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If you are looking for an afternoon tea experience that will take your breath away, then look no further than the Sugar Loaf Lounge in Powerscourt Hotel. If the location of being in the rolling hills of Wicklow wasn’t enough to entice you, then the stunningly beautiful Powerscourt Hotel should. Powerscourt Hotel is set upon 1000 acres of stunning scenery of fertile green valleys, the Sugar Loaf mountain and dense woodland.
The Sugar Loaf Lounge in Powerscourt Hotel offers visitors a chance to experience afternoon tea in an opulent and relaxed setting. The lounge overlooks the manicured gardens of the hotel and the Sugar Loaf mountain can be seen in the distance, after which the area is named.
My partner B’s dream was to experience afternoon tea in Ireland, and this Christmas it seemed like the perfect experience to gift him. You don’t have to be a guest in order to experience the afternoon tea in the hotel, and you can make a reservation on the hotel’s website or OpenTable.
Afternoon Tea in the Sugar Loaf Lounge
Afternoon Tea is served from 11.30 am until 5 pm and costs €50 per person. This includes unlimited tea/coffee/hot chocolate and a selection of sandwiches, scones and desserts. There is an option to include a glass of Champagne and afternoon tea for €65. The hotel offers a vegan and vegetarian afternoon tea menu.
The afternoon tea is really an incredible experience. The wait staff are expertly trained and very attentive to service and guests needs. With a selection of tea that would please even the pickiest of tea drinkers, options include fantastic flavours such as ‘Strawberries and Cream’, ‘Irish Breakfast Tea’, ‘Irish Whiskey-Cream’ & ‘Apple Crumble’.
The sandwich options are traditional but with a culinary twist. During our experience over the Christmas period, the following sandwich fillings were available: Coronation Mango Chicken, Egg & Saffron, Smoked Salmon, & Turkey & Brie.
Afternoon tea is nothing without scones and clotted cream. And it was the scones that were the standout in this incredible dining experience. The scones come in two varieties, plain and raisin and with a number of traditional condiments. Clotted cream, butter, varieties of jams and lemon curd were the accompaniments to hands down the best scones of my life. The scones were still warm from the oven, and each bite slathered with clotted cream and jam was truly out of this world.
As we approached the top layer of the Afternoon Tea stand, our stomachs were being pushed to their limits. Awaiting for us at the top were six delicate desserts that looked almost too good to eat. The desserts are small pieces of art, and unsurprisingly taste sublime. Our dessert selection included strawberry cheesecake, chocolate caramel mousse and coffee chocolate mousse.
Afternoon tea is delightfully filling and one of the nicest experiences on offer when visiting Powerscourt Hotel. From start to finish the entire experience was seamless and exquisite. Bellies groaning, we waddled away, happily satisfied with one of the best afternoon tea’s I could recall.
Powerscourt House and Gardens
Make sure to spend some time visiting Powerscourt House and Gardens, as it is one of Ireland’s prettiest estate homes and its gardens were voted by Lonely Planet as one of the best gardens on the planet.
Dating from the 18th century when Powerscourt House was first built in 1741, the house was occupied by the Wingfield family for close to 250 years. The Powerscourt estate transferred ownership in the 1960s and during the early 1990s, a fire broke out in the house and left the original building structure exposed. Thankfully the Slazenger family had the vision to restore the house to its former glory and in 1996, Powerscourt House and Gardens were opened to the public.
On the ground floor of the house, you will now find a series of small shops, selling Irish produced clothing and crafts. The artisanal crafts include handwoven scarves, woollen blankets and traditional Arran jumpers. You can easily spend hours in the shops and a small fortune, there are so many wonderful things to purchase.
The Avoca Terrace Cafe has stunning views over the garden and has a wonderful lunch menu. And if you’ve loved some of the delicious treats in the cafe, you can purchase some of the goodies in the Avoca food store on site.
It’s no wonder that the Powerscourt Gardens have been voted some of the best gardens in the world. The Italian Garden was created in the mid 19th century after the Wingfield family had spent time visiting Italy. The Italian Garden took 12 years to create and its rolling hills are reminiscent of Sicilian and Tuscan Villas from the 19th century. As you stroll through the gardens, you will encounter statues of Greek and Roman gods around the periphery of Lake Triton.
There are a number of things that make Powerscourt Gardens so special, ranging from the incredible vista that visitors have over Lake Triton. But what becomes more apparent is the variety of different gardens that the house has produced over its long history. The Japanese Garden was created in the early 20th century, complete with a pagoda and the ethereal sounds of the River Dargle make this garden wonderfully ambient.
