Deck the Tables with Tea and Cake – The 21 Festive Afternoon Teas of Christmas 2017

Conrad Dublin Afternoon Tea

December is a month dedicated to delicious indulgence. From the constant supply of mince pies in the office, to an endless run of after work drinks, and that’s all in the lead up to the big day, which in most homes is a sumptuous feast of excess. Though there is another festive food event that is becoming a tradition among many in the run up to Christmas: Festive Afternoon Tea.

Now a mainstay on the festive offering of the finest luxury hotels around the country, a seasonally themed afternoon tea is surely the most elegant of way to celebrate the holiday.

Think tiers of magical mini cakes, bite-sized savoury treats embedded with the flavours of Christmas. Of course, the finest blends of tea will be free-flowing, and perhaps a flute or two of Champagne also if you want to add an extra dusting of sparkle to your afternoon.

The best part? The occasion is elevated by the stunning setting where these afternoon teas are served, an elegant drawing room or lounge that’s alive with the excitement of this special time of year, and often with a roaring fire blazing in the background.

Here are 21 Festive Afternoon Teas taking place around the country this Christmas – go forth and deck the tables with tea and cake.

Sheen Falls Lodge

The festive afternoon tea served at Sheen Falls Lodge is worth the trip to the magnificent countryside surrounding Kenmare, Co. Kerry where the hotel is set. Prepared by their Executive Head Chef, Tony Schwarz, the three-tiered feast featuring Roast Turkey Mini Rolls and Spiced Sticky Ginger Cake is served with crackling log fires and breath-taking views in the background – you’ll also be serenaded as you sip by local pianist, Jim Kiely.

Dates: December 16th, 22nd and 23rd
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Price: €50 for 2 people including a glass of Prosecco

Conrad Dublin Afternoon Tea

Conrad Dublin

Conrad Dublin has prepared a very special package this Christmas for shopaholics and chocaholics alike. Take to the streets to Dublin for a shopping marathon, then allow your very own driver to collect you from Grafton Street, who will whisk you away to the hotel’s cocktail bar, Lemuel’s, where you’ll toast to the season over a Champagne Afternoon Tea. If you’ve shopped til you’ve just about dropped, the hotel is also offering a stay in one of their beautifully refurbished bedrooms plus a delightful breakfast in The Coburg Brasserie the morning after, from only €229 per room per night.

Dates: December 1st to 31st
Time: daily
Price: from €120 per person

Fitzwilliam Thanksgiving Menu TheTaste

Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin

If you’re doing a spot of Christmas shopping on Grafton Street it would be a crying shame not to pop into the Fitzwilliam Hotel, directly across from St. Stephen’s Green, for a drop of tea and a slice, or three, of cake. Not your average traditional afternoon tea however, this festive twist on the classic includes the likes of Roasted Celeriac & Truffle Velouté and Black Cherry Meringue Pie, a choice of teas and bespoke cocktails, specially created by the hotel’s mixologists.

Dates: From December 1st until 6th January
Time: 2pm and 6pm
Price: from €39 per person

The Merrion Hotel

Afternoon Tea at The Merrion Hotel is one of the most opulent treats you can indulge in the city at any time of the year, served in their Georgian Drawing Rooms you’ll be surrounded by the hotel’s priceless collection of art and antiques. Though at Christmastime the renowned pastry team, lead by chef Paul Kelly, take things up a notch with a splendid spread of gingerbread, Viennese bridge rolls, meringues, and mince pies. Available throughout the month, on December 3rd, 10th and from 17th to 22nd Afternoon Tea will also be accompanied by festive Christmas Carols.

Dates: 1st to 31st December
Time: 2.30pm – 5.00pm
Price: from €49 per person

Festive Afternoon Tea Experience

The Westbury

A five-star haven in the heart of the city, for many Christmas shopping in Dublin is not complete without a visit The Westbury for a spot of Afternoon Tea where you can share with friends and family seasonally inspired treats like Honey Baked Limerick Ham sandwiches, mince pies, and pear and mulled wine tarts – there’s a Children’s Afternoon Tea too. The Westbury is also offering a Festive Afternoon Tea overnight package, with a stay in one of their luxurious rooms or suites, that includes Festive Afternoon Tea for two and a full Irish breakfast the following morning.

