In full Bloom

WHAT? Bloom at Phoenix Park: Ireland’s largest gardening, food and family event, brought to you by Bord Bia

WHEN? Continuing every day until Monday 6 June, 10am–6pm

WHY? Apart from the inspiring show gardens and range of plants for sale (plus some great gardening courses from the likes of Jimi Blake in his magical Huntingbrook Gardens in north Wicklow), a major draw this year as ever is the variety of food and drink offerings, with the artisan beer tent and particularly the Cooley Distillery stall worth meandering by. This year’s layout of the newly extended Food Village is particularly attractive, and demos by the likes of Catherine Fulvio, Rozanne Stevens, Donal Skehan and Neven Maguire are sure to draw the crowds.

WHO? There’s a great representation of Irish artisans good and great. Don’t miss in particular Meadowsweet Apiary‘s mellow Irish honey and honeycomb; Ed Hick’s unique Bacon Jam (a thing of genius to spread on toast under your scrambled egg); four great goat’s cheeses – Knockdrinna Gold (mild and smoky), Cooleney‘s Gleann Oir (crumbly and tangy), Corleggy (hard and herbaceous) and Bluebell Fall’s Original (melting-soft and meadow-fresh); Burren Smokehouse’s range of smoked fish (especially the hot and cold smoked Irish salmon); Jane Russell’s handmade sausages; Lolly & Cooks’ myriad coloured cupcakes; Ponaire coffee beans; Irish apple juice either from The Apple Barrel, Carlow, or The Apple Farm, Tipperary. And if you’re still hungry after grazing that lot, you can grab yourself a steak sandwich fresh off the grill, or a pulled pork sandwich from the Crowe brothers farm.

WHERE? In the heart of Phoenix Park. There’s ample parking, or free shuttles from the Luas stop at Heuston, or do as we did and enjoy the excuse to stroll through one of the city’s most under-appreciated amenities, Phoenix Park itself.

HOW MUCH? €20 for a weekend ticket (or €15 concession). Children under 16 go free, with a maximum of three children per adult.

CONTACT? bloominthepark.com

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