Thursday, April 25, 2013

Friday Smiles ….Afternoon tea at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast.

This is  Episode Two of our trip to Belfast ( two more to go!!!! sorry) …this was the afternoon before the wedding … and I hope the food lower down the post will make you smile as it did me, when I first saw it.

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


Arkansas Patti said...

I'm sitting here trying to be happy with the cereal and banana I just had but it isn't working. All sounds yummy and I am sure I would have loved that lemon cream.

Annie said...

Thanks for that Angie. I would have loved each and every mouthful last week! :-) Diabetes does come with it's problems doesn't it?.....oh well I can still look and imagine.
Annie x

JoZart said...

SMILE... I'm drooling!! What a wonderful experience and one you will remember.
Have great weekend
Jo x

crafty cat corner said...

A bit like dining at the Ritz I think, and yes Shozzy, so cruel of you to post the cakes, I love cakes especially creamy one's. lol
What a treat.

Caro said...

Wow, what a wonderful tea! That really is 5* quality...I am drooling! Thanks for sharing. Caro x #7

glitterandglue said...

I'm with Caro - I think the only word possible is "WOW"!!! What a treat.
Hope you fully enjoyed it.

crafty cat corner said...

Hi again Angie
You asked about the Spirulina powder. I bought it on Ebay and it was £4.85 including postage, I only put a tin tip of a knife full on the food and mix it in just a small amount of it. I also have been giving him a teaspoonful of Cod liver Oil, I buy this in the pet shop. This is all put onto minced chicken wings that I buy from Asda, they are about £2.00 a box but he only has 2 at a time , I mince the whole lot and he eats the skin, bones and flesh all in one, my own cats like this for a treat.
You can see how much he has improved, beyond what I would have expected. We humans can eat this spirulina, its supposed to be really good for the immune system.
I also wormed and de flead Daddy but only with the pet shop stuff.
I get so annoyed with vets, they are supposed to be animal lovers but are really only in it for the cash. I did go to them to get help for Daddy but they insisted that I had to take him to them and wouldn't give me anything unless I did. I don't call that loving animals. But I'm on my soap box again here, must get off it, there's so much I get annoyed about these days, I should be Prime Minister, I'd soon get it all sorted out. lol
If you can't do the spirulina I think the cod liver oil would work wonders for the skin, it last ages.
A bit of a long comment but hope it helps.
Love from Brighton

Peter said...

I could weep salty tears when looking at Steves "fruit mousse thingy"! What a splendid feast, and what delightful surroundings!!

Just been visiting Arkansas Patti's blog and I see in the comments that you had a bad start to the day with a water tank leak; I do hope that not too much damage was done to house and contents, and that you are able to get things dry. Very hard if the weather is chilly and damp. Anyway kind thoughts to you from us down here, Pxx

Alison said...

Mmmmmmm! That's my kind of afternoon tea!!! Looks scrummy! Craving tea & cake now! Lol! x

Rian said...

Hi Angie, I'm back... and catching up on reading blogs. This afternoon tea and goodies looks scrumptious. And the hotel looks pretty amazing too.