Sunday, October 20, 2019

All Happening at the River Lee. Afternoon Tea, Harvest Carriage, Jazz Fest

All Happening at the River Lee
Afternoon Tea, Harvest Carriage, Jazz Fest
Petite pieces of finesse and elegance, crowned by this quartet of sweet sensations.
Congrats to the team here as their Afternoon Tea has been awarded best in Munster.

Always a buzz around the River Club in the River Lee. Even more so at present as the riverside hotel steps up another gear - no standing still around here. Latest highlights include a splendid Afternoon Tea and the Harvest Carriage. 

And, for the October Bank Holiday, between the Club and the River Room, there’s a score and more jazz slots, all free, a whole lot of fun from 5.00pm on Friday until 7.00pm on Monday. The excellent New York Brass Band will be here everyday. They are superbly entertaining and watch out too for the Art Crimes Band. But there is something for everyone. Check it all out here 

We were in for the Afternoon Tea last Friday but we also had a look at the Harvest Carriage. The what? Did you know that a three-foot narrow gauge train-line ran from Cork City to Blarney from the late 19th century until it finally ceased service in 1934.
The Harvest Carriage

The Cork and Muskerry Light Railway brought pleasure-seeking tourists from the city to the countryside and ran right through where the River Club now stands. This was the very site of the old Western Road station – in fact you can still see the remnants of the train tracks just under the terrace of the adjoining Grill Room restaurant and two stumps of supporting columns stand in the river outside!

These days, the riverside terrace has been decorated to evoke the good old days of train travel, not so much on the Cork and Muskerry, more like the luxury continental lines. The River Club, in partnership with Fever-Tree mixers, is offering a selection of cocktails to while away the “journey”.

And we started with one! Since we had been assigned to drive the express, the drink had to be non alcoholic. And our host, Pierce Lowney, General Manager, had just the ticket. A seasonal one, based on the refreshing and spiced Seed-Lip, with ginger beer and their own apple and pear cordial. Now, after that delicious Amuse Bouche, blow that whistle and check out the dining carriage for that superb tea.
River Club Bar

The menu follows the traditional three parts: savoury, scones and sweet, all tempting. Four finger sandwiches were Curry Spiced Coronation Chicken, Cucumber and Chive Glenilen Cream Cheese, Focaccia with sun-dried tomato and basil hummus and my favourite Dressed Ballycotton Crab on homemade Guinness brown bread.

The influence of Modern Botany was seen in the very tempting Bramley Apple and Flax Financier in the scone plate and in the sweets as well. There was Camomile and Honey Carrageen Moss pudding, Orange and Polenta Cake with calendula mousseline cream, Earl Grey Chocolate Choux Bun and a joint favourite Pineapple and Coriander Green Tea Tartlet.

We choose the House Tea here, Barry’s Gold Blend, to start with and when that pot was finished I switched to one of the Ronnefeldt Loose Leaf Teas, the delicious balanced Early Grey. And they had more to offer including an Irish Whiskey Cream tea! Coffees too of course.

Speaking of balance, I think that this was one of the best balanced Afternoon Tea menus I’ve enjoyed, not too heavy at all, even that green tea tartlet in the desserts is quite light. So, feeling nicely fed than overly so, off we headed on a leisurely walk downtown. No train going that way now.

Plants and flowers, both wild and cultivated, are at the heart of Modern Botany’s approach to skincare, using the best natural botanical ingredients to promote skin health, including flax, calendula, borage and chamomile. 

These same plants and herbs all feature in this Modern Botany Afternoon Tea at The River Lee. The company is based in Schull and draws on the botanical richness of the Wild Atlantic Way to create their products. And, if you are an Afternoon Tea customer, you’ll get a gift of a Modern Botany travel size gift.  

Western Road

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