Browsing articles tagged with "O'Connell Street Archives - I Love Saturday"
Nov 19, 2013

The Gresham Hotel – Afternoon Tea

In Dublin days gone by there was nowt so posh as the Gresham Hotel. Still the smart stalwart of O’Connell Street, I met the girls there, in the Writer’s Lounge, on Saturday for Afternoon Tea. Founded in 1817, the Gresham possesses a grandeur that does not come from interior decor alone but rather from it’s rich history. We sat by the large ivory draped windows, on plush red velvet sofas – old skool luxe – and settled in, warm and cosy, far from the madding crowd.

We were celebrating a birthday and I’m happy to report that even Mesdames such as we still want a party with lots of cake! So it was Afternoon Tea for five. First came tea – made with loose leaves – in big silver pots. Proper old fashioned. Then the main event. Two large tiered cake stands arrived, containing one of everything for each of us. Savouries, sweets and little treats. A very nice deal indeed at 21 euro per person.

Luckily I’d walked from ILS HQ, so had worked up a good appetite. Where to start… I tucked into smoked salmon on brown soda bread and cucumber sandwiches (what else?) while the ladies munched on finger sandwiches of Parma ham, chicken and roast beef. We gossiped away happily between bites and copious amounts of tea. Two more pots were summoned as we turned next to the first cake tier.

Mini scones were served with butter, jam and fresh cream. There was dainty slices of Madeira cake, tea brack and fruit cake. Homemade pistachio biscuits were light, crumbly and crunchy. The thing about Afternoon Tea is not to feel like little piggies scoffing endless goodies but to nibble lady-like on myriad delicious petite pastries. The Gresham have judged their dinky offerings just right. Totally Downton.

There for a good three hours, we talked weddings, babies and love. And clothes, shoes and handbags. And hairstyles. The Writer’s Lounge is such calm surrounds, with plenty of space and relaxed waiting staff. The Gresham is not a seen-to-be-seen kinda place. I like that. The final tier… Tiny meringues, fresh fruit vol au vents, chocolate torte and strawberry cream in teeny sundae glasses. Glam not glutton.

The chocolate torte was to die for, a sliver of pure decadence. It really was fun oohing and ahhing over all the doll sized gateaux. And getting away from the world for a wee while, the girls agreed. O’Connell Street is due a new lease of life with the much anticipated re-vamped Clerys opening this week. I see hours of retail therapy in my future and now I know exactly where to go for a spot of R&R afterwards…

The Gresham Hotel, 23 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1 /