Designer Teatime at The Westbury, Dublin

Afternoon tea in The Westbury’s elegant lobby lounge, which looks out onto Dublin’s Grafton Street, is an impressive event.
Afternoon tea in The Westbury’s elegant lobby lounge, which looks out onto Dublin’s Grafton Street, is an impressive event.

The Westbury is one of eight hotels in The Doyle Collection, a carefully curated mix of five-star luxury and four-star urban-chic properties. It’s tucked away in Balfe Street, a city-center location between Trinity College, known for famous graduates like Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde, and St. Stephen’s Green, one of the loveliest 19th-century urban parks in northern Europe. The Westbury neighborhood is also known as Dublin’s “creative quarter” for the vibrant network of cobbled streets lined with trendy bars and quirky shops. The legendary Gaiety Theater, founded in 1871 and affectionately known as “the grand old lady of South King Street,” is just around the corner.

When you have tea in the The Westbury’s 120-seat Gallery, you never doubt that you’re in the heart of the Irish capital. Since 1984, the hotel has been a Dublin institution, and a total refurbishment in 2009 has made it one of the city’s most popular addresses. Part of the redo included the installation of classic-yet-hip furniture from George Smith, a company named for an early 19th-century craftsman that’s noted for sleek and colorful sofas, chaise longues, and chairs. 

Distinctive art collections and close connections to the artistic community are also a Doyle Collection standard, so it seems only natural for the kitchen to capture that vibe by partnering with the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and the Council of Irish Fashion Designers (CIFD) to offer fashion-inspired afternoon teas. As part of a number of limited-edition themed teas served throughout the year, the NCAD tea celebrated the best young Irish fashion designers by featuring a special collection of handcrafted pastries and cakes inspired by fashion techniques practiced at the college. Think color, print, pleating, stitching, and construction interpreted in a coffee-and-cherry macaron, a raspberry-chocolate-pistachio éclair, or a piña colada entremet (a multilayered mousse-based cake with various flavors and textures). 

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