Sunday, 2 June 2013

Art Tea At The Merrion Hotel, Dublin


The Merrion is a five star hotel, located in central Dublin and is regarded by visitors and locals alike as one of the most exclusive hotels in Dublin. The hotel is comprised of four grade 1 Georgian listed building, these were built in 1760 by Lord Monck, for the higher end of Irish society. The houses were designed to be used as homes, and this mindset is firmly maintained to the present day at the Merrion hotel. The decor and ambience manage to combine both luxury and a home from home atmosphere. One of the first questions we had to ask when we heard about the Afternoon Tea, was the relevance of the Art? After some investigation I discovered the Merrion hotel boasts (modestly) one of the most important private collection of 19th and 20th century Art in Ireland. The full extent of the collection, is dotted around the hotel and comprised of over forty Irish Artists. We could not wait for our lazy Sunday afternoon tea, and a chance to admire some of The Merrion's art collection.


As we began to approach the entrance to the hotel, the immaculately dressed doorman smiled warmly opening the door and welcoming us inside. We smiled feeling touched at the care before we had even entered. We continued through, the spacious clean hotel to the Drawing Room for our tea.

The Drawing Room is visually pleasing with a cosy luxurious feel to it. The room is filled with beautiful decor, deep tasteful comfy seating and a roaring fire. Our waitress, Ashley showed us to our seats were the table was already perfectly made up and awaiting us. Ashley talked through with us the contents on the menu, any dietary requirements, the layout of the afternoon including the designated art section, and gave us two complementary booklets listing all the art at the Merrion. In no time at all we had our pot of perfectly brewed teas (the selection included black, green and fruit teas), this we sipped on with the beautiful surrounding and with all the time in the world enjoyed our new booklet.

First Stage of Afternoon Tea 
The Merrion touch differed to a host of other locations we have visited; the ambience at the Merrion made us feel as if we were personal guests, or visiting friends to the hotel rather then strangers visiting.
The afternoon tea is presented in two stages; the first stage the traditional tea which includes scones, sandwiches and delicate cakes the second stage the exclusive art inspired cakes. The mouthwatering array of goodies, are presented on a shiny silver stand, where the selection is vast enough for you to both enjoy every item on offer. Beginning with the bottom layer the sandwich selection comprised of oak smoked salmon with horseradish cream on brown soda bread, chicken and pesto on sunflower bread, cucumber with cream cheese on tomato bread and finally bridge rolls with egg mayonnaise and cress.


The next tier; bread and cakes contained plain and fruit scones, lemon bread, Potercake and Battenburg cake slices. The final tier had freshly made lemon curd (to die for!), raspberry jam and creme fraiche for your scones! I can honestly say that every bite of our food was bliss. We enjoyed the afternoon tea at our own pace, with our tea constantly being topped up. We particularly liked that some items such as the lemon bread and Battenburg were included in the selection as sometimes afternoon tea can be too sweet. However these items tasted great, complementing the entire afternoon tea whilst not overpowering in terms of sweetness.


The Art Tea pastries showcases the most direct design and color references to the hotel's collection.
The pastries are presented with Three miniature cards from the art collection and are presented on quirky silver forks fashioned as art easels these we loved the attention to detail it's outstanding! each card describes the painting ispired by the cake and all the flavours involved .After our tea was ‘refreshed’we moved on to the 2nd course: the art pastries. Our server presented us with three beautifully designed minture pastries tho feeling very fun at this point they looked every so delicious how could one resist and yes they were just as delicious as they looked. The merrion suplies each guest with more then enough food to keep you very content and are more than happy to have anything you want wraped up beautifully for you to take home. 

Desserts are delicious!
This afternoon tea is fantastic! we urge anyone to try this you will not be disapointed with a cosy atmosphere and staff that go above and beyond and superb food. This afternoon tea is everything an afternoon tea should be Some splurges leave you feeling shortchanged, but this isn’t one of them. we where immediately seduced by the charms of the Merrion Hotel, and from now on, whenever anyone asks for a recommendation of a special afternoon treat in Dublin, we will point them in the direction of the Merrion for their Art Tea.
www.merrionhotel.com

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