‘Cup of tea m’dear?’ And a great big stand of sweet treats to go with it!? Afternoon Tea is an incredibly indulgent experience, and one that some hosts have built their entire reputation on. Various offspring of the traditional include boozy versions with cocktails or prosecco, and all savoury affairs for those void of a sweet tooth.
Of course this ritual of sarnies, scones, cakes and camellia sinensis (that’s tea to you and me) remains a go to for manys a crowd celebrating a Birthday, Anniversary or other special occasion. Here’s a handful of Afternoon Tea practitioners in and around Belfast worth bearing in mind next time you choose to indulge.
Still in its honeymoon period in Belfast, and with one of the best views, looking on to our stunning City Hall, Cafe Parisien is French inspired through & through. A brasserie style menu with filled crepes and coffee for breakfast, steak frites for lunch, roast duck breast in red wine jus in the evening and finishing with a Chambord spritz. But just before you run off and book a table, let’s look at what we came here for.
Their seasonal afternoon tea (currently the Winter one until February 2019), can be had with or without bubbles (champagne of course), and so range from £17.95 to £34.95.
Savouries include open sandwiches, filled brioche and pork & fennel sausage roll, then there’s buttermilk or spiced fruit scones, and for sweets you have mulled wine macaroon (love the sound of this!), chocolate and pistachio fudge, cinnamon roll cookies, and apple crumble cupcakes.
Be sure to check the website or give them a ring to ask about latest options depending on the time of year.
AM:PM Arthur Street
This chic bohemian Shangri-La offers so much to its customers from dinner and cabaret nights to gin tastings to a night in the Treehouse urban rooftop retreat.
One of the many facets is the afternoon tea priced from £19.95 with a range of teas or a little more if you want prosecco or champagne.
On the stand there are the expected finger sandwiches and scones, and the sweets: glazed fruit filled tartlets, panna cotta, chocolate fondant sponge, and their secret weapon, lemon cream filled madeleines.
Miel et Moi
Miel et Moi is Belfast’s first licenced patisserie. Having top notch baked goods and booze as your main selling point is always a plus for me.They also have a large outside seating area for sunny days, or just if its not chucking it down. Inside is comfy and inviting, with the mouth-watering pastries on full display.
Their Afternoon Tea is £17.50 or £21.95 with a glass of prosecco. The sandwiches sound great, chicken, bacon and avocado and beef and horseradish among others. Fruit and plain scones, and from the patisserie, brownie, french fancy, lemon meringue and red velvet cake.
Grand Central Hotel
The Grand Central is the latest from the renowned Hastings Hotel Group. The £53m hotel opened back in June 2018 and is indeed both grand and central. And with 21 floors it dominates the Belfast skyline. At the top is the Observatory, with arguably the most spectacular views of Belfast.
So Afternoon Tea is so good they do it twice here. You can have it in the bright and beautiful Seahorse Lounge on the first floor, or a celestial PM brew in the Observatory. Both the tea and coffee are supplied locally by Thompson Tea and UCC Coffee.
At £30pp in the Seahorse lounge and £40pp in the Observatory, you are paying a little more than average. But, certainly for the Observatory, you are getting a unique experience, tea at the top of Belfast.
The Ivory Champagne Bar
The Ivory is in Victoria Square, one of Belfast’s most popular shopping spots. It’s on the third floor inside House of Fraser and overlooks Victoria Square’s central concourse, so, absolute premium people watching right here in sleek, stylish surroundings.
As you’d expect, you can have the regular tea or coffee at £22.95pp, or add a glass of champers for £10 more.
On the tea stand you’ll find smoked salmon, applewood, chicken tarragon mayo, and ham and piccalilli sandwiches. Scone with clotted cream and jam, and a choice of salted caramel tart, fruit tartlet, lemon meringue pie, carrot & walnut gateau or handmade macaroons.