For Heather and my birthday gift this year, our good friend Anna decided she wanted to take us to Mocha’s Vintage Tea Rooms for a special treat…and boy was it a special treat. One dilemma I find in Ireland is that a place can say “tea rooms” on their sign, but once you enter you realize it is nothing more than a coffee shop. This is disheartening to someone like myself who loves the experience of a place, not merely the quality of the food or drinks. The Vintage Tea Rooms does not disappoint in this way. It is everything you would hope for in traditional, elegant tea rooms. From the antique artwork, tea sets, and chandeliers, to the beautifully classic decor, the whole experience is worth the drive to Kilkenny. The loose leaf tea is served in fine china tea cups and their presentation of food is lovely. Their coffee and desserts are not to be missed either, from scones to chocolate truffles and everything in between. My mom ordered a macchiato (thinking it would be like a Starbucks macchiato, ie a latte,) and was surprised to receive her shot of espresso with a dollop of foam on top. A real macchiato. But the tiny tea cup it came in was divine! The service is great, and they are very accommodating with substitutes to suit your palette or dietary needs. One of the best parts is that it is across from a parking lot that only charges €2 per day! This is handy because when we go we try to budget plenty of time, as it is not a place you just drop in for tea or lunch, it is an experience that calls you to linger, to have one more cup of tea, to splurge on that dessert you’ve been eyeing, and maybe to finish it all off with a gorgeous truffle that seems to be saying your name. Both times I’ve gone it has been a treat (in large part because I got to steal away without my kids) that is hard not to rave about. Once you go you’ll know why this will continue to be on my list of favorite tea rooms.