Novelty open day at Victorian Tea Times

Sally McEllistrim, Linda McDonald, Michael Geaney, Ian Cathcart and Cllr Miriam Murphy at the Victorian Tea Times open day in Arklow

Bray People

The delights of afternoon tea were enjoyed by Cathaoirleach of Arklow Municipal District Miriam Murphy and council officials at Victorian Tea Times in Arklow.

The popular tea rooms run by local businesswoman Audrey Whelan held a successful open day on Thursday to showcase the destination for those looking to experience a glimpse into past times.

The venue on main street is a true salute to all things Victorian, and offers guests a truly immersive experience as they enjoy afternoon teas, served by parlour maids in costume and all presided over by a Victorian Matriarch.

The tea rooms are a labour of love for Audrey, who has spent the past two years collecting antiques and memorabilia to ensure that visitors can revel in the opulence and romance of the Victorian era.

'I am enthralled by the Victorian period, I just love and appreciate history and I set out to create something that is truly different and real, something elegant and memorable. Guests can enjoy delicious afternoon teas and have fun in our Victorian dressing room as they don beautiful dresses and finery, as worn by ladies in that era. It's like breaking into the play box for adults!' Audrey said.

Audrey's granddaughter Karla shares in her passion for the Victorian era and works with her in the tea rooms.

She said that this interest has been sparked in many others and that customers are now travelling from all over the country.

'There is an explosion of interest in period dramas like Downtown Abbey and I am tapping into that interest. We are finding that groups of women, in particular, are making a day out of it and travelling to us from all parts of the country. We are especially popular with wedding parties who want that something different in the run up to the big day, as well as ladies who want to revel in the luxury and the decadence of the Victorian Tea Rooms. They all love listening to the stories from the Victorian era as they enjoy the treats and eats, wear beautiful elaborate clothes and take a step back in time,' she said.