Dates: December to 7th January 2018
Time: 12.30pm – 5.30pm
Price: from €50 per person

Festive-Afternoon-Tea-Cliff at Lyons

Cliff at Lyons

A short drive from Dublin city centre, Cliff at Lyons, in Celbridge, Co. Kildare, is the perfect place to retreat to from the Christmas chaos. Your escape will be made all the better with their Festive Afternoon Tea featuring the likes of Soft Waterford blaas stuffed with smoked turkey, ham and bread sauce mayonnaise, and trifle created with pineapple, coconut and rum, as well as a complimentary glass of mulled wine.

Dates: Tuesdays- Thursday from 5th – 21st December and Sunday December 10th
Time: Mid-week 1pm-4pm / Sunday 2pm-5pm
Price: from €30 per person

Galgorm Resort & Spa

Served in the River Room Conservatory, Afternoon Tea at Galgorm Resort & Spa is always a special occasion. The beautiful bespoke glass creation allows guests to take in views of the River Maine and lush estate grounds as they nibble and sip. This Christmas experience it for yourself with their Festive Afternoon Tea. Along with a menu inspired by the season, on weekends Galgorm’s resident musician will take to the baby grand piano to spread seasonal sounds and cheer.

Dates: December 1st to 31st
Time: 12pm-5pm
Price: from £24.95 per person

InterContinental Dublin

Set in the leafy suburbs of Ballsbridge, you’ll soon forget you are in the city altogether once you’re enclosed in the superb setting of the recently refurbished The Reading Room at the InterContinental Dublin. Settle in for the afternoon with sipping on tea or a soothing hot chocolate while enjoying their luxurious Afternoon Tea. Tip tea time into even more luxurious territories with the optional add-ons of Prosecco (an extra €8.50 per person) or glass of champagne (€17.50 per person).

Dates: December 1st to 31st
Time: Monday to Friday, 2pm – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday, 1pm to 6pm
Price: from €38 per person

Wineport Lodge Hotel

This Christmas Athlone’s Wineport Lodge Hotel invites you to leave the office early to spend a few hours lounging in luxury with their Festive Afternoon Tea. Served in the Lakeshore Lounge at Wineport Lodge, overlooking Lough Ree, the menu features dainty glazed ham and turkey sandwiches, Egg Nog & Milk Chocolate Eclairs, and an optional glass of Bollinger bubbly. Have we convinced you yet?

Dates: December 1st to 31st
Time: 1pm-4pm
Price: from €25 per person

The Westin Dublin

This year the splendour of The Atrium Lounge at the five-star The Westin Dublin has gone up a notch. For the festive season under the magnificent five-storey high glass ceiling sits a Champagne Tree, designed by artist Tom Boontje. Enjoy their seasonally inspired dainty bites by the warmth of the crackling fireplace, or an extra touch of luxury by upgrading to their unique Perrier Jouët Enchanting Christmas Afternoon Tea.

Dates: Until January 5th 2017
Time: 12pm – 6pm
Price: from €42 per person

Luttrellstown Castle

You’ll struggle to think of an activity more grandiose than Afternoon Tea served in the palatial setting of a castle, which is exactly what you can treat yourself to at Luttrellstown Castle. Throughout December festive Afternoon Tea will be served in the Van Stry ballroom, where you can enjoy chef James Tennant’s delightful array of treats while overlooking the sprawling 500 acres estate.

Dates: 29th November – 30th December
Time: two sittings daily, 2pm and 4.15pm
Price: from €49 per person

Shelbourne_Christmas_fireside

The Shelbourne

A trip to the iconic Shelbourne Hotel is a Christmas tradition for many Dubliners and those visiting the capital during the festive period. The five-star hotel fizzes with the magic of Christmas and there’s no better way to soak up the atmosphere than with Festive Afternoon Tea in the Lord Mayor’s Lounge. The hotel offers a Festive Children’s Afternoon Tea too, and everyone, little and large, will enjoy the festive tunes played by their resident pianist.

Dates: until January 6th 2018
Time: 11.45am – 6.30pm
Price: from €58 per person, €28 for children

Hotels

The Merchant Hotel

Celebrate Christmas in Belfast’s most elegant dining room, The Great Room Restaurant at The Merchant Hotel. Beneath the 150-year-old dome and iconic Tyrone Crystal chandelier you can enjoy the spoils of your three-tiered silver stand filled with sweet and savoury seasonal delights with live music played daily and an early Christmas gift for every guest that visits Thursday to Sunday.

