Merrion Hotel - Art Tea

This post has been a long time coming and I have finally gotten a chance to write it. The Merrion Hotel has been on my list of afternoon tea venues for quite some time along with The Shelbourne which I have yet to sample. It just so happens that the man behind the afternoon tea or as its termed in The Merrion "Art Tea" is none other than Paul Kelly. As I am sure you all know Paul was one half of the judging duo along with Biddy White Lennon on the Great Irish Bake Off. I will be honest here prior to the Bake Off I had no clue who Paul Kelly was despite knowing and seeing the afternoon tea The Merrion had to offer. Naturally having worked with or been judged should I say on the bake off I thought one day I would love to go see what the man himself can produce. I got that opportunity back in late September, I took my mum there for her birthday aswell as my brother Steve. It was my mum's third time going for afternoon tea this year and boy was she treated to 2 great ones already in the form of Adare Manor & Dromoland Castle, it was my brother's first experience so hopefully it would live up to all of our expectations. First off I need to explain "Art Tea" and what better way to explain than Merrion's :

Welcome to ‘Art Tea’ at The Merrion 5 star hotel in Dublin, the most lavish afternoon tea in Dublin City. Treat yourself to a slice of 19th and 20th century art with our miniature sweet creations inspired by the work of J.B Yeats, William Scott and Louis Le Brocquy - to name a few. While away the afternoon in the sumptuous surroundings of The Merrion’s Drawing Rooms as you choose from a selection of delectable treats. With fine china and elegant tea accessories to complete your indulgent experience, why not browse through your complimentary copy of The Merrion art collection catalogue as you recline?

Got it? right then we arrived for 4pm to be greeted by some lovely staff and were seated in front of a roaring fire. Our waitress took our order for "Art Tea" and our tea selection. Not long after our teas arrived out and our first course of cakes and sandwiches. I have taken the pictures in how our first stands were presented.

Our venue for the afternoon

At the top of the stand we were presented with Glenillen clotted cream, raspberry jam and lemon curd. All of which were fantastic, I truly love Glenillen products they are scrummy. Fantastic accompaniments to the below scones and porter cake.

The next tier we had our cakes, plain and fruit scones, lemon bread, portercake, and battenberg. The scones were mighty fine, light and fluffy. The lemon bread was perfectly moist as was the portercake which had a fantastic glaze. The star of this tier however was the battenberg, oh my word it was good, my brother and I could have eaten a plate of battenberg on its own. The only comment I would make that maybe slightly negative barring the scones was everything was exceptionally sweet, its not particularly a bad thing but it was just a little bit oversweet. However we know from the show Paul likes his sugar as Biddy exclaimed so often.

Finally, well technically I should have started with this but anyhow we have the sandwich tier. The sandwiches consisted of chicken and pesto on sunflower bread, oak smoked Irish salmon on brown soda bread with horseradish cream, cucumber with cream cheese and chive on tomato bread, bridge rolls with egg mayonnaise and cress, rare Irish roast beef on white bread. All the sandwiches were truly delicious, I especially loved the rare Irish roast beef and egg mayonnaise rolls. 

I also need to mention before I launch in to the second course we had unlimited tea and as tea lovers we made the most of it. My mum and brother stuck with the Merrion blend but my favourite on the day was the Smoked China tea, it was stunning. Right next up, course number two Desserts!

As you can see The Merrion went the extra mile and wrote happy birthday on my mum's plate which was a nice touch I have to say. The desserts consisted of rosewater & orange mousse on a white chocolate feuilletine, chocolate mousse filled choux bun, raspberry & passion fruit tart. All the desserts were stunning, the level of attention to detail is incredible, there is even a coulis inside the raspberry. Overall my favourite was the rosewater & orange mousse as I especially loved the feuilletine. The "Art Tea" is marvellous and I can see why Paul Kelly is so good. He has created a fantastic concept here and each morsel of food is beautifully baked and crafted. I have had afternoon tea a number of times this year and The Merrion isn't far behind my favourite in the Connaught Hotel over in London. It was a pleasure to eat in The Merrion, both my mum and brother had a great time.

I highly recommend you pay them a visit as its worth every penny. From the moment you arrive you are treated like royalty, leaving full to the brim and contented.

Thank you for reading,