ONCE UPON A TEA TIME
Lafayette’s is open between the following hours
Monday to Friday : 8am - 5pm
Last food orders; 4pm
Saturday and Sunday for Afternoon Tea only: 12 noon - 5 pm
Contact us on 021 4274040 if you require further information on our menu.
Did you know?
Dating back to 1813, a young Cork architect named Thomas Deane was jumping
for joy. A group of merchants set about expanding their meeting rooms on South
Mall and asked him to design a brand new hotel which was destined to become a
central thread in the life of the city.
Not any run of the mill accommodation, but the finest hotel that Cork City had
ever seen. Complete with a large coach yard so that it could be used for the visiting
business people and traders alike.
Young Thomas Deane worked tirelessly for many years and the hotel continued
to evolve. It was a very exciting time in Europe with numerous major events
taking place. Napoleon was also in exile in St Helena after his defeat by the Duke
of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. The 19th century saw many prominent
figures stay at the hotel including the Irish painter Daniel Maclise as well as
novelists, Maria Edgeworth, Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens. Also, the
writer William Makepeace Thackeray took tea at the hotel with the Apostle of
Temperance, Fr Theobald Mathew.
Tale as old as time...
The Imperial Hotel opened its doors over 200 years ago and has since become
a home away from home for many a tired traveller, all who have witnessed the
hotel change and grow quite dramatically over time. On a rainy August evening in
1922, Michael Collins sat sipping a glass of whiskey in room 115, whilst penning
some of his renowned tributes. It was here on this fateful evening that he wrote
what was to be his very final piece. The rain had cleared the following morning
and Michael set out shortly after 6am to visit West Cork. It was on his way back
that he was killed in an ambush at Béal na Bláth. He was 31 years old.
A veil of grief lay over Ireland as one of its greatest ever leaders perished. It was
also known that Daniel O’Connell addressed a meeting here in 1858 and Maureen
O’Hara frequented the bar and restaurant over many years. Her final visit was
in 2012. Over time the Imperial Hotel took on the role of esteemed author to the
never-ending tales behind these ornate walls.