Eating Out Northern Ireland

MUNCHIES AT THE MELLON

MELLON COUNTRY INN

What is Afternoon Tea?  Introduced in Britain back in the early 1840’s, Afternoon Tea is quite simply a mini-meal positioned somewhere between lunch and your main evening meal. Or to put it simply, it’s a light snack to stave off hunger pangs.  Afternoon Tea is a meal composed of light savoury foods such as dainty finger cut sandwiches, warm scones with clotted (not synthetic aerosol) cream and sweet sticky jam.

Sandwich fillings vary greatly depending on where you are dining, but many hotels will stick to tradition and offer egg mayonnaise with cress, ham and mustard, and of course, buttered bread with thinly sliced cucumber.  Pastries and colourful sweet treats are also served, as well as…tea, after all, it is called Afternoon Tea.

AN ANNUAL EVENT OF TREATS

Afternoon Tea, or High Tea as it’s known in certain parts of the world, even has it’s own week in the Gregorian calendar, a week that celebrates the nations favourite tradition.  In 2018 the celebratory week was the 13th to the 19th of August.  Whether enjoyed in the luxurious surroundings of a 5* hotel, or with friends sat on a plush woven rug in the park, one thing is clear, Afternoon Tea is definitely here to stay and we’re overjoyed that it is.  Afternoon Tea is a firm favourite with The Callaghan Posse.

OMAGH FOOD FESTIVAL

Just a few day ago we enjoyed a fantastic day out at the Omagh Food Festival, and whilst there, had the chance to sample a few of the delicious delights that the Mellon Country Inn had to offer.  At the stall we got chatting to Hannah Gowdy who is the Marketing Coordinator for the Mellon Country Inn, and the topic came around to Afternoon Tea.  An already popular menu at the Mellon, we gave Hannah the idea of adding a Children’s Afternoon Tea and continued on our journey visiting the stalls.  The following morning we were pleasantly surprised to receive an Instagram message from Hannah informing us that a Children’s Afternoon Tea had been added.  As you can imagine, we wasted no time in booking a table.

Omagh Food Festival

OMAGH FOOD FESTIVAL – CLICK TO READ OUR BLOG


A VERY MODERN MAKEOVER

Situated on the Beltany Road between Omagh and Strabane (closer to Omagh),the Mellon Country Inn, although long established, has recently changed ownership.  Under private ownership and family run, the 3* Mellon has had a full refurbishment.  Decor is refreshing, modern, and the hotel itself warm and very welcoming.  From the instant you enter the hotel, you feel completely relaxed and any stresses you may have brought with you, simply fade away and become temporarily insignificant.

BUBBLES IN THE CHAMPAGNE LOUNGE

Moments after arriving we are seated on the upper tier of the dining room, an area known as The Champagne Lounge.  Sat beside the window, it’s great to look out at panoramic views of undulating fields and watch as the busy world rushes by, and as summer draws to a close, it’s lovely to see Autumn colours of reds, browns and yellows begin to appear on the deciduous trees and shrubs.  Stunning!

TASTY TREATS

Our girls, Lily-Belle and Matilda, can often be a tad impatient when it comes to grazing, so we were more than pleased to see our Afternoon Tea arrive within minutes of taking our seats.  Today was strictly a ‘photos before food’ work day, but it wasn’t long before we were able to relax and tuck in!  Mellon Country Inn politely request that you give them at least 24 hours notice when booking Afternoon Tea (which we did).  This is to ensure they have time-slots available and also so that they have enough food prepared for the sitting, plus the food is ready to be scoffed just moments after you are seated.  Perfect!

CHILDREN ARE DEFINITELY ALLOWED

Afternoon Tea’s pre-ordered, one each for the girls and one each for Mummy & Daddy, they both arrived on slated 3 tier cake stands (each stand holds tea for two).  Since it’s Children’s Afternoon Tea we’ll kick-off with the children’s version.  On the lower tier triangular ham sandwiches, ramekins filled with Eton Mess, marshmallow filled gooey Rocky Roads and moist fairy cakes filled with delicious jam and cream.

The middle tier had mini-meringues filled with fresh cream and topped with seasonal fruit, profiteroles that oozed fresh cream with the every bite, shortbread biscuits drizzled with caramel and seriously sticky chocolate brownies.  Lastly, perched high on the top tier…bowls of wibbly-wobbly jelly, every child’s favourite.  The girls selected hot chocolate topped with marshmallows to accompany their Afternoon Tea.

ONE FOR THE ADULTS

The Adult Afternoon Tea lower tier had a selection of sandwiches, mini-meringues filled with fresh cream and fruits, soft sponge fruit loaf, Rocky Roads and 15’s.  For those who don’t now what a 15 is, it’s a simple recipe of digestive biscuits crushed and mixed with condensed milk, then mixed with mini-marshmallows and glacé cherries, before combining and coating with desiccated coconut, finally they are shaped and placed in a fridge to set.  For Mummy, 15’s always bring back childhood memories as she always got to lick the bowl at Granny’s house.

