Two for tea: 8 quirky afternoon teas your mum will LOVE
One of our favourite trends of all time, afternoon tea is showing no signs of slipping into obscurity just yet.
And why would it? You'd be hard pressed to find a woman who doesn't enjoy a two-hour festival of miniature sandwiches, dainty cakes, pots of jam and double cream by the spoonful... all washed down with hot tea (or Prosecco if you're really celebrating).
So when it comes to Mother's Day - what better activity to indulge in with your favourite women than afternoon tea?
There are countless options available but these venues offer something a little different to the norm. Make a reservation right now...
1. Fusion Tea at Clontarf Castle
The cost: €36.95pp
The twist: The experience includes a guided tea tasting
Just a short spin outside Dublin city, the fabulously regal Clontarf Castle gets your creative juices flowing the minute you step into the grand foyer (the current art installation here was erected by artist using a cherry picker).
Unsurprisingly, the hotel's famous Fusion Tea is also a feast for the senses. Grab a seat near the roaring fire (or in the secret room if you'd like some privacy) and the experience begins with a guided tea tasting (purr er is the most popular but we adored the chai).
Your sweet and savoury treats arrive artfully arranged on a wooden frame (the roast beef open sandwiches and egg mayo are to die for) and you can while away a blissful afternoon chatting while devouring every last morsel.
2. Take a Vintage Tea Tour, Dublin
The cost: €40pp
The twist: You take your tea while being chauffeured around town in a double decker bus.
Vintage Tea Tours is the Dublin City tour with a difference. Passengers get the chance to enjoy some of the city’s well-known sights, whilst comfortably seated in a vintage double decker Routemaster bus named Pauline and indulging in some delicious afternoon tea treats. The brainchild of entrepreneur and founder Karen Nixon, the tour runs three times a day (11am, 1.15pm and 3.30pm) and treats (expect vanilla panna cotta and Guinness brownies) are all freshly prepared daily by fine dining chef Donato Romano.
3. Afternoon Tea at Hayfield Manor, Cork
The cost: €34pp
The twist: You can sip your tea to the soothing sounds of live piano
Not only is the Hayfield Manor Hotel Cork's swankiest venue, they also serve afternoon tea in Orchids Restaurant to the subtle tones of a classical piano. A delicious assortment of pastries and cakes are freshly prepared in their very own patisserie and you'll enjoy finger sandwiches followed by freshly baked scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam.
4. The G Hotel, Galway
The cost: €46 for two people
The twist: The Phillip Treacy-designed lounge is straight out of Alice in Wonderland
As well as being a total bargain (€46 for two puts The G Afternoon Tea in top ranking in terms of cost), the menu is updated seasonally. There's hand crafted pastries, freshly baked scones with preserves, delicious savoury bites and tempting sweet treats, a resident pianist to tinkle the ivories and gluten-free and vegetarian options aplenty.
5. Afternoon Tea at Ballygally Castle
The cost: £22pp
The twist: The Game of Thrones themed menu
Ballygally Castle is the perfect base from which to explore the locations where many pivotal scenes were shot for Game of Thrones but the themed afternoon tea is guaranteed to delight fans of the show. The menu features dishes such as Lannister Egg Rolls, Iron Born Foccacia and Hodor's Pulle Pork and there's Jon Snow Cakes and Dothraki Trifle for afters.
6. One Pery Square, Limerick
The cost: €49pp
The twist: Tea & Thermal: a two-hour spa experience followed by afternoon tea
Nothing leaves you hungrier than a couple of hours lounging about in a sauna and steam room and at One Pery Square, in Limerick's lovely Georgian Quarter, you can indulge in a foodie feast afterwards. Their Tea & Thermal package includes Classic Afternoon Tea and a two-hour Thermal Spa Experience. Bliss.
7. Seafield Hotel, Wexford
The cost: €29.95 for two people
The twist: Indulge your taste buds while wrapped in a fluffy robe
Book a spa treatment at Seafield and you can arrange for your afternoon tea to be delivered to you Expect homemade open and closed sandwiches, fresh scones and bespoke miniature cakes and pastries, all served with a selection of teas and freshly brewed coffee.
8. A Most Peculiar Afternoon Tea at The Westin, Dublin
The cost: €36 per person
The twist: Trade the tea for a teapot of Victoria Mojito with Hendricks Gin
Feeling bold and adventurous? Try an unusual twist to this popular tradition. Artistically designed around unusual combinations, the tea menu at the Atrium features bites such as devilled crayfish mayonnaise in a charcoal wafer cone and popcorn panna cotta, with the star attraction – a teapot of Victorian Mojito with Hendricks Gin! This special tea is priced at €36 per person.