With great expectation I arrived for afternoon tea yesterday with my lifelong friend: unfortunately we both came away feeling slightly underwhelmed. The hotel is of course beautiful...the service exceptional...the food pitifully average. My friend and I were offered a table for two, but by the time our food, teapots, champagne etc had been crushed onto the available space, the two of us could barely move..let alone see each other. On request we were immediately moved to a larger table which was much better and we could at least have a face to face conversation. My selection of sandwiches were ok..my vegetarian friend's were far from good and she commented on their blandness. The scones were slightly hard with a tiniest portion of jam and runny double cream that dripped off the sides..not good. The Merchant should take note that clotted cream is definitely a better choice. We were offered macaroons..salted caramel and pistachio..both quite nice. Then a selection of cakes....again tasty but so thinly sliced the portion looked decidedly measly. My selection of patisseries were ok...but the vegetarian selection was poor and lacked any imagination. It really was such a pity and I think given the price The Merchant could do so much better....instead of looking delicate everything looked a bit mean. We'd been to The Ritz a few years back for afternoon tea...no empty spaces on their cake stands and the selection was fabulous. I've done some mystery shopping so this hotel should be so delighted I out socialising and not working! Do listen Merchant hotel...style over substance just doesn't work all the time.
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- Also Known As:
- Merchant Hotel Belfast