitors from across the globe before they head off to explore the beautiful Causeway Coast. The extensive menu includes daily specials – well worth checking out including the ever popular Fish of the Day. With its superb location on The Diamond, the outside seating and open and airy glass frontage allow customers to take advantage of its position when the sun is out. The perfect place to watch the world go by, whether it be a coffee and scone or a delicious dish inspired by the Cochrane's travels!
Over the festival weekend, you can try one of their themed specials, such as the fresh grilled salmon.
Lily's at The Diamond
Adjacent to the clocktower, Lily’s superb location offers a bird’s eye view of the village from its cosy first floor seating area. Serving a wide range of hot and cold beverages, breakfast, lunch and sweet treats such as freshly baked sones, tray bakes and pastries. A firm favourite with locals and visitors you can pop in and choose your preferred filling for your sandwich, toastie or panini to enjoy to take-away or sit-in. Lily’s always embraces the theme of the Salmon & whiskey festival. The girls will be featuring a Whiskey infused scone, Whiskey wheaten which can be served with their popular and ever-changing Soup of the day or try their Whiskey cupcake washed down with an Irish cream flavoured iced coffee.
Kane Family Butcher
This third generation family butcher is located just off the Diamond area but serve customers province-wide with its efficient delivery service. They offer a breathtaking range of quality produce with great deals and packages in store, through their online shop and social media posts. The shop is stocked with a range of local produce including Bushmills own Dundarave estate preserves. Kane's are famous for their Salmon and Whiskey Festival BBQ but due to programming changes sadly they can't do that this year BUT dont despair you can still buy their delicious Black Bush Whiskey & honey sausages over the festival weekend. Freshly prepared to their own secret recipe, Kane's whiskey sausages have been featured on menu's in restaurants and cafes around the village over the years. Pop in and stock up on these delicious Bushmills bangers in time for Halloween!
GLASSES FRUIT & VEG
An attraction in itself, Glass’s has been running since 1986. This family run business has what most villages yearn for, a traditional fruit and veg shop where you can hand pick what you want and how much!! In today’s world of plastic and food waste it is a joy to shop at a traditional store. You will also find fresh baked goods, jams and preserves and salted ling! Festival goers can pick up locally produced orange and whiskey marmalade or try your hand at making some by filling your basket with some juicy Seville’s .
THE BUSH HOUSE
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
Wish upon a cake
The story behind Wish Upon a Cake is the stuff of fairy tales. Boy meets girl, and she happens to be an incredibly talented and hard-working baker! The rest is history, albeit pretty recent history. Natasha McKendry honed her skills at her grandmother's side, started her first bakery in Gortin just outside Omagh and has now opened a second shop in her husband Chris's home town of Bushmills. In fact, she now calls it home too! This close-knit family business has a popular retail range of treat bags in many shops and cafes around the province and is working hard to expand its range and customer base over the coming months. Wish upon a cake is the go-to place for special occasion cakes. Located beside The Cods Way, Wish upon a cake offers a mouth-dropping counter full of Natasha's sweet treats and bakes, ice creams, milkshakes and coffees to take-away. Over the Salmon and Whiskey festival weekend, don't leave without trying their festival-themed Chocolate whiskey cake served with a salted caramel sauce.
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.
The Bushmills Meat Centre
The Bushmills Meat Centre is another interesting stop. This local family farm butchers have been selling a quality range of their own farm reared meat for over 30 years. The Laverty family also champion the best of the area with a full range of local food heroes such as a Bushmills Banquet favourite @broightergoldrapeseedoil, a large range of Castle Bakery produce, home baked pies from their own lamb and beef and all the condiments to encourage customers to produce a feast for their families and friends from scratch. The Bushmills Taste Trail team have fallen in love with their ‘Creamy Whiskey Sauce’ range which lets face it can be added to almost everything but we can definitely recommend it on their sirloin and fillet beef steaks, equally good on chicken breasts or North Coast Smokehouse salmon fillets - oven baked with some locally grown potatoes on the side.
The Designerie is a shop, creative hub, workshop, and community destination, selling handmade products from Northern Ireland and Ireland. its core purpose is to grow the creative industry and promote creativity within the community, using it to build relationships and connect people. The Designerie has a dedicated Taste Causeway retail area stocking a wide range produce and regular hosts “Meet the Maker” chef demos and tasting sessions. They are also a stockist of the Taste Causeway book “Recipes and Stories”
To celebrate the Salmon and Whiskey festival, The Designerie is running a programme of events all day Saturday. This includes a special children’s workshop run by Michelle Mc Garvey, featuring her new book “King of the Fish - How the Salmon Became the King of the Fish” local producer tasting, Meet the Maker and chef’s demos.
McConaghy's Ice Cream & Souvenir Shop
McConaghy’s is another Bushmills institution stocking traditional souvenirs including beautiful Aran knitwear, and Irish Linen, gifts and award-winning ice Morelli’s ice cream. Julie and Tommy also showcase delicious whiskey edible gifts including Irish Whiskey fudge and Irish Whiskey Marmalade are always popular.
Over the festival weekend they will serving Morelli’s multi award winning vanilla ice-cream infused with whiskey.
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!
North Coast Pizza
The much anticipated North Coast Pizza open their doors in May 2022 and quickly became a favourite for their extensive range of pizza’s whether they be off-menu or bespoke. They also offer doughballs, sides, dips, cookies and desert pizzas. Pizza is the perfect festival food and the North Coast Pizza team have their full range of 12’’ pizza menu available and in addition are offering a festival feast pizza which features a Black Bush whiskey & honey-infused sausage.
TARTINE AT DISTILLERS ARM's
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
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.
Price per head £15 including a drink. Whiskey tasting and special whiskey cocktails also available at the famous 1608 bar. Gift shop open.