Earlier this year, I had my first ever proper afternoon tea. Along with my mother and sister, I went to the Gresham Hotel and we indulged in this traditional experience as a treat. We enjoyed it so much that we immediately decided that we had to do it again! Today we followed up on that plan. This time, we visited the Atrium Lounge. Located in the five-star Westin Hotel on Dublin’s Westmoreland Street; it was somewhere brand new and exciting for us to explore!
Upon entering the lounge, we were immediately impressed with the modern and elegant surroundings. It was almost filled to capacity yet it still felt spacious. We were seated at a low table with a plush sofa and armchairs. It was cosy, comfortable and intimate. We could easily chat without disturbing or being disturbed by the next table and there was just a lovely atmosphere in the place.
What immediately makes the afternoon tea at the Atrium Lounge stand out is that you have a choice between two different types. You can choose between a traditional or a “peculiar” afternoon tea. After much (much!) deliberation, we made up our minds. My sister and I opted for the traditional while my mum unexpectedly decided to try the more unusual version. Normally it would be the other way around but for some reason, I just leaned towards the traditional at the last minute and mum was persuaded by the unique savouries of the peculiar tea! I was actually really pleased that she ordered this version so I could see what it was like (and sneak a taste or two as well!).
The traditional sandwiches included smoked salmon on brown bread and roast spiced beef
buttermilk and fruit scones with clotted cream and (the most beautiful) homemade jam
the traditional desserts included Bramley apple pie and passion fruit panna cotta…
also a salted caramel mousse pot, red velvet cupcake and raspberry and vanilla cream macaron
peculiar savouries included salmon & caviar blini; prawn cocktail filled charcoal cone and confit of pork cheek, stilton and honey aioli
banana and walnut bread in place of scones
desserts included popping vanilla marshmallows, almond & redcurrant frangipane tart and popcorn panna cotta
What’s fun about the peculiar afternoon tea is that it also comes with a mojito made with Hendrick’s gin and served in a teapot. I had a little sip of this cocktail and I was so impressed with its incredible fresh and delicate taste — I want to recreate it at home as soon as possible! Not to be outdone by mum’s fancy drink, my sister and I ordered glasses of Prosecco — what can I say, we were really in the mood to indulge!
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our second experience of afternoon tea. Again, the food was incredible. Both the traditional and peculiar menus are so well thought-out and put together. The service was wonderful too; the staff were very friendly and efficient. The setting is pretty and unique with a five-story high class ceiling.
As happened with our previous experience of afternoon tea, there was quite a long wait for the food to be served (forty minutes) but we honestly hardly noticed the time pass because we were chatting and enjoying our drinks. To compare the two venues that we’ve visited so far, The Gresham is definitely very traditional whereas the Atrium is more modern — and I think I prefer the latter for that reason. Really though, they’re both fantastic options. We’ve become absolutely hooked on the whole afternoon tea experience now; I have a feeling it won’t be long until we’re trying somewhere new again!
If you missed it, you can read my review of Afternoon Tea at the Gresham here