After 3 weeks trying to secure a spot for afternoon tea in the much loved Shelbourne, we finally got a 12:00noon slot. A little earlier than we would have liked but weekend afternoon tea is a thriving operation and once inside it is pretty obvious why.
From the moment you step inside the historical revolving doors you know you’re in for a truly special experience. This was a slightly different Taste outing as we took a mini reviewer with us to see what would a little one think of the children’s afternoon tea. At present The Shelbourne are running a very fitting “Paddington Bear” theme to the children’s menu.
Set in the auspicious “Lord Mayors Room” you may think this might be a little intimidating for kids. However we can honestly say this was a truly special occasion when the immaculately trained staff could not make you feel more at home.
For the grown ups there are two offerings the Classic afternoon tea or as many ladies around us were opting for the champagne option. The menu is set by executive chef Gary Hughes with a delightful array of sweets and dainty sandwiches.
The beautifully presented sandwiches ranged from house turf-smoked salmon on multi-seed country bread, braised Waterford ham and shallot bound with a light mayonnaise on potato bread, cherry vine tomato with St. Tola goat’s cheese on tomato & fennel seed bread, and egg with chicory on granary loaf. My own personal favourite was the braised Waterford ham which had a superb texture against the potato bread.
This was followed by all the really delicious stuff. Mouth-wateringly buttery scones, a lovely spiced tea brack and a very decadent carrot cake with cream cheese topping, not one for the health conscious! This was topped by a coffee and praline chocolate vanilla crunch, banana and coconut macaroon and my personal go to dessert sherry trifle with a delightful lacing of Harvey’s Bristol Cream.
Our mini reviewer Sophie, was very excited when her own little tower of treats arrived. Cute little ham, cheese and Nutella sandwiches with added marmalade and Nutella as a nod to poor old Paddington. Accompanied by we are told, the best hot chocolate ever. For the sweets a perfectly sized bear shaped chocolate brownie, chocolate mousse in a fully edible chocolate cup and a little Paddington chocolate suitcase with a refreshing strawberry smoothie to finish.
All in all this is a place that nowhere can match in old world charm, attentive staff and a warmth that is by unique to The Shelbourne. Looking around the room we could see several families and friends catching up and clearly treating themselves to something that is not an everyday experience, but something well worth waiting for.
This is a taste for both young and old we would highly recommend.
To book Afternoon Tea at The Shelbourne, call 01 663 4500