• Cyril McAree

The Luxurious Connaught Room At Ashford Castle Celebrates Talented Chef Paula Stakelum’s Indulgent A


A time-honoured tradition definitive of stately living, Ashford Castle has been serving a delicious Afternoon Tea since 1868. Continuing the custom of celebrating Afternoon Tea as Lord and Lady Ardilaun enjoyed the experience, talented Ashford Castle Chef Paula Stakelum, has created a contemporary menu, with a nod to tradition featuring seasonal ingredients from the Ashford Castle estate.

Afternoon Tea at Ashford Castle is enjoyed in the elegant Connaught Room. Overlooking the manicured Castle lawns and Lough Corrib, the Connaught Room is home to an antique silver tea set which was presented to Lord and Lady Ardilaun on the celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary in 1896. Plush sofas, cushioned armchairs and rich floral brocade fabrics create a sumptuous setting to enjoy Ashford Castle’s signature Afternoon Tea experience. Talented resort Executive Head Pastry Chef Paula Stakelum, has created a menu coalescing traditional fare with modern ingredients for a delicious contemporary Afternoon Tea offering. Chef Paula said, “Afternoon Tea is a very special experience and we created a menu that reflects the character and ambience here at Ashford Castle. We source the best ingredients in season along with the finest Valrhona Chocolate, to create flavours that are distinctive to Ireland giving the Afternoon Tea menu at Ashford Castel a flavour like no other.” Bakehouse sourdough bread, whose ancient grains originate from Beldering in Mayo, Together with Paula have created a sourdough recipe that is exclusive to Ashford Castle. The fresh sourdough features on the delicious Irish Wagyu Beef with Pommery Mustard and Cucumber sandwich and the free range Chicken with Avocado and Almond on Sourdough. Local lobster and Galway Bay Prawns on Brioche are an indulgent addition to the sandwich selection. To accompany the savoury sandwiches, a traditional sweet and savoury scone assortment is served with lemon curd, clotted cream and seasonal berry jam.

The pièce de résistance comes in the form of Chef Paula Stakelum’s tiered sweet desserts. Beautifully created, the delicate desserts feature Vanilla Scented Éclair with Granny Smith Apple & Caramelia Cremeux and a Chocolate Torte with Valrhona dark Chocolate Mousse. Opalys Bavarois and Lime for a luxury experience from this expert patisserie chef. There are twenty two teas to select from for the perfect accompaniment to the Afternoon Tea menu. Alternatively, enjoy a glass of Lanson Champagne or a Lanson Champagne Tasting Afternoon Tea for the ultimate Afternoon Tea experience. Chef Paula and the team at Ashford Castle believe in using only the finest ingredients to create an unforgettable Afternoon Tea experience that is not to be missed. Chef Paula Stakelum and the talented pastry team have taken exceptional care to select unique flavours that reflect the local taste and seasonality at Ashford Castle. Afternoon Tea is served daily in the Connaught Room at 1.30pm, 2.00pm, 3.30pm and 4.00pm, priced at €50.00 per person*. The addition of a glass of Champagne is €19.50 per person or Champagne Tasting is €29.00 per person. Booking is essential – visit www.ashfordcastle.com or phone 094 9546003 for bookings and further information. *A 15% service charge applies per person

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