When you think of afternoon tea in Northern Ireland, you may think of a 5 star establishment such as the Galgorm or The Merchant, both very well established in the art of afternoon tea in the North of the Province, but every now and then, it pays dividends to step off a well trodden path in search of a hidden gem, and Maryville House is just that.
Located just off the Lisburn Road in Belfast, Maryville House is a magnificent Victorian building dating back some 100+ years. Maryville House was originally a private dwelling house and had a brief stint as a dental practice before being completely renovated. This beautiful building has been so lovingly restored and many of the original Victorian features can seen in the premises today. As well as the tearooms, Maryville House offers guests the option of staying at their B&B accommodation, something that Mummy and Daddy must avail of in the future…child free of course.
TASTY TEAROOM TREAT
As a Summer Holiday treat, I decided to take Lily-Belle out for a ‘daddy-daughter’ day, chat about her return to school in September, her addiction to Minecraft (some sort of ipad game) and basically spend a little quality time together. Little Miss C is a huge fan of afternoon tea, so Maryville House is a great way for us both to relax, spend a few hours chatting about stuff and nonsense, and for me to realise that my little girl is growing up fast!
MAKING A GRAND ENTRANCE
Approaching the entrance of this delightful period building, you cannot help but notice the beautifully coloured stained glass windows and doors that lead you inside, simply stunning. Upon entering Maryville House Tearooms, your eyes are immediately drawn to the fantastic black and white tiled floor and it feels like you’ve been transported back to the early 1900’s. Impressive decor; very elegant with a lovely vintage feel.
There is a huge gold framed mirror in the hallway that reflects the colours of the stained glass onto the walls and high ceilings, completely mesmerising. An ornate chandelier dangles above our heads. It doesn’t feel like we’ve walked into a business, it feels like we have entered a home which is loved by its owners.
WARM AND FRIENDLY
A young lady greets us and I inform her that we hadn’t booked but required a table for two for afternoon tea. This request didn’t cause any concern and we were led to a room just off the main hallway. Once inside we were informed to sit where suited in this bright and airy room. Watching the world go by is calming for the soul so we opted for a seat by the window. In this instance there was no busy world as the window overlooked a small floral garden.
Our server, who we now know as Emily after asking her name, provided us with the Afternoon Tea Menu, took our drink order and left as we viewed the food options. A few minutes later Emily approached with the drinks and asked if we were ready to order…we were. There was a great selection of drinks and sandwiches to choose from on the menu, I opted for the prawn and cucumber and Lily-Belle chose the ham and cheese…job done. Lily-Belle and I had a little look around (downstairs only, upstairs is the guest bedrooms area for the B&B) whilst our food was being prepared. Clean, tidy, tasteful decor…we like it.
Our afternoon tea arrived, as expected, on a 3 tiered serving tray. On the bottom plate gourmet triangular sandwiches with crusts removed, warm baked scones with jam and freshly whipped cream on the middle plate and a colourful selection of mouth-watering mini cakes/pastries right at the top. Looks impressive and everything is homemade.
I won’t take you through every bite but rest assured when I say the food was delicious. Every bite better than the previous bite, so fresh and full of flavour. Lily-Belle and I struggled to finish the sweet desserts of chocolate brownies, shortbread, cupcakes, cheesecakes and profiteroles. An afternoon nap would have been good at this point as our tummy’s were fit to burst. Maybe we should avail of the B&B at Maryville House and grab a powernap.
TRANQUILITY AT THE TEAROOMS
The venue was exceptionally quiet. Lily-Belle and I sat for a little over two hours at Maryville House and never once felt like we had outstayed our welcome. Before settling our bill, we purchased a selection of small cakes to take home to the family. Presented in a patterned carry out box which resembled a beautiful vanity case, the cakes are ready to take home. A rather nice touch to finish off our time at Maryville House.
LILY-BELLE SAYS (age 7):
I loved the smell of the yummy food as we entered the hallway. The food tasted great and I really liked the warm scones with jam and cream. It was fun getting the take-home cakes in a flowery case, really cool. Mummy thought the case was really funky, and Matida loved the cakes. I think it would be nice to have a smaller children’s version of afternoon tea with hot chocolate and marshmallows. I would rate Maryville House 8 out of 10.
Maryville House: click to visit website
Tel: (0044) 028 9068 1510
Send a message: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours Mon to Fri: 12:00 – 15:00
Pricing Mon to Fri: sandwich option, £18.95 pp
Opening hours Sat and Sun: 12:00 – 15:30
Pricing Sat and Sun: canapé option £19.95 pp
Car park: limited space on site, on street parking right outside
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