In an excellent location in Galways ‘Latin Quarter’, right beside the Spanish arch and close to the fast flowing Corrib River, Alison McArdle’s atmospheric tearoom is in a fine stone building with big windows covered in pretty old fashioned lace. Inside, the atmosphere is of a homely parlour with around a dozen tables covered in double white linen lace tablecloths, a counter filled with all kinds of cakes and buns and a welcoming staff.
Teas and coffees are served in pretty mismatched bone china cups and there is a huge selection of wonderful china tea pots and tiered cake stands, which bring the past to life for many. There’s a large selection of cakes and scones – lemon drizzle, courgette and lime, and pastries and scones served on a 3-tier cake stand for traditional Afternoon Tea (c. €12).
But this is not just a place for afternoon tea. There’s a choice of breakfasts, for example, like Galway Bay Breakfast – Irish smoked salmon, poached egg, grilled tomato, served with toast, tea or coffee - or Traditional Irish (both about €8.95).
Lunch offers the likes of Claddagh chowder (c. €5.95), quiches (c. €7.95) and changing items on the daily menu, such as homemade salmon fish cakes, baked potatoes with feta, sundried tomatoes and black olives, and good salads, typically crispy bacon salad or fennel and orange salad with parmesan shavings.
In addition to the main cafe, the tearoom has recently expanded upstairs, where an elegant private dining room, the Serendipity Occasion Suite, offers sumptuous surroundings and a bespoke menu (see website) for groups of up to 30, to be enjoyed overlooking the Spanish Arch.
And, of course there are many (about thirty) different types of loose-leaf teas available, and also tea caddies, chutneys and jams for sale, both in the shop and online.
A delightful place of refreshment.