Ideal Shopping Break Spots

shopping break

Sometimes shopping can be exhausting. All those bags on your arms, all that money dwindling from your bank account. It’s enough to make a girl want to take a lie down away from the world. We’ve rounded up some of the best places in the city that weary shoppers can escpae to inbetween ticking everyone off the giftlist.

The Shelbourne, Dublin
This winter, the wonderful Shelbourne Hotel is putting on a Paddington Bear Afternoon Tea, complete with Yummy Orange Marmalade and Chocolate Cups, an Orange Marmalade Sponge Sandwich, a Paddington Chocolate Suit Case, Paddington Raspberry Red Macaroon, rich Paddington Bear Browniea, Lost and Found Strawberry Shake, and their dainty finger sandwich selection includes ham, cheese and Nutella. We saw the movie earlier this week and it is a delight, this year’s Christmas cinema trip must. This twist on the Afternoon Tea tradition is on offer until January 31st 2015 and costs €19.95 per child. For details on booking, see here.

The Merrion Hotel, Dublin
If the hustle of Dublin’s main thoroughfares gets too much, retreat to the Merrion for some peace and their signature afternoon tea. We got a jaw-dropping glimpse of their decorations last night and festive splendour is the word. Nothing like some relaxation time in Georgian drawing rooms with some gingerbread, Viennese bridge rolls, meringues, mince pies, and gateaux to hand. And there will be Christmas Carols some of the days too…

This new brassiere is just off Grafton Street in the Westbury Hotel – full marks on the location front for shopping season – and has a heated outdoor terrace with cosy blankets. People watch to your hearts content while gulping on a hot toddy or Irish coffee.

The Marker, Dublin
We love the Marker. You might find us there every few weeks guzzling coffee and cronuts while listening to great minds impart their wisdom at our Networking Breakfasts – the next one has Darren Kennedy talking about his career so nab a ticket. This year the Marker are designing a ‘Shopping Spraoi’ package for shoppers who want to take their time at exerting those arm muscles and tackling those queues. The overnight stay costs €249 and includes an overnight stay including full breakfast for two, valet car parking and even a private transfer from Grafton Street to The Marker. For more details click here.

The Twelve Hotel, Galway
If you find yourself in Galway attending the reliably enchanting Continental Christmas market, keep The Twelve’s quirky Christmas shopping package in mind. The hotel is offering a two night stay including their famous cooked breakfast, dinner, warm drinks and cookies, and complimentary transport to the market one evening, all for €130 per person sharing.

Dylan Hotel, Dublin
If you want to boutique things up this yuletide, check into the Dylan in Dublin 4. A stroll from the city centre, this year the artist and designer Helen Steele is on decorating duties. Steele has created a bepoke Christmas tree for the hotel, incorporating her eclectic and distinctive designs. Expect grafitti sprayed decorations. Hotel guests availing of the ‘festive designer break’ will be able to purchase an exclusive hand painted Helen Steele gift box, as well as enjoy two nights in an individually styled room with full Irish breakfast for two people, along with a complimentary limited edition Helen Steele oil on canvas painting. The package is available from Thursday, 27th November until Tuesday, 30th December 2014 and prices start from €209 per person sharing.
If staying over isn’t an option, there is also afternoon tea. This year the Dylan are bringing their signature spin to proceedings with two themed menus on offer, Naughty or Nice. Naughty types can choose servings of chocolate yule log, black forest gateau, chocolate coals and a decadent Christmas pudding cocktail, while the ‘nice’ among us can kick back with servings of cherry trifle, classic Christmas pudding, Cocoa Atelier white chocolate truffles and the delicious five golden rings cocktail. Afternoon tea is priced at €40 per person.

The Westin, Dublin
For the picky among you, the Westin has not one, but FIVE afternoon tea menus. There are Festive Afternoon Tea (€28 per person), Peculiar Afternoon Tea (€30 per person), Takeaway Afternoon Tea (€20 per person), Prosecco Afternoon Tea (€6 supplement per person), and Champagne Afternoon Tea (€12 supplement per person) – considering the Westin’s Liffey-side location this makes the perfect stopover for those of you flirting with both the north and southside.

No. 1 Pery Square, Limerick
If Limerick is your go-to shopping city, swing by the Drawing Room and Park Room at No. 1 Pery Square for La Maison Pery Afternoon Tea. This winter season it gets a sparkling festive makeover – think vintage crockery by the fire, dainty finger sandwiches of traditional turkey and stuffing served on house bread, smoked salmon with beetroot mousse and more. The scent of freshly baked cinnamon, apple and apricot scones will send you straight to food coma heaven.

Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun

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