Pinkies up, glad rags on - is there a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
Here at Lovin Dublin, we love to review Afternoon Tea. It's one of life's glammest pleasures, and believe it or not, this was my first time enjoying it. After doing some research I settled on The Fitzwilliam, due to the stunning images on their Instagram and the reasonable enough price (compared to other spots).
Why you should go?
If you want to feel a bit fancy, or you have a special occasion, or want to treat someone in your life, afternoon tea is a winner. You get to dress up, eat tiny food, and feel altogether like a queen. My friend and I were in the 'wanting to feel fancy' bracket, and fancy is exactly what we felt.
Who to book with?
You should book with someone who, like yourself, enjoys the finer things in life. Whether that be your nana, an aunt, your mother, your father, anyone who enjoys a good cuppa and some sweet treats. I went with one of my best friends and we relished the opportunity to get our glad rags on and eat tiny food and sip tea on a Sunday afternoon.
Set the scene
Not going to lie, there's something about waltzing into the Fitzwilliam that just makes you feel like you're important (complete notions of course, but what's wrong with being a bit notionsy sometimes). We were escorted through to the bar by a member of reception, and when we were leaving the door was held open for us too - chivalry isn't dead after all.
This is the only area that I felt let down. When I imagine afternoon tea, I see a conservatory, or somewhere that lets in lots of light and has nice views of greenery. Afternoon tea at The Fitzwilliam takes place in their Inn on the Green, which is lovely, don't get me wrong, but wasn't the vibe I was expecting. It was quite a dark spot, perfect for dinner, or even a few drinks, but not so much for afternoon tea. This was likely just an error on my part; nothing on their Instagram suggests the afternoon tea would take place anywhere else, so I can't really fault the Fitzwilliam, but I thought it was worth noting. There's no views of Stephen's Green, but it is an intimate area perfect for a catch up with whoever is lucky enough to attend afternoon tea with you.
Having never experienced afternoon tea, I was very impressed with the food. I was somewhat expecting to leave still feeling hungry, but in fact neither my friend or I could finish our half. My favourite parts were the cured teriyaki salmon, the Victoria sponge, the beef spring rolls (which replaced the chorizo beignets), and the raspberry samosas. We also got fruit scones with fresh cream and a selection of jams, honey, and marmalade which were divine. Everything was served beautifully too.
Upon arrival we were asked what kind of tea we wanted; as a coffee drinker my instinct was to order coffee but I thought that defeated the purpose of afternoon tea. We were quickly presented with several jars of different flavours as well as a suitcase (literally a suitcase) of tea. My friend went for the classic breakfast, while I opted for the chocolate chai to be adventurous. While I liked it, I went onto peppermint afterwards and felt this was more my style.
Where The Fitzwilliam truly shines is with their staff. Anyone we interacted with was courteous and helpful, friendly without being overbearing, and also armed with the kind of quick wit I appreciate. They were knowledgable about the menu, and as someone who doesn't eat pork, who was accompanied by a pescatarian, we both really appreciated that they double checked any dietary requirements. When the food came out, they very clearly differentiated what was veggie friendly and what was not. Truly I couldn't say a bad thing about the service; it was top notch.
Where is it again?
The Fitzwilliam Hotel is located at St. Stephen's Green, a stone's throw from the Luas Stop, beside The Well.
How to keep up with them?
You can keep up with them on their Instagram page HERE.
Afternoon Tea at The Fitzwilliam costs €45pp, although you can opt to have no prosecco in which case it's €39pp. I thought this was very reasonable by afternoon tea standards, and felt suitably nourished afterwards.
Would you go again?
While I want to try other Afternoon Tea spots in Dublin, I would definitely return to The Fitzwilliam. I'd also recommend it to anyone looking to spoil themselves; besides the interior, which simply wasn't what I was expecting, I have no complaints about anything. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and I encourage everyone to try it.