The middle tier had sticky toffee pudding slices, fluffy fairy cakes, melt in the mouth shortbread biscuits drizzled with chocolate and creamy cheesecake triangles topped with a tangy lemon curd (Daddy’s favourite).  The top tier…another huge favourite of both Mummy and Daddy, Eton Mess.  Tea and coffee to accompany the many food delights.

THE SCONES HAVE (S)GONE

For me (Daddy) I would have liked to have seen a scone on the Adults Afternoon Tea.  Is it just a personal choice or expected, for me and to make the Afternoon Tea authentic, it’s expected!  I hasten to add though, after speaking with Hannah -Marketing Coordinator, I was assured that scones are indeed a key component of the Afternoon Tea (adults version), and in fact, the Mellon Country Inn baker is very well known for making delicious scones.  Hannah also assured me that she will ensure they feature on the Adult’s Afternoon Tea’s from here on in…excellent!

METICULOUSLY MELLON

The food is faultless. Each cake meticulously and lovingly hand crafted in house and with a great attention to symmetry and detail.  The food does not disappoint and each mouthful is tastier than the preceding bite.  Visually, the Afternoon Tea’s looked fabulous with a great range of colours to compliment the summer seasonal fruits that had been used.  We tried our hardest to eat all of the savoury and sweet treats, but it was too much, we conceded defeat, we were well and truly stuffed!  Had we been at home, a power-nap would have been on the cards no doubt!

EXCELLENT VALUE FOR A LUXURY TEA

You will find many places that offer Afternoon Tea, and we do believe that we are truly spoilt for choice on our tiny island, but, for a 3* hotel, the Mellon Country Inn has it down to almost perfection and we feel the price makes it exceptional value for money.  If you have children, we highly recommend you treat them to this superbly priced Children’s Afternoon Tea, trust us, they will not be disappointed.  Luxury Afternoon Tea that won’t break the piggy bank is seriously hard to beat!

IF YOU DON’T ASK, YOU DON’T GET

Knowing the Mellon Country Inn had received a full make-over, we couldn’t resist asking to see the bedrooms.  We had a sneaky peek at the recently refurbished Executive Suite and would highly recommend the hotel for those wishing to stay over.  Tastefully decorated, the room was spacious in size and spotlessly clean.  Although just a mere 25 minute drive from our home, we can’t wait to stay over at the Mellon Country Inn, maybe a ‘romantic’ night away for Mummy and Daddy…child free!

WHERE TO NEXT?

The Mellon Country Inn’s reception has a contemporary and modern decor, whilst the bar and dining areas are beautifully crafted with clean lines and spacious seating arrangements.  The hotel is currently 3* but we honestly believe it’s worthy of an upgrade to a 4*.

WOULD WE VISIT AGAIN

Absolutely, and more importantly, we would have no hesitation in recommending the Mellon Country Inn for Afternoon Tea.  Both the food and the service were spot on and we love the ‘just out of town’ location.  Recent renovations have given the Mellon Country Inn an ultra-modern face lift.  Highly recommended.

LILY-BELLE (age 9) SAYS
I’m a really big fan of Afternoon Tea and normally go on my own with Daddy.  This time we went as a family and I really enjoyed it.  The Afternoon Tea was really tasty and my favourite part was the Eton Mess, the meringue was really crunchy.  I would have preferred a milkshake rather than a hot chocolate.  I loved the sofas in the Champagne Lounge, they were really comfy, I’d like one in my bedroom.

MATILDA (age 4) SAYS
I liked the white thing with fruit on top (meringue), it was sooooo fluffy!  And I liked the hot chocolate and the pink marshmallows.  I wish there was ice cream with the jelly it would have tasted yummier.

Mellon Country Inn

Website:  click to visit website
Location:  Beltany Road, between Omagh and Strabane – see map
Date of our visit: 
18th August 2018
Car park:  
ample off road public parking on the grounds
Children’s Afternoon Tea cost:  £10 (August special offer – £8pp)
Adult’s Afternoon Tea cost:  £13 (August special offer – £10pp)

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Information, currency and prices are correct at the time of publishing.
Views, opinions and experiences are that of The Callaghan Posse and are correct at the time of publication.
Photos, unless credited below, are taken by The Callaghan Posse for use and distribution by Around The World In 18 Years.

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33 Comments

  • Reply
    Treasure Every Moment
    29th August 2018 at 09:24

    Oo this looks so delicious! I’m a big fan of afternoon tea, but I don’t have it very often anymore because I’ve had children. It’s so lovely to find somewhere that not only allows children to enjoy afternoon tea too, but embraces it 🙂

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      29th August 2018 at 10:57

      Same here, afternoon tea is a luxury which we try to do at least 4 times a year (normally more), so it’s great to have a local hotel offer the children’s version…and it doesn’t break the bank either. 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

    • Reply
      Hannah
      31st August 2018 at 16:06

      Thank-you TreasureEveryMoment for your comments! We’d be delighted to have you sometime!

  • Reply
    Rosie (@greenrosielife)
    29th August 2018 at 11:00

    My father always insisted on afternoon tea as close to 4pm as possible – nothing quite as posh as what you had but it meant I know how to bake a half decent cake as he always preferred that to anything shop bought. Your pictures are making me feel hungry now!

