When I think of Afternoon Tea it evokes lots of lovely memories.

Memories of my childhood spent with my paternal Grandmother Eileen, who made the very best Puff Pastry known to man. Puff Pastry is one of those incredibly time consuming pastries. It is very labour intensive, but so worth it in the end. I used to watch her make pastry on an old marble table, and I can still remember the lumps of butter being transformed in the smooth yellow dough. Eileen made the most delicious apple tarts from this pastry. Three ingredients was all that was needed – pastry, apples and sugar – Perfection! Patiently we would wait for it to come out of the AGA, and it seemed like an eternity until it cooled down enough, so we could eat it. With lots of whipped double cream of course!

My other abiding memory of Afternoon Tea is when we visited my maternal Grandmother. Rose was the perfect lady and liked everything – ‘just so!’ Tea had to be served from a proper china cup, served with a saucer naturally. There was ritual to having tea served in her kitchen. A very natural and informal ritual, but a ritual nonetheless. There was always cake and biscuits, and everything served on her collection of pretty china. As a child I always thought it was so pretty, and I suppose that is where my love of all things pretty comes from.

I truly believe that my experiences as a child with my Grandmothers has inspired our new Afternoon Tea Menu here at Castlewood House.

Afternoon Tea is served in our dining room. My collection of vintage china and table ware, is most definitely inspired by Rose. But un-like her, I prefer a mix and match approach. This is when you have lots of different patterns, but all in the same colour, and then we can add other colour with a pretty table cloth.

We offer a wide variety of teas including China Pekoe, Lapsang Souchong, China Gunpowder and the traditional Irish Breakfast Tea, as served by my Grandmothers.

We are proud ambassadors of Taste Kerry and our menu offering uses as many of our local artisan producers as possible. Savoury tastes offer – a selection of finger sandwiches, including smoked salmon, cucumber and chive, and coronation chicken. For the sweeter tooth we present our petit scones and Helen’s lovely chocolate whiskey torte. We worked painstakingly with our dear friend Tracy Coyne, winner of the Great Irish Bake Off 2014. Tracey’s creations include raspberry meringues, macaroons, lemon and lemoncello scented mousse, or Bailey’s mousse.

I wonder what Rose and Eileen would say to all that!

Afternoon Tea is served to groups of six or more, over the summer months every Saturday from 3 – 5 p.m. Reservations are essential. Sample menu is available to view here…

Call me (Helen) on +353 66 915 2788 to make your booking and travel down your own memory lane!

“The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose” – George Gissing