Lisburn & Castlereagh kick off week-long celebration of Council’s foodie culture

Lisburn & Castlereagh’s highly-anticipated Treat Week launched on Saturday 29th October with a special Halloween Fest at Inns Market, Newtownbreda with just over 800 local foodies and residents visiting the market to enjoy chef demos, treats from local eateries and producers, and family fun throughout the day. Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s newly-launched Treat Week celebrates local restaurants, cafes and gastropubs with 59 eateries cooking up a culinary storm until 5th November across the council area spanning Moira to Dundonald.

Lisburn & Castlereagh features an eclectic choice of eating and drinking experiences with its restauranteurs and café owners tapping into changing lifestyle trends. This is reflected in the emergence of specialist cafes such as Goodness Rocks in Newtownbreda and themed diners and family restaurants from Sugar Ray’s in Dundonald to Del Toro in Lisburn.

LisburnTreatWeekVisiting Inns Market on Saturday for Treat Week’s launch event, Mayor Brian Bloomfield, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, commented on the enthusiastic turn-out. “The enthusiastic attendance at today’s event is a reflection of the growing food culture in our council area. Lisburn & Castlereagh is lucky to host a wide variety of outstanding and unique eateries, restaurants, and bars spanning the Council Area which cater for all tastes and every occasion”.
Local Councillor John Gallen, who is also Vice-Chair of the council’s Development Committee , added “Treat Week will highlight the diversity and supreme quality of food and drink that is both produced and served across the Council area, and we encourage all residents to support their local eateries – and we would hope to encourage some of those living in the neighbouring towns and villages to come explore what we have to offer.”

In the last 12 months alone, the move towards more casual dining is evident and the prevalence of provenance reflected in the menus of recently launched and refurbished establishments by leading chefs such as Derek Patterson, Stevie Higginson and Danny Millar. With the Michelin trained Chef Chris McGowan choosing Moira as his location of choice following his move back to Northern Ireland, Lisburn & Castlereagh is making its mark in the province’s food scene. Just last week, Hillsborough’s Parson’s Nose and The Plough and Annahilt’s The Pheasant, each retained their position in the leading Michelin’s Eating Out in Pubs Guide for 2017.

LisburnTreatWeek“Northern Ireland’s food landscape has undergone a total transformation in recent years, with world class chefs emerging across the province,” said Joanne McErlain, Treat Week organiser. “The Year of Food and Drink has given us the impetus and confidence to shout about the provincial restaurant and café offerings, rather than hide in the shadows of the eating out scene in Belfast, Dublin or beyond. What has really come to the fore is our chefs’ inherent passion for provenance of the food they serve and they have been true ambassadors for our burgeoning food culture. We look forward to welcoming visitors to Lisburn & Castlereagh during Treat Week to continue to build awareness of the diversity and quality of eateries in our locality.”

Encouraging local people to make the most of Treat Week, Jim McCauley, Service Delivery Manager, Translink said, “We are delighted to come on-board as the official travel partner for Treat Week, and would encourage as many people as possible to make the most of this fantastic initiative. Whether you’re a regular restaurant goer or visiting for the first time, why not hop on-board the bus or train and let us get you there. Translink is always delighted to support local events and provide travel solutions so that passengers can sit back, relax and enjoy the wonderful array of Northern Ireland’s food and drink on offer!”

Throughout the duration of Treat Week, guests can also look forward to experiencing gourmet evenings, and pop up suppers and brunches, in addition to special offers and signature dishes featured throughout the week. Chef demos, masterclasses and village food trails will offer opportunities for exploration and discovery and highlight the fantastic local ingredients and forward-thinking restaurants that push our culinary boundaries right on our doorstep.

Treat Week’s seven days of celebration will culminate at Lisburn Square on Saturday 5th November from 11pm- 3pm with Kitchen Sessions and Meet the Producers Fair. Other events to look out for include special chef demos for all ages led by Chef Stephen Jeffers of the recently opened Forestside Cookery School as well as a culinary journey exploring locally produced food served in cafes and restaurants during the Moira Food Trail, on Saturday 5th November.

For more information or to explore the full line-up of Treat Week events held across Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council visit or follow Treat Week on Twitter @TreatWeek and Instagram @TreatWeek2016.