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      29th August 2018 at 12:03

      Brilliant. We are a tad set in our ways on Afternoon Tea days, lunch around 12:30, afternoon tea around 3, then evening meal around 5.30.
      If you bake the cake I’ll be more than happy to provide the tea. 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

  • Reply
    Lucy
    29th August 2018 at 20:16

    Amazing! Haven’t had an afternoon tea in a while, this looks great!! Xx

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      29th August 2018 at 20:21

      Thank you. Hopefully we’ve tickled your taste buds for you to go and indulge in afternoon tea very soon. 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

    • Reply
      Hannah
      31st August 2018 at 16:12

      Thanks Lucy! Sounds like we could be welcoming you soon then! H

  • Reply
    dear bear and beany
    29th August 2018 at 22:04

    I love afternoon tea and this looks like a delicious one!

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      29th August 2018 at 22:08

      So do we and this was certainly delicious, with every bite as tasty as the one before. 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

    • Reply
      Hannah
      31st August 2018 at 16:10

      We agree DearBearAndBenny! Perhaps we’ll be able to welcome you to The Mellon Country Inn someday! H

  • Reply
    fashionandstylepolice
    30th August 2018 at 12:24

    Good to learn about the history of afternoon tea. I love it.

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      31st August 2018 at 10:16

      We only scratched the surface, a quick google search and the history of Afternoon Tea is huge. It’s a very popular British treat, always worthy of our attention. 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

  • Reply
    ChelseaMamma
    30th August 2018 at 18:58

    I am not sure you could ever call an Afternoon tea a mini meal – those I have had have always been huge and I have not needed dinner afterwards. This looks like it didn’t disappoint

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      31st August 2018 at 10:03

      We have big appetites in Northern Ireland, and as it isn’t a snack nor a main meal, for us, mini-meal is the best descriptive. Regardless of its name, it’s a perfect for filling hungry tummies…tasty 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

  • Reply
    Five Little Doves
    30th August 2018 at 22:36

    Oh wow – best afternoon tea ever! Those cakes look good!

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      31st August 2018 at 09:54

      A delicious afternoon tea worthy of any occasion, be it just a treat, a birthday or Mother’s Day etc, worth every penny and then more. 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

    • Reply
      Hannah
      31st August 2018 at 16:09

      Thanks FiveLitteDoves! Anything our in-house Baker makes is always a treat! H

  • Reply
    Claire Justine
    31st August 2018 at 07:49

    Oh my. Afternoon tea is my favourite. I love the look of this. Just my kind of special treat. Yummy. Great review and photos 🙂

  • Reply
    dearmummyblog
    31st August 2018 at 08:40

    We have family in Strabane so might visit when we’re next across! Looks amazing afternoon tea!

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      31st August 2018 at 09:47

      Perfect, just a few short miles away. Remember to book in advance. 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

    • Reply
      Hannah
      31st August 2018 at 16:08

      Looking forward to having you DearMummyBlog! 🙂 The Mellon Country Inn

  • Reply
    Lauretta at Home and Horizon
    31st August 2018 at 22:10

    I love afternoon teas! Those cakes look sooo good. I want some!

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      31st August 2018 at 22:34

      We love it too, and….you can get Afternoon Tea in most towns nowadays, so many to choose from. Happy people 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

  • Reply
    Kerry Norris
    1st September 2018 at 11:20

    This looks fantastic. I’m a huge fan of afternoon tea. Love the fact they did a children’s version.

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      1st September 2018 at 15:01

      MCI have offered afternoon tea for some time now, when we met them at the Omagh Food Festival we dropped the idea of a children’s version, which they duly accepted. Happy little people 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

  • Reply
    laurasidestreet
    2nd September 2018 at 09:19

    Oh wow how incredible does that Afternoon tea look!! What big portions and such delicious food, also the bedrooms look fantastic and a really nice place to stay

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      2nd September 2018 at 11:26

      Doesn’t it just. The portions were perfect and just a few crumbs left by the time we had our hungry tummy’s filled. 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

  • Reply
    AlwaysCarryOn.com
    2nd September 2018 at 19:05

    I’ve never heard of 15s before – they sound delicious! And pretty simple to make I imagine ☺ I’d love to visit somewhere like Mellon one day, but it’s a little far for me 😢 x

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      2nd September 2018 at 20:23

      Really simple, and there are lots of videos on YouTube showing you how to make 15’s. I’m sure there will be plenty of places for Afternoon Tea in your local and surrounding areas, if not, make your own and invite friends over. You could always do 48 hours in Northern Ireland. 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    17th September 2018 at 09:57

    Oh I love anything like this and this one looks amazing. The prices are really good as well and even better with a special offer!

    • Reply
      aroundtheworldin18years
      17th September 2018 at 16:00

      Thank you. Afternoon Tea at the Mellon doesn’t disappoint, and although the pictures are decent, still not sure they do the AT any justice. Prices are great, not over priced where you feel ripped off, and not under priced where you wonder about the food quality….just right. 🌍 ♥️ 🙏

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