Food Adventures at Hillsborough

* All 3 food adventures are postponed until a later date due to Covid 19. If you have already booked and would prefer a refund, please let us know at *

We are excited to offer our first 3 events for 2020 – spaces are limited.

Griddle bread making with Tracey Jeffrey

Saturday 4th April, 9.30 – 12.00pm, £29.00 per person

An immersive, hands on workshop where you can learn to make your own authentic griddle breads – soda, wheaten and potato bread. Price includes tea or coffee to have with the fantastic breads you have made.

(Limited to 20 people).

Bees and honey – Celebrate the honeybee! 

Saturday 25th April, 9.30 – 11.00am, £25.00 per person

Learn about why honeybees are so important at the Yellow Door kitchen garden apiary. The event includes tasting of different honeys, our local Kilnasaggart Mead, tea or coffee and our house made pancakes drizzled with local honey of course.

(Price includes all day admission to the grounds and gardens at Hillsborough Castle).

Herbs and Edible flowers

Saturday 23rd May, 9.30 – 11.00am, £25.00 per person

Learn about the most popular and some of the more unusual soft and hardy herbs and easy-to-grow edible flowers. Learn how best to grow them, how to harvest them and ways they can be used in everyday cooking. Visit the amazing Walled Garden and spend as much time as you want exploring the rest of the extensive gardens and grounds.

Includes tea or coffee and our house made scone.

(Price includes all day admission to the grounds and gardens at Hillsborough Castle).

To book any of these Food Adventures please contact: or tel: (0)28 9268 1395

*AAll 3 food adventures are postponed until a later date due to Covid 19. If you have already booked and would prefer a refund, please let us know at *

Honey, Honeybees and Pollinators

We’ve been keeping honeybees for about 8 years now at the Yellow Door kitchen garden in Ballydougan and they are such amazing little insects. We currently have 4 hives and hopefully all the girls will have survived the winter. Bees and other pollinators are so important to global food
production and they need our protection.

Did you know that bees are responsible for the pollination of all the fruit, vegetables and nuts that grow above ground, about 1/3 of everything we eat, contributing £651 million to the UK economy per year?

Bees must visit 2 million flowers, travelling for 55000 miles to make a pound of honey. A worker honey bee will make 1/12 of a teaspoon in its lifetime.

Natural honey is the only food which contains all the minerals necessary for life and because it has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, it will keep almost indefinitely. 3000 year old edible honey has been found in Egyptian tombs.

If you web search “health benefits of honey” about 1.6 million results come up, but primarily we use it for its fantastic flavour and sweetness.

We use honey for so many things in the kitchen. Here are some favourites…

  • To drizzle on porridge or yoghurt
  • In smoothies
  • For salad dressing
  • To add to sweet and sour dishes
  • To drizzle over roasting carrots and parsnips
  • To caramelise nuts to have with ice cream
  • As a glaze for pork and chicken
  • Honey can be used to sweeten and balance spicy food
  • On toast or pancakes
  • In hot whiskey
  • In mulled cider
  • To make honeycomb
  • To eat out of the jar just as it is to soothe a sore throat

Buy local, raw honey if you can and use this in your cold dishes where the complexity of flavours is more pronounced. If you’re going to heat it, or cook with it, you don’t need to be as particular about the type of honey you buy.

Food Adventures Foraging Event

Sunday 22nd September at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

ARRIVE at 10.00am for coffee/tea and homemade scones and meet Clare McQuillan, your foraging guide and wild food expert. Clare will take you on an escorted walk around the beautiful grounds sharing her knowledge of what is good to eat and growing wild right on our doorsteps.

RETURN at 1.00pm for a two-course lunch, which will incorporate some of the ingredients we have picked!

FINISH at 2.00 – 2.30pm and you can spend the rest of the day exploring the walled garden and grounds at Hillsborough Castle at your leisure or why not book a tour of the castle?


Email: Hannah at to book.
Please include your telephone details.

Spaces are limited to 20 people. The pace will be leisurely but sturdy walking shoes are recommended and a waterproof coat in case of inclement weather.

Includes all day entry to the gardens and grounds.

Bread Waste

Use Your Loaf – good bread should never end up in the bin!!

Food waste is a big issue and bread usually comes top of the list for wastage in most households.

In the UK alone a staggering 24 million slices of bread are wasted every day, that’s about 900,000 tonnes a year.

