Recently, we had the pleasure of Afternoon Tea aboard a carriage from the Orient Express, now known as the Pullman Restaurant at Glenlo Abbey Hotel. The restaurant has recently won a second AA rosette for fine dining and was cited by critic Lucinda O’Sullivan as one of her ‘Best of 2016’.
However, on this occasion, we weren’t there for fine dining but for festive fun. Some clever elf in hotel management thought it would be a magical idea (inspired by the movie Polar Express, I’m sure) to have a Christmas Afternoon Tea and visit to Santa aboard the train. Magical it was indeed.
From the outside the train looks like a charmed setting for a special occasion. But nothing prepares you for how wonderful it is once you venture inside. No joke, you begin to wonder when the train is going to start moving. The nostalgia is captivating and you relax as you get the sense that a wonderful adventure is about to begin.
As we sat in our traditional pull down seats, Áine was served a chocolate milkshake in a cute vintage glass milk bottle. Whilst us adults were gifted with a huge glass of mulled wine – no doubt to help us through the next couple of hours on a train filled with kids high on sugar and Christmas.
The Afternoon Tea was a delightful mixture of festive treats: orange scented scones, cake pops, rocky road. All fun-sized treats for the children to devour.
The visit to Santa after tea has to be the highlight. Seated in his own private booth (which if you ever choose to dine within the train you should ask to be seated in, incredible!) Santa really pulled out all the stops to make the afternoon really special. As you can see from the pictures Áine was really captivated (and not much keeps Áine quiet!)
I feel December is a really special time of year and it isn’t just Christmas Day itself that is special but the whole 24 days leading up to it. Now Áine is five I was delighted to be able to add to the excitement with such a treat, hopefully it will become one of our of traditions for many years to come.
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