The Westbury Hotel Dublin and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) have teamed up to create a “Fashion inspired afternoon tea”. The result is stunning and is bound to delight both foodies and fashionistas.
February 2020 update: price and links
The Westbury Hotel Dublin Setting ★★★★★
The Westbury Hotel is one of Dublin’s best hotels. It overlooks the world famous Grafton Street which is one of the city’s most bustling shopping areas. The Hotel itself is as stunning as you would expect of a five star hotel, with 1 million € worth of art displayed throughout the hotel.
The Gallery Lounge ★★★★★
Afternoon tea is served in The Gallery, a very cosy lounge with large windows. The sofas are very comfortable and high enough to enjoy the afternoon tea without breaking your back.
The Wilde Restaurant ★★★★★
Upon request, guests can also take the afternoon tea in the Wilde Restaurant, an equally cosy venue with large open windows and a lot of greenery. Table are regular restaurant table which some guests may prefer over the Lounge’s low tables.
It is also smaller than The Gallery lounge and therefore more suited for privacy and/or noise conscious guests.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★★
The beverage selection is extremely generous as guests can choose among several Ronnefeldt teas, coffees and hot chocolates which are all included with the afternoon tea.
Should you require a recommendation, the tea sommelier Rossa is here to provide a few details about each tea.
Now while infusing the tea straight into the teapot is your bets bet for an optimal brew, it also means the tea may get too strong quite quickly. No worries though: the service team is both efficient and accessible so do not hesitate to ask for a pot of hot water, or even for a fresh brew.
The Pink Lemonade (shot glass) ★★★☆☆
A small shot glass of lemonade brought to you at the start of the afternoon tea. Tasty, but not very strong.
The Westbury Blend (Assam Gold black tea rich in Malt) ★★★★☆
A slightly stronger version of the Assam tea, with a strong malty flavour. A powerful taste, rich and peculiar.
Irish Whiskey Cream (Assam Blend with Cocoa & Whiskey Aromas) ★★★★★
The best tea available at the Westbury, the creamy flavour is an absolute delight.
Morgentau, Sencha Summer (Delicate green tea with Fruity Aroma & Petals) ★★★★☆
A green sencha with hints of mango and citrus. It is very subtle and slightly bitter (the sommelier’s favourite).
Red Chili Chai (Indian Black Tea Spiced with Fruits & Chili) ★★★☆☆
This is probably the most extraordinary tea I have ever tasted. The chili is so strong that most of you will need to add milk to make it drinkable. Do try it out of curiosity, but do not expect it to be pleasant.
Oolong Peach (Orange Blossom & Peach paired with Oolong) ★★★★☆
A very light oolong tea, I recommend pairing it with the sweets.
The Coffees ★★★★★
I do not drink coffee but one of my guests happened to be a coffee connoisseur and said it was great. There is a good choice of coffee varieties: Cappuccino, Latte, Espresso…
The Hot Chocolates ★★★★★
Two choices of hot chocolate: “regular” and “nutella”, both of them are gorgeous and just sweet enough.
The Savouries ★★★★☆
Four very tasty and refreshing. savouries The chicken brioche is especially scrummy and soft.
Truffled Chicken Salad on Brioche Roll ★★★★★
The best savoury: the bun is very fresh and perfectly baked while the chicken salad is amazing.
The Egg sandwich ★★★★☆
Refreshing but run-of-the-mill. I recommend eating it first since all the other savouries are quite strong.
Honey Baked Limerick Ham, Sundried Tomato Relish on Malt Harvest sandwich ★★★★☆
Proper tasty sandwich with a touch of malt for kicks.
The Crab Salmon Toast ★★★★☆
Very strong flavour. The slice of cucumber is a nice touch as it softens the taste.
The Scones & Madeleines ★★★☆☆
Two scones: one fruit, one plain served with clotted cream, Irish butter and homemade berry preserve.
The Madeleines are a nice touch, but consider these a sweet warm up before the highlight of the show: the NCAD inspired cakes.
The Sweets ★★★★★
Now this is where this fashion inspired afternoon tea truly shines: the sweets! Five gorgeous cakes, designed to fit the best creations of the NCAD graduates (click here to see the menu, featuring the cakes and fashion creations side by side).
The Coffee & Cherry Macaroon ★★★★★
So simple and yet so good. The toppings and the contents are beyond reproach, a work of art that please the eyes and the palate.
The Citrus Tart ★★★★★
A lime Ganache with Lemon Curd and Black Pepper, topped with Grapefruit Meringue and a Chocolate Spiral. I’m normally not too keen on lemon, but this is a marvel. Do take the time to read the humorous message (visible on the sixth picture below).
Raspberry, Pistachio & Chocolate Eclair ★★★★☆
Raspberry Confit, Pistachio Chantilly and Rich Chocolate combine to from the most intense éclair I have ever tried. A very powerful flavour with a strong aftertaste.
The Pina Colada Entremet ★★★★★
A Coconut Dacquoise base, Mango Crémeux and Pineapple Mousse topped with a light egg-free Malibu Marshmallow. It is tasty and brilliantly matches the Pina Colada cocktail’s flavour.
The Blueberry Panel Cake ★★★★★
The Yoghurt Sponge base is combined with a thin layer of White Chocolate for texture, in order to stabilise the Blueberry Confit body topped with Bavarian Vanilla Mousse. This is probably the best of a brilliant lot, too bad it’s easily destroyed when transferred to the plate.
The Service ★★★★★
Irish service at its best. The team is professional, friendly and courteous. Probably the best service quality I have come across. Special thanks to Irina, Rossa and the manager on duty who took great care of us.
I was even able to have a chat with Nicolas, one of the pastry chefs, who happily discussed the hotel’s pastry creation. Below is a video detailing these cakes:
Last but not least, as my table was not required by another party, I was able to stay extra without feeling pressured to leave. I was lucky but do keep in mind that week-ends are busy so the hotel may require your table back after 2 hours.
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
With a very large choice of beverages (teas, coffee, chocolates…) and plenty of gorgeous delicious food, this NCAD fashion inspired afternoon tea is a brilliant experience.
Whether you come for the cakes or just for the “haute couture” aspect, this is one of Dublin’s most aesthetically pleasing and sweet tooth friendly afternoon teas.
It is on par with the Merrion Hotel’s ART afternoon tea, another one of the Irish capital’s must-try venues.
+: Beautiful hotel with an elevated view of the street
+: Excellent beverage selection (tea, coffee & chocolate)
+: The Fashion Inspired Cakes
+: Service is perfect
-: 2 hours sitting time
-: Dublin’s priciest Afternoon Tea