Monday 27 January 2014

Art Tea at the Merrion Hotel

On the day of our anniversary Mr. FFID announced that he’d booked us in for the Art Tea at The Merrion hotel. A few weeks later, we headed to The Merrion Hotel on a windy, freezing day and I can’t express how excited I was. I was even delighted to be cold on the way there, as I knew they had a fireplace. 

We arrived in the bright Georgian drawing room, beautifully laid out with comfy armchairs, sofas and luxurious furniture. We couldn’t have hoped for better seats, facing the roaring fireplace, it felt like we were the only two people there and imagined it was our living room for the day.

The Art tea in the Merrion is a 2 course high tea inspired by the private art collection scattered around the hotel. It is priced at €36 per person, or €50 /€56 with champagne/pink champagne. On the menu you chose one of 14 different teas and the waiting staff refill your cup constantly during your experience.

A cake stand filled to the brim with savoury treats, breads and cakes comes first. 

The savouries are very traditional: chicken and pesto on sunflower bread, smoked Irish salmon on brown bread, cucumber with cream cheese on tomato bread, bridge rolls stuffed with egg mayonnaise and cress and roast beef on white bread. The fingers sandwiches are big, fresh and come generously filled.

On the middle tray the plain mini scones were light and soft whereas the fruit ones were a bit dry. The two slices of colourful and delightfully moist Battenberg, inspired by one of the works of art were certainly the highlight on the tier. 

On that tier you also have some lemon bread and porter bread. On the top tier, clotted cream, raspberry jam and a delectable lemon curd are served in small glasses.

The most impressive part of the Art Tea is without a doubt the second course: the pastries. On your table are displayed three miniature cards featuring three paintings from the Merrion’s art collection and the pastries you get are an edible interpretation of each work of art. 

Pastries vary from a selection and on our visit we had: a raspberry and passion fruit tart, a green apple macaroon and a rosewater and orange mousse on a white chocolate feuilletine. The tart was fruity, flavoursome and a nice contrast of texture. The macaroon was original and stunning looking but the apple taste wasn’t there. The mousse was very rich and exquisite and the feuilletine nicely crunchy.

The Art Tea at the Merrion is a dream for the sweet toothed and those with big appetites. It’s without a doubt the most substantial afternoon tea I've ever had and is also the most luxurious in Dublin. The amount of food even defeated big eaters like Mr. FFID and I. The staff are incredibly welcoming and attentive without being intrusive. The surroundings are stunning yet very cosy and comfortable which makes you feel like staying forever. A complimentary booklet that contains the art collection is at your disposal and comes handy if you’re having a browse at the paintings after your afternoon tea.  The Art tea is indulgent, decadent and would be a perfect celebration for any special occasion.

The Merrion Hotel
Upper Merrion Street
Dublin 2