REVIEW: Art tea at The Merrion Hotel

By Fiona Frawley

February 15, 2022 at 12:45pm


After writing a piece on the launch of The Merrion's popular Art Tea earlier this year, we decided to get the glad rags on and try it for ourselves.

Why you should go? 

If you're celebrating a big birthday, engagement, graduation, are looking to schedule a special get together after a prolonged time apart over the various lockdowns - basically if you have an upcoming event of any description that you'd like to be marked with a bit of grandeur.

Set the scene

The Merrion spans four restored red brick Georgian houses, and you'll find it at the halfway point between Stephens Green and Merrion Square, opposite Government Buildings.

The backstory

Originally commissioned back in 1766 (also known as Dublin's Golden Age) by Lord Stanley Monck, the Merrion reopened as a hotel in 1997 following a lengthly restoration.

The interior

I mean, what can we say. An open fire roaring, warm light emitting from elegant chandeliers, appropriately plush sofas and armchairs and tasteful art in gold gilded frames. As you'd imagine.


The food

The tea comes in two courses. First, the tiered plates you'd usually associate with afternoon tea holding dinky sandwiches, a selection of cakes and of course, mini scones with clotted cream, lemon curd and jam on the side. The second course comes in the form of three pastries inspired by pieces of art on display in the hotel, which you'll be able to learn more about from your server and the catalogue that accompanies.

First course of Art Tea at The Merrion 

And the second course. 

The drinks

An impressive selection of teas from Chai Imperial to Rooibos Le Rouge, along with speciality iced teas and coffees made with The Merrion's house blend.

The highlight

It's an overall lovely experience but the service really made it that extra bit special for us - in a place where you'd easily worry you're not posh enough or won't use the right spoon, you're made to feel so welcome the second you walk through the door. The staff are super attentive and obliging to anyone wishing to take 500 pictures of the experience (me). The chat about the art that inspires the pastries is informal and fun but at the same time, the servers really know their stuff. They'll also politely laugh at your dad jokes about the art, if you're like me and insist on wisecracking at inappropriate times.

The service

As above.


There's a specific entrance for wheelchair users by the hotel's spa, and lifts throughout.

Eco effort

There's a vegan afternoon tea available - I didn't get anything to take away so not sure what the story is in terms of compostable cups, containers and so on.

Anything else?

Be sure to have a wander around and check out the real-life works of art that inspire the tea, and feel a quiet sense of achievement when you match the paintings to the cakes. It's like an extremely glam Where's Wally.


Where is it again?

Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2.

How to keep up with them?

Keep an eye on their Instagram and website.

Prices from?

€55 per person for afternoon tea at the time of writing, and €12.50 for your first glass of Henriot Souverain Brut NV.

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