My sister and I have become afternoon tea addicts; if scones, jam and cream are on the menu, we are there. So, when we found out The Merchant Hotel’s Fabulous Fashion Teas were back this weekend, we simply had to book tickets.
When we arrived, The Merchant, which is currently celebrating a Decade of Decadence, was already bustling with stylish ladies who all were looking glam from head to toe.
The Rita Duffy Suite was the venue for the day’s proceedings, and as we headed to our table it was hard not to be impressed by the elegant room dressing. Crisp white table linens, polished silver cutlery and stunning floral centrepieces created a truly opulent setting.
A wonderful twist of fate saw us seated with friends, who we did not know were attending. As we caught up over a glass of chilled Veuve Clicquot, the exemplary waiting staff ensured everyone was comfortable before offering freshly brewed tea and coffee. As the room filled with an excitable murmur, it didn’t take long to see what was causing such a fuss: the afternoon tea had been served. As well as a plate of assorted sandwiches each, we received three tiers of sweet treats. From colourful macaroons to dainty custard and passion fruit tarts, we were more than spoilt by the delectable offerings. What makes the Fabulous Fashion Teas even more enjoyable is that these tasty delights can be consumed whilst also viewing a stunning fashion show.
On our visit, the featured boutique was Harper at The Merchant. As exclusive stockists in Northern Ireland of Christian Louboutin, Charlotte Olympia and Rachel Zoe, Harper’s coveted red soled heels, modeled to perfection by the stunning girls from Style Academy, played a key role in the show. From striking blue lace up heels to timeless black courts, as well as complementing purses and handbags, there was more than a few ‘oooohhhhs’ and ‘aaaggghhs’ rippling throughout the room.
As the fashion show came to an end, guests generously donated to The Merchant’s nominated charity, the MacDermott Unit at the Ulster Hospital before a prize draw which saw ladies win such fab prizes as a magnum of Veuve Clicquot champagne, a voucher for Harper and a Lancom goodie bag. For those who wanted to recreate their own catwalk worthy looks, The Merchant’s pop up boutiques also allowed guests to shop ranges from Walk in Wardrobe, Harper and APD Jewellery to name a few.
The Fabulous Fashion Teas, which return to The Merchant on 8-9 October, are a truly decadent day out. From sumptuous food, opulent surroundings and cutting edge fashions, I can honestly say this is one afternoon tea that has further fuelled my obsession.