We put time, effort and the best local ingredients into making proper bread, so if you have some left over make French toast, garlic bread, breadcrumbs for stuffing, and delicious puddings. We have some simple recipes below…


Perfect in salads or on top of homemade soups:

Cut your bread into decent sized chunks about 2-3cm square. Spread them on a baking tray, sprinkle with olive or rapeseed oil and some herbs or a pinch of salt if you fancy it.

Bake in a low oven until golden brown and crunchy. They will keep in an airtight container for a week or more.


Slice your stale bread and toast the slices under a grill or in the toaster. When toasted, take out the
bread and rub a garlic clove over the toasted pieces of bread whilst hot until the garlic has all gone.
Drizzle each slice with good olive or rapeseed oil. Enjoy as they are or you can make tomato
bruschetta (or the Catalonian pan con tomate) by adding finely diced or squished, really ripe
tomatoes and a little grind of pepper and salt.

Multi berry fruit pudding – serves 6-8

A variation on the classic summer pudding to use up old bread and whatever berries you can get
your hands on!

Makes a large pudding for a 1.5 ltr bowl – keeps for 3-4 days in the ‘fridge and freezes well too.


10 slices of stale, medium cut white bread.
250g ripe local strawberries
200g blackcurrants
250g blueberries
200g raspberries
200g golden caster sugar
4 tblsp water


To make the pudding easier to turn out, line the bowl with 2 layers of cling film.

Remove the crusts from the bread and put 1 slice in the bottom of a 1.5 litre bowl. Now use more
bread to line the sides so that they fit tightly together.

Wash the berries if you need to and halve the strawberries if they are large.

Place the blackcurrants and blueberries in a pan with the water and sugar and heat gently until the
juices run. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and then add the strawberries and raspberries. Remove
from the heat and stir.

Spoon the fruit and half the juice into the bread lined bowl and keep the other half of the juice until
later. Cover the fruit with the remaining bread slices and fold over the clingfilm. Set the bowl in a
dish, put a saucer on top of the bread lid and place a weight on the saucer (a mortar and pestle
works). Chill for 5-6 hours or overnight is better.

Turn the pudding out onto a serving dish and pour the remaining juices over the top. Serve with
lightly whipped cream, yoghurt, crème fraiche or ice cream.

Tip: You can add a combination of whatever berries you have or this recipe also works well with
frozen berries.

Easy bread and butter pudding – serves 4-6

Nothing is more comforting than a delicious bread and butter pudding. This is a really easy way to make this traditional pudding without having to make the custard first. You can leave out the
currants and add chocolate pieces and orange zest or blueberries or whatever you fancy.


8 medium slices bread (keep the crusts on)
50 – 70g butter (unsalted if you prefer)
50g currants or sultanas
280ml milk
3 eggs
60ml double cream
50g golden caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Freshly grated nutmeg


Butter the bread and cut each slice in half.

Arrange a single layer of buttered bread in the bottom of a medium sized baking dish, sprinkle with
half the currants, then add the next layer of buttered bread and the rest of the currants.

Mix the milk, cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract together in a glass jug or bowl until well
combined and pour over the bread. Grate a good sprinkling of nutmeg over the top and bake in a
preheated oven at 180 degrees C for about 30-40 minutes until golden on top.

Allow to cool and serve warm with more whipped cream!

Download our Real Bread poster

Sourdough September

As Real Bread campaign members, we want to celebrate #SourdoughSeptember by introducing a new ‘extra sour’ sourdough loaf and giving away tubs of our sourdough starter to all you keen home bakers. Even if you wouldn’t describe yourself as “keen” you may be “curious”, “hopeful” or “wannabe”.

Whatever the case, now’s your chance to create a little bit of sourdough magic in your own home with some of our sourdough starter which was originally created about 70 years ago in Poland by family friends of Zbigniew, our head baker.

A fantastic, simple recipe, instructions on how to mind your new baby and Riot Rye’s great video can be found here. Huge thanks to our friends at Real Bread Ireland.

Click here to read more from

Sourdough Starter will be available from our Portadown, Lisburn Rd, Belfast and Lisburn delis, NATIVE at the MAC, and Yellow Door at Ulster Museum from Tuesday 12th September until Friday 29th September.

To avoid disappointment please pre-order by contacting before 1.00pm on the day before delivery stating at which outlet you wish to collect.

Real Bread is nothing fancy and has nothing to hide

We are proud to have become members of the Real Bread Campaigns in both UK and Ireland which promote traditional baking and only natural ingredients.

