There comes a point, somewhere near the third week of December, when it is universally accepted that the diet is out the window until January.
If you are catching up with a colleague over coffee, it’s now a Christmas coffee and it must be served with an enormous mince pie or at least seven Chocolate Kimberleys.
If you are meeting a friend for dinner, it is now a Christmas dinner and the ingredients must involve turkey, cranberries and a ‘mulled’ something laced with booze.
To be honest, when it comes to lunch, the easiest thing to do is just book a table at The Montenotte, where they’ve taken all the hand-wringing out of the whole thing and created a Festive Afternoon Tea menu that is a credit to all the wonderful excesses of Christmas.
Realistically, your bum can hardly expand more than an inch or two over a couple of weeks, right? What’s the harm?
The Montenotte’s Festive Afternoon Tea features a bottom tier laden with delicious sandwiches, including roast turkey with cranberry relish mayonnaise, free range egg mayonnaise with micro cress in a mini brioche bun and an oak smoked salmon on homemade soda bread with lemon and chive cream cheese.
Things get even more exciting at the middle tier, where you’ll find a homemade white chocolate and raspberry scone served with clotted cream, jam and a chocolate and orange marbled sponge.
Finally, to top it all off, there’s a jolly dessert selection of eggnog panna cotta with mulled berry compote, a mini-mince pie, luxurious chocolate and hazelnut torte, a fun macaron and of course the compulsory slice of traditional festive Christmas cake.
The Montenotte’s Festive Afternoon Tea is €32 per person (call 021 453 0050 to book). Thankfully, Christmas comes but once a year so enjoy it while you can.