Afternoon Tea