High tea is an experience that dates back hundreds of years and has become a part of certain cultures around the globe. You can travel pretty much anywhere and find some version of a “high tea” or “tea ritual”. But the king of these experiences, to me, is the traditional British-style tea offered at luxurious hotels and restaurants. One of the best I’ve seen recently was at Ireland’s Ashford Castle.
Sitting on a tufted satin sofa in their drawing room, peering out at Loch Corrib through a wall of glass windows, the setting is instantly perfect for the experience about to unfold. Any guest or visitor to the Cong area of Western Ireland should not miss tea here. A selection of darjeeling, herbal, green, rooibos and more are presented for your choosing. I opted for the Chinese green pearls delicately scented with jasmine. The tea is prepared away from your table and brought-out in the grandest of ways.
Tier after tier of pastry towers are stacked upon each other to offer everything from finger sandwiches to freshly baked scones. Individual sweets are created by the castle’s pastry chef and are served in the company of salmon, egg, cucumber and chicken sandwiches. The scones are to die for, and aren’t complete without the fresh whipped cream, lemon curd and homemade preserves served with them.
Ashford Castle tea time is an event not to be missed!