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“An amazing Afternoon Tea experience”

The Great Room Restaurant Merchant Hotel
Ranked #51 of 1,056 Restaurants in Belfast
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“An amazing Afternoon Tea experience”
Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

Just finished an amazing afternoon tea in The Great Room, Merchant Hotel! This former Ulster Bank building is Has all of the splendour of a past era! Food delicious and plentiful, with as much tea as you can drink! Service delightful, attentive and polite, non obtrusive! What a treat for my 60th birthday ! An experience I will treat others to!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TravellingTrio10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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500 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Northern ireland
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great room, but not great food”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

My husband and I visited the Merchant hotel Great room for afternoon tea for my Birthday.
The Great room is beautiful and a perfect setting for afternoon tea, unfortunately the food offered was poor quality.
We had a 3 tier tray with finger sandwiches on the bottom layer, scones and banana bread on the second layer and fancy cakes on the top.
Some of the finger sandwiches were stale and the scones tasted of nothing at all. I did not eat the banana bread, but my husband said it was quite good.
A few of the fancy cakes were ok, but tasted of cheap ingredients and were nothing special.
There seemed to be only a few servers working but they did a very good job and were polite and helpful.
I have had afternoon tea at the Merchant before, a few years ago and the food was so much better then.
I was disappointed with the quality of food for the price we paid (£19.99 + tax per person).

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tink11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Cocktails at the Merchant”
Reviewed April 7, 2013

If you are in Belfast this is definitely worth a visit! The Great Room at the Merchant is beautiful, really breathtaking - it is well worth going to see. We never ate here but we did enjoy some lovely cocktails.
A little word of warning - the cocktails are a little pricer than most places but then for the setting and the atmosphere it is definitely worth it. We ended up sitting at the bar as it was a busy Sunday evening. Watching the bar staff make the cocktails was entertainment in itself - very talented!! Be prepared to read a book (yes a book) when you ask to see the cocktail list .... you will be spoiled for choice. The bar staff were all lovely too, really friendly.
This isn't the sort of place you would go for cocktails all the time but it is a really nice treat if you're staying in Belfast or out for a special occassion.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SarahH26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Excellent Food”
Reviewed April 5, 2013

I don't often have afternoon tea with live music on, but I had that at Merchant's. My tea came in a silver teapot, and all food was freshly made. I had the best ever scones there. They even offered to put all the leftover food in a chic takeout box for me when I paid. Not sure when I will be spending £29 on afternoon tea next but I am glad that I did that at Merchant's.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank gamfruit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Coeliacs - avoid afternoon tea!”
Reviewed April 4, 2013

I took my dad for afternoon tea at the Merchant for his 75th birthday and what a disappointment. I am a coeliac and I don't like gluten free bread so when booking, I asked them not to give me any sandwiches but I was very excited about the pastries which I was assured were all freshly baked by the chef(s). I also explained that it was only me who was a coeliac and my dad had no dietary issues.

We skipped lunch as we were due at 2pm so we were hungry and really looking forward to it. Upon arrival we were very impressed by the room. It is really beautiful and the atmosphere was lovely. Staff appeared to be friendly and attentive as we were led to our table. However, after a while that initial impression was gone.

The tea arrived not long after we ordered, so we poured it out and waited for the food. And waited, and waited........

Eventually the food arrived - my Dad's full afternoon tea and my 'pastries' which, very disapointingly turned out to be items from Tesco's which had been dressed up to look nice. For example, there was a piece of bought shortbread (I recognised the make) with one half dipped into chocolate, another piece with cream on top, etc. No scones and nothing home-baked. The waitress then told me that the chef had tried to make scones for me but was unsuccessful. Therefore I had nothing at all substantial to eat and shop bought cakes which were nothing new to me.

That was bad enough but after a while my dad mentioned that the bread on his sandwiches was stale. I had a look at it and suspected it was gluten free bread so we tried find a waiter but the only person there was a girl who was having a conversation with a table of people on the far side of the room and we couldn't get her attention.

By the time we eventually managed to get her attention he had eaten half of them as he was hungry. The waitress checked with the kitchen to find that they were indeed made with gluten free bread and it wasn't even nice fresh gluten free bread. She took them away and replaced them but by that stage my dad had had enough of the sandwiches so didn't even want any more and had already begun on his pasties.

When we got the bill I was absolutely flabbergasted when we were still charged the full amount, even though the waitress who brought the bill was the one who had dealt with the sandwiches debacle but, because it was a special occasion, I didn't make a fuss but paid the bill and left deciding not to bother ever again.

Since then, when I've been telling anyone of our experience, I have felt so mad and eventually someone suggested that I should put it onto Tripadvisor to warn other people who might have special dietary needs. SO BE WARNED, particulary coeliacs! At least this has helped me feel better about being ripped off.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank CoeliacTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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