Jump into Ireland: An Experience of Irish Culture, Cuisine, and Heritage

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Written by Bailey Piazza

Nothing quite celebrates the eve of Irish-American Heritage Month like an event displaying the wonders of Ireland. On the evening of February 28, 2017, Tourism Ireland featured their Jump into Ireland event showcasing Irish heritage, culture, and cuisine to promote Ireland around the world as a premier holiday and business tourism destination. Multiple travel agents and agency representatives gathered at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC to collect the latest information on luxury lodging locations and unique activities offered all over the island from Belfast to Cork.

As representatives from various tourism industries in Ireland took the stage, guests were enticed by the array of options and activities available. Their clients from all over the world could stay at ancient castles, like the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel in Dublin, preserved to praise the glory of medieval Ireland, and even meet the Irish nobles who call these castles their homes. Railtours Ireland First Class advertised afternoons of daydreaming in the comfort of a cozy train car, taking in the romantic views of the Irish countryside. Representatives from Ireland’s premier golf courses boasted of their breathtaking views and terrains. Many of their locations are situated on the country’s stunning cliffs and relaxing seacoasts, exposing golfers of any experience level to the natural Celtic beauty. All these places and more can be found in Ireland’s Blue Book, a collection of Irish hotels, manor houses, castles, and restaurants.

After the presentations, guests enjoyed a buffet dinner complete with several Irish specialties. Dishes included Guinness infused ham, fresh Irish salmon, and tender corned beef wrapped in cabbage. While dining on Ireland’s best flavors, those in the crowd enjoyed Irish jigs played by a live band on fiddles, flutes, and sheepskin drums. When Irish dancers took the stage, everyone clapped along to the rhythmic stomping of the dancer’s traditional hard shoes, or “heavies.” To conclude the evening, volunteers were randomly selected for a whiskey tasting, conducted by Dublin native and tourism consultant expert John Callely. After tasting American, Scottish, and Irish whiskies, it was determined that Teeling Irish Whiskey was certainly the most memorable, much like the extravagant Irish vacation experiences in the audience’s dreams that night.

Photo Credit: Tourism Ireland.