I went for afternoon tea with some friends in early December. One of our number had been deputed in October to book us in to the Westbury in town. No dice, the Westbury was booked out for afternoon tea as were the Shelbourne and the Merrion [in October!]. We eventually got the last seats in the house in the Four Seasons in Ballsbridge. When we arrived it was heaving. Afternoon tea was pleasant but prices began from an eye-watering â‚¬38. And there was no shortage of takers.