The BEST Afternoon Teas in Belfast

Thursday, 15 June 2017

We've started to make a tradition of Afternoon Tea when we have friends and family visiting us in Northern Ireland. It's fun for us, it's fun for the kids, and it works out to be a special treat for all of us when we have people to entertain. Belfast has a lot of options these days for Afternoon Tea, and I'm pleased to share our favorites! Traditionally, afternoon tea was meant to offer a snack between lunch and a light dinner, but from my experience, they usually offer enough food to be a meal! Typically, the tea service consists of tea or coffee, savory sandwiches or small quiches, scones with butter, jam and clotted cream, and sweets like cupcakes, tarts or chocolates, though each location serves it's own "twist" on the tradition. If you're coming to Belfast, I highly recommend taking time for an Afternoon Tea service. Here are just a few of my favorites!

Best for Kids - Afternoon Tea at Titanic Belfast

Our server table side with Yule Log and Mince Pies

Are you bringing the kids?? Thus far, my favorite Afternoon Tea service with my girls was at Titanic Belfast. It's only offered on Sundays, but watch out for special event afternoon teas around the holidays, mother's day and other special occasions when additional days may be offered. The best part of Afternoon Tea at Titanic? It's the only way you'll get a chance to see the world famous staircase recreation at Titanic Belfast - it isn't a part of the regular tour. So what made the Tea my favorite with the kids? Miss P got her own children's afternoon tea tray, with child-friendly treats. Instead of coffee she was offered hot chocolate or a milkshake. She still talks about his fantastic it was to have her own tea tray and treats! (Normally, she shares with me). We dressed up and had a lot of fun taking pictures on the staircase. There was even a coloring and craft table for the kiddos. We were able to spend several hours enjoying our time at Titanic and it's definitely my favorite for bringing the kids. Servers wear period uniforms the same as what White Star Line employees would have worn and facts about the Titanic are shown on projection screens throughout the seating. Spaces are limited so you'll want to book in advance.

Titanic's Famous Staircase
Christmas Treats at Titanic Belfast

Cost: 25GBP/adult, 10GBP/child
More Information: Titanic Belfast Afternoon Tea
Location: 1 Olympic Way, Queens Way, Titanic Quarter, Belfast

Best for Girlie Afternoon Out - the Merchant Hotel

The Merchant Hotel is Belfast's only 5 star hotel in the city center. It is a grade A listed building, and their Great Room Restaurant, which hosts the tea, was a former banking hall for the Ulster Bank which has been beautifully restored to a fantastic restaurant. Tea at the Merchant is hosted every day, but on weekends, live music is included. While you certainly can bring children to Tea at the Merchant, and I have, but I much prefer it as an adult afternoon out as the venue itself isn't as child friendly as other places in town. (And let's be real - Mama needs a break sometimes too!) The Merchant's Tea menu changes from time to time, but you'll always be sure to have fantastic scones, finger sandwiches and delicious sweets. Once tea is finished, pop over to the Cocktail Bar at the Merchant for some of the most fantastic cocktails in town. All of the drinks are made by hand, including house made cordials, and fantastic spirits and liquors. Twice a year, the Merchant Hotel hosts Fashion Teas to coincide with Belfast Fashion Week. During these, you'll get a glass of champagne to go along with your tea and take in a fashion show during the seating. It's a fantastic time out, and when my girls are bit older, I am sure they'll enjoy it just as much. Reservations for tea are recommended, and the Fashion Teas typically sell out so be sure and buy tickets in advance if you're able to attend. 

Cheers! The Fabulous Fashion Tea
a selection of the treats!

Cost: Regular Afternoon Tea 25GBP Monday - Friday, 29.50GBP Saturday & Sunday
More Information: Merchant Hotel
Location: 16 Skipper Street, Belfast

Best Country Style Afternoon Tea - the Old Post Office

If you have the opportunity to get outside of the city, I would highly recommend the Old Post Office in Lisbon for Afternoon Tea. This is a more "country" style tea, but the food is fantastic. You'll start with a glass of lemonade before enjoying a French Press coffee or Tea. The Tea pots and french presses are served in tea cozy and the buns and treats are delicious. Formerly a post office, this thatched roof cafe was transformed to a shop and tea rooms. While they don't have a dedicated children's menu, it is a nice tea to enjoy with kids. I've found the food to be plentiful and have shared with my daughters who love the little sweets and treats. It's a good idea to book in advance and they do offer a gluten free option. 

Miss P is a big fan!

Cost: 9.75GBP per person, Gluten Free 11.95GBP per person
More Information: Old Post Office Lisbane

Best Quickie Afternoon Tea - Patisserie Valerie
If you'll be busy sightseeing in Belfast and don't have time to spend the whole afternoon on your Tea experience, then Patisserie Valerie is the way to go. There are two locations in Belfast city center and you'll get the taste of afternoon tea without spending a lot of time waiting. It's great if you have kids with shorter attention spans as well. The food was good, though compared to other places it was not as plentiful, so you won't leave feeling over stuffed as you continue your sightseeing. The other nice thing about Patisserie Valerie is that you can stop in on a whim - reservations are not required. 


Cost: 25GBP for 2 people
Location: Adjacent from Belfast City Hall - 11 Donegal Square West or
31-33 Castle Lane
More Information: Patisserie Valerie

There are so many  places in Belfast to try Afternoon Tea, and these are just a few. Where is your favorite?