Taking the usual Valentine’s Day box of chocolates one step further, The Merrion Hotel, Dublin, is going all out to dedicate the most romantic time of the year to chocolate.
The chocolate feast will begin on Valentine’s Day, with a cascading chocolate fountain taking centre stage in the Front Hall to welcome couples to the hotel. Guests will also be able to spot a new addition to The Merrion’s collection of modern Irish art: a sculpture of a man and woman embracing, hand carved completely from chocolate and created by The Merrion’s Pastry Chef, Paul Kelly and Irish sculptor Ayelet Lalor.
Meanwhile, Chef Kelly, who makes all of The Merrion’s chocolate by hand, at the hotel, will unveil a Chocolate Afternoon Tea, with a full chocolate course alongside the traditional sandwiches and fresh scones – from White Chocolate & Orange Roulade to The Merrion’s Signature Chocolate Mousse with Calamansi Jelly (€36 pp). And those with a really sweet tooth shouldn’t miss the hotel’s famous hot chocolate (€8.50), set to arrive with marshmallows to be toasted on a miniature burner and melted between two chocolate wafers, for the ultimate chocolate-y treat.
The celebration of chocolate continues into the evening. Guests can begin in the Cellar Bar for a signature ‘Choc-tail’ – the Cocoa L’Amour (€13.50) – created with Bailey’s Chocolate Luxe, Crème de Cacao and rose petals, before enjoying both savoury and sweet chocolate dishes in the Cellar Restaurant – from Seared Bantry Bay King Scallops with a White Chocolate Risotto to Coffee Marinated Loin of Venison with Roast Salsify, Pommes Dauphinoise and a Merrion Chocolate (68%) and Chilli Sauce (€55 for four courses).
Overnight stays at The Merrion in February 2014 are from €239 per room per night, based on two sharing on a B&B basis, subject to availability. The Chocolate Afternoon Tea, signature hot chocolate, and Cocoa D’Amour cocktail are all available from 14-28 February 2014.