As Henry James in ‘Portrait of a Lady‘ so eloquently puts it,
There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony of Afternoon Tea
As we were fortunate enough to be staying the for the night in Adare Manor, we had pre booked afternoon tea. We were guided to the elegant drawing room and seated by the window to admire the spectacular view that seemed to go on forever. The menu was explained by Tony and we settled on a nice earl grey tea and something a little different, an Irish cream whiskey tea. Wow what a treat, a delicate creamy flavour with a hint of Jameson and Paddy’s, unfortunately it is a recipe we were unable to prise from Tony, always next time! We enjoyed a broad selection of delights, open slow cooked Irish beef with beetroot and a smidgen of horseradish, roast Irish chicken sandwiches with lettuce, scallion and a tarragon mayonnaise. A personal favourite was the poached salmon with pickled cucumber with lemon and dill aioli however the tiny quiche of bacon, onion and cheese gave it a good run for it’s money.
After a little pause and a top up of tea we tucked into some warm scones with strawberries, these were accompanied with a lightly salted handmade west cork butter, clotted cream, jam and a wickedly bitter lemon curd.
Hard to believe you would have any room for much more but the beauty of Afternoon Tea is how relaxed everything is, no hurry or rush. The staff reflect this and are more than happy to offer you a top up or a fresh pot of tea or coffee. The real indulgence was of the handmade pastries. A light and fluffy carrot cake, lemon and passion fruit tart with meringue, creamy strawberry panna cotta, vanilla and dark chocolate gateaux and chocolate topped sponge cake with a spicy little bite.
Overall a more than substantial offering and at €28.50pp in the luxurious setting of an early 19th century house steeped in history this represented very surprising value for money. If you wish to really spoil yourself you can opt for the sparkling Afternoon Tea for €37.50pp. There is also an option of a children’s Afternoon Tea for the little ones, with a Frozen theme for the girls which a very happy little lady was enjoying with her Mum and Gran while we were there, this little indulgence is priced at €18.00pp and seemed like it was worth every cent from the expression on the little one’s face.
This is an Elegant taste we would highly recommend.
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Keith & Jules Mahon are the founders of TheTaste. We want TheTaste to be a culinary kaleidoscope to champion every taste, food, wine, cocktails, whiskey, etc. We are delighted to be part of such a creative and fast moving industry and are very passionate about sharing with you our unique journey around Ireland finding the best culinary hotspots.