Afternoon tea that’s as pretty as a picture!
Five Star Foodie Experience in the Merrion Hotel
Who knew back in 1840 when the Duchess of Bedford asked for something to eat between lunch and dinner that an institution would be born! This is how Afternoon Tea came to be.
Nowadays Afternoon tea is an extremely popular activity worldwide, sometimes called Devon Tea, High Tea or Devonshire Tea. Due to its increasing popularity there are no shortage of places in Dublin offering this exquisite luxurious treat.
One of the best has to be Dublin’s 5* Merrion Hotel.
Their very special afternoon tea is justifiably popular and you need to book weeks in advance. Great for a treat for a special birthday, afternoon out with Mums and Aunts or just a girly get together (possibly with a nice glass or two of bubbly added!). The Art Tea is based on the huge private collection of art that the hotel has on display in the building. Paul Kelly, the hotels executive chef is the creative genius behind this inspired idea. Paul is also known as one of the judges on the Great Irish Bake off.
Who knew back in 1840 when the Duchess of Bedford asked for something to eat between lunch and dinner that an institution would be born!
From the minute you arrive for your afternoon tea you will cannot fail to be impressed by the sumptuous drawing room and the decadent feel of the place. Crystal white table linen, silver cutlery, delicate crockery and heavy silver teapots all add to the ambiance. Thoughtfully the hotel provide a brochure for each table showing all the art in the hotel to take away with you.
The ever helpful staff will explain the afternoon tea and procee3d to take orders for tea and there is a big selection to choose from including a whiskey flavoured tea. There is of course also a coffee menu! On this occasion we enjoyed a beautiful glass of champagne with our afternoon tea.
So – what about the food??!
Uniquely the Art Tea offered by the hotel is a two course affair, the first being your traditional three tier stand with delicate finger sandwiches, including the traditional cucumber sandwich along with a beautiful Shanagarry Smoked salmon and lemon butter on brown bread along with a corn-fed chicken and truffle mayonnaise sandwich and a duck egg brioche.
Of course you also have your plain and fruit scones with clotted cream, lemon curd (this was amazing!) and jam. Don’t forget about the cakes – lemon bread cake, Battenberg AND Guinness cake!
TIP – we were five people and we just ordered afternoon tea for three as there is a lot of food and you really want to keep space for the 2nd course!
What Was on Offer
When you’re done with that the lounge staff will clear the decks and then bring you your piece de resistance – the Art Tea Pastries! They will explain to you what painting in the hotel the dessert is based on.
The desserts vary- ours were:
- Futile Defense (Fabricated Evidence), John Boyd Raspberry & Passion fruit Tart
- Frying Pan, Funnel, Eggs & Lemons, William Scott Vanilla Biscuit with Orange Curd
- Self Portrait 1912, Saurin Elizabeth Leech Lime Sponge, Orange Chiboust & Lemon Jelly Curd
All delicious – my favourite being the Futile Defense…. absolutely sublime.
A totally relaxed, chilled out afternoon – we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and cannot wait to go back again!
Art Tea in the Merrion Hotel is €42.50 per person. €57.50 per person with a glass of Ruinart NV bubbles.
Prebooking definitely recommended as they book out weeks in advance!
Liz Aungier – #IrishFoodTrail