Dates: December 1st to January 1st 2018
Time: 1st sitting 12pm – 2.30pm, 2nd sitting 3pm – 5pm
Price: from £29.50 per person

Drumoland Castle Afternoon Tea Christmas

Dromoland Castle Hotel

One of the most prestigious hotels in Co. Clare, Afternoon Tea is a long-standing tradition at Dromoland Castle Hotel. Come Christmastime the tea time treat gets a holiday makeover, with a wealth of festive flavours added to their always impressive selection of freshly baked pastries and breads, served with a choice of piping hot teas – there’s no better way to warm up this time of year.

Dates: December 1st- January 7th 2018
Time: 1pm-4pm
Price: €29 per person

Pembroke Kilkenny

Log off for the afternoon and settle into the cosy surroundings of Statham’s Bar & Restaurant in the Pembroke Kilkenny. Their Festive Afternoon Tea includes all your favourite Christmas foods, like turkey and cranberry sandwiches, and desserts, which they promise will served be with lashings of cream. This year the Pembroke is also offering a ‘To Me, From Me’ overnight package with Afternoon Tea and €50 credit to use in Mint Medispa.

Dates: December 1st – 31st
Time: 12pm-5pm
Price: from €19 per person

Dylan Hotel

Dylan Hotel may have celebrated ten years in Dublin this year but this December twelve is the magic number as it celebrates the holiday period with its ‘Twelve Treats of Christmas’ Afternoon Tea. Catch up with friends and family over the twelve tempting treats devised by head chef Mark Bodie including slow roasted, Irish turkey breast sandwiches, Christmas pudding served with Teeling Whiskey butter cream, and their unique mini mince pie lollipops.

Dates: November 23rd – January 7th 2018
Time: 12pm-5pm
Price: €45 per person

Festive AfternoonTea Ferrycarrig Hotel

Ferrycarrig Hotel

This year the award-winning Ferrycarrig Hotel in Wexford will tempt you to the banks of the River Slaney with their wonderful festive Afternoon Tea. Using the best local ingredients, the Ferrycarrig kitchen team have created a menu including Meyler’s Oak Smoked Salmon and Killowen Farm Cream Cheese on Ferrycarrig Guinness brown bread as well as Rosslare Crabmeat and Shrimp on homemade Courgette and Walnut Bread.

Dates: December 4th – 31st
Time: 12pm-5pm
Price: €17 per person, or €30 for two people

Citywest Hotel Dublin

Citywest Hotel

With celebrated chef Jeff Norman running the kitchen the Citywest Hotel is making a name for itself as a culinary destination. Their Christmas offering is no less tempting and includes a Festive Afternoon Tea served in the striking Mezzanine Lounge. Start with a ‘Jingle Bell Cocktail’ and go on to enjoy the likes of black cherry chocolate cups and roast beef and red onion marmalade finger sandwiches on sourdough bread.

Dates: December 2nd – 31st
Time: 12pm-5pm
Price: €35 per person

Lough Erne Festive Afternoon Tea TheTaste.ie

Lough Erne Resort

Established as one of Northern Ireland’s top hotels, Lough Erne Resort will add an extra dash of magic to its offering this Christmas with a very Festive Afternoon Tea. The menu, created by executive chef Noel McMeel and his kitchen team, features Chocolate and Sweet Cherry Yule Log, Cinnamon Shortbread with a Honey & Clove Clotted Cream and White Chocolate Soup, served with a selection of heart warming teas and an extravagant Irish Whiskey Cream.

Dates: December 1st – 31st
Time: 2pm-4pm
Price: from £24 per person

Herbert Park Hotel

Herbert Park Hotel

Set in the beautiful suburb of Ballsbridge, The Herbert Park Hotel is the perfect place to catch up with friends and family away from the madness of city centre Christmas shopping. Make an afternoon of it with their festive afternoon offering, including a glass or Prosecco, a selection of finger sandwiches and seasonal sweet treats, tea or coffee, served in their elegant, atmospheric lobby.

Dates: December 1st – 31st
Time: 2.30pm to 6pm
Price: €32.50 per person

Trump International, Doonbeg

The Trump International Golf Links & Hotel, in Doonbeg, Co. Clare, boasts a Tea Room that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. But you’ll soon find your attention being drawn from stunning views as your traditional afternoon tea is served, complete with festive finger sandwiches and Christmas themed pastries and a side of live music.

Dates: December 27th, 28th, and 30th
Time: 2.30pm – 5pm
Price: €30 per person

FEATURE BY ERICA BRACKEN

erica-brackenErica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after completing a law degree, she went on to do a Masters in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.

Erica Bracken  Erica Bracken

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