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Afternoon Tea Waterford

History of Afternoon Tea

While drinking tea was a fashionable event was credited by Catharine of Braganza, wife of King Charles the II, the actual taking of tea in the afternoon developed into a new social event some time in the late 1830’s and early 1840’s.

It is said that the afternoon tea tradition was established by Anne, Duchess of Bedford. She requested that light sandwiches be brought to her in the late afternoon because she had a “sinking feeling” during that time because of the long gap between meals. At first the Duchess had her servants sneak her a pot of tea and a few breadstuffs. Adopting the European tea service format, she invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal at five o’clock in her rooms at Belvoir Castle. The menu centered around small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets, and, of course, tea. This summer practice proved so popular, the Duchess continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for “tea and a walking the fields.” The practice of inviting friends to come for tea in the afternoon was quickly picked up by other social hostesses.

Why not join in tradition at Waterford Castle Hotel and host your very own tea party in 16th century style.


Allow yourself to enjoy the delights of Afternoon Tea in the Castle’s Conservatory while overlooking the formal gardens and the Island’s grounds.

Soak up the peaceful surroundings of one of the most luxurious hotels in Waterford and unwind in The Lobby with its oversized couches giving you the comfort to simply sit back and take it all in or challenge yourself a little more with a game of Chess or Draughts.

Take cover from the elements of the Irish Weather and warm yourself with the open fire that truly takes centre stage of the Castles original welcome hall. The Fire place wears the Fitzgerald Family Crest with pride, reminding all that for over 300 years Waterford Castle was a family home, a feeling that lives on in the minds and ways of all staff.

A long standing tradition here at Waterford Castle Afternoon Tea can be enjoyed daily from 3 – 5 pm in the elegant surrounds of the Fitzgerald Room, The Leinster Room and The Conservatory. To avoid any disappointment on the day please contact us to make a reservation.

Afternoon Tea Menu

View our sample Afternoon Tea Menu here