When I was about eight years old my aunt Margaret, home on holiday from England decided to take me on an outing to Omeath. It was an exciting adventure for the trains still ran to Carlingford. 

We also had a jaunting car ride out to Calvary, the shrine out at St Michael’s College. We walked back and the sea air gave us an appetite. My aunt decided to treat us to High Tea in the Railway Hotel. This was a very imposing and posh place with Silver Service and waitresses dressed in black and white outfits. 

I even remember the fare. We had salmon salad with fancy breads and pastries on a tiered cake stand. When the bill came, my aunt nearly went into shock! At a time when dinner could be had for three shillings, High Tea cost her twelve shillings and sixpence. It was 7/6 for hers and 5/- for me.

Aunt Margaret asked if I had enjoyed the Tea and when I reassured her I had, she responded

”Well I hope so! For it’ll be a long time before you get another! At these prices!’

Thirty years later she and I returned to visit Omeath. Sadly the Hotel, like the whole town, had fallen into decline.

Editor’s note: Though the village of Omeath still reflects that aura of ‘time and the Celtic Tiger having passed it by’, there is much development of recent years. It’s well worth another visit!

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