Renowned throughout the Ireland for their excellent home baking, this great craft bakery has received widespread recognition through the years (including a Good Food Award from the Irish Food Writers’ Guild) for the quality of their products.
Their bakeries in both Castledawson and Magherafelt are great places for a journey beak and you can pick up a few loaves of their speciality breads and other treats to take home, or to your self-catering accommodation.
Robert Ditty - second generation artisan baker, inspirational campaigner for real food and keen beekeeper - is the friendly shopkeeper at Ditty's of Castledawson while his wife, Helen, runs their second shop in Magherafelt.
The in-store café serves a range of baked treats to have with a cup of tea or coffee - and several hot dishes are offered every day.
Robert is an avid supporter of his fellow artisan producers - just check out 'Ditty's Friends' on the website and you'll see what goes into their foods. A by-word for all that's best about the Northern Irish baking tradition, their bakery is a-buzz with life from the small hours, when work begins on the soda farls, potato and wheaten breads to be sold in local stores that day - and early shoppers popping in for a brown soda or coffee and a chat are greeted by the aroma of freshly baked loaves and trays of 'wee buns' warm from the oven.
The most famous products are those with a longer shelf life - the delicious Ditty's Irish Oat Biscuits and Shortbread are distributed to speciality stores in Ireland and abroad (now sold at Waitrose stores throughout England, at Dean & Deluca in New York and the David Jones stores in Australia) ) and appear on many restaurant menus. Variations include thick triangular oat biscuits, celery & pepper, and dulse & sesame - all ideal companions for farmhouse cheeses - and several kinds of shortbread. And he'd like you to become a beekeeper too! (www.inibeekeepers.com).
This shop and café is the home base for Ditty's famous range of traditional breads, oatcakes and many other wonderful bakes that are Northern Ireland's pride and joy.
Also at: Dittys Magherafelt (028 7963 4644).