In The Maryborough Drawing Room
Afternoon Tea’s Different Class
|Butternut Squash Pannacotta|
Cold and wet outside but in the Drawing Room of the Maryborough Hotel, there was a warm welcome to Afternoon Tea. The hotel’s dedicated afternoon tea room was opened earlier this month and you do get one of the best experience around in a beautifully appointed room, part of the Newenham suite, in the original 17th century house.
The old world charm has been retained and you’ll relax under the high ceiling and take in the Georgian décor with plush lounge seating, listening to baroque (rather than rock) and, when you’re ready, let your concentration focus on the three tiers of deliciousness that the butler has just delivered to the table.
Tea, of course, is an integral part of the event and you’ll have been helped make your choice from an impressive list of over a dozen, including well known ones such as Earl Grey, “safe” choices like Irish Breakfast, and the exotic Bi Lo Chun. In all, I tried three and my favourite was the Rooibos & Caramel (Relaxing - Full-bodied Rooibos sweetened with the delicate, sensual notes of caramel deliver a nicely rounded, sweet and mellow finish). Could be a great one for Christmas.
|House Cured Salmon|
CL”s favourite was Ginger & Lemongrass (Uplifting - Green Tea from China with spicy ginger and the fresh delicate citrus notes of asian lemongrass). I hadn't heard of the Bi Lo Chun before. Maybe you haven't either? Its description is: Boasting a stunning sweet, slightly fruity and floral taste with a delicious lingering finish.
There is also a full list of coffee options, from Espresso to Cappuccino. I think Hot Chocolate was also mentioned. We were guests for the occasion. Thirty five euro is the regular cost; add Prosecco (€43.00), Champagne (50.00).
The savoury offerings looked great and tasted even better, a very strong line-up indeed, quite innovative too. This was our running order. I enjoyed them all and would be hard-pressed to find a winner, other than myself! Indeed, I was most surprised with the #3 and #4 as I didn't think they'd be as good as they were.
The second half was sweet indeed. All the items were excellent and again hard to pick a winner. The Crème Brûlée was a joint favourite. But when we finished up with the Grand Marnier Trifle, the heads were nodding in agreement that this was the one, thanks mainly to the fact that there was no shortage of the orange-flavoured Cognac based liqueur in the trifle sponge! Cold and wet outside but warm inside as we left.
1: Boa Bun filled with a Turmeric and Fermented Chilli Marinated Chicken, Carrot Slaw, Miso Aioli.
2: House Cured Salmon, Wakame Seaweed, Cucumber Gel, Squid Ink Emulsion, and Toasted Rye Bread.
3: Butternut Squash Pannacotta filled with West Cork Bluebell Falls Goat Cheese, Honey-ied Walnut, and Balsamic Pearls.
4: Saffron and Basil Polenta Cake, Hummus and Heritage Tomato Salsa
|Apple, Coffee and Cinnamon Cake|
A: Caramelised Apple, Coffee and Cinnamon Cake.
B: Chocolate and Grand Marnier Trifle.
C: Chestnut and Pear Crème Brulée.
D: Eclair filled with Pistachio and Hazelnut Praline.
E: Warm Cranberry Scones served with House Preserves and Clotted Cream.
|Two (of three) tiers.|