An afternoon tea outing is our new favourite gift in thewholeworldisaplayground house and my lovely mum was the lucky recipient of a post-Christmas treat to brighten up the Winter months! After our amazing afternoon tea expeditions in Ashford Castle, the Merchant Hotel and Dromoland Castle we were determined to start the 2014 afternoon tea party with a bang!
The Westin’s roaring fire and contemporary spread, ‘A Most Peculiar Afternoon Tea’ caught our attention and we decided it was the perfect spot to spend a cold and rainy Dublin afternoon. Time to bring on the treats!
The Westin Hotel is a perfect hotel for exploring Dublin, located in the city centre and right beside Trinity College Dublin
Afternoon Tea at the Westin
We arrived at the Westin after indulging in some retail therapy and making a quick visit to our old playground, Trinity College Dublin. The nostalgia! The Westin is a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of the busy city and I knew we were in for a lovely afternoon from the moment we entered the stunning marble and mahogany lobby. It’s a case of instant calm and relaxation.
Afternoon tea is served in the elegant and cosy Atrium Lounge, a lovely space which is an eclectic mix of overstuffed sofas and armchairs, paintings and lamps all brought together under a five storey glass ceiling.
Given the beautiful Irish weather we opted for a seat in front of the blazing fire and settled in for an afternoon of fun.
The afternoon tea menu is comprised of a traditional afternoon tea and a more contemporary ‘Most Peculiar’ afternoon tea and, of course, we had to sample both! While the traditional option stays true to the sandwich, scone and sweet treat offering, the contemporary afternoon tea adds a completely modern twist and is served with a tea pot of Victorian mojito instead of tea. It is wonderful to see a restaurant coming up with an alternative and exciting option and I was ridiculously excited to check out the contemporary offering!
After we placed our orders, we sat back and enjoyed the chatter and the atmosphere of the Atrium while our table was set for afternoon tea. Our teapots arrived first, one tea and one cocktail and both were served through a tea strainer! The mojito was well made and the mix of gin, mint, lime and freshly pressed churned apple juice was very pleasant.
The Most Peculiar Afternoon Tea:
The Most Peculiar Afternoon Tea
The Most Peculiar afternoon tea looked spectacular and we couldn’t wait to get stuck in. We started with the savoury layer on the top tier and, I have to say, if I was choosing my perfect plate of savoury afternoon tea treats, this would definitely feature very highly! It included a confit of pork cheek with Stilton and honey aioli, a charcoal cone filled with prawn cocktail, a smoked salmon, caviar and cream cheese blini and a black olive, tomato tapenade and goats cheese dipper.
This was followed by two enticing slices of thick banana bread. This was my first banana bread experience (I somehow made it all these years with an absence of banana bread in my life) and I was smitten. It was delicious and the cinnamon and honey butter the perfect accompaniment.
Finally we got to the sweet treats! I was getting pretty full at this point and had to take a well-earned mojito tea break. We went straight for the popping vanilla marshmallows! I think it was the childhood memories of popping candy that did it and it lived up to the childhood dream!
Next up was the tarragon cookie, white chocolate and lime ganache and the almond and the redcurrant frangipane tart, both very tasty additions to the afternoon tea.
Being a chocolate girl at heart, I had to succumb to the chocolate and caramel seasalt brownies! They were incredibly rich and moist and a fantastic chocolate hit.
Traditional afternoon tea
It’s always nice to balance the contemporary with the traditional and the traditional afternoon tea was a nice contrast. The sandwiches were a nice mix of smoked salmon and chive cream, cucumber with dill cream cheese, spiced beef with tomato and egg and rocket cress.
The fruit scones were melt in the mouth goodness. I seriously doubt there is anything better than a warm scone smothered in butter and jam accompanied by some tea!
The sweet treats consisted of a red velvet cupcake with vanilla frosting, an Irish whiskey cream and praline cup, a pistachio macaroon, a peach melba mousse and a white chocolate and strawberry tart.
We were excited to try the red velvet cupcake having developed a bit of a habit from our New York Mangolia Bakery days and the Westin executed theirs well. Everything on the sweet layer was delicious.
The Westin definitely ranks as one of my favourite afternoon teas. It is perfect for us as we are a mix of modern and traditional in our afternoon tea tastes!
The contemporary offering was amazing and it’s wonderful to see such an innovative menu as part of afternoon tea. We were blown away by the savoury plate and the sweet treats are fantastic in both. The teapot of mojito is the perfect accompaniment. The traditional afternoon tea still holds its own but I’m definitely a Most Peculiar afternoon tea kind of girl!
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The Westin Afternoon Tea
The Westin Dublin is a 5* hotel located in Dublin’s city centre on the corner of Westmoreland Street.
The Lounge fills up quickly during afternoon tea and it’s advisable to make a reservation especially at weekends and busy periods.