Last week saw the final week before my best friend was due back at work after her maternity leave. As for my twin sister, she literally has a couple of weeks left too, so we decided to do something super to celebrate the ‘end of an era’ for them. And what nicer than booking in for an afternoon of tea, cakes, lunch, fizz and chats in one of Manchester’s plushest bars?
We chose to host our Afternoon Tea at Manchester House – a plush bar in Spinningfields, situated on the twelve floor of Tower Twelve. One of the reasons for booking here is due to it’s spectacular views – I’ve experienced Afternoon Tea at many places in and around Manchester, but I don’t usually have the luxury of experiencing sky high views looking out across the city. Manchester House also has a very good reputation; I’ve been here for drinks a number of times and always been impressed with the attentive service, the high class feel of the place, and in general, just how special the place feels.
We booked in for a Thursday at 3pm, which was an ideal time as it was very quiet, meaning we could chatter away as loud as we can (typical girls). I ordered a delicious French Martini once seated, making me all ready to start our little treat!
The Afternoon Tea at Manchester House costs £25, although if you wanted to go a little premium, you can add a glass of Veuve or LP Rose for an extra £10. We kept with the £25 per head menu, and just decided to treat ourselves from the amazing cocktail menu instead, as they have some fantastic options on offer. If you like your cocktails, this is a must-visit place in Manchester for you.
So anyway, on with the food. When it comes to Afternoon Tea, we all know pretty much what to expect. The traditional setup contains a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes, all differing in theme depending where you go. The layout of this one was lovely, with three of everything all laid out on a large two tier rack for us to make our way through. We started off with the bottom layer, which displayed a range of sandwiches that actually gave us some variety, which was a nice little touch. Instead of just rows of triangle cut sandwiches, we had a mixture of coronation wraps and beef in a ciabatta style bread, before tucking into the mixture of white and brown bread cucumber, cheese, and salmon sandwiches.
I found the selection of cakes to be very generous too. For me, I can easily finish off Afternoon Tea and eat everything that gets put in front of me – I’m never one of those who can pick at things and leave the odd as a leftover. Usually though, it works out there are around three-four types of mini cakes per person. This particular cake offering gave us what felt like a lot more! We tucked into our scones with clotted cream and jam, then followed by Eccles Cake, a coconut sponge and cream cake, a lemon mousse, a dark chocolate fondant type crisp biscuit, and the sweetest rose apple macaroon. The rose apple macaroon is actually made with Southern Asian fruit and is more guava than apple, and tastes really unique.
Couldn’t fall the cakes at all – a lovely, varied selection, giving a great offering for everyone’s tastes. My personal favourite was the coconut sprinkled sponge cake, purely because I’m a huge traditional cake lover, meaning anything with sponge is a win for me!
Once again, Manchester House have certainly lived up to their reputation of providing excellent food, this time in the form of a lovely afternoon treat theme. All food and desserts are created by Chef/Proprietor Aiden Byrne, who is said to always be looking to introduce fresh new flavours. This Afternoon Tea selection he has created is colonial inspired, offering a short but sweet gastronomic jaunt around a variety of countries. And that it certainly does.
Well done Manchester House – I cannot fault the service, venue, food and drink at all. Just to put it out there, it’s a very lavish booking in terms of price and location, and I know there are cheaper alternatives out there in Manchester. But tis particular place offers that real luxury Afternnon Tea, which I definitely recommend for those nice occasions – be it a celebration, a birthday, upmarket hen party, baby shower, girls meeting or just an excuse to pop on your nicest day dress and indulge in some fabulous treats!