The InterContinental Dublin is among the city’s most renowned hotels and has recently introduced a Gin Afternoon Tea or “G&Tea”. It’s the second time I try out this special type of afternoon tea. Let’s see if this one is as good as in the Dukes London:
The InterContinental Dublin Setting ★★★★☆
The InterContinental Dublin is located in Ballsbridge, an exclusive neighbourhood in the Southern part of the city. It’s not as central as some of Dublin’s five-star hotels but it’s still easily reached from the town centre.
It opened up in 2001 as The Four Seasons Dublin then was rebranded as InterContinental in 2005. To fit in the neighbourhood, the architectural choice was of Victorian and Georgian inspiration.
The Lobby Lounge ★★★★★
The Afternoon tea is served in the hotel’s lounge. The comfortable sofas and the view of the gardens make it the perfect venue for a relaxing afternoon tea. If you come on a Sunday, you will even have the pleasure of listening to the InterContinental Dublin’s resident pianist from 1 to 3 pm.
If possible, I recommend sitting by the window, especially on sunny days. You may even be tempted to have your afternoon tea on the terrace, as the hotel staff is very accommodating in that regard.
The Reading Room ★★★★★
The Reading Room is adjacent to the lobby lounge. It’s not a fundamentally different atmosphere but it offers more privacy and feels cosier.
I’d say it’s a better choice during the cold days of winter, and even more so if you get to sit by the fireplace.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★★
The Gin Tea & Cocktail ★★★★☆
There are two Tanqueray gin cocktails to choose from:
- Tanqueray Infused Early Grey Tea: Tanqueray, Early Grey, honey, lime peel pimento peppercorn (served hot)
- Crafted Cocktail: G&T Tanqueray Gin, lime and apple juice infused by our selection of purees and flavour elixirs (served cold) ♥
I recommend ordering the Crafted Cocktail as it’s a very nice G&T based cocktail that goes very well with the savouries and sweets alike. Conversely, the gin earl grey tea is a bit odd as it just feels weird to feel the Gin in a hot drink.
No worries if you fancy a hot tea though: the InterContinental Dublin’s tea selection is excellent, and so is the Champagne!
8.50€ for a glass of Prosecco; 17.50€ for a glass of Taittinger NV Brut Champagne
The Tea Selection ★★★★★
There are 26 teas on offer from the Somerset tea house. A pot of tea costs 4.75€, which is a very fair price for a good quality loose-leaf tea. Allow me to suggest the chocolate Pu-erh, it’s the only tea that I tried aside from the Gin Earl grey but I found it very pleasing.
Choice of teas: 26 (black, green, white, oolong, pu-erh and infusions); loose-leaf tea
Brewing method: Brewed in the kitchen or at the table (tea leaves left in the teapot)
4.75€ for an extra teapot
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The G&Tea afternoon tea savouries may not be Gin infused but they are still tasty and original:
- Caesar salad in a crisp Parmesan-polenta Taco
- Beetroot, rocket and goat’s cheese Wrap ♥
- Crab salad, marinated prawn, pickled shallot on a Cucumber Toast ♥
- Chicken Tandoori curry in a syphoned Egg Shell
I’m partial to goat’s cheese so the wrap gets my vote. I also love the clever use of cucumber as a base for the crab and prawn salad.
However, the Taco wasn’t as good and the chicken curry in an eggshell does not live up to its looks.
The Scones ★★★★☆
Another good point for this Gin Afternoon Tea was the light soft scones:
- Plain scone
- Raisin scone
They are served with traditional clotted cream and an Irish Mango jam (mango, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar). Now I am at loss, I fear that my mastery of the English language is insufficient to describe that jam in an appropriate way but let’s say it has a very strong flavour.
Spicy jam is surely an acquired taste. If you haven’t acquired such a taste yet, I’m pretty sure the staff would be happy to serve you strawberry jam instead…
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★☆
The real stars of the G&Tea Afternoon tea are the Tanqueray infused cakes and sweets:
- The G&T: Tanqueray Gin pannacotta, tonic foam and cucumber caviar topped with fresh red fruit ♥♥
- Pineapple Colada: Rice pudding in a Gin infused pineapple
- Lime gimlet Cheesecake: Gin infused cream topped with tonic marshmallows
- Clover club Macaroon: Gin, cream and raspberries ♥
The G&T is light and just sweet enough. Another great use of cucumber by the chef and his team!
The pineapple colada is a bit of an oddity as the taste of Gin is too discernible, which results in a very strong taste.
The Service ★★★★★
The service is excellent in the lobby as in the lounge. The lobby lounge staff are accommodating so you’ll be able to have your afternoon tea in the lounge, the reading room or the terrace (weather permitting), as long as they are not fully booked.
The English china is gorgeous: I love the pattern with the colourful birds on the plates and teacups.
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
The InterContinental Dublin serves a genuine Gin & Tonic afternoon tea, cleverly using Gin for both the food and the beverages. Teetotalers will be pleased to hear that the tea selection is very good as well.
This perfect score for the G&Tea confirms the Dublin pattern: the Irish sure know how to make great afternoon teas with a theme, be it about cocktails, art or fashion. I will certainly look forward to trying out the InterContinental Dublin’s festive afternoon tea, which will be served in December.
+: Beautiful setting
+: The cold Crafted cocktail
+: Great tea selection
+: The delicious and original food
+: The gin infused sweets
+: Great service
-: A bit far from the city centre
-: The hot gin infused earl grey tea
-: The Irish mango jam
Phone: +33 1 44 58 1010