Bantry Meets the Challenge

Bantry Meets the Challenge
Click on image to enlarge.

The sun shone as the week long Atlantic Challenge came to an end in Bantry on Sunday. Even though we arrived relatively early on Sunday morning, we had the feeling that we had missed a great night on Saturday and that was pretty much confirmed everywhere on Sunday!

It certainly accounted for a leisurely start to the day. Not too many people around until after lunch when the wind died down and the sun came out and so too did the crowds. The Food Fair was the focus of much attention as were the bands playing on the square.

I walked out to the pier to see the long boats of the Atlantic Challenge at rest and a pretty sight they made with their national flags flying in the stiff breeze and the magnificent scenery in the background. By the time we got back to the centre, the Food Fair was picking up.

If you were hungry after the night before then you were in the right place with hot food being provided by various stalls, pizzas and Thai among them. Not too many producers around but great to meet up with Benoit Lorge and Mella’s Fudge again.
Clockwise from top left: Blacksmith demo, Mella's Fudge, Rachel Dare of Organico doing her cookery demo, Pizza stall, attendance at cookery demo, Salad from Organico, Herbal teas and Olive stall. Click on image to enlarge. 

The cookery demonstration area was every popular with quite a line-up that included Henry Heggarty of Wokabout, Caroline Moore of the Seaside Kitchen, Rachel Dare of Organico CafĂ© (they also had some gorgeous salads on their stall), Pat Kiely of O’Connor’s Seaford Restaurant (where we enjoyed a splendid lunch), and Benoit Lorge with a sweet chocolate finale.

After lunch, we joined the throngs, took in the music and paid another visit to the food area. Great to see the kids catered for in the square with the Bubbles in the Water and the Bucking Bronco proving popular.

Would have liked to have stayed on for the Atlantic Challenge presentations late in the evening but had so say goodbye to beautiful Bantry though not before a call to Manning’s Food Emporium in Ballylickey where we enjoyed a chat and a drink. After that there was time for a stroll around the nearby Carrigass Castle, where there are some lovely walks and picnic areas.