Last October, my husband, Chris, and two of our children, Matt and Rachel, took a week long vacation to Ireland. In our short stay, we covered a lot of ground via planes, trains and automobiles, sampling a bit of everything Ireland is famous for: crystal, woolens, rainbows, stout, whiskey and most certainly tea.
The latter we enjoyed every place we stopped, from the Waterford crystal factory to the Kilmainham gaol (jail) and everywhere in between.
In Dublin, we hit two great tea spots in the tony shopping district along Grafton Street. On our way to afternoon tea at the Westbury Hotel, we stopped at Bewley's Cafe to stock up on my favorite hearty Irish teas. (Bewley's teas can be found here in Michigan at the Irish Rose store in Lexington -see The Detroit Tea Examiner's Dublin's Bewley's tea at Lexington's Irish Rose on St. Patrick's Day and all year for more information)
|Westbury Hotel in Dublin|
|Rachel and Matt partaking in tea and savories|
|Afternoon tea fare at the Westbury Hotel|
We also shopped at some familiar stores in the area like Swarvoski and Disney, which added their own unique Irish flair to set it apart from what we see at home.
|Outside Bewley's Cafe on Dublin's Grafton Street with bag full of tea|
Once at the Westbury, we enjoyed a delicious and refined afternoon tea. In the following days, we had tea in Waterford, Cork, Monaghan and Dublin's most famous prison. When you can find a tea room in a jail, you know you have found a truly civilized country.
St. Patrick's Day is a fun day to think back on all we saw in Ireland last fall and an opportunity to celebrate all the Irish influences and traditions we've embraced - Irish ancestors or not. And, a day to pay tribute to a country that has brought us some of the most delightful tea blends to start our mornings throughout the year.
|One of the many beautiful rainbows we saw in Ireland. A treasure for all.|
Happy St. Patrick's Day and may you find the treasure you are looking for at the end of the rainbow.