As we're prepping for our journey back home, I just wanted to share my experience at the Glenlo Abbey for afternoon tea. Having now been to nearly a dozen different places for afternoon tea, I can say that so far, the Glenlo Abbey takes the cake in terms of overall experience. It is what I would define the ultimate experience of what afternoon tea should be like: quiet, calm and refined. When I say quiet, I mean it like library quiet, you speak in a hushed toned and you're left to a lot of privacy with a musician playing in the background. We had a pianist who played a very broad range of songs, so it wasn't always classical. I prefer a harpist like the one in the St Regis Houston though, but that's just my preference.
The River Room overlooks the golf course on their 138 acre estate, and saw glimpses of falconeering (saw a falcon hop on the hood of a car!). The room is grand with tall ceilings and glittering chandeliers with a lower level seating section. There were enough tables to house perhaps 100 people but I saw only maybe half a dozen tables occupied. So it was quiet and very private, which you don't often get in other places where the noise from the hotel lobby or entrance makes the tea room much louder than I would like. In the River Room it felt almost zen-like and very relaxed which I think is how afternoon tea should be.
Just the tableware alone made me go 😍 I definitely felt spoiled that day, and we also dressed up for the occasion, though I wish we took a standing photo in front of the hotel, but it was quite cold and windy that day.
I did go to the Westbury Hotel in Dublin to have afternoon tea but it was a completely different experience and one that I think most people are accustomed to. We had the best view of the room but the whole day was marred by the pouring rain, so we came in soaked and cranky. The service was very attentive though so that was appreciated.
So far from my experiences, the most expensive afternoon teas certainly did not live up to their price tag. I would say midrange prices ($30-40) have been worth the experiences than the +$50. The Glenlo Abbey falls within the mid-ranges ☺️
I would write and upload more photos but it's difficult to do on a phone and slow wifi so I'll give a proper longer update when I get back.