This Afternoon Tea In Dublin Is A Wonderfully Opulent Treat
I was catching up with an old friend and fancying something different to the usual lunch fare in town when we decided to go nuts and have a bit of midweek afternoon tea. Not everywhere serves it during the week, but we found that House on Leeson Street does.
It’s actually the perfect venue for lounging around during the day with its big comfy couches and luxurious fittings. While most places help get you in and out as quickly as possible during the lunchtime rush, House is the opposite. They’d happily have you sit there all day and on this particular day that's exactly what we were after.
Although the weather was starting to include an autumn chill we found a spot outside that was semi-covered, which had us perched pretty much on top of a fire. The perfect mix of fresh air and warmth.
I’m not a tea drinker but when ordering afternoon tea it seems wrong to have any other drink. A list of cocktails on the menu sounded seriously appealing, but with work later in the afternoon a stiff drink featuring several shots of booze probably isn’t the best bet. The cocktails are clearly aimed for the weekend market and you could see yourself having a seriously good time having your afternoon tea washed down with a couple of them.
The whole thing about afternoon tea that appeals so much is the pomp and ceremony of it all. My Earl Grey tea arrived in a pot so big and ornate it wouldn’t have looked out of place at a Buckingham Palace State banquet. I’m sure the tea held within the vessel was the same tea you’d get in a mug in the office, but for some reason it tasted 50 times better.
As our afternoon tea arrived we had to clear the table. They even had to bring a second table to deal with the overspill, which is never a bad sign when you're talking about portion size. A mixture of sandwich and savoury treats lined the upper tiers with sweets spilling out from the lower levels and every other available spot. All were excellent and the attention to detail and precise finish of everything made it a truly enjoyable experience.
The whole thing comes to €60 for two people, which is fairly steep as a midweek lunch, but afternoon tea is something to be enjoyed and lingered over at the weekend. Ideally you’d set aside a couple of hours and bring good company in which case it'd be superb value, especially considering the setting. I know all the big hotels offer afternoon tea, but I feel the atmosphere can be a bit stuffy. House on the other hand has all the grandeur and wonderful service, but is way more welcoming as a venue.
I loved everything about the experience and only wish I’d more time to savour it. A newspaper to read. Time for a fancy gin cocktail maybe. Sometimes life is about spoiling yourself and that's certainly what afternoon tea here feels like.