Women’s Christmas is nearly upon us, a day for Irish women to laugh, chat and enjoy each other’s company.

For many, afternoon tea is the order of the day and Irish master pastry chef Shane Smith has teamed up with the Ice House Hotel in Westport to create an afternoon tea experience inspired by local Mayo produce.

Available in the newly refurbished 54° 9° restaurant, the Harvest Afternoon Tea features savoury delights such as Clare Island organic salmon on Guinness bread with caper & lemon butter, honey-glazed ham and Dozio cheese on brown bread with mango ginger chutney.

The baked goods include Cuinneog buttermilk scones, carrot and walnut cake with spiced cardamom buttercream and raspberry & custard jammie dodgers. If you can’t make it to Westport, however, Shane has shared the recipes so you can create your own experience at home.

Prices start from €25 per guest. For more information or to book visit icehousehotel.ie or call 096-235 000.


Buttermilk scones. \ LuvlyContent

Buttermilk scones

Makes 12

450g self raising flour

85g caster sugar

A pinch of salt

½ tsp baking powder

120g butter

1 medium egg

220ml buttermilk

1 egg, beaten, for the egg wash

To serve:




  • 1 Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
  • 2 In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and give it a mix.
  • 3 To this, add the butter and gently rub with your fingertips until you are left with a texture that resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • 4 Add the egg and buttermilk and mix.
  • 5 Once a soft dough is reached, turn out onto a floured work surface. Try not to over work at this point.
  • 6 Roll out so the mix is roughly 2 inches thick.
  • 7 Dip a 5cm round scone cutter in flour and cut out 12 scones trying to use as much of the dough as possible.
  • 8 Place these scones on a lined baking tray and egg wash the top.
  • 9 Pop into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • 10 Once the scones are baked, remove and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack.
  • 11 To serve, cut your scones in half, and serve with butter, jam and cream.
  • Smoked salmon on Guinness bread, with caper & lemon butter

    \ LuvlyContent

    Serves 20

    10 slices of smoked salmon

    For the Guinness treacle bread:

    30g butter

    100g treacle

    200ml milk

    100ml Guinness

    250g wholemeal flour

    60g plain flour

    1 tsp bread soda

    1 tsp salt

    60g porridge oats, plus extra for on top

    1 tsp brown sugar

    Caper lemon butter:

    200g butter

    Zest of ¼ lemon

    2 tbsp capers

    1 tbsp chopped parsley

    Salt and pepper

  • 1 For the Guinness bread, preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease and dust a 2lb loaf tin and set aside.
  • 2 In a small bowl, add the butter and treacle and melt in the microwave and set aside to cool slightly.
  • 3 Into a larger bowl, add the wet ingredients first followed by the dry and mix until combined.
  • 4 Spoon into the prepared tin, sprinkle some porridge oats on top and pop into the oven for 50 mins.
  • 5 Once baked, carefully remove from the tin and pop on a wire rack to cool.
  • 6 For the caper lemon butter, simply place the butter, lemon zest, parsley and capers into a bowl and mix well. Check for seasoning and keep at room temperatures until needed.
  • Earl Grey brownies

    \ LuvlyContent

    Makes 24

    For the brownie:

    185g butter

    180g dark chocolate

    3 medium eggs

    250g brown sugar

    85g plain flour

    40g unsweetened cocoa powder

    For the ganache topping:

    1 tbsp Earl Grey tea (I use Wall & Keogh, or a teabag will work)

    150ml single cream

    200g dark chocolate

  • 1 Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
  • 2 For the brownie batter, place the chocolate and butter into a bowl and melt over a pot of gently simmering water or in the microwave. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
  • 3 In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until creamy.
  • 4 Add the warm melted chocolate and butter. Combine.
  • 5 Add the sieved flour and cocoa and give it a mix.
  • 6 Spoon the batter into a lined 9-inch square tin.
  • 7 Pop into a preheated oven and bake for 25-30mins.
  • 8 Once the brownie is baked, remove and allow to cool completely.
  • 9 For the chocolate Earl Grey ganache, place the cream and tea into a saucepan and heat, remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain the Earl Grey-infused cream over the chopped chocolate and melt this over a pot of gently simmering water or in the microwave.
  • 10 Whisk until smooth and spread the chocolate ganache over the cooled brownie and pop into the fridge to firm up.
  • 11 Once the ganache is set, portion the brownie into bite size pieces and enjoy!
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