Eat and drink your way round Wexford with Gallivanting Tours
Recently featured in the Spring edition of Aer Lingus’s inflight Cara Magazine, Gallivanting Tours [ hyperlink: http://gallavanting.ie ] specialises in day tours around the cornerstone of Ireland’s Ancient East focusing on food, culture and folklore. A natural born storyteller, Lorraine O’ Dwyer is the tour guide behind Gallivanting who specialises in designing customized food and heritage tours to suit the people she is entertaining for the day. Gallivanting has been delivering culture and folklore tours around Wexford and surrounding counties for many years but in 2018, Lorraine has launched her new one-day culinary experiences where you get a chance to meet the makers behind some of Wexford’s delicious food and drink. Literally anything is possible to see and do while gallivanting with Lorraine in her luxury private Volkwagon Caravelle vehicle which sits eight people comfortably – she calls him Gobhnait because he is originally from Kerry! Just to note, Lorraine can accommodate bigger tour groups by using a local coach company.
Lorraine can pick you up at your accommodation that morning and will drop you back that evening. This allows people to truly immerse themselves into the days adventure and not to worry about how to get from one location to the next. If you need help arranging accommodation, she can help with that also. Lorraine knows the best places to stay around the county, from old country manors with extensive gardens, hotels, and bed & breakfasts with that personal homely feel.
What makes Lorraine a natural storyteller you ask? Lorraine grew up in the tourism sector, her father was a successful hotelier and publican in Dublin and her grandmother ran a guesthouse here in Wexford. Her mother even restored period houses, which sparked her fascination of the Georgian and the Victorian era. Ever since Lorraine was a small child, she adored the stories of the Tuatha De Dannan, Cuchulain, the Fianna and all the magic and mystery of Ireland’s ancient celtic ancestors. Living here in Wexford has given Lorraine a deep interest and appreciation for Medieval Ireland, the dark days of conquest, when first the Vikings and then the Normans arrived. Lorraine finds this era so compelling, their rigid social hierarchy, the strict rules they lived by, and the intriguing lives of the rule breakers, the smugglers and the pirates. She is fascinated with the gorging feasts and the Great Famine they experienced which has shaped the way Ireland’s food culture is today.
All this history sets the scene for any tours with Lorraine. Expect snippets of these enthralling stories and folklore to come out while travelling around the rugged Wexford coastline and rolling landscapes visiting your chosen food and drink producers. Lorraine has an evoking way in telling a story which will definitely lead to wows, laughter and questions from everyone. Some might find old country tales and history boring but not with Lorraine, she is a wonderful and engaging storyteller.
Lorraine’s food and drink tours can cover a wide range of activities but it is usually made up of four or five stops with a tour, workshop, lunch and a spot for local food shopping. Don’t worry, there will be time to stop off at the best picturesque places for photographs.
A visit to a 200-year old walled kitchen garden at Colclough estate of Tintern Abbey is possible, an exclusive tour of 185-year old water-powered flour mill just outside Enniscorthy that has only recently opened for private tours, a meet and greet with one of Wexford’s charming characters, Michael Walsh, a fishmonger in Ballyhack who smokes his own smoked salmon in a 80-year old smokehouse. You might get to walk the workshop floors of O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon to see how they process pork into one of Irelands most talked about bacon. O’Neills Bacon have won many of Irelands most momentous awards in recent years, one to note is a national Breakfast Award in 2017 with Georgina Campbell Guides.
In the afternoon, you could visit one of Wexford’s microbreweries like Dew Fox Brewing just outside Wexford town (they produce a range of beers under the brand Clever Man) or Arthurstown Brewing Company in Arthurstown. During the summer months, Wexford strawberries might feature somewhere on the tour also.
Lorraine can even organise a chocolate workshop with Bean & Goose Chocolates at their farmhouse in the scenic and beautiful rural countryside just outside Ferns village. Bean & Goose specialise in working with only single origin chocolate and blend it with flavours from the Irish countryside like Irish Atlantic sea salt, lavender, rosemary and lemon thyme.
If the weather is right, Lorraine can arrange a boat trip out around the Saltee Islands where you can learn first-hand what fish are caught in the Irish waters. Afterwards a trip to Kilmore Quay or Duncannon might be in order to enjoy a big fisherman’s feast afterwards, washed down with some local craft beers or a cordial made with Wexford’s luscious berries.
While on tour, Lorraine has all the best lunch stops already sorted like The Wilds in Enniscorthy or The Cracked Tea Pot in New Ross. There will be opportunities throughout the day to do a spot of food shopping at places like Ronan’s Full & Plenty Farm Shop in New Ross or Kate’s Farm Shop just outside Wexford town.
You definitely won’t regret a day gallivanting with Lorraine. Simply get in touch and let her know what interests you most and she will create a fun, informative and tasty day out in her luxury vehicle, Gobhnait.
Phone: 00353 (0)87 924 7103