Where: Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland Style: Georgian Manor Tea Selection: 8 organic loose-leaf teas Teatimes: Daily 1-5 Reservations: Pre-paid reservations required Contact: +353 56 777 3000 Cost: €30 Afternoon Tea; €15 Children’s Afternoon Tea Destination Tea Tip: Leave time for a stroll in the gardens, which you’ll pass on your way to the Manor House where tea is served, at the rear of the property.
Destination Tea Notes: Surpassing the afternoon tea experience typically found at an upscale hotel, with such hallmarks as a luxurious setting, perfectly executed housemade culinary delights and excellent service, Mount Juliet Estate also offers a moderately priced afternoon tea that calls on locally sourced ingredients (a practice we found throughout Ireland). We felt properly indulged and in these 18th century rooms, are as ladies of a passed era, taking our tea in the library.
Upon our request to know more about this beautiful manor, a pamphlet is provided, titled, “A Great Heritage & A Love Story.” We learn that during Ireland’s Civil War, when many “big houses” were burned, Mount Juliet was spared because the surrounding community respected and protected the owners, who had been fair employers and community benefactors. This inspires the girls to share some of their history lessons as we await our tea. And when the afternoon tea trays arrive, the expression on my niece’s face speaks for all of us (see it in Destination Tea’s Instagram feed).