There is something special about afternoon tea. I think it mainly has to do with eating lots of cake and drinking prosecco when you probably should be doing something else much more productive! Last Sunday a group of girls descended on the Clarence Hotel in Temple Bar to celebrate the impeding motherhood of one of our friends. She is the first to have a baby so the excitement levels are quite high! We managed to keep it a surprise till the moment she walked in the door. Thankfully the shock didn't put her into an early labour!
We were dining in the Study which was very festively decorated with a giant tree and a roaring fire. It was quiet enough with only a few other tables in the room but we were taking up a large part of it so we more than made up for that.
Afternoon tea started off with a glass of prosecco and was soon followed by plates of food. First out were the daintiest looking sandwiches. These were a mix of cheese and pickle, salmon on brown bread and cucumber and cream cheese. One friend in particular was overjoyed to see the cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches on the slate as she says they rarely make an appearance in afternoon teas anymore.
After we had scoffed all the sandwiches it was time for scones with lashings of raspberry jam and cream. I'm not sure why the edges were cut off but I assume it was for purely asthetic reasons. I have just never seen them served like that before but they did look very uniform on the stand.
Next up were the cakes and to say we were spoilt for choice would be an understatement.We were treated to mini banoffe pies, lemon squares, rhubarb tarts and to top it all off a larger black forest tart with cherries that had a good kick of booze of them! The mini banoffe pie was reminiscent of dessert in the Clarence's new restaurant Cleaver East. You can read my review of that venue here.
We were also given some lovely vivid green macaroons but I have to admit I'm not a big fan as overall I find them quite a bland dessert. I have yet to be wowed by one. I did sample a bit of one but then opted for another lemon square instead! Everything was beautifully presented and the cakes were dainty and delectable. I think the only criticism that I have is that perhaps there was almost too much cake! It would have been nice to have one more savoury option.
All in all though it was a memory making afternoon. We were treated impeccably by the staff who couldn't do enough for us, from getting a few (hungover) friends copious amounts of tea and coffee to helping us carry out gifts to a taxi. We even had a visit from the kitchen to make sure everything was perfect which we thought was a nice touch.
Afternoon tea was €25 a head which might seem expensive for some cakes and sandwiches but it was worth it. It also seems to be quite a standard price when you look at other afternoon tea menus. The Clarence seems to be currently in the throes of a revival with the arrival of Cleaver East and the Liquor Rooms and now they have also have an afternoon tea menu which is well worth making a special visit for.
For more information phone +353 1 407 0800 or find them on Facebook here.