Isn’t there something particularly civilised about afternoon tea? The decadence of having an assortment of cut sandwiches and delicious cakes, the floral china teacups, the decorative tablecloth, the scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, the feeling that a sense of timelessness and good conversation provides – is it any surprise that afternoon teas made a comeback five years ago and are still going strong?
If you are looking for a good afternoon out, may I suggest you visit one of these wonderful tearooms.
Miss Courtney’s Tearooms, Killarney, Co. Kerry
Miss Courtney’s Tearooms are famous all over Ireland, four generations of the same family providing afternoon and cream teas since 1909 – creating a feeling of nostalgia and relaxation with their china crockery, chandeliers and vintage tablecloths, not to mention the scrumptious teas. Open Monday – Saturday.
Tea Rooms at Ducketts Grove, Carlow
Ducketts Grove, near Carlow Town, is a magnificent ruined gothic castle. Burnt in the 1930s, it is now open with guided tours, a walled garden and craft rooms. It also has a cosy tea rooms where the hot chocolates, teas and cakes are only scrumptious. Yes, I have indulged once or twice in the Maltesers cheese cakes. Madeleine was also a finalist in the Top Ten Best Scone competition recently, organised by Goodalls Ireland. The Tea Rooms are open every Saturday and Sunday from 5th July and for groups by prior appointment.
Cupan Tae, Galway
Cupan Tae in Galway’s Latin Quarter is another exquisite tearooms. Embroidered and decorative linen and lace tablecloths with the best china and the smell of baking in the air, you won’t want to leave! I can personally vouch for their carrot cake!
Enjoying Afternoon Tea in the Cupan Tae, Galway
The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin
If having a day out in Dublin, having afternoon tea at one of its many hotels is a lovely way to spend the afternoon and the Shelbourne Hotel seems to be a firm favourite. Apart from the selection of fine teas, who could turn down crustless sandwiches and eclairs shaped like swans? You could even pretend to be living in the Downton Abbey era for the afternoon.
Langtons Tea Rooms, Kilkenny
Kilkenny is a wonderful city to visit, its narrow streets, its majestic castle, its historical buildings, its many bookshops and of course, its Arts Festival. If you happen to be visiting Kilkenny in August for the Arts Festival, do call into Langtons Marble City Tea Rooms and enjoy the atmosphere of this medieval and bustling city.
Here’s our five favourite suggestions for afternoon tea but we know there are many more across Ireland. Do you see it as a pleasant way to spend an afternoon and which tea rooms is your favourite?