The Walled Garden was once where the house would source its vegetables and fruit that were grown for the cooks in the kitchen. One of the most unique parts of the garden is the pet cemetery where you can learn about the many pets and animals that once called Powerscourt House their home.
Spending the day at Powerscourt House and Gardens is one of the most enjoyable day trips outside of Dublin. There is quite nothing like driving into the grounds of Powerscourt and watching the landscape unfold before your eyes.
Powerscourt House Admission Price:
Powerscourt Gardens Admission Price:
Child (5 – 15): €4
Child (0 – 5): Free
Not too far from Powerscourt Hosue and Garden, you will find Ireland’s highest waterfall, Powerscourt Waterfall. Located only 6km from the main estate, the waterfall is set within a beautiful park with deers and wildlife occasionally spotted. The waterfall is an impressive 121m high and is accessible from a parking lot close by.
There is a hiking trail that departs from the base of the waterfall and climbs to a vantage point that overlooks the falls. The hike is 1.5km and takes 25 minutes, appropriate shoes are needed as the track can be muddy and steep.
Powerscourt Waterfall Admission Price: €6.50 Adult Ticket
10.30 – 16.30 (Winter months)
09.30 – 19.00 (Summer months)
A fairly recent addition to the Powerscourt Estate and grounds is the distillery. The Powerscourt Distillery allows visitors to tour the Old Mill which has been converted and sample some of the whiskeys produced in tastings. Tours need to be booked in advance and include a tour of the distillery and tastings of Fercullen Irish Whiskey. Visitors need to be over the age of 18 to be able to partake in the tour.
Powerscourt Hotel, Autograph Collection
Less than a 5-minute walk from Powerscourt House and Gardens, you will find the 5 star Powerscourt Hotel, Autograph Collection. With world-class facilities and a breathtaking view of the Sugar Loaf Mountain, guests can wake up each morning with some of the prettiest Irish countryside on their doorstep.
Staying at the Powerscourt Hotel is perfect for those looking to get a little bit closer to nature and escape the bustle of Dublin city centre. The stunning grounds of the hotel include a large garden to stroll around, as well as offering complimentary bicycles to explore the trails surrounding the hotel.
If golf is more of your game, then consider the Powerscourt Golf Course a quick 5-minute walk from the hotel. With 18 holes of golf to play under the Dublin mountains, this is one course you won’t forget anytime soon. Non-members are invited to play on the course for a fee.
When you’ve finished exploring the local area, you can indulge in afternoon tea in the Sugar Loaf Lounge, or book dinner in the Sika restaurant.
Powerscourt Hotel has a 20-meter indoor swimming pool infused with Swarovski crystals and 20 treatment rooms, in addition to the two spas on site too. You can also spend hours in the Hammam suite or sweating off afternoon tea in the sauna.
Powerscourt Hotel is an exceptional 5-star hotel set in one of Ireland’s prettiest and most breathtaking counties.
The Adorable Village of Enniskerry
The village of Enniskerry can be found in County Wicklow and only 35 minutes from Dublin city centre. The village is a 15-minute stroll from Powerscourt House and has a number of adorable cafes, restaurants and shops. If you are arriving by public transport this is where you will arrive and depart from. Make sure to explore the church and graveyard just before entering Powerscourt.
The quaint village of Enniskerry is soon to hit the global stage when the movie Enchanted 2 drops in movie theatres around the globe in 2022. During the summer of 2021, the village was turned into an incredibly enchanting and adorable fairytale film set. Keep your eyes peeled for the village throughout the movie!
How to get to Powerscourt House & Gardens
Bray – Enniskerry Village – Take the #185 Bus from Bray Train Station and disembark at Enniskerry Village.
Dublin City Centre – Enniskerry Village – Take the #145 to Bray Town and transfer to the #185 bus. Alternatively, there is a less frequent bus #44 that caught from O’Connell Street Lower to Enniskerry village.
Take the M50 south and follow signs for Enniskerry, taking exit 15 and following signs for Powerscourt House/Enniskerry.
There are a number of tours available that include stopping off at Powerscourt House and Gardens for an afternoon. I love using Get Your Guide when visiting a new place and finding great tours and places I wouldn’t necessarily discover on my own.
Whether you come for the Afternoon Tea in the Sugarloaf Lounge or you plan on walking around the Powerscourt Gardens, you are guaranteed an excellent day out. From 18th-century estate homes, golf courses and waterfalls, there is really something for everyone to enjoy in this stunningly beautiful pocket of Ireland.