Beer, baking and bees: Airbnb’s most popular food experiences in Ireland
Eating, drinking, baking, oyster farming and beekeeping are the food and drink experiences most often booked with Airbnb in Ireland
An Irish Food Trail, which takes visitors to three different Dublin restaurants over the course of their meal, is the most booked food and drink experience in Ireland on Airbnb
Visitors to Ireland don’t just want to eat and drink good things – they want to learn more about them and are keen to help make them too, joining in a variety of hands-on experiences from baking to oyster farming and bee-keeping
Airbnb has revealed the five most popular food and drink activities or “experiences” in Ireland, as booked by users of its platform. Food and drink is just one category in a range of activities, hosted by locals, that can be booked, and in Ireland it accounts for 20 per cent of the experiences offered.
Heading the list, and most popular with visitors, is an Irish Food Trail that takes in three restaurants in Dublin. Paul Kavanagh of Adventure Trails, a Dublin-based tour company, says that visitors are attracted by the social element of this activity, which runs for three hours (2pm-5pm) every day and costs €69.
Participants meet at Dublin Castle and are taken to a different restaurant for starter, main course, dessert and Irish coffee, accompanied by Kavanagh or his fellow guides Grainne Lawlor and Hannah Carnegie. The restaurants and bars that feature on this trail include The Woollen Mills, Gallagher’s Boxty House, Gallagher & Co, Oscar’s Cafe Bar, and The Rag Trader.
The second most popular food and drink activity on the Airbnb platform is a visit to DK oyster farm in Letterfrack, Connemara. There owner David Keane explains the process in a one-hour tour called From Seed to Plate (€15). Oysters have been farmed here since 1893, and as well as a historical insight and a look at modern oyster farming practices, the tour gives participants a chance to shuck their own oyster – and eat it, of course.
Back in Dublin, the third most popular food and drink activity combines baking and brewing. You can join Eimhear O’Dalaigh in her North Strand kitchen for an evening of Bread Beer and Bia, during which you’ll make a loaf of soda bread, enjoy a drink in a local pub while it bakes, and return for a bowl of Irish stew at the kitchen table. You’ll get to take your loaf home, and the three-hour experience costs €49.
An Irish Whiskey Tour (€69), again offered by Adventure Trails, is the fourth most popular option. Three pubs are visited, from a selection that includes Dingle Whiskey Bar, the Mercantile, Darky Kelly’s and The Rag Trader. Over the course of three hours, two whiskeys sampled in each pub , together with food pairings including Irish farmhouse cheese, soda bread, seafood, salted caramels and handmade Irish chocolates.
The fifth most popular food experience is in Cork, where Mark Riordan invites visitors to learn about beekeeping at Myrtleville House, in the seaside village of the same name, near Crosshaven. Riordan has completed a Masters on breeding the honeybee in Ireland and is working on a project called Hive Mind to build awareness for the preservation of the honey bee in Ireland.
The two and a half hour session (€35), which involves wearing appropriate protective suits, which are provided, is followed by lunch made with produce grown in Riordan’s garden.
There are more than 220 Airbnb experiences, not limited to food and drink, listed across Ireland. “Experiences are handcrafted activities, designed and led by local experts that you won’t find anywhere else. For people to earn a little extra money from sharing their passions and the communities they love, all they need to do is request to list their Experience through Airbnb and we will review to see if it qualifies to the high quality bar that has been set,” an Airbnb spokesperson told the Irish Times.
The initiative runs worldwide. In Shanghai, you can eat breakfast with a local, Lily (€18). In Paris, you can join a French wine and cheese lunch (€75) hosted by Olivier and Gerald, who are both sommeliers. In Madrid you can learn about Iberico ham (€38) with Alberto, whose family business has been selling the delicacy since 1919.
Airbnb experiences in Ireland and further afield – and there are lots of interesting things to do across categories such as sport, nature, social impact, history, healthy and wellness and music, can be seen here.