Afternoon Tea at Drawing Rooms, Merrion Hotel Dublin

Dublin, Ireland
September 2016

When I was looking up afternoon tea options in Dublin, the Merrion Hotel inevitably comes up.  Near the national museums and Merrion Square, the Merrion Hotel is in the southeastern part of the city center.

Afternoon tea is held in the Drawing Rooms, traditionally furnished with a fire going.  Nice and cosy!

Their afternoon tea is called the “Art Tea”.  The chef has picked out 6 paintings found in the hotel and created desserts inspired by the paintings.  Every day, 3 of these desserts are served with the tea.

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You can have as many different teas as you like, which is always a benefit.  The service was a very nice change from service in the UK.  The only negative was that they serve tea by the cup, so you need to have waiter refill your cup.  (I drink a lot of tea.)

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For the savories, the descriptions of the sandwiches made them seem really tasty.  They were not bad, but they weren’t standout either.  The best one was probably the duck egg mayonnaise on brioche.  The other sandwiches didn’t really have a distinct flavor; there was little to no truffle flavor with the chicken.  The cucumber was a bit clunky, cut in large chunks.  The palate cleanser was nice in flavor, but a little thick, like a pulpy juice.

Next were the scones and cakes, and there were a lot.  The scones were the soft kind without much of a crust.  The tea breads and cakes included a Guinness portercake, lemon bread, and Battenburgs, all of which were nice and moist.  Due to the number of cakes, almost no one finishes them all.

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Finally, we finished off extremely well.  These were clearly the highlights of the meal.  The corresponding art inspiration is found directly behind the dessert.  I had Roses and TempleThe Old Fox, and Futile Defense.  All of them were delicious, but I really enjoyed the raspberry and passion fruit tart.  The pastry was sturdy enough to hold everything together, and the balance of sweet and tartness was perfect.

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As mentioned before almost no one finished everything, so they are fully prepared to pack everything up for you.

I was really satisfied with everything overall with this afternoon tea.  If you don’t have time to do a full afternoon tea, I would still suggest just going to have the desserts.  It was a really lovely setting for a calm afternoon, but don’t forget to make a reservation!

Tea 4/5, unlimited, good variety
Food 3.5/5
Atmosphere 3.5/5
Service 3.5/5
Overall 3.75/5 (rounding up)

Merrion Hotel
3:00pm to 6:00pm Monday to Thursday
2:00pm to 4:30pm Friday to Sunday

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