Often mislabeled as “high tea,” which is actually a working-class evening meal, afternoon tea is an elaborate mid-day snack service. While it’s usually associated with England, the Irish are also enamored with this elegant and refined tradition, as evidenced by the recent introduction of two presentations at Ri Ra Irish Pub in Mandalay Place: the Dunbrody and the MacNean.
Along with individual pots of each guest’s choice of loose-leaf tea, poured through strainers into mismatched china teacups, both versions include finger sandwiches, raisin scones and assorted desserts and pastries served on a tri-tiered tray. For a premium experience, order the MacNean service, which features more creative and upscale sandwiches, such as cheese and peppadew peppers with honey-walnut pesto, ham and caramelized onions on whole wheat, lightly curried coronation chicken on pretzel baguettes, and smoked salmon and crème fraiche on soda bread. It also adds clotted cream and preserves to accompany the raisin scones that come with both. In place of the outsourced pastries on the Dunbrody, its top-tier tray offers higher-end creations made in-house by the recently added pastry chef Shea Wafford.
Champagne and gin cocktails are not included in the packages, but are highly-recommended add-ons.