A quick social media search will confirm that there has been an explosion in the popularity of Afternoon Tea, with what was once a very traditional activity now being the very essence of cool.
Instagrammers have used #afternoontea over 5,000,000 times and with Afternoon Tea Week taking place from August 10-16, this figure is set to increase even more.
What is it about those dainty sandwiches, warm scones, scrumptious cakes and delicious pastries that we just can’t get enough of?
Afternoon Tea has made a comeback and Northern Ireland has embraced it to the full, with many places putting their very own stamp on it. For example, the Everglades Hotel is now serving the Derry Girls Afternoon Tea – ‘you’d be pure raging to miss it.’
From the formal to the retro, the quirky to the cool, Discover Northern Ireland has put together a list of places which are enjoying Afternoon Tea Week:
The Merchant Hotel (5*), Belfast
Afternoon Tea at Belfast’s Merchant Hotel is an event. Finger sandwiches, delicate pastries and scones with clotted cream are served in the sumptuous surroundings of The Great Room Restaurant. A truly elegant and, of course, delicious experience, it’s only matched by their very own Cocktail Afternoon Tea – complete with a seasonal cocktail expertly crafted by Merchant Hotel bar staff. Served Sunday to Friday from 12-4:30pm, with two Saturday sittings, it’s an experience not to be missed.
Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort (4*), County Antrim
Set in 163 acres of lush parkland and with the spectacular River Maine flowing through it, it’s hard to beat the Galgorm Resort & Spa as a location. Though, happily, the Gold Edit Afternoon Tea here is just as stunning as the setting. Miniature savouries such as Brie, onion chutney bruschetta or a demitasse of soup, buttermilk or cherry scones and salted caramel macaroons or a passionfruit pastille are just some of the delights that might feature on your menu. Served daily from 12-5:30pm in the exquisite River Room Conservatory.
Lough Erne Resort (5*), County Fermanagh
It can be difficult to drag yourself away from the stunning views over Castle Hume Lough for long enough to focus on your Afternoon Tea. Though, of course it’s well worth the effort. Served on the world-famous and local Belleek Pottery China, while you relax on super-comfortable sofas, the enticing selection of finger sandwiches, patisseries and freshly baked scones make Afternoon Tea at Lough Erne Resort a truly indulgent experience. And that’s before you get to the tea itself. Afternoon Gold, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Jasmine, Rooibos, Vanilla, Mint, Camomile, Red Berries, Sports Cup, Irish Whiskey Cream, Morgenthau and Classic Chai are just some of the blends on offer. Served daily from 2pm until 4pm with the options of a Traditional Afternoon Tea, Sparkling Afternoon Tea (includes prosecco), Champagne Afternoon Tea or G&Tea (afternoon tea accompanied by a gin cocktail). Learn more about their guest wellbeing and care package in place found on their website here https://www.lougherneresort.com/we-care.html
Ballydougan Restaurant & Coffee Lounge, County Armagh
For something a little different, pay a visit to Ballydougan Restaurant & Coffee Lounge in their wonderfully restored Linen Barn. There’s no better place to relax and enjoy scones and sweet treats, all freshly prepared in the kitchens using the finest local produce. They even make the plates here too. And, if you want to see how that’s done, join one of the pottery classes and bring home your own piece of Ballydougan’s famous hand-thrown pottery. Though, of course, you can buy it in the gift shop too. Served Monday to Saturday from 3-5pm and booking is essential.
Everglades Hotel (4*), Derry~Londonderry
The Hastings Everglades Hotel is the perfect spot for an afternoon tea when you’re in Derry~Londonderry. Currently serving a Derry Girls themed Afternoon Tea, you’ll enjoy a fun filled day with treats such as sausage rolls in a bap, Tayto cheese and onion sandwiches, chips in a poke, other nice goodies, such as a Derry Girls duck. Served daily, 1-4:30pm.
The Old Inn (4*), Crawfordsburn, County Down
As a former coaching inn, they’ve a long history of refreshing weary travellers here. So it’s no wonder The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn is the ideal hideaway for a quiet and relaxing afternoon tea. Sink happily into a comfortable chair and enjoy a Victorian-style tea, complete with specialty teas, homemade bakes and little sandwiches. Or spoil yourself and add a glass of sparkling wine or champagne. Served daily, 10am-noon and 3-5pm (Sundays 10am-noon only). Booking is essential.
Titanic Hotel Belfast
Titanic Hotel Belfast is delighted to bring you a sumptuous Afternoon Tea served in the elegant surroundings of Drawing Office Two or the upper Presentation Room. Experience the Golden Age of Hospitality with soft music in historic spaces. Let them serve you tiny, soft sandwiches filled with delicious delicacies freshly baked steaming scones and flaky pastries oozing cream, all on their best china, and of course tea in a much-loved pot. Menu selection includes Regular Afternoon Tea, Sparkling Afternoon Tea and the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Afternoon. Also discover their new Kids' Afternoon Tea offering which includes sandwiches, scrummy scones and sweet treats for the little one. Served daily at 12:30pm, 2:30pm and 4pm. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)28 9508 2000 to make a reservation.
Corick House Hotel and Spa (4*), Clogher, County Tyrone
In the heart of the Clogher Valley, the idyllic Corick House Hotel and Spa does history with a decidedly modern twist, offering a haven of tranquillity and a very relaxing afternoon tea experience. Gourmet sandwiches, breads, scones, seasonal berry preserve and Irish clotted cream await you here, along with an assortment of home-baked cakes and pastries – and specialty teas, coffee or a glass of Prosecco. Served Monday to Saturday, 12:30-4pm.
Stay local while still getting away at discovernorthernireland.com. #DiscoverNI #EmbraceAGiantSpirit