In support of CIFD, The Gallery recently celebrated “The Art of Millinery” with a group of Irish hat designers who created bespoke headpieces exclusively for The Westbury. The pastry chef turned these showstopping creations into a delicious selection of desserts and sweet treats ranging from blueberry cheesecake with a sable Breton base to a baked chocolate tart made from single-origin organic chocolate—this to mimic a chocolate brown handknit Aran hat!
Once these designer pastries are retired, the kitchen refreshes its pastry selection, offering traditional sweets like mince pies, chocolate Yule log, and winter-berry parfaits during the holiday season; springtime delicacies to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Easter; and summery fruit-and-berry pastries.
Regardless of the season, the sandwich course reverts to classic Irish fare: honey-baked Limerick ham with sun-dried–tomato relish, oak-smoked salmon and crab with lemon aïoli, egg salad with chive mayonnaise, and truffled chicken salad. They take pride of place on the bottom tier of the tea stand, each carefully crafted on homemade soda bread, malt harvest bread, or a brioche roll. Delicate buttermilk scones, plain and with fruit, come with the traditional accompaniments of butter, clotted cream, and homemade berry preserves.
Impressive and beautifully served teas arrive in pretty silver teapots, and the selection ranges from black teas like Irish Breakfast (full-bodied Assam) and Irish Whiskey Cream (an Assam blend with cocoa and whiskey aromas) to white and green teas like White Yunnan Silver Tips (laced floral notes) and Morgentau Sencha Summer (scented with a fruit and flowers). Caffeine-free infusions are also on offer, as is the nearly obligatory glass of Champagne—Perrier-Jouët, Dom Pérignon, or Moët & Chandon Rosé, depending on your level of celebration!
Margaret M. Johnson is the author of ten Irish cookbooks, as well as Tea & Crumpets, Recipes & Rituals from European Tearooms & Cafés. She presents programs on Irish cookery and teatime traditions and contributes articles to a number of publications. Follow her culinary adventures on irishcook.com.
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