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08 Sep 2019

Celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna joins Tourism Ireland to launch Taste the Island in Britain – at her home in Highclere Park

Tourism Ireland teamed up with celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna, to launch Taste the Island in Britain, yesterday (7 September).
Clodagh created a ‘harvest lunch’ in the grounds of her home, Broadspear House – located in Highclere Park, where Highclere Castle, the set for Downton Abbey, is located. Tourism Ireland invited leading British food writers and influencers, as well as broadcast journalists, to the special foodie event.  High profile guests included TV presenter Laura Whitmore. Clodagh was joined by Stevie Higginson (head chef and proprietor of the Square Bistro in Lisburn) and, together, they created a delicious lunch to reflect the superb food offering from across the island of Ireland.
“We’re delighted to work with Clodagh McKenna and Stevie Higginson, to launch Taste the Island in Britain,” said Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Markets. “Their harvest lunch was an excellent opportunity to spread the word about our superb culinary offering. And, in hosting the lunch in her home, Clodagh also helped reinforce our message about warm Irish hospitality and what makes a holiday in Ireland unique and truly memorable.
“Taste the Island is a truly exciting initiative and we look forward to promoting the programme in Britain, and in our other overseas markets, over the coming months and years. Food and drink are vital elements of today’s holiday experience and our Taste the Island promotions will raise awareness of Ireland’s rich food culture overseas. Tourism Ireland will encourage prospective visitors around the world to come and experience our award-winning local produce, dine in our excellent restaurants, visit our fantastic distilleries and breweries, or perhaps take in a food trail or festival. Our message is that there has never been a more exciting time to come and discover the food scene in Ireland.”
The ‘harvest lunch’ event in Clodagh McKenna’s home in Britain marks the beginning of Tourism Ireland’s extensive programme of promotions to highlight Taste the Island around the world. For example, this week, Tourism Ireland will unveil the initiative in France – at an event for influential travel professionals in Lyon, a city which is often referred to as the gastronomic capital of France. And, 12 top tour operators from Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Belgium and the Netherlands have been invited to participate in a ‘Taste the Island’ fact-finding ‘foodie’ visit, in October. A “Taste the Island” event will take place in Dubai, in November; key food, lifestyle and travel journalists, as well as Dubai-based travel professionals, will attend.
A 12-week campaign with TripAdvisor in Britain will target travellers who love good food and are also interested in visiting Ireland. Activity will include email marketing, online ads (appearing on desktops and mobile phones), as well as online video – driving prospective visitors to the new Taste the Island section on, where they will find lots of great information and special offers. 

Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland, with chefs Stevie Higginson and Clodagh McKenna, at the launch of Taste the Island in Britain, in the grounds of Clodagh’s home, Broadspear House.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing around 325,000 people across the island.
  • In 2018, we welcomed almost 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland (+5% on 2017), delivering revenue of approximately €5.86 billion (+5%).
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 20+ million visitors in 2018.

Previous Press Release

05 Sep 2019

Ireland goes Dutch!