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A new Irish whiskey experience set to serve up coastal delights

by | May 11, 2022

A new whiskey tasting experience has been launched in Co. Antrim.

In collaboration with the Old Bushmills Distillery, the Londonderry Arms Hotel is set to deliver an immersive experience that will allow revellers to sip and savour a specially created whiskey flight paired with local delicacies and sharing platters.

The initiative is the result of a partnership between the public and private sector, supporting the financial and personal commitment of the owner of the hotel to refurbish its small but famous bar, bringing to life the story of the internationally renowned racehorse Arkle and the Arkle Club.

Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the O’Neill family’s ownership of the historic Carnlough hotel, the special whiskey offering is set in the venue’s refurbished Arkle Whiskey Bar and will “strengthen the area’s wider tourism offering”, according to the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim.

Councillor William McCaughey said: “The Londonderry Arms Hotel is as much a fixture of the Antrim Coast Road as its powerful tides and smooth pebbles.

“This unique collaboration between Bushmills Distillery and the Londonderry Arms Hotel will deliver a brand-new whiskey experience for Northern Ireland.

“According to the Irish Whiskey Association, Irish whiskey is set to be a world leader in experiential tourism and it’s great to see such an innovative whiskey offering right here in Carnlough, with special whiskey flights, food pairings and the unique cultural history of our destination all coming together.”

Denise O’Neill, the owner of the Londonderry Arms Hotel, said: “It has been my privilege to oversee the re-imagining of our iconic Arkle Bar – a very special place in our hotel, that is now home to many memories and memorabilia from our family and guests over the decades.

“Looking ahead to the rest of the 2022 season I, along with my loyal team, am looking forward to hosting our wonderful Arkle Bar whiskey experiences and welcoming old friends and new, from both near and afar.”

Welcoming the latest tourism initiative to the area, the Mayor continued: “New tourism products such as this will act as a further promotional boost to the Carnlough and Glenarm area, which we are promoting as a go-to destination along the Causeway Coastal Route.

“With an already strong tourism offering across Mid and East Antrim, I’m delighted that Council is working collaboratively with a number of stakeholders to present it to a bigger and more varied audience.”

Funded from the Tourism NI’s COVID Market Led Product Development Programme with support through the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ pilot Rural Tourism Collaborative Experience Programme, investments in experiential tourism aim to spread tourist traffic throughout the country, including Mid and East Antrim.

Ainsley McWilliams, Regions Manager at Tourism NI said: “As part of our Market Led Product Development Programme, we are delighted to support this exciting partnership between Bushmills Distillery and the Londonderry Arms Hotel which will deliver a brand-new whiskey tasting experience for Northern Ireland. I have no doubt that this experience will create new and compelling reasons to visit the Mid and East Antrim area.”

Bookings for the portfolio of whiskey tasting and dining experiences at the Londonderry Arms Hotel can be made via www.londonderryarmshotel.com or visit www.facebook.com/LondonderryArmsHotelCarnlough for additional information.

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