May 16, 2014

Dublin, Ireland: The Merrion Hotel; hotel review + restaurant review

The Merrion Hotel  

Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2.  123 guest rooms and 20 suites.  Health spa.  Restaurant.

guest room at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland
guest room at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland


This luxurious 5-star hotel was created in 1997 from a row of four meticulously restored 1760s Georgian townhouses.  A contemporary-style Garden Wing was built as an addition.  Situated across the street from government offices and just a 5-minute walk to Grafton Street, the hotel holds one of Ireland’s largest collections of private art—it is 90 per cent Irish artists--and has two lovely period gardens.  In addition to sumptuous bedding and furnishings, my spacious room had a luxurious grey-and-white-marble bathroom with a deep tub/shower; I adored the fragrant Asprey Purple Water amenities.


peat brick held by Ciara Ryan at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland
peat brick held by Ciara Ryan at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland


The hotel’s famous Art Tea is served in the Drawing Rooms lounges and is a don’t-miss.  Cozy fires in these period rooms burn fragrant local peat bricks composed of prehistoric decay neatly pressed into log-size rectangles.

An indulgent experience, the tea lasts about two hours and can optionally include Champagne--I recommend that it does!  The tea is poured into pale green-rimed Wedgewood china cups.  Among the choices are black teas, including the Merrion Blend, Earl Grey, and Smoked China; green teas, including mild Jasmine Pearls and delicate fruity Morgentau; fruit infusions, including Granny’s Garden, with notes of rhubarb and Bourbon vanilla; herbal infusions, including Moroccan Mint and Honeybush Orange; and a peachy white tea.  I opted for an herbal blend because I am caffeine sensitive late in the day.

Battenberg cake and scones at Art Tea at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland
Battenberg cake and scones at Art Tea at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland


First comes a tiered tea tray bearing delicious little sandwiches (think oak-smoked Irish salmon on brown soda bread, and cucumber with cream cheese and chives on tomato bread) and both plain and fruit scones with clotted cream and lemon curd, as well as striking brightly colored slices of Battenberg cake with almond icing.

art pastries at Art Tea at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland
art pastries at Art Tea at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland


Later, the piece de resistance arrives--a plate bearing exquisite pastry interpretations of three pieces of art chosen from the large collection displayed throughout the hotel.

The hotel's "Art Tea" catalogue, which depicts the hotel’s art collection, is a part of the experience and a gift to take with you.  The price for tea is E36/US$46. 





More things to do in Dublin.

More information about Ireland.

More tea times around the world.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.

images and video ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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10 comments:

  1. What a beautiful presentation of edible art. It almost seems a shame to eat it, but very appropriate if served with champagne and tea.

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  2. What a cool idea for Afternoon Tea - "Art Tea" - I've enjoyed the fashion tea ( inspired by designer fashions) in London so I'm sure I'd love Art Tea.

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  3. This looks so cozy! I've never been to Ireland, but I will definitely consider this place up if I do. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Should our travels take us to Ireland, this will certainly be on our 'must do' list while there. Sounds like our kind of hotel. . .although I suspect that luxurious 5-stars' translates into 'a bit pricey'! Interesting post!

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  5. Looks like the kind of place that makes you feel at home!

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  6. wow. Luv Dublin. Did you go to the Oyster Bar for their own oyster stout? Primo!

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  7. Did that cake with the colored shapes taste as good and interesting as it looks? We also stayed in the same area when we visited Dublin. It was very convenient and we were able to walk to many of the places we wanted to visit. There was a heat wave when we were there. I confess to bopping into a Starbucks for a frappacino. Boo me.

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    1. As I recall, that red and blue cake tasted like regular white cake but it was more fun to eat. I can't imagine a heat wave in Dublin! When we were there, it rained almost every day. And I've been following the weather there now for more than 6 months, and it always seems to be in the 50s and raining!

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