Step aside chippers and kebab shops, fine dining was cooking up a storm at this year’s Taste of Dublin Festival.
From June 12-15, the Iveagh Gardens were transformed into a food and drink wonderland, where visitors were able to savour the different tastes that are produced around Ireland every day.
Newcomers to the festival were the linchpin to the event, with many new alcohol products proving very popular.
Darling Cocktails, as the name suggests, was one of the most elegant stalls that was set up in the gardens.
Ann Donnelly and Liz Iannelli launched their company last year, producing cocktails that were “based on their favourite kitchen recipes, with a bit of a twist”.
Just before Christmas, the golden cocktail bottles were put on the shelves of Supervalu and it is expected that by July, the brand will be in 350 stores around Ireland.
In a small corner of the busy event, a little stall was attracting a crowd, including some famous faces, such as Love/Hate’s Peter Coonan.
The story behind Muldoon Whiskey is nearly as tasty as the liquor it produces. The recipe for the toffee and hazelnut whiskey was found in an old, tin box, in a building in Waterford during construction.
If it wasn’t for the builder who found it passing it on, we may never have known about the sweetest tasting whiskey in Dublin, which is sold in the Celtic Whiskey Shop on Dawson Street.
On its debut night, the Taste of Dublin festival was packed to the brim of people, hoping to meet some of Ireland’s most prestigious chefs or to try some of their most popular dishes.
Queues for the food stalls were at least 10 people long, which caused a bit of frustration, but overall, the event was deemed a success by those attending.
Grace Carry was at the event with some of her colleagues from work. Talking about Taste she said, “It’s fabulous. I hadn’t been here before and it wasn’t what I was expecting.
“I didn’t know that the park would be split up into little tents and laneways for us to explore. It’s lovely,” she added.
Another fine-dining enthusiast, Maeve Cronin had yet to leave the Prosecco stall, but she was more impressed with this year’s display than she was the last two years she stopped by.
“My favourite out of the stalls so far would be Gnarley Head because they were serving €15 Prosecco, which is currently €15, less than what it’s going for in the rest of the park,” she explained.
A couple who did manage to make it to a tent that served food, were urged to come along because of the fine weather on Thursday evening.
“We just got our dinner from China Szechuan and it’s delicious, really nice, good portions, just perfect,” said Niamh Farrelly.
Her boyfriend, John Lyng added “I wouldn’t normally come to something like this, but I was kind of dragged along because it was something to do on a Thursday evening.
“I’m surprised though, it’s really busy and the atmosphere is great”.
On top of the 100 food and beverage producers, random tents around the park added a bit of entertainment to the weekend.
If you had the money to spend on a ridiculous product for the Irish climate, you were welcome to try out the hot-tub tent.
As a nice touch, the organisers set up a tent in the centre, where Brazilian dancers celebrated the opening of the 2014 World Cup.
A pricey evening to spend in Dublin, but the exhibitors proved their worth, creating another successful year, for the Taste of Dublin festival.Follow Danielle's Indo adventures here: @DaniS1006