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Lidl Northern Ireland brings the X-factor with opening of new Buncrana Road store

Lidl Northern Ireland is bringing the x-factor to Derry~Londonderry with the opening of its brand new, £8 million state-of-the-art concept store at Buncrana Road on Thursday 29 July which will be officially unveiled by X-Factor sensation and local celebrity, Eoghan Quigg.

Located at the junction of Buncrana Road and Springtown Road, the newly expanded store replaces the retailer’s former site at 24 Buncrana Road and is the first of three new stores planned for the North West region as part of a wider £26 million investment into the region, announced earlier this year. An additional 10 local jobs have been created as part of the investment.

Dungiven local and radio broadcaster Eoghan Quigg will officially cut the ribbon to unveil the new look Lidl Northern Ireland store and participate in a meet-and-greet with shoppers from 8am – 9am.

Regional Director for Lidl Northern Ireland, Conor Boyle, said:

“As Northern Ireland’s fastest-growing supermarket, we’re delighted to continue moving confidently forward with our long-established investment plans for the North West, bringing new employment opportunities to the local community and offering customers an enhanced shopping experience at this new location.

We’re delighted to confirm the new Buncrana Road store opening date for Thursday 29 July. We’re looking forward to welcoming shoppers through our doors and bringing our fresh, high-quality products and market-leading value to more shoppers in the North West region.”

Occupying a 10,000 sq. metre site with a 2,217 sq metre store space, shoppers can enjoy an enhanced shopping experience featuring higher ceilings, a more spacious interior layout and enlarged bakery areas. The store will also include improved facilities for store staff such as a larger canteen and welfare area and shower facilities.

Built with sustainability as a priority, the new store will incorporate a range of environmentally friendly features including an ISO 50001 certified Energy Management System and 4 electric vehicle charger spaces within its 146-space car park, enabling customers to charge their electric vehicles for free whilst they shop.

Speaking ahead of the new Lidl Buncrana Road store launch, Eoghan said:

“I am thrilled to be officially opening the brand-new Lidl Northern Ireland store at Buncrana Road. I’m looking forward to meeting shoppers and hope to see as many people there as possible to have a bit of craic on the morning. There are always great opening day deals to be had as well, so it’s shaping up to be a great event.

Now that I am shopping for a family of my own, Lidl is my supermarket of choice, with its fantastic selection of quality products at great value. The new and improved store is a great addition to the local area and I can’t wait to get in myself for the weekly shop!”

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Food & Drink

Castello Italia Brings a Taste of Italy To Carrickfergus

Since opening its doors in 2017 Castello Italia has delighted its customers with an array of Italian dishes with a modern Irish twist. 

And whilst many businesses shut up shop during lockdown, instead Castello Italia went through an ambitious rebrand which saw the lower floor transformed into a modern Pizzeria.

At the helm of this transformation was General Manager David Long, who saw an opportunity to expand his product offering. “Before I joined the business I had been living in Carrick and always thought Castello should be offering takeaway as well.

“Pizza was always very popular in the restaurant and in the café downstairs, but we always thought there should be an option to take it home or make it at home, we just weren’t sure how it was going to happen, so being forced into lockdown sped up this process,” said David.

This wasn’t an easy feat however, “in the summer of 2020 we remodelled both kitchens and knocked down walls to get our pizza oven from our first floor into our ground floor kitchen.” David said.

However the rebrand has allowed the restaurant to widen its offering with the ground floor restaurant now serving pizza for takeaway, the middle floor serving fine cuisine and the top floor acting as a private function room.

“The downstairs is friendlier for kids because it’s more relaxed in its décor and service.” Whilst the middle restaurant focuses on a carefully curated menu of Italian inspired dishes.

David who comes from a fine dining background states, “We’ve almost hit the nail on the head offering premium quality but not leaving people hungry. Italian food is comfort. It’s full of flavour, filling and makes you happy.

The restaurant also has a commitment to keeping everything local where possible. “Provenance is really important. We are using mostly local ingredients yet ensuring an authentic Italian taste. We work closely with local suppliers to guarantee we keep Northern Ireland’s world class products on par with our Italian inspiration.

“Our most popular dishes are the braised beef gnocchi, it’s a winter dish but it’s popular all year round. It features melt in your mouth braised beef with beautifully intense red wine sauce served with herb gnocchi. Truly mouth-watering. Then there is our Fettuccine Alfredo, which is a classic pasta dish of smoked chicken, Italian sausage and a parmesan cream sauce. During lockdowns we shared some of our secret recipes so everyone could recreate these at home,” said David.

David states that moving forward he hopes the top floor will be popular with tour groups visiting Carrickfergus; “it’s one of the best features, that provides a real private experience with amazing views over Belfast Lough.” Customers who are lucky enough to book a window table or sit on the balcony will experience exceptional views. 

Another highlight to come out of the first lockdown was the popularity of the restaurant’s ‘gelato’, a healthier alternative to ice-cream and a sweet treat perfect for summer.

“During the first lockdown we set up a new counter to sell gelato on the street and the place had never been busier. People were coming from all around, that was a really positive period for us considering.

