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Special and Environmental Awards

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

MEGABITES AWARD: Colum Lanigan Ryan, La Rousse Foods, Dublin
The pantechnicon of artisan foods and food producers organised by Colum Lanigan Ryan, as part of the extraordinary Food on the Edge festival in Galway, was simply mind-blowing. The exhibition of great Irish foods, and the people who make them, sealed the deal on a truly great event, and Mr Lanigan Ryan’s generosity in involving producers who aren’t even distributed by La Rousse shows his generosity, and his brilliance, and his pride. laroussefoods.ie

GREEN AWARD: ZeroKM at Macreddin Village, Co Wicklow
It took Evan Doyle and the team at the Brook Lodge Inn 18 months to grow, rear, ripen, process and cook all the ingredients needed for the 15-course ZEROKM dinner and drinks they served in October 2017. Everything came from the locality of Macreddin, and everything was mind-blowingly good. Truth be told, Evan Doyle began this journey back when we first met him, which was in... 1989. Clean, green, organic, with ZERO food miles, ZEROKM was a virtuosic demonstration of food environmentalism, at its zenith. brooklodge.com

WALKERS AWARD: Martin McCrossan City Walking Tours, Derry, Co Londonderry
City walks require good guides, because cities have so much history hidden, buried and elided in all their nooks and crannies. The walk around Derry's walls we took with Martin McCrossan's company was a superb demonstration and distillation of the history of the city, told with wit and humour. There are many reasons to visit Derry, and a guided walk around the walls is one of the foremost reasons. derrycitytours.com

VISITOR ATTRACTION AWARD: The Dark Hedges, Co Antrim
Traffic jams? On the day after Christmas? Up on the North Atlantic Coast? Who knew that The Dark Hedges had seized imaginations across the globe with such arborial power. Thanks to the global success of Game of Thrones, this 200-year-old passage of beech trees is now a shrine, a monument, a place of pilgrimage, and a place to feel humble in the presence of such elemental beauty. DiscoverNorthernIreland.com

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