When I ventured into the Westbury in late November to make a booking for a Christmas afternoon tea treat, the first Saturday available was post-Christmas, Saturday December 28th....the charming wait staff laughed not unkindly with me as we contemplated thoughts of "what recession?!".
Five weeks later, our first foray out of the house since Christmas Day, after a couple of hours of not altogether focused sales shopping we arrived at the hotel. All afternoon we watched as hopeful afternoon tea drinkers without bookings were turned away. Dressed for Christmas, the gracious hotel lobby was warm and welcoming, glamorous and inviting. A selection of families, couples, girlfriends were all ensconced at tables, laden with linen and silver and hatboxes of sweet treats.
A classic afternoon tea cost €42 per afternoon tea and included a selection of 4 sandwiches, a sorbet, scones with jam and cream, 12 pastry treats and coffee or tea. One afternoon tea is more than enough to be shared by two moderately hungry adults. The wait staff were charming and discreet, they managed to sound enthusiastic when explaining each mini course that was coming our way, regardless of the fact that they had probably said the same thing hundreds of times over since the Christmas season began. One tip - I suggest that you ask for them to hold off serving your tea/coffee until they are ready to bring the food, our tea had turned to stew by the time the freshly prepared sandwiches were brought to the table.
The scones were warm and the perfect petite size, the sweet treats were mini works of art, colourful and plentiful, we couldn't finish everything despite our most valiant efforts.
At no stage did we feel rushed or that our table was just part of a long chain of reserved afternoon teas throughout the month of December. Looking around, we could see that all the other diners seemed to be having the same relaxing, enjoyable experience, happy to be out and part of the glamorous scene, inclusive but not intimidating. We lingered, not anxious to leave long after we finished eating and drinking.
I am almost reluctant to recommend this wonderful Christmas afternoon tea experience because it means we will likely have to book in September this year! everyone should go to the Westbury at Christmas, if not for the afternoon tea but to savour the atmosphere and to leave your cares behind even for a few lovely hours with your favourite people.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of The Leading Hotels of the World and rejuvenated by a multi-million euro refurbishment, The Westbury is an urban retreat with Dublin city on its doorstep. Located just off Grafton Street, in the heart of Dublin, this stylish 5-star hotel provides easy access to the city's best entertainment and business districts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Westbury Hotel Dublin
- Westbury Dublin
- Hotel Westbury