So what if it was in England, and Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford in particular, who introduced the delights of the afternoon tea to the world in 1840? Dublin doesn’t shy away from embracing and doubling up on the delights of the afternoon tea. After all, like the Duchess of Bedford, a lot of us feel a tad peckish at four, and want nothing better than a cup of tea, or coffee, and treats that sit like obedient ducklings on dainty three-tiered stands. Some of us don’t mind a wee bit of Prosecco to go with our teas either, and why not? For one good thing can always follow another!
So, here’s a dream list of afternoon teas that I would like to try out in Dublin. I am also happy if you tried one or two, and let us know because we love feedback. Plus, if you try them out it means that I still get to fit in in my Christmas dress!
The Shelbourne, Dublin
I have put this one on the top of my list because I’ve always fancied it. The experience at Shelbourne, including its location, the long tradition of afternoon tea and its décor are supposed to be unmatched. I may have to save a bit for this treat but am pretty certain that the tea will be worth it.
The afternoon tea at Shelbourne takes place at The Lord Mayor’s Lounge and is described as “All is sweetness and light, sugar and spice. A symphony of gentle indulgence, this is a time-honoured tradition which has been savoured by generations of guests at The Shelbourne.”
I particularly love the idea of ‘Whiskey cured smoked salmon’ served with Lakeshore mustard and Guinness bread as well as the ‘Sweet Trolley Banoffee’ that comes loaded with baked sable Breton biscuit, caramel, roasted banana mousse, caramelised banana, chocolate shavings.
You can opt for the Classic Afternoon Tea at € 55 per person and the Champagne Afternoon Tea from € 75 per person.
More details here.
The Vintage Teapot
The afternoon tea at the Vintage Teapot has a twist. You get some lovely Chinese flavours balanced beautifully with traditional afternoon tea favourites. I am particularly tempted by the spread on offer at their ‘Luxurious Chinese Birdcage Afternoon Tea’ menu. It includes apart from other things, “Swedish bread with cream of crab and lemon, spicy cakes, peach chutney and smoked duck, chicken, mustard and pepper squares, as well as blinis, horseradish cream, anchovies marinated in oil.” There’s also the classic afternoon tea on offer, and you could of course also try the traditional Chinese teas.
I am so tempted to try this one out, and if you’re too, we are two of a kind! (P.S. All their reviews are so positive, and most of them mention that whilst there, the dumplings are a must. We thought you should know, because no one wants to miss out on a good dumpling!) A quick link for you here.
The Vintage Bus Tour
I do love buses (when they are on time) and also the opportunity to exchange little stories or pleasantries with fellow passengers. So this one ticks all the boxes for me. I would really love to go with my girlfriends on the Vintage Bus Tour. It’s a double decker, a vintage 1960s bus that has been fully restored and decorated. They offer a full afternoon tea with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options available. Plus the hosts share their favourite stories of Dublin. For me, this sounds like a winning package – tea, treats and storytelling!
The tour lasts for 75 minutes, and you can find out more here.
The Silk Road Café
I love the idea of things with a twist. Plus, how one takes their tea depends on which part of the world you are at. For example, in India, you may be served samosas, bhaajis or fritters of many kinds, mathris (a savory, salty, flaky and crispy treat) and more with your tea. In Turkey, your tea may arrive with delicious sweet and savory biscuits and homemade cakes. So there’s always the possibility to have something new and exciting when you’re having your afternoon tea.
That is why the afternoon tea at the Silk Road Café is such a delight. The menu is inspired by the collection in the Chester Beatty Library. There are no finger sandwiches or any scones but sweet and savory treats from more than 15 countries: Palestinian chicken, falafel, sweet corn fritter mixed with Persian love cakes, mango mousse and Indian burfi. The price is €27 per person and you get 5 savory and 5 sweet options.
Makes and sweetens my afternoon tea bucket list for sure, and if it interests you, more details here.
The Cake Café
The Cake Café is known for its delicious cakes and bakes (but of course!), and seems like an equally amazing place for afternoon tea. You begin with a glass of Prosecco followed by a selection of mini sandwiches and also enjoy a selection of mini cakes of the day with a freshly brewed tea or coffee of your choice. You don’t need to book (says the website), and so it seems like a perfect thing to do, even if it’s impromptu!
All the details, right here for you.
Now, as we’ve always maintained, if you do try out any from our list, do give us a shout. We absolutely love happy photographs from our readers, so don’t be shy please.