Stories and cuisine from around the world

Ballyeamon Barn Big Lunch. inbm27-16s
Ballyeamon Barn Big Lunch. inbm27-16s

Visitors to Ballyeamon barn enjoy great fun and food, with support from the Eden Project and the Big Lottery Fund.

Ballyeamon Barn was the setting for a spectacular storytelling Big Lunch, with support from the Eden Project and the Big Lottery Fund. A Feast of Stories involved storytelling and music, as well as food from all over the world, with 40 people packed into the barn and representing 10 nationalities - France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, England, Kenya, South Africa, Slovakia, Poland, and the USA.

The event at the bunkhouse barn, near Glenariff Forest Park, was part of the Big Lunch, a UK-wide scheme that aims to use food to bring people together.

Storyteller Liz Weir said: “The Glens of Antrim is a great community place and I thought, ‘why don’t I have a Big Lunch?’ It was a fusion of food and stories. I have to thank Glens of Antrim Potatoes supplied delicious baked spuds! It was a real community venture, and we had all ages from 15 months to 85. I was delighted with our first Big Lunch and people are keen to do another.” More online!

Now in its eighth year, The Big Lunch is an idea from the Eden Project, made possible by the Big Lottery Fund, that aims to get as many people as possible to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

Big Lunches can be in your back garden, your street, or in a large public space. Some are barbecues, some picnics, they can involve a handful of people right up to huge gatherings.

The participation figures are remarkable - last year there were hundreds of Big Lunches across NI with tens of thousands of people taking part. Across the whole of the UK more than 7.3 million people were involved.

The important thing is gathering together to enjoy some food and getting to know your neighbours and community better.

Grainne McCloskey, Partnership Manager for The Big Lunch Northern Ireland, said: “It is great to see another year’s worth of Big Lunches taking place, bringing so many people together in fun and friendship. The benefits for our local communities are enormous and I want to congratulate everyone who helped organise a Big Lunch.”

Joanne McDowell, Northern Ireland Director of The Big Lottery Fund, said: “We are delighted to continue our support of The Big Lunch. It has had a really positive impact on communities across Northern Ireland and we are looking forward to seeing the difference it will make to people once again.”