We started baking our own bread to sell in our first deli in 1997. To this day our Bread is baked fresh every night, six days a week, with locally milled, top quality untreated, unbleached flour, natural fats and oils, free range eggs, Irish butter and local milk and buttermilk.

We do not believe in using chemical yeast enhancers, preservatives or any other artificial additives in our bread. We only use fresh yeast as well as our own ferment, which was first created over 70 years ago!

This is proper, old school baking with a commitment to flavour, authenticity and our customers’ health. To find out more about Real Bread go here.

*Our scones, rye bread and soda bread do contain baking soda, so do not qualify for the Real Bread Loaf Mark

Clearer Water at the Yellow Door

Clearer Presentation Boards-01

We are delighted to be supporting Clearer Water at the Yellow Door

A pure, natural, stone-puri ed water, bottled by a social enterprise, creating work placements for people with disabilities. Good for you, good for the local economy, good for the environment.

For more information visit

Sow, Grow, Munch launches at Stormont

As one of the sponsors, we are very proud that this terrific resource was officially launched at Stormont in October, and has support from CCEA and Tourism NI as a legacy project for the NI Year of Food and Drink.


From L to R – Carolyn Boyd (Industry Development manager, Tourism NI), Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, Jilly Dougan, Richard Hanna (Director of Education, CCEA)

Sowing the seeds for future generations

An initiative aimed at encouraging school children to grow, cook and eat local produce was launched this week at Parliament Buildings by a leading producer and food campaigner.

The Sow, Grow, Munch schools’ initiative, which has been created by Jilly Dougan, was officially launched on Monday at a Stormont event hosted by Jo-Anne Dobson MLA. Supported by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) and Tourism NI, the guide will form part of the legacy of 2016’s Year of Food and Drink and will give young people the opportunity to learn about growing whilst developing learning embedded in the Northern Ireland curriculum.

The launch was attended by a plethora of food lovers, industry professionals, MLAs from across the political spectrum and deputy First Minister Mr Martin McGuinness.

Jilly, who is also known for creating productive herb gardens for hotels and restaurants, said her ‘how to’ guide to vegetable and fruit gardening came about as a response to a disparity between schools in gardening capabilities.

“I have been in and out of lots of schools and some have really fantastic food growing initiatives. However, some have nothing in place or they have a garden which is overgrown and unloved with really keen teachers who don’t know where to start. I saw a need for a simple guide, which was specific to our climate and the school year. The guide isn’t just about growing though, it’s about local food and how to cook simple food from scratch.”

Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, who hosted the event said, “Sow, Grow, Munch is inspiring a generation of young people to think smarter when it comes to what they eat. This is a fantastic initiative, both online and offline, to engage our young people, increasing their knowledge and leading to healthier and happier lives. It gives me the greatest of pleasure to host Jilly and Sow, Grow, Munch at Stormont and to support her in seeking the continued backing of Government to promote a new, fresh and locally grown concept.”

Growing food in schools has many benefits; children learn where their food comes from, and how it is produced. It encourages healthy and seasonal eating, is great exercise, encourages team work and can double up as an outdoor classroom.

These benefits have led to the guide being incorporated into a much larger project in collaboration with Tourism NI and CCEA as a legacy of Year of Food and Drink 2016.

Director of Education at CCEA, Mr Richard Hanna said, “CCEA is pleased to support this legacy piece of the Year of Food and Drink 2016 and to partner with Tourism NI on this project which will see us develop an online education resource to promote healthy eating and growing.

“It will give young people the opportunity to not only learn how to grow produce but to support and further develop important learning areas already embedded in the Northern Ireland curriculum such as literacy, numeracy, science, entrepreneurship, employability, cooking, hygiene and the environment”.

Carolyn Boyd of Tourism NI said, “Tourism Northern Ireland are proud to partner with both Jilly and CCEA to ensure that The Year of Food and Drink 2016 has a legacy beyond the year and far into the future.”

Sow, Grow, Munch is free to download on both the Eco-Schools NI and Education for Sustainable Development websites.

Jilly added, “It was important to me that the book was free to schools and educators as I know resources are always limited. I am completely indebted to my sponsors who believed in the project enough to pay for the design and print of Sow, Grow, Munch. It shows great collaboration within our local food supply chain that the sponsors were Irwin’s Bakery, Forest Feast, Food NI, NI Stakeholder Potato Promotion Group, Yellow Door Deli, Ulster Farmers Union and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council’s Food Heartland – a combination of private companies and public sector bodies and organisations.

