Four Tea Rooms: Town, city, coast, mountain.
|Jam and cream in Bandon|
|Lovely scone and gorgeous plate at the Duchess.|
Never really associated myself with tea rooms but I’ve been in at least four over the past few months.
Began with a call to the lovely Tea and Garden Rooms in Ballyvaughan (Co. Clare); next up was the Phoenix Park Tea Rooms; up the Kerry hills next to the Pancake Cottage before the most recent call to the Duchess Tea Rooms in Bandon.
It was a bitterly cold morning in Bandon and after a visit to the local Farmers Market a hot cup was required. Just happened to be passing the Duchess Team Rooms and popped in. Nice bit of heat there and three or four welcoming sofas, just like home.
Sat myself down and soon I was tucking into a really well made fruit scone with no shortage of cream or jam. Coffee was excellent but next time, I must try the tea as they have a massive selection.
There is great degree of comfort here, lots of calming colours all around and perhaps the ideal place for afternoon tea with a wide assortment of finger sandwiches, scrumptious mouth-watering delicate pastries, little cakes and scones to choose from.
It is the best part of two years since I indulged in the full afternoon tea. Wonder if the Fota Island Resort Hotel are still doing it.
Just like the Duchess Rooms, you may enjoy a little lunch or a light meal in all the tea rooms. Had a great Fish Pie in the well situated Tea and Garden Rooms in beautiful Ballyvaughan. This is a lovely spot, right alongside Galway Bay, and with gardens front and rear. But if you go here, you will not be able to avoid the sweet cakes. As you go in, you’ll see them in all their tempting colours, the table groaning underneath.
The Phoenix Park Tea Rooms, just across from the entrance to the Dublin Zoo, looked splendid under the Autumn colours of the many nearby trees and, as we ate, the squirrels were hopping around outside.
They are open all day long and include some terrific organic stuff on the menu, including the coffee and tea. All the vegetables, salads and fruits are from Kinneden Organics in Roscommon, the chicken is from Cootehill in Monaghan. And their sourdough is by Arun Bakery.
On the road from Sneem (Co. Kerry) to Moll’s Gap, there is a place called A Strawberry Field where you will find Pancake Cottage, which is open all year round. The views from the garden are splendid, weather permitting!
While you may enjoy a cuppa here, maybe with a Dutch Apple Pie, their speciality is the pancake. The selection of pancake toppings just goes on and on, sweet and savoury, and also a kids menu.
Another tea room well worth a call, just like the other three.