The entrance ....
I did wonder what the significance of the name of the hotel was …seemed strange but I suppose no stranger than the Ritz or Savoy in London …but when I researched it, it all was clear …in its previous life it was a bank ….not just any bank though … the Headquarters of the Ulster bank.
The site that was acquired in 1836 was at the heart of the mercantile and commercial centre of Belfast. It was not until 1857 that the decision to build was made by the bank directors and then 60 designs were offered up for consideration….the brief being that it should appear elegant, substantial and prosperous. Glaswegian James Hamilton’s design was chosen and the wonderful building was completed in 1860 using Giffnock Sandstone from the quarry in Glasgow.
A local man, George Crowe, created this amazing plaster work within the main hall, with its cherubs depicting Science, Art, Scripture and Music.
Sadly it later fell into disrepair but in 2006 it reopened, totally transformed into a luxury 5* Hotel …more work was carried out in 2010, but the original construction is a listed Grade A building and it really is magnificent.
Now lets get to the food part ….the part that will bring a smile to your face I hope….. My belated Mothers Day pressy from Emma and Steve.
Afternoon tea …(.certainly not for the faint hearted )….started by us choosing which leaf tea we would like. We each chose a different one …Emma being the most daring and me not. I was expecting an elegant china ‘tea for one’ pot… instead a silver 6-cup tea pot arrived … for each of us.
Then we were each served with a selection of 5 dainty-ish sandwiches …no crusts obviously. While we began to enjoy these, two silver cake stands arrived laden with goodies.
This was for Emma and me ...Steve had one of his own !!!!
Each of us had a plain scone and a fruit scone neither of which were tiny, served with a dish of raspberry conserve , a pot double cream and one of lemon cream….not sure if much of the plain cream was consumed as the lemon one defied description …all I can say is OMG. There was even a small piece of Banana bread too.
Then there were the patisseries …five each … of a 2-3 delicate bite sized wonders of delicousness…..A small macaroon filled with chocolate ganache …a piece of chocolate sponge with a real a chocolate top ….a choux pastry swan … a lemon and raspberry tart …and a fruit mousse ’thingy’ with a curl of decorated chocolate on top. The last two were my favourites.
This is the moussey one...Steve cut his open so I could share it with you ...he knows me well.
I hope this food brought a smile to your face as you imagined devouring it ...or is this just too cruel.
Take Care xx