|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|
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|
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|
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.
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images and video ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
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