Wednesday 15 January 2014

The Fitzwilliam Hotel, St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2

Last year I had a great meal in the Citron restaurant at the Fitzwilliam hotel, so when I was recently asked to review an overnight stay including meals, naturally I accepted.

Even though Mr. FFID and I live about 15 minute walk away from St Stephen's Green we put ourselves into 'tourist mode' for the day. I made sure to book on the weekend of our anniversary as it was the perfect way to celebrate in style.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel is a 5 star hotel located just seconds away from Grafton Street and overlooking Stephen's Green.

Our deluxe premium room on the 5th floor was very spacious and stylishly decorated in a contemporary design. I loved the purple colour scheme and the little touches like the mirror, the flowers and the vintage black telephone.

My favourite feature was the big balcony overlooking St. Stephen's Green, I never thought I'd see the park from above and this was an amazing perspective. We enjoyed the complimentary petits fours and admired the view, a very romantic setting for any proposal.

If you're a regular reader of the blog you might know that I love afternoon tea, so I was delighted to  to try the new 'deconstructed afternoon tea' in The Inn on the Green.

We were seated at one of the booths which gave us a little bit of intimacy to enjoy our experience fully. First our waiter brought us a wide selection of tea to chose from.

I found the savoury treats to be innovative and a change from the usual finger sandwiches. We started with the salmon served with beetroot jelly, little pearls of goat cheese and some fennel. Next was the tasty tomato cone, filled with tender beef, a quail egg and topped with horseradish mousse and watercress. The smoked cheddar and chive gougeres (cheese puffs) were to die for with their creamy filling and the truffle arancini were delectable even if the truffle flavour was maybe a bit too subtle.

The miniature scones looked like mini sandwiches with clotted cream and jam. The tangy lemon financier was moist and sweet with a tea cream filling, so moreish!

I was glad to find some little treats to finish with, such as the vanilla macaron, the coconut and white chocolate truffles and fragrant rose water truffles. We were seduced by this original afternoon tea and thought it was great value at €20 per person.

After all that goodness we briefly returned to reality when we ran home to feed our cats. We found our little flat a lot less glamorous than the five star surroundings.

On our return to the hotel we admired the view from the balcony at night before going down to the mezzanine level to Citron for dinner.

The service and food were just as good as on my last visit and the dining room had got a lovely little revamp.

First we were treated to an amuse bouches of truffle arancini and patatas bravas with Louisiana hot sauce which truly whetted our appetites.

For starters I had a comforting truffle risotto with mascarpone and a generous serving of parmesan,  it was a real winner.

Mr. FFID went for the ham hock terrine served with sourdough bread. The portion was huge and so I just had to help him a little bit, all in the name of research.

To follow, he went for the daube of beef with potato and Yorkshire pudding which was so good that he didn't share...

I never order chicken when I'm out, but this time I did and didn't regret it. I loved the idea of using purple potatoes and with the cabbage the dish looked colourful. The dish was healthy and tasty at the same time.

To round off the meal Mr. FFID ordered the 'Black forest' dessert and went to chocolate heaven.

I devoured the lychee panna cotta with a zingy citrus sorbet and cute lime marshmallows. I enjoyed every morsel of my dessert, especially the little pieces of lychee fruit hidden at the bottom of the panacotta. It was so exotic and refreshing.

After dinner we went back to our bedroom with very contented (full) bellies and once again enjoyed the view and maybe even a nightcap or two on the balcony. Thankfully we had a great outdoor heater and didn't feel the freezing cold.

After a good night's sleep we were back in Citron for their continental buffet breakfast. Juices, yogurts, cereals, Irish cheeses, charcuterie, smoothies and many more goodies are available.

You can also order a full Irish breakfast and other specialities like pancakes, eggs benedict, French toast and other fares.

As you might guess Mr. FFID went for the massive full Irish while I indulged in the exquisite eggs florentine, it was Sunday after all.

We were sad to check out a few hours later after our fabulous stay. The hotel is perfectly located for anyone visiting Dublin: it's close to shopping areas, museums and cool pubs.
If you're staying more than a night you can dine at Citron like we did but there is also Michelin-starred Thornton's if you want to experience fine dining.

When you're tired, you can relax in their little reading corner next to the lifts or get pampered in the Spirit treatment and nail salon. There is also a fitness centre if you want to exercise after overindulging.

I've been living in Dublin city centre for 9 years and my stay in the Fitzwilliam made me feel like a tourist again. I was even wondering if tourists who stay there manage to see anything outside the hotel as it's so comfy. For us it was definitely an unforgettable anniversary, merci The Fitzwilliam Hotel!

Disclaimer: I was contacted by Sound PR to review this hotel and my stay/meals were complimentary. As usual, all opinions are honest and my own.

The Fiztwilliam Hotel
Stephen's Green
Dublin 2