If you have never tried the afternoon tea in the Merchant Hotel in Belfast city centre, you are missing a treat. It’s Belfast’s only 5 star hotel and is a stunning venue in a great location. The decor is a mix of Victorian grandeur and Art Deco and it certainly impresses.
I normally go there for cocktails but had heard great things about their afternoon tea options and decided to give it a try.
The hotel has many bars and restaurants to choose from but the afternoon tea is served in the Great room, which was originally the main banking hall. A domed ceiling and Corinthian columns with plump cherubs looking down, all add to the sense of occasion!
There are a few options available. The basic version of the afternoon tea costs £22.50 but the cost is hiked to £29.50 on Saturday and Sunday. While there are definitely cheaper versions to be found elsewhere, the Merchant does excel in quality of service, food, style, choice and quantity. Make no mistake, this is a feast and a half and is not to be rushed! Our two hours there were a gorgeous, gastronomic sugar filled extravaganza. Delicious sandwiches were followed by warm scones with cream and jam and the most extraordinary selection of cakes and pastries. We were entertained by a lovely jazz trio and drank copious cups of tea. What’s not to like?
The waiting staff were most attentive and offered to change anything that wasn’t to our liking. I can’t bear egg sandwiches so they simply served another sandwich in its place. The choice for afternoon tea includes the following:
- Chicken with rocket and pesto butter
- Goat’s cheese and roasted red pepper
- Ham, mustard and maple butter
- Smoked trout, horseradish, dill and lime cream cheese
- Free range eggs with crème fraiche and chive
- Raspberry and coconut cake
- Banana bread
- Freshly baked plain and fruit scone, Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry preserve
An assortment of cakes and pastries including;
- Milk chocolate and cherry crèmeux
- Bramley apple and butterscotch meringue tartlet
- Yuzu crèmeux choux pastry
- Caramel and chocolate gateau
- Honey and pain d’epices macaron
Everything we tasted was delicious. I”m not a fan of macarons so I left those, and a few items we shared just to get a taste. I defy you to finish this as it really is a lot of food. Thankfully they offer a “doggy box” to take home any leftovers.
If you have a special occasion, or simply want to spoil yourself, book this experience. I definitely want to go back!
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