We love the city but sometimes we need to escape in search of fresh air and head space, so were very interested to hear about a new food and drink tour that picks you up in Dublin, ferries you around Wicklow to meet some of the county's best food and drink producers, and drops you back to the city that evening full of cheese, whiskey and fruit wine. Sounds like our dream day, so we went off to check it out...
What is Meet The Makers Wicklow?
It's a collaboration between Kilruddery House and Gardens, Wicklow Way Wines, Wicklow Wolf beer and Powerscourt Distillery, led by Mia Tobin from Brewery Hops, to bring you on a day of food and drink tasting without the hassle of arranging individual appointments - or having to drive yourself home afterwards, because who wants to be the designated driver after visits to a winery, brewery and distillery. Major buzzkill.
The tour collects and drops you back to Nassau Street in Dublin city centre, so the only thing you need to do is get yourself to the Kilkenny Shop, maybe slotting in a pitstop en route to Bread 41 or Tiller + Grain for coffee and cruffins (we did this, it's always a good idea). It's fully guided by Mia throughout the day, with commentary en route to Wicklow and between stops.
Where do you go on the tour?
The first stop is Kilruddery House where owner Fionnuala Ardee takes you on a tour of the house which dates back to the 17th century, then down along the grounds and into the walled kitchen gardens and poly-tunnels, to pick tomatoes, salad leaves, herbs and edible flowers for a mid-morning snack.
Once the baskets been filled up it's back up to the courtyard for homemade sausage rolls, salad, brownies, marshmallows, tea and coffee, and if it's a Saturday you might get a chance to have a wander around their weekly farmer's/craft/vintage market.