Friday, 2 December 2016

Tea by the Sea
Last month, we were invited to sample the Afternoon Tea at the Slieve Donard and we were not disappointed.  The plan was to have the tea and then spend the afternoon in the Resort Spa-that was until we arrived at the gorgeous County Down hotel to discover that we had left our swimming gear and changes of clothes at home! After a frosty exchange about whose fault it was –let’s just say it wasn’t mine-we were greeted by our waiter for the afternoon and settled down to the most scrumptious spread overlooking the amazing Mountains of Mourne. 2 cake stands appeared, overflowing with finger sandwiches such as egg mayonnaise with peppery rocket salad, organic smoked salmon on wheaten, baked ham with wholegrain mustard, to mention just a few. 

The patisserie selection consisted of a range of scones, lemon drizzle cake, chocolate pave as well as raspberry opera cake, strawberry tartlets and cappuccino gateau amongst other candy sweet treats. 
This was served alongside the most delicious clotted cream and fresh fruit to erase some of the guilt factor, washed down with endless pots of a range of Northern Irish teas from the multi award winning Thompson family. 

Robbie was ecstatic with his own individual cake stand, comprising fruit kebabs, mini sarnies, scones, chocolate cake and marshmallows on a stick to stir into his thick, creamy hot chocolate. What’s not to love? 

After savouring our delights as well as the views it was time to visit the spa-after the lovely staff came to our rescue and provided us with costumes which are available to buy from the spa. 
We have been major fans of the Slieve Donard for a number of years now and usually stay there at least once a year-which consists of filling the car from top to bottom with clothes for ‘just in case’-but not so, on this occasion. After spending the afternoon at the spa, I almost passed out when Lex suggested booking in and staying overnight! As it was the last weekend of the half term holiday, I didn’t hold out much hope so you can imagine our delight when we were offered a suite with sea views-for the price of a double room-result!  

After a quick dash to Tesco for some ‘basic necessities’, we settled into complete luxury before going out to dine at Villa Vinci-our favourite eating spot in Newcastle. 
 Our pre-dinner pastime in the hotel bar was to observe all of our fellow guests-and avoid them as much as possible at breakfast the following day so that they wouldn’t notice that we were clad in yesterday’s clothes!  And the downside to this little jaunt? I’m going to have difficulty explaining my numerous outfits, shoes and toiletries on any future trips away when I managed to survive quite easily with literally the clothes I was standing in!

I cannot recommend the Afternoon Tea highly enough and wouldn’t it make the perfect gift for friends and family? Slieve Donard, until the next time!

Check out the Hastings website for details and prices.

Although this post was written in collaboration with Hastings Hotel and they gifted us the afternoon tea, all opinions are my own. Tx