“I am so pleased that CCEA and Tourism NI have taken up the reins and have such exciting plans for the concept, and how it will be used to augment and enhance the curriculum.”

2016 Great Taste Awards

We were immensely proud of our talented team for their achievements at the Guild of Fine Foods’ Great Taste Awards this Year, the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink.

We were thinking of renaming it the Great Tasting Butter Awards, as fab Irish butter and local buttermilk featured heavily in our award-winning products.

We were delighted to receive a fantastic 2 star, and 1 stars for 6 other products.


Sticky Toffee Pudding – 2 star


Here’s what the judges said:

“An even appearance with a glistening sticky toffee topping. The taste is clean, buttery toffee, without being too sweet. A great finish. The balance is so nice that we could not stop eating it.”

“A sticky toffee pudding that lives up to it’s name. A rich molasses aroma is followed by a soft textured sponge with a great mouth-feel.”

“Heaven on a plate.”


1 stars


Honey glazed buttermilk burger bap

Raspberry and almond Loaf

Buttermilk Sorbet

Granary Loaf

Braised North African Lamb

Parsnip, kale and chestnut pie

Recipe of the Month

Starter – Fivemiletown Ballybrie, Sunblushed Tomato & Caramelised Onion Fritters, Cranberry Chutney & Hazelnut Dressing


4 portions

150g Ballybrie cut into rough Dice.

4 wedges Sun Blushed Tomatoes Finely Chopped

20g Caramelised Onions chopped

20g Fine Breadcrumbs

1 teasp Chopped Chives

Pinch Salt & Pepper

Pane Mix

Seasoned flour

Egg Wash (2 eggs & little milk whisked together)

Fine Bread Crumbs

Place the Ballybrie into a blender and blitz for 45 seconds to 1 minute until the cheese is in small pieces but not a paste.  Place the cheese in a bowl with all the other ingredients. Now form into 12 equal size small balls. Once you have all the balls formed place on a tray with greaseproof paper and put in the freezer to firm up.  Once firm, roll the balls in the seasoned flour, then the egg wash and finally the fine Breadcrumbs, shaking off excess ingredients at each stage. Repeat the process once more so the fritters have a good coating.

Hazelnut Dressing

30g Toasted Hazelnuts Roughly Chopped

50ml Olive Oil

1teasp Local Honey

1/2teasp Wholegrain Mustard

Squeeze of Lemon Juice

Pinch Salt & Pepper

Simply mix all the ingredients together and season to taste. Set aside

1 Jar of Cranberry Chutney

Mixed salad leaves to garnish

To assemble the dish spoon 3 small mounds of the chutney onto a plate and garnish the plate with some winter salad leaves. Fry your Fivemiletown fritters in hot oil 190oC for 30-40 seconds until golden brown, drain on kitchen paper and place on the plate just to the side of the chutney, last thing drizzle your hazelnut dressing over the fritters and serve immediately.


Canape – Fivemiletown Ballyblue Cheese Mousse on Oakwood Cheddar Shortbread with Sweet Quince & Port Glaze


This simple vegetarian canape can be prepared in advance and will be extremely popular with everyone at your party. Really delicious

100g Ballyblue Cheese rind removed

35g Cream Cheese

Dice up the blue cheese into small cubes and place in a blender with the cream cheese, bitz both cheeses together until smooth. Once blended place the mixture into a small tub and refrigerate

Oakwood Cheddar Shortbread

100g Plain flour

50g Cornflour

100g Softened Butter

75g Finely grated Oakwood Cheddar

Grind of Black Pepper

1 Free Range Egg Yolk
Simply place both flours, pepper and butter into a bowl and rub the butter into the flour mix with the tips of your fingers. Once the mixture resembles a crumble mix add the egg yolk and cheddar. Mix with a wooden spoon to bring the mixture together. Turn the mixture out onto a floured board and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth. Cover the dough with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling out.

Sweet Quince and Port Glaze

1 Dessert spoon of quince

3 Dessert Spoons of Port

Place the quince paste and port in a small saucepan and heat gently stirring all the time until the quince is completely dissolved and the mixture is a thick glaze; set to one side

Remove the shortbread from the fridge and roll out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut out small discs with a round cutter about 30mm in diameter. Bake on parchment paper at 170oC for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool before brushing with the warm glaze and finally pipe the cheese mixture on top. You can decorate the top with half a toasted walnut.