The Shelbourne's tea room is at street level, large windows brighten up the room which features a wall of mirrors at its far-end. It all feels very enchanting and spacious, the view of Stephen's Green doesn't hurt either.
There was live piano accompaniment as well; it was soothing, not too loud and it didn't get in the way of conversation. What may get in the way of your tea-time talk is the hotel's strict time limit on afternoon tea service, parties are permitted 90 minutes, no more, no less and while that was more than enough time for us to finish up, there was a definite feeling of rushing from one stage of the service to the next. Our hurried feeling was made worse by some friendly reminders from staff every half hour or so, it's enough to give you indigestion!
Unlike other tea services featured on this website, the Shelbourne divides its food into two phases. The first phase consisted of sandwiches which unfortunately, were nothing to right home about. A chicken salad proved itself the standout of the bunch, the other sandwiches were unremarkable. The second phase is a two-tiered serving of scones and desserts. The scones were standard-fare but presented nicely in a cute pocket so as to keep them warm. Scones were served with jam, cream and butter. Simple, tasty and well-presented.
The Shelbourne offer a desserts based on a theme, this month's theme was Princess Grace of Monaco, though after sampling the cakes, moose and marzipan treats one feels as though the great princess-turned-actress would have a hard time faking a smile of satisfaction. Put simply, the dessert looked far better than it tasted. Every item looked exceptional but tasted cheap. One chocolate cake had the feeling of a rice crispy square, while another coconut flavoured item tasted like supermarket bought coconut creams. Very disappointing.
Table service was good through the duration of our tea. The selection of tea was somewhat lacking when compared to other venues but there was enough variety to keep things interesting. The big pity then is the food, it's just so ordinary – given the look of the tea room itself we were hoping for a better time but alas, piano players and mirrors do not a pleasant afternoon make.
Historic 5 star hotel located in the heart of Dublin City. Boasting a picture-perfect location overlooking St. Stephen's Green, just moments from some of Dublin's most famous historic landmarks, The Shelbourne successfully marries traditional splendour and contemporary convenience.(words taken from website www.marriott.com)