Just when you thought afternoon tea couldn’t get any better, The Westin Hotel has unveiled a brand new offering. Based on the success of their Most Peculiar Afternoon Tea, the team wanted to create a really special experience for groups to enjoy. The result is the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea, a bespoke three tiered experience that takes place in the intimate meeting rooms just off the atrium of the hotel.
The team at The Westin pull out all the stops in creating this Alice in Wonderland inspired tea. The room is decorated with lots of Wonderland touches from the signature confusing sign post to rabbits on the table, real goldfish swimming in individual bowls and clocks dotted along the table. They even have the original Disney film playing on screens at either end of the room.
As we take our places, admiring the decorations, the hotel team emerge wearing a collection of bespoke head pieces by renowned milliner Laura Kinsella. She created these Wonderland inspired pieces to celebrate the launch of the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea after The Westin invited Laura to be their in-house milliner for the month of June. She will be available for clients to create bespoke creations for weddings guests and ladies looking for a signature celebration look.
Decked in their fashionable finery, the team go about the room offering guests glasses of prosecco and the signature cocktail created for the tea, the Red Rose Queen. Based on Tanqueray Gin, the fruity cocktail includes rose liqueur and is served on a playing card, the Queen of Hearts. It is tangy and sweet and really embodies the theme.
Twinings English Breakfast Tea is poured into dainty cups and the cake stands are brought out. Afternoon Tea at The Westin is presided over by Executive Chef John Hickey and the Mad Hatter’s Tea is a really unique creation.
The savoury tier had Quail’s egg and tarragon mayonnaise in a mini brioche roll, Involtine with roast turkey, guacamole and heirloom tomato salsa, a Wilted baby spinach and spiced crab quiche which had the lightest, crunchy pastry and Crisp basil baskets with marinated goat’s curd, balsamic and pesto. The baskets were a lovely surprise, I’m not usually a fan of goat’s cheese but the flavour was really balanced and they were a lovely addition.
The scones were delicious, piled up with butter, strawberry jam and a rich thick cream that everyone indulged in. We also had a Red Velvet Bundt cake which was dense and chocolatey and enjoyed with another hot drop of tea.
The star of the show was without doubt the final tier. Chocolate fans will love the rich Banana and toffee brownie and the Caramel mouse-filled chocolate cup. The Beetroot Waffles were interesting, I liked the savoury finish and the Raspberry Friand and fruit truffles were lovely little creations with great textures.
The best thing on the tier was the Green tea cone with lemon yuzu cream which was creamy, crunchy and had a great citrus flavour with a little hint of mint. The realistic Chocolate stones were fantastic, not only did they look great on the plate but they were crispy and delicious, like posh Mini Eggs.
Every piece on the stand was created as a little nod to Alice in Wonderland and our group was totally caught up in the Wonderland atmosphere. This is a really nice idea for groups who want to experience the quality of a five star afternoon tea with a bit of a twist. Having a private room means you have a totally intimate experience with your group and you get plenty of time to enjoy it. This is just perfect for little girls and grown ups who still like to lose themselves in a fairytale.
Pleasantly full and with happy hearts, we took our glasses of prosecco and turned our chairs to the screen to venture down the rabbit hole once more.
Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at The Westin Hotel is available for groups of 18+ people at an introductory price of €49.50pp. A glass of Valdo Millesimato Prosecco is an additional €7 and The Red Rose Queen cocktail is €8.50.
Alison has been writing since she could hold a pen, which came in handy for her degree in English, Media and Cultural Studies. She has been working in media since graduating and is the latest features writer for TheTaste.
Writing for TheTaste allows her to combine her passion for the written word with her love of food and drink. Find her on Twitter @AliDalyo