“The gelato is very popular with kids, especially the dragon fruit sorbet and blue banana flavours because of the bright colours. We mix these together sometimes to create a unicorn flavour.” David said.

David believes that Carrickfergus is a very ‘up and coming’ region and whilst before lockdown people were choosing to go to Belfast to eat out, they are now choosing to embrace the local economy more than ever, so much so that it is essential to book your table in advance to avoid disappointment.

Learn more at: www.castelloitalia.co.uk

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Causeway Coast and Glens

5 Slow Food Causeway Events Happening In December

Enjoy good food alongside an unforgettable experience with Slow Food Causeway’s events happening in December.

Taste Causeway is an accredited Slow Food destination, one of only a handful of destinations in Ireland to be awarded the accolade by the global Slow Food Movement.

Originally founded in Italy during the 1980s to combine the regional traditions with the slow pace of life. Since then, the Slow Food movement has evolved worldwide and hopes to preserve the ‘unique culinary heritage’ of NI. 

Slow Food Causeway celebrates  the unique food and drink culture of the Causeway Coast. 

Here is a quick overview of  the  Slow Food Causeway events happening in December:

1. Gifts from the Kitchen by Broughgammon Farm

Sunday 5th December, 11am

There’s nothing quite like a homemade, edible gift to celebrate the festive season so Broughgammon Farm have gathered together some of their most beloved recipes for delicious and luxurious edible treats. In this class we will be making an array of delectable items, perfect for gifting or just to enjoy yourself! You’ll leave with plenty of ideas, recipes as well as treats that you will be making throughout the morning.

For more information go to https://www.broughgammon.com/events/gifts-from-the-kitchen/?occurrence=2021-12-05

2. A Taste of Mussenden by Mussenden Sea Salt

Thursday 9th December, 7pm – 10:30pm

An evening of luxury dining where sustainability meets great Slow Food taste on Thursday 9th December at Mussenden Temple. 

Mussenden Temple opened its doors for the first time on Friday 5th November, offering exclusive dining experiences. 

National Trust, in partnership with Mussenden Sea Salt, are back for a second time offering another opportunity this year to dine at one of Northern Ireland’s iconic landmarks.

The menu for the evening has been crafted by Paula McIntyre MBE, the President of Slow Food NI and her menu will feature a showcase of local food and drink producers from the Taste Causeway Network.

For more information go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/event/a-taste-of-mussenden-by-mussenden-seasalt/ 

3. Causeway Coast Foodie Tours Spirit of the Bann

18th and 31st December, 3:15pm – 5:15pm

The award winning Causeway Coast Foodie Tours are embracing the winter season by hosting you on a very special ‘The Spirit of the Bann’ river whiskey tasting experience along the picturesque river.

‘The Spirit of the Bann’ along with White River Charters are hosting a cosy afternoon full of winter inspired whiskey flavours accompanied by an array of tasty award-winning local Slow Food produce. 

Where better to celebrate our unique Slow Food food and drink heritage than via a journey on the River Bann alongside the beautiful site of Mountsandel, Coleraine.

For more information go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/event/slow-food-causeway-spirit-of-the-bann-whiskey-tasting-experience-by-causeway-foodie-tours-2/ 

4. North Supper Club by Ursa Minor at Glenshesk Barn

Saturday 18th December, 7pm to late

We’re all long overdue for a special, unique night out; get festive with us at our casual and relaxed evening with friends and enjoy a delicious feast, celebrating the best local produce with Ciara from Ursa Minor.  Enjoy three courses of beautiful seasonal food served under twinkling lights and candlelight in an unbelievably special location five minutes from Ballycastle.

After dinner we’re very excited to bring you some of the finest voices on the island right now; the stunning vocal harmonies of Lemoncello; superb Dublin poet & playwright Stephen James Smith & the enthralling experimental folk artist Joshua Burnside.

For more information go to  https://www.northfeast.co.uk/

5. Slow Food Christmas at The Arcadia

Sunday 19th December, 7pm – late

Join in on the festive cheer at The Arcadia with Slow Food Causeway director Paula McIntyre MBE where you will be taken on a festive culinary adventure.

Let your taste buds be blessed at Paula McIntyre’s Slow Food Christmas where she will showcase the finest of Taste Causeway’s European influenced produce such as Guiseppe Guisti Balsamic, Slow Food Presidia Red Cow parmesan cheese and charcuterie from Corndale Farm.

Guests who attend the Slow Food Christmas at The Arcadia will get to recreate Paula McIntyre MBE’s delicious recipes from the six-course Italian inspired menu.

For more information, go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/event/slow-food-causeway-christmas-at-the-arcadia/ 

The Causeway Coast and Glens is Northern Ireland’s first accredited Slow Food destination, Taste Causeway, the collaborative network of local food and drink businesses was awarded the accolade by the global Slow Food Movement following a rigorous assessment process.

To launch and celebrate this prestigious award Taste Causeway is running a six month programme of events, dining experiences, tours and special menus.

Taste Causeway is delivering Slow Food Causeway with funding from Tourism NI in partnership with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. 

For more information go to tastecauseway.com/slow-food-causeway or follow the hashtags #SlowFoodCauseway and #TasteCauseway

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