DUBLINERS clearly can't get enough of finely cut sandwiches and dainty cakes as afternoon tea options are completely booked out in many of the capital's five-star hotels until Christmas.
The Christmas lights were switched on in O'Connell Street yesterday and shoppers were out in force snapping up early bargains in the pre-sales.
But it's not just bargains we are after these days as afternoon tea is as luxurious an outing as you can find over the festive period.
Pots of tea served with tasty morsels start at €30 and are priced to more than €50 in some places.
The plush Georgian drawing rooms of the Merrion Hotel certainly knows how to draw a crowd, as every weekend until Christmas is booked out throughout December.
The Dublin 2 establishment has been receiving bookings for its top class high tea – priced at €39 per person – since early September.
The Westbury Hotel, off Grafton Street, was fully booked for afternoon tea last Saturday. The Gallery Room, known for hosting the most famous of Dublin business and social aristocracy, had not a seat in sight over the busy November weekend.
Their afternoon tea costs €30 per person or €36 with champagne.
The salubrious Shelbourne Hotel on Stephen's Green has also reached full capacity for afternoon tea which is priced at €35 each.
Every Saturday and Sunday is booked out until Christmas, but there are spaces on the other side of December 25.
Boutique five-star hotel, the Dylan, off Baggot Street, told the Herald that all Christmas bookings are up on last year.
General manager Grainne Ross said "bookings are strong" and that it had been receiving reservations for high tea at €30 per person, since October.
The tea costs €35 with mulled wine accompaniment.