As if there wasn’t enough chocolate knocking around over the Easter weekend, I then made it even worse by going for Chocolate Afternoon Tea in the Dylan Hotel in Ballsbridge! We decided to not buy each other eggs and treat ourselves to this instead… of course E then broke the rules and got me a heap of chocolate anyway!
So on Easter Monday we were delighted to see the fabulous weather and set off for the Dylan a bit earlier than planned, so we could sit out in their fab beer garden and soak up the sun for an hour. This isn’t my first visit to the hotel, last year we had dinner in their restaurant and I had mixed views on it (review here). So I was eager to see how we’d get on this time!
I adore the area this hotel is set in, especially on a nice day. It’s peaceful and pretty, with leafy trees lining the road. Beautiful! The hotel was pretty quiet when we arrived as it was only about 1pm, so we got a lovely seat outside in the sunshine and had a read of the papers and a glass of wine.
I was sort of reluctant to go indoors for our tea as it was so nice outside but in we headed to the Blue Room where it’s served. The interior of the hotel is fab, very art deco and clean and modern. I don’t know why though, but on both occasions something has left me feeling that something’s missing. While the seats and couches are plush and attractive, there’s nothing cosy about this hotel. I’ve had afternoon tea in a couple of other hotels in Dublin and you sink into the chairs and the whole experience is really relaxing and cosy… I didn’t get that feeling here unfortunately.
Anyway onto the food! Our server first off asked if we wanted tea or coffee – we both went for a coffee. I was a bit surprised as on any previous afternoon tea outings, I’ve been given a menu of which particular teas / coffees & hot chocolates are available, that didn’t happen here. Our coffees arrived and weren’t dainty or pretty, just a large mug of coffee – decent enough coffee though it has to be said!
We waited a while for our food to arrive – and after a big mug of coffee the hunger was starting to wear off! But no fear, once the stand arrived and was placed in front of us I was starving again 🙂
It was 3 tiers, the bottom holding the savoury element… some open sandwiches,
the middle holding the scones and the top holding the chocolate part – macarons and some truffles. Alongside this was a slate holding a cute little egg with chocolate mouse and a fruit gel & a bit of shortbread.
I had read another blogger’s review just before I left the house to go to the Dylan and she said that when the food was first placed down she thought it didn’t look like that much, but that they had indeed been stuffed after eating it. I got the same impression, there didn’t seem to be as much as I’ve been served on previous occasions in different hotel – that’s the greedy pig in me coming out!
We started with the selection of sandwiches. This was the part I was most disappointed with. There was hardly any bread, it was like a thin slice of bread cut in half. The toppings were beetroot & goats cheese, chicken pesto & rocket, smoked salmon with chive crème fraiche, picked red onion & capers & classic egg mayonnaise on brown bread. The smoked salmon and chicken one were lovely.
I wasn’t enamoured with the other two. And I wanted more… either more slivers of bread, thicker bread or your standard triangle of a sambo with 2 slices of bread and filling.
After that we moved on to the scones. They were still slightly warm and were beautiful. Super soft and the cream and jam melted into them – yum.
And onto the chocolate! The truffles were fab, we had chosen dark chocolate over milk or white chocolate as we both love it and so the truffles were lovely and rich. I tried 1 macaron but left the rest to E, they were very chewy and I didn’t get the hint of promised passion fruit at all.
My favourite bit was the chocolate mousse and passion fruit gel served in the egg shell, lovely and light, and the shortbread it was served with was fab.
To be honest, we didn’t hang around indoors after the food, we headed back outside for a drink. I had enjoyed it but it wasn’t to the standard of my previous afternoon teas. It’s not a cheap treat at €35 per person and any other time I’ve had it we haven’t managed to finish off what we were given and usually end up having the left overs packaged up to bring home.
I really can’t put my finger on what falls short about this hotel for me. I love modern places, but it’s just not cosy or warm. Both times I’ve been I’ve left feeling it was overpriced. I absolutely love the outdoor area and the brunch food that was being served out there looked fab so I think in the future I’ll stick to going there on a beautiful day to have a casual bite to eat and few drinks in the sun.
Chocolate Afternoon Tea is being served in the Dylan until this Sunday 27th April.
Dylan Hotel, Eastmoreland Place, Dublin 4