Northern Ireland’s growing tourism offering has just got even bigger with the arrival of Toast the Coast – a brand new guided food tour along part of the beautiful Causeway Coastal Route.
After identifying a gap in the market, Toast the Coast was devised by Portia Woods to shine the spotlight on the breadth of local producers, suppliers and hidden gems located along the Antrim Coast.
Beginning from either Belfast or Dublin, tourists will be taken on a culinary journey stopping off in Whitehead, Larne, Ballygally, Glenarm, Carnlough and Cushendun, tasting the very best food and drink on offer plus exploring local tourism hot spots along the way.
Speaking on the development of Toast the Coast, Portia says: “Having been born and bred in Co Antrim, I celebrated local food every day during my childhood and then with my own family and children. From traditional meals, to local favourite hotel stops, to picnics on sunny and dull days, when we made the most of days off school!
“I am extremely proud and passionate about the Antrim Coast and feel that Toast the Coast is a nod towards acknowledging this, sometimes overlooked, part of the coastline that is home to some of Northern Ireland’s best local artisans, crafters and tourist destinations.
“The support I have received to date from the local tourism market has been fantastic. They have been there to support, advise and focus my ideas, allowing me to create a tour, I feel gives a true insight to this wonderful part of Northern Ireland.
Portia who is a trained World Host Food Ambassador adds: “It was important for me to build strong partnerships with each of the businesses located along the tour – to not only ensure that tourists get the very best insights but for the local businesses involved to reap the rewards as well. Each venue has been hugely supportive and created a package that is unique to this tour only.
Helen Porter from Ann’s Pantry is thrilled to be involved: “We really recognise the importance of showcasing what’s best in Northern Ireland and it’s an absolute privilege for us to be a part of the Toast the Coast tours.
“We’re celebrating our 50th anniversary this year, which marks a special year to get involved in such a great tourist experience and try to bring more people into Ann’s Pantry to get a taste for what we offer.
“We’ve always been keen to be a part of anything that attracts people to all the great places in Northern Ireland, and we love the idea of reaching out to tourists – local or international – to chat to them about why we love the North Coast and why they should too!”
Toast the Coast founder, Portia adds: “The initial feedback on the tours has been extremely encouraging and we are adding more details weekly. My aim is to build upon the tour and keep it fresh, linking in with more local venues and events. I hope to add more tour packages in the future and add new local destinations and suppliers to the tours.”
Taken on an executive coach, Toast the Coast offers public tours of up to 12 people with the ability to provide private or bespoke packages. Full day tours, starting at £105, depart from Belfast at 9am or 10:30am, allowing for a whole day of exploring the local delicacies.