“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” - Peter Pan
Thanks to Vintage Tea Tours in Dublin, you can now enjoy both. The sightseeing tour combines a traditional afternoon tea with taking in some of the city’s best-known sights while onboard a vintage double-decker bus.
I was invited along by Karen Nixon, who recently launched the venture having been inspired by a similar afternoon tea tour in London. She purchased a vintage 1961 Routemaster bus and Vintage Tea Tours was born.
The bus was previously owned by artist David Shepherd who used it as a studio. Karen has completely refurbished the bus, giving it a vintage theme, and named it Pauline after her beloved Gran. Karen says of her grandmother, “Her kitchen was always full of fun, love and honesty where the problems of the day evaporated into laughter over tea and cake. It was the most special place in the world!”
The route takes passengers on an adventure through the city taking in Phoenix Park, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church, Wood Quay, O’Connell Street, Trinity College, Georgian Dublin, St. Stephens Green and many more.
Traditional finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of cakes are served, made by Italian Chef Donato Romano, along with plenty of tea or coffee. The food is served on vintage china plates and cake stands while the hot drinks are served in sealed cups to ensure no spillage when driving along Dublin’s cobbled streets.
Of all the cakes we had, the Guinness brownie and red velvet cake pop had to be our favourite. The kitchen team also accommodated my vegetarian request as well as my friend’s nut allergy, tailoring our sandwiches and cakes accordingly.
We were served by Sophia and Jack who gave us little snippets of local information while we were driven around the city’s landmarks. In the background 1950’s jazz music plays while the food was served.
Our tour was altered slightly due to a football final in Dublin city centre. It was a fantastic opportunity to see some of the outer areas of Dublin which we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
What better way to tour a city than being chauffeured on a double decker vintage bus while enjoying a beautiful afternoon tea?!
Before we knew it our tea adventure came to an end, we were dropped back at City Hall where we waved farewell to our lovely driver Bob.
Not quite finished with exploring, we walked around the corner to find the famous Molly Malone statue in her temporary home outside of St. Andrew's Church (Molly is due to be moved back to Grafton Street next year).
Molly Malone was a semi historical/legendary figure who was commemorated in the song 'Cockles and Mussels'.
“In Dublin's fair city,
Where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheel-barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!"
Apparently Malone has been groped repeatedly in certain areas, enough so that poor Molly’s bosom has begun to wear and the bronze hue has faded.
Vintage Tea Tours run 3 times per day at 11am, 1.15pm and 3.30pm - Wednesday to Sunday departing from City Hall. The tour lasts roughly 60 minutes and costs between €40 and €50 depending on where you sit on the bus.
Cocktail Saturdays was a guest of Vintage Tea Tours
+353 (01) 5266961