Blas na Bealtaine celebrating Galway’s food heritage

Blas na Bealtaine, a new food festival for Galway taking place throughout the month of May, will feature a variety of events across the city and county in the coming weeks.

The festival has been developed by Blas na Gaillimhe, a food network set up earlier this year by a small group of city restaurateurs which aims to celebrate the unique hospitality that Galway has to offer.

The network, with the support of the wider community and Galway’s local authorities, will promote the year-round food scene and food stories of Galway. However this month has been earmarked for some very special events showcasing producers and restaurants around the city and county.

Upcoming Blas na Bealtaine events include Savour the Wild Atlantic Way, a five-course dinner highlighting producers along the Wild Atlantic Way including Killary Mussels, Connemara spring lamb, fresh Atlantic cod, and Irish cream liqueur. The evening takes place on May 18 in Tom Sheridan’s Bar and Restaurant, Knocknacarra. Tickets are priced at €49.95 per person.

Also on May 18, Galway Food Tours will host With Cheese Please, a unique ‘Meet The Maker’ evening, starting at 6pm, where Teresa Roche of Kylemore Cheese will give a talk about her journey and offer samples of some of her cheeses. Galway Food Tours will then take attendees on a short walk to one of Galway’s favourite restaurants for a dinner with wine pairing and finish the evening off with a nightcap in a very special local bar. Tickets are €100 per person.

At-home fine dining experience Phi is teaming up with Aniar for a pop-up restaurant experience, Phi * Schiano Pop Up, on May 21. Phi founder Damian Martin and Aniar Restaurant’s Claudio Schiano are creating a menu with a strong focus on sustainable cooking and zero waste, and a fun ‘Sunday dinner’ theme. Sittings are at 4pm and 7pm, priced at €75 per person, or add a wine pairing for an extra €50 per person.

An Irish cheese and Piedmontese wine tasting and talk takes place in Sheridan’s Wine Bar, Market Street, on May 24 from 7pm to 9pm. This event is funded by Galway City Council and EU50.

Feeding European Young Minds: High-End Dinner From Food Waste, a special event hosted by Kai Restaurant in collaboration with The Student Pantry will take place on Friday, May 26 in Massimo’s Soul Garden. Tickets are €55 per person and proceeds will be donated to The Student Pantry, University of Galway. This event is funded by Galway City Council and EU50.

Seafood and sustainability will the the joint themes of a lunchtime event on May 27. A Taste of Galway Bay will take place at Galway Bay Seafoods from 12.30 pm to 2pm. A talk by Galway Bay Seafoods on sustainable fishing will be followed by a visit to the Galway Hooker Restoration Workshop, finishing with a lunch prepared by chef and author Martin Ruffley and chef Gavin Gleeson. Attendees will enjoy a seafood taster lunch menu with lobster, crab, shellfish and a glass of wine, while learning about some of Galway’s most treasured history, as well as practices used by local fishermen to preserve and protect Galway Bay’s natural habitats. The price is €15 per person, with all proceeds donated to RNLI Galway. This event is funded by Galway City Council and EU50.

Also on the afternoon of May 27, Beechlawn Organic Farm in Ballinasloe will host a biodiversity walk consisting of a brief welcome and walk through the farm, focussing on organic farming methods that encourage and protect pollinators, wildlife habitats and biodiversity. Tickets are €10 for adults, €5 for students and OAPs. Children are free.

The following day, May 28, Aniar will host a pop-up bao bar between 12 noon and 8 pm. No booking is necessary for this event.

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, Connemara Retreats is holding a seaweed-infused weekend away, Indulge Your Senses in South Connemara, in partnership with Galway County Council. The weekend will take place from May 19 to 21 in Lettermullen.

“Blas na Gaillimhe, the new food network for Galway, grew out of the previous Galway Food Festival initiative, as a way to cement Galway’s vibrant food and hospitality scene,” said JP McMahon, founding member and Galway restaurant owner. “It hopes to build on the legacy created by the previous food festival and establish a fertile space for future food enthusiasts. We see Blas na Bealtaine as being an integral part of that vision and hope every year that the May festival gets bigger and better.”

For details on all events and booking information visit or email [email protected].


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