Saturday 24 September 2016

Cup of tea and a city tour? Vintage tea tour bus launches in Dublin

City breaks

Published 13/09/2016 | 07:00

Karen Nixon of Vintage Tea Tours. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography
Karen Nixon of Vintage Tea Tours. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography
Vintage Tea Tours. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography

A vintage double-decker bus tour is bringing a whole new meaning to the term 'city break' in Dublin.

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There’s nothing a cup of tea can’t solve.

That's the motto, or one of the mottos, for Vintage Tea Tours, a new tour taking customers around Dublin on a 1961 Routemaster bus.

The brainchild of entrepreneur Karen Nixon (above), the tours serve passengers a menu of big city sights and delicious afternoon treats.

Think Vanilla Panna Cotta with forest berry compote, dainty finger sandwiches or a Guinness brownie, freshly prepared by Italian chef Donato Romano.

"So many people said it would never work," Nixon says.

Vintage Tea Tours. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography
Vintage Tea Tours. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography

"But I really believed it would. It's trying to create the conversation that happens in a household, in a busy kitchen... only on a bus.

"It's all about the chat, it's a really Irish feel, and it's working!"

Vintage Tea Tours run three times a day, with sights ranging from Phoenix Park to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College. Tickets cost €40pp.

Along the way, to a soundtrack of 1950s jazz, the team share tidbits about Dublin and 'Pauline' - the name they've given their beloved bus.

The idea was inspired by a trip to London, Nixon says.

She felt that the romance and fun of being chauffeured in a double decker, while enjoying pastries and the likes, needed to be shared. So she bought 'Pauline'.

So far, passengers have ranged from individuals to hen parties, groups in fancy dress and corporate groups like LinkedIn, Nixon says.

"The feedback has been phenomenal. Passengers are getting giddy on board, and people have been taking photos from the street.

"I even had a call from a couple in the US looking to get engaged on her!"

Vintage Tear Tours depart at 11am, 1.15pm and 3.30pm from Wednesday to Sunday from City Hall. See vintageteatours.ie for more.

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