Last weekend, I put Slimming World aside for a few hours and went for afternoon tea at the Fitzwilliam Hotel. Located just past St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, it’s a perfect city centre location which is ideal if you want to indulge in some retail therapy too!
Upon arriving at the hotel and walking through the beautifully decorated lobby, we were warmly welcomed and seated in a booth in the bar. It was private which I liked although with the 3 of us, it felt just a little bit confined. Also the low lighting might have made it cosy but that’s not so good for a blogger (!) which is why the pictures are unfortunately a lower quality than I would have preferred.
To start, we were given a selection of six jars of unique teas to choose from…although in the end, we just stuck with the traditional variety! Once that was settled, there was no delay and the food came out on a huge open stand (I have absolutely no idea how the waiter managed to carry it, I was terrified just nudging it along the table to get the shot!).
This is the first afternoon tea I’ve experienced without sandwiches. The Fitzwilliam instead opt for (in their words) a more modern approach with a selection of canapés. There was potted trout and crab; turkey on brioche; pickled forest mushrooms, durrus cheese and blackberry; roasted butternut squash espresso and (my personal favourite) a beet cone filled with goats cheese, beetroot gel and pistachio dust. The flavours were pretty incredible. The portions were tiny but rich and enjoyable.
Moving on to the sweet stuff, the miniature desserts all looked equally appealing and it was impossible to know where to start! In little jars were gingerbread panna cotta and black forest cherry trifle. There were freshly made Ferrero Rocher style chocolates, a sweet eclairon, classic opera cake and the cutest little Christmas pudding. I thought this was such a lovely mix and very well thought out.
At the end, we also got to choose a cocktail which was included as part of the package. You had a choice of mulled wine, a “red nosed reindeer” (gin, lemon juice, grenadine and prosecco) or a gorgeous Nutella martini (which is obviously what I chose!).
Overall, I had mixed feelings about this afternoon tea. I can’t fault the flavours as everything tasted so beautiful. However, I personally much prefer the more traditional afternoon tea. I missed the sandwiches and scones…to me, it’s just not afternoon tea without them!
Also I have to say that I wasn’t a huge fan of the setting. It was fine to start but towards the end, the bar started getting busier which meant a lot of people moving about and an increase in noise — absolutely fine if you’re having drinks but not so good for this kind of experience. Of course, most places like this are going to be extra busy on a late Sunday afternoon in December so I guess the atmosphere depends on when you go!
Like I said, the food was fantastic and the service was very good too. It was a lovely afternoon but it just doesn’t compare to my all-time favourite afternoon tea at the Atrium (then again, I don’t know if anything ever will!).
Previous Afternoon Tea Reviews