Pictured at the launch of Newcastle West Food Tour was Mikey Noonan, age 4, Sharon Noonan and Hannah Noonan, age 6 from Newcastle West. Photo: Oisin McHugh/True Media
Sharon Noonan Launches Newcastle West Food Tour
If you’re hungry to discover the latest food tasting trail in Ireland, then a trip to County Limerick is in order for the newly launched Newcastle West Food Tour.
Developed by well-known local foodie, broadcaster and entrepreneur, Sharon Noonan, Ireland’s latest culinary trail explores the finest gourmet hotspots and rich history of the famed West Limerick town giving an overview of the best artisan producers, brewers and farmers in the region.
Tastings on the tour are plentiful and include coffee with raw milk from Croom, granola from Curraghchase and of course no food tour of Limerick’s largest town would be complete without enjoying award winning cheddar from its resident cheese maker, Cahill’s.
More unusual stops include a visit to a sushi bar which is the latest addition to the restaurant scene in Newcastle West and a poetry reading from the town’s favourite son Michael Hartnett adds a quirky literary twist. The tour culminates with a multi-course lunch boasting a menu created from locally sourced ingredients.
Sharon, who presents the hugely popular Best Possible Taste radio show and podcast, says the food and drink landscape in Newcastle West is ‘extremely impressive’ when you look closely.
“The town was home to Nash’s famous red lemonade and still is to Ballygowan, Ireland’s first developed water brand and the undisputed giant of Irish bottled water,” she explained.
“The Desmond Banqueting Hall dominates the Square which is home to Sonas Healthfoods, our answer to the Happy Pear with its diverse and large range of Irish artisan food products. Our eclectic stalls at the Thursday and Saturday markets have so much to offer with items such as freshly baked sourdough bread and Irish garlic which sell out early.”
It was Sharon’s husband Michael Noonan, the manager of Newcastle West’s Bank of Ireland, who encouraged the mum of two to create the tour.
Originally from Ballymena, Co Antrim, Sharon moved to Newcastle West in 2006.
Michael believed her vast knowledge of Irish food and drink producers thanks to her radio show and judging experience at the Blas Na hEireann/Irish Food Awards and Great Taste Awards – along with being able to see the town through the eyes of a “blow in” – would enable her to develop an appealing tour.
“Sharon has a natural affinity with the food industry,” Michael said. “Her father, Tony Devlin, comes from a long line of greengrocers and her parents have only recently retired from the family business after over 50 years.”
He continued: “It has been wonderful to watch her passion for Newcastle West blossom since her move here and it makes me incredibly proud that she’s striving to raise our home town’s profile on the tourist and culinary circuit.”
For more details and to book your place in the Newcastle West Food Tour click here
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