Biddie's Coach House in Dublin

The mom says:
I'm going to start this review by stating I had never been to Biddie's Coach House before. I don't have a history of trips to the historic Dublin tea house with my mother, or fond memories of wedding or baby showers there. So when I say that Biddie's is a treasure, you can rest assured this is an objective first impression.

Think of what it's like to hug your grandmother: warm, comforting, full of good smells and happy smiles. Walking into Biddie's gives you the same feeling.

The quilted table cloths, flowered wall paper, and mismatched tea cups lend the place a cozy and feminine air - the perfect setting for a girls' day out with my 9-year-old daughter, my best friend and her 6-year-old daughter.

Biddie's has a full menu of "ladies' luncheon" type foods, such as quiche, chicken salad and baked brie, as well as children's meals. However, we chose to experience the Victorian Tea, which is only available on Wednesdays and Saturdays by reservation.

Our server started us off by giving us a choice of tea, coffee, Coke products, lemonade or punch. The girls chose lemonade (pink, of course), which arrived in a pink polka-dotted tea pot.

We were then treated to a heart-shaped bowl of broccoli cheese soup. As our server set the bowls in front of the girls, she said, "I heart you!" I expected an eye-roll from my sometimes world-weary 9-year-old, but instead got a delighted grin.

The soup was delicious - very cheddary with a mild broccoli flavor. The moms both loved it, but the girls were not huge fans.

Next, plates of sandwiches, scones, fruit and desserts were set on a tiered serving stand. The sandwiches that day were egg salad, chicken salad, tomato on swirled rye, a brie puff, and ham and Swiss with apricot jam. The scones were plain, but included bowls of jam and Devonshire cream. Brownie wedges, angel food cake and blueberry bars topped the tier.

The moms loved the food and enjoyed the variety, but agreed that it wasn't particularly kid-friendly. The girls, despite being adventurous eaters, were happiest with the fruit and desserts.

Our observant server surprised us by delivering heart-shaped bowls of macaroni and cheese (which was not on the Victorian Tea menu) to the grateful girls. It was of the boxed Kraft variety and was a big hit.

The service is truly the best part of the Biddie's experience. Our server obviously loved children and treated them like they were her grandchildren. We found all of the staff to be warm and attentive - they seemed to know just when we needed them, but gave us space to enjoy our time together.

The price for the Victorian Tea ($19 per person) is a little high, especially since the girls didn't love most of the food. When I go back with my daughter, I will most likely order off the menu. The prices are reasonable and the food is more kid-friendly.

The women's restroom was very clean and big enough for two people. However, there were no diaper-changing facilities. We didn't have a man with us to check out the men's room, but my guess is that it's rarely used. Biddie's doesn't seem like the kind of place that gets a lot of male customers.

Overall, Biddie's Coach House is a wonderful place for special occasions with the women in your life. The staff goes out of their way to ensure that moms and daughters have a lovely experience. Our girls were already asking to come back as we were heading out the door.

-Truda Shinker

The kid says:
When we got into Biddie's, I noticed that it looked old fashioned. It looked like your great-grandma's house if she loved to collect antiques. While a lady showed us to our table, I saw that the table cloths were quilts.

Overall, I didn't really like the food. But I loved the brownies, the angel food cake and the tomato sandwich. The lemonade was good too. Our waitress gave me macaroni and cheese when she saw that I wasn't eating much, and that was good!

The service was awesome! I liked when our waitress gave me macaroni and cheese. It was nice when she put lemonade in our teacups because I could act like I was drinking tea even though I wasn't.
I would recommend Biddie's Coach House to girls who like finger food and grandmas who miss the olden days. I don't think boys would like it, but they would scarf down the desserts.

-Emma Shinker