Editors note: Bella Supiana is working with JJ Kavanagh & Sons on a new series called ‘Tastes of Ireland’. She’ll be travelling to our destinations and scouting out the best places for hungry travellers.
Experience a Sparkling Afternoon Tea for as little as €26.00
Afternoon tea is one of those lavish treats savoured with every little bite. Traditionally with exceptional service. I have tried this famed afternoon delight at some of Ireland’s leading five star hotels. None have yet met the standard No 1 Pery Square non-intrusively delivers. For me personally, I don’t like to be ushered around like the Queen of Sheba nor waited on every minute. I like it simple with minimal fuss and that’s exactly what you get at La Maison.
Greeted by the lovely Annie, she calmly walked us up through the Georgian styled stairs of this elegant boutique hotel which overlooks Limerick’s much loved People’s Park. Entering through tall doors, the Drawing Room awaited us with high ceilings and a view of the green park through the off white sash windows.
A window side table was where we were about to sample some of their outstanding kitchen creations. Sparkling Afternoon Tea with a Glass of La Riva Dei Fratti DOCG Prosecco was what we were advised to taste and so a boozy afternoon commenced as Annie poured us each a glass of Italy’s finest bubbly. Tea or coffee was also offered, I chose a normal black tea and Laura an Americano.
Sitting on what must have been one of the most comfortable chairs I have ever plonked myself on, golden arm wrests contrasting regal upholstered cushion, I felt instantly comforted after the first half of our ‘Tastes of Ireland’ tour of Limerick city. Annie reappeared after a short while holding three tiers of what looked nothing less than delectable delights.
Savoury finger sandwiches which vividly make up the bottom tier consist of homemade white yeast bread smeared with creamy butter, lined with a thick cut of Limerick ham and topped with Fred’s well matched yet somewhat surprising exotic pineapple chutney. Gluten free oat cakes spread with sharp lemon cream cheese and adorned with generous slimy free dry smoked salmon. Vintage cheddar from The Little Milk Company, chunky and full of depth atop their homemade soda bread, intensely kissed with house pickled cucumber and onion. Absolutely divine each and every one.
Plain and fruit scones make up the middle tier along with chunks of their melt in your mouth sausage rolls. They don’t seem pretentious and act as a middle morsel between the savoury and ultimately sweet section of the entire eating experience. Simple and delicious just how they should be, scones are for everyone and something every Irish person can relate to with a slathering of real butter or clotted cream and a jam of your preference. Flaky on the outside and non-chewy melt like on the inside, the sausage rolls are some of the best that have ever entered my mouth and Laura being the avid sausage roll fan that she is also agreed.
Atop this three story tower of deliciousness, rests four irresistible sugar laden treats. Meringue Kisses, dry and brittle on the outside with a chewy texture elegantly hidden away inside, resembling something of Nigella’s Prodigious Pavlova. Dusted with an appropriate amount of icing sugar to contrast the rich dark flourless chocolate cake perhaps mixed together with ground almonds grabs my choco-hungry eyes and melts me away to heaven.
Kathleen a member of the No.1 Perry Square team, Annie describes as an avid baker with a sheer know how when it comes to creating that all sought after moist Porter Cake. It is with little surprise that it features as the more traditional element to this afternoon tea and is undeniably the best fruit inspired cake I’ve ever tried. A French Vanilla Madeleine sits proudly atop their Lemon Posset… Creamy, smooth, zingy, moreish…
All eaten with pure content and a washing of warming tea swirled with the creamiest milk I have drank. It is with utmost ease and tranquility, experienced just a short distance from the heart of Limerick city. Not rushed nor invaded upon, you are left to the comfort of your company to gaze in awe at the calm surroundings, share each other’s stories and be transported back to a time where Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford would satisfy her “sinking feeling” of hunger between breakfast and evening meals with a somewhat light Afternoon Tea.
This is the perfect Mother Day’s gift and with 20 bus services daily to Limerick City you can some well deserved glasses of bubbly together 🙂