Lonely Planet Writer

Eat the art at this Dublin hotel’s amazing afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is always an exciting affair, and in most cases, diners can expect to be served a great selection of savoury and sweet treats. But in recent times, hotels and restaurants all over the world have seriously stepped up their game, offering quirky and unique takes on the much-loved tradition, and creating unforgettable eating experiences for visitors. One such example is the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland which offers a host of colourful creations inspired by the establishment’s private art collection.

The Art Tea at The Merrion sees chefs creating colourful delights based on the hotel's private art collection.
The Art Tea at the Merrion sees chefs creating colourful delights based on the hotel’s private art collection. Image by The Merrion

Designed by Executive Chef Ed Cooney and Head Pastry Chef Paul Kelly, the Art Tea began with nine pastries based on some of the hotel’s artworks, but since then, the portfolio has grown to incorporate new works, with each new creation posing a fun new challenge for the chefs.

Hazelnut Gateau with a Coffee Bavarois inspired by Farm Buildings by Stephen McKenna.
Hazelnut Gateau with a Coffee Bavarois inspired by Farm Buildings by Stephen McKenna. Image by The Merrion

Offerings include a passionfruit and orange cheesecake based on Madonna and Child by abstract painter Mainie Jellet, which hangs in the reception room of the hotel, a green apple macaroon based on John Doherty’s The Old Fox, a hazelnut gateau that is an ode to Stephen McKenna’s Farm Buildings and a vanilla biscuit with orange curd based on a piece entitled, Frying Pan, Funnel, Eggs & Lemons by William Scott.

Passion fruit and Orange Cheesecake inspired by Madonna and Child by Mainie Jellet.
Passion fruit and Orange Cheesecake inspired by Madonna and Child by Mainie Jellet. Image by The Merrion

“The Art Tea offers guests a one-of-a-kind experience – for both art lovers and foodies alike. Guests enjoy the concept of being able to experience the hotel’s art collection in a fun and novel way: by eating it! They are pieces of art in their own right,” a representative of the Merrion Hotel told Lonely Planet Travel News.

The experience also comes with savoury dishes and an optional glass of champagne.
The experience also comes with savoury dishes and an optional glass of champagne. Image by The Merrion

As well as the sweet treats, the Art Tea includes dishes such as smoked salmon on brown bread, loin of ham with mustard on white bread and cornfed chicken with truffle mayonnaise on sunflower bread. The experience is priced €49 ($60) per person or €63 ($78) per person with a glass of champagne.

Afternoon tea is served in the drawing room at the Merrion. Image by Merrion Hotel

More information on the Art Tea at the Merrion Hotel is available on the official website.