Traditional Afternoon Tea with Vintage Tea Tours Dublin
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Afternoon Tea in Ireland – Amazing Ireland Experiences

One of the first things you'll notice in Ireland is that there is always a hot water kettle available for a cup of tea.

Every hotel, and most B&Bs, provide a kettle, tea bags and instant coffee, and often a biscuit, for an easy afternoon pick-me-up or evening refresher. As a tea drinker I much prefer this over the coffee makers you find in hotel rooms across the US.

A memorable afternoon tea also tops the ‘must do' list for many people (myself included!) while vacationing in Ireland.

During your Ireland vacation take time to enjoy afternoon tea, like this one at Mount Falcon Estate in County Mayo.
Afternoon tea at Mount Falcon

Is Afternoon Tea the same as High Tea?

In a word, no.

Elegant teas, served with scones, delicate sandwiches, and dainty sweets are Afternoon Tea, or ‘Low Tea'. Once a staple of Victorian aristocracy, this repast relieved the mid-day slump between the mid-morning breakfast and the 8pm evening meal. It was often served at a low table near a warm fireplace, hence ‘low tea'.

High Tea is more of a ‘working class meal', often taken at high tables or counters, and usually while standing. High tea was a meal of hand-held items like meat pies, hearty sandwiches, and thick slices of bread with butter and jam- served with tea.

Afternoon Tea treats

Afternoon Tea in Ireland

When planning your Ireland vacation I recommend making time for at least one terrific afternoon tea.

You'll find terrific options at luxuries hotels, castles, manor houses, and even some boutique eateries.

A few memorable experiences I recommend: Dunbrody House in Wexford, Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny, Lough Eske Castle in Donegal, Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Kinnitty Castle in Offaly, Kilashee House Hotel in Kildare, and (of course) Vintage Tea Trips in Dublin.

Pro Tip: Most castle hotels are not open to visitors to walk up and explore without a reservation. Make a booking for a lovely afternoon tea to gain access to the castle and the beautiful grounds.

Reminder: You need to book your afternoon tea at least 2 days in advance in most places. For popular locations or if your accommodations offer afternoon tea, book as far in advance as possible.

Traveling in Ireland podcast episode 215

Jody Halsted
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