The Merrion Hotel has a large art collection and this is the inspiration for their Afternoon Tea. Art Tea at The Merrion 5 star hotel is a wonderful treat and delightful way to spend a few hours on an afternoon. The Merrion’s Drawing Rooms are sumptuous and luxurious and exactly where you would like to sip on a glass of bubbly, enjoying all the delectable food and treats.
With a day off work, I made plans with my mum to spend the afternoon together. We met earlier for a wander around the shops and made our way to The Merrion for our Afternoon Tea reservation at 3pm. We were a little early but it was no problem to sit down and have tea or coffee while the kitchen prepared the afternoon tea.
It was a warm day in Dublin so not fancying a hot drink, I had The Merrion Iced Tea – a classic lemon and ginger iced tea, so refreshing. I’d go back just to have that iced tea, on the terrace in the courtyard on a summers day! We had a glass of champagne also (Ruinart NV). The champagne afternoon tea is priced at €57.50 per person (€45 pp without the champagne). When we first arrived it was a little warm, the fires were lighting but we were seated near the door to the courtyard area so we opened the door and the fires went out over the time we were there so it became a little cooler thankfully.
The first ‘course’ of the afternoon tea is sandwiches, scones, breads & cakes… the sandwiches were Shanagarry Smoked Salmon with Lemon Glenilen Butter on Brown Bread, O’Donovan’s loin of Ham with Tarragon and Dalkey Mustard on White Bread, Cornfed Chicken with Truffle Mayonnaise on Sunflower Bread, Organic Cucumber, Smoked Paprika, Mint with Glenilen Yogurt on White bread and Duck Egg Mayonnaise in a Brioche Bun. There were also glass shots of avocado & crab. The chicken and egg were the ones that stood out for me of these. All the sandwiches and savouries were beautifully presented, and tasted good. The only one that wasn’t was the cucumber, it was just quite bland. The others more than made up for that though.
Onto the scones and cakes tier and there were Fruit Scones, Lemon loaf cake, Portercake and Battenberg cake (with colours to match a large painting that was on the wall in front of us). The top tier had little glass pots of Glenillen Clotted Cream, Raspberry Jam and Lemon Curd.
Knowing we wouldn’t make it through everything we didn’t eat too much of this tier, just a couple of scones and some of the lemon cake. So they kindly packaged the rest up for us to bring home to very grateful family members.
The next course is the ‘art’ part, the chef selects 3 pastries which are based on 3 pieces of art in The Merrion and these change week to week. On your table you will find 3 cards representing the paintings that will feature in your afternoon tea and you can bring those cards home also.
The 1st one is from ‘Shut Eye with Acolyte (Praxis)’ by John Boyd and this was a Tear drop of Pistachio & White Chocolate Mousse.
Then there was a Rosewater & Orange Mousse on a White Chocolate Feuilletine which was based on ‘Roses and Temple’ by Patrick Hennessy.
And finally a Green Apple Macaroon which was from ‘The Old Fox’ by John Doherty. A wonderful concept to take inspiration from the paintings and art that adorn the walls of the hotel; brilliantly executed by the chef Paul Kelly.
We were really very full by the time we got to this plate but we managed the first two and they were exquisite. Very sweet and rich so the small size for these is perfect. The macaroon joined the battenburg and scones in the home package!
As part of your ‘art tea’ you receive a complimentary copy of The Merrion art collection catalogue. Afterwards we had a wander around the hotel drawing rooms and corridors to look at the art, particularly the paintings that had inspired our pastries.
And then it was time to leave the beautiful environs of The Merrion Hotel with a hope to return soon. The setting, the service, the food, it was impeccable.
The Merrion Hotel | Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2 | +353 1 603 0600 | firstname.lastname@example.org