LUXURIOUS spreads of afternoon tea are among the most popular pressies on the menu for Mother's Day this weekend.
Many of Dublin's top hotels are booked solid for the time-honoured tradition of the civilised tea service, which is enjoying a serious trend revival.
A spokesperson for the Four Seasons Hotel said: "We're fully booked for lunch and for afternoon tea for Mother's Day, which has always been very popular since the hotel opened. You pretty much always have to book ahead."
The hotel's menu offers traditional fare of finger sandwiches, but also more unusual options including poached quail eggs with truffle mayonnaise.
"Mother's Day would have been booked up ages ago because it's always very popular," she said.
Demand for the exclusive Jo Malone High Tea in the Merrion Hotel has been described as "overwhelming", and it is fully booked ahead of this Sunday's celebration.
A spokesperson for the hotel told the Herald that the hugely popular service has now been extended. The limited-edition menu was originally only intended to run in March to celebrate the launch of products from the Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise collection.
"We are fully booked now until March 29, so we decided to extend the Jo Malone Afternoon Tea until April 11," said the spokesperson.
"Mother's Day is completely full and there is a waiting list in place for the remaining dates.
"Unsurprisingly, the weekends are especially popular so they are almost completely full as well."
Head chef at the Merrion, Ed Cooney, has created a menu devised to showcase the key ingredients of the designer fragrance.
Among the ladylike delights on offer for afternoon tea, which costs €36 per person, is an anise chocolate mousse cake on a vanilla and orange financier.
"Women of all ages are coming in for the tea and we've already attracted quite a few regulars for it so the interest has been really great. Even this morning the phone has been ringing non-stop."
The Westbury Hotel, which offers two afternoon tea menus, is also set to be packed out this weekend.
A special champagne and chocolate indulgence afternoon tea is available for €31 in addition to a more traditional menu of cucumber sandwiches and scones for €26.50.
The Shelbourne Hotel said bookings for afternoon tea are "very tight this coming weekend".
There is limited availability for its €29.50 service in the elegant Lord Mayor's Lounge, where even the teabags are specially sheathed in fine silk rather than paper or cotton.