Afternoon Tea at The Westbury Hotel

April 15, 2013

Daily Digest, Lifestyle

Afternoon Tea at The Westbury Hotel

 

I’ve always loved the idea of Afternoon Tea.

“Tis far from Afternoon Tea you were reared” I can hear my mother saying and indeed I was but this British tradition has become somewhat of a “thing to do” in recent years.  It was started by the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who had a pot a tea and a light snack, in her boudoir during the afternoon (at the time it was usual for people to take only two main meals a day, breakfast, and dinner at around 8 o’clock in the evening).  Little did she know that she had started a trend and before long, “all of fashionable society was sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon”.

It’s something that’s always appealed to me and as macaroons have become the new cupcakes, so afternoon tea has become the new, “occasional treat” kind of way to catch up with your girlfriends in opulent surroundings. These days it involves sipping tea and chatting, nibbling on dainty sandwiches, scones and pastries, all served on fine bone china and served with silver service.

I’ve never had a chance to try it until a few months ago, when I was treated to Afternoon Tea at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast. And then more recently in The Goring Hotel in London (more on that later). And that, more or less, started it – my quest to find the perfect afternoon tea experience.

What about Dublin you may ask? Well I hadn’t tried anywhere in the Irish capital until yesterday when I had my first afternoon tea in Dublin, in the Westbury Hotel. Here’s my take on it.

Setting: Served in The Gallery where there’s over €1m of Irish art acquisitions on display! It’s popular as a meeting place with hushed conversations amongst business people and socialites alike who sit on large armchairs and couches. If you get a seat by the window, you’ll have a view of Grafton Street.

peter-pilotto-ss13

Extras: Spring Style workshop by Brown Thomas – this drew in the crowds and the place was packed full of females enjoying an afternoon of style tips and tea.

Unique Selling Point (Ok so I have my marketing hat on here, but this is what tells one place apart from the other). The Westbury is a luxurious spot, always has been, always will be. What’s unique about their afternoon tea offering is that they’ve teamed up with chocolatiers, Cocoa Atelier, the Irish artisan producers who’ve been providing luxe macaroons, caramels, chocolate sauces and chocolates in Drury Street since 2010.  Gluten Free afternoon tea is available if you give the hotel 24 hours notice.

What you get to eat: Cocoa Atelier sweet treats, including ganache chocolates and apple macaroons on a spring garden inspired base which looks like a giant box of chocolates (or a hat box!)

The Tea:  Plain, Irish Tea (no choice offered) served a little too strong for my liking (you know when the teabag or tealeaves have been left too long to brew?). To be honest I didn’t expect there to be a choice given the event that was in it. Most people were there for the experience and the fashion, including me, so the tea didn’t take from it.

Portions: Reasonable. There was only one tier of food available (the delicacies tier – usually the top tier) – as this was a style event, the full service was not available. Again, I thought that what was provided equated to what you paid for. Normally one would also receive handmade pastries, freshly baked scones with tea-infused jam and clotted cream and finger sandwiches. The goodies in the above photo was shared between three of us.

Service: Excellent.

Silver Service: Yes.

Cost: Cocoa Atelier Afternoon Tea is €36 per person*. More info here  

Details: The Westbury Hotel, Tel 01 646 33 85

*Because this was a Style Event with Brown Thomas the cost of the event was €20 and attendees were also treated to a Brown Thomas Gift Card (€15). These events sell out quickly, and are announced in The Gloss Magazine and here. WhatSheWears was present as a guest of The Westbury. I thought that for €20, this whole experience was exceptional value and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

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One Response to “Afternoon Tea at The Westbury Hotel”

  1. Camilla Says:

    If you are a lover of afternoon tea, Claridges of London is a must. It is fab, from the service to the choice of tea all in the surroundings of Art Deco luxury. My fav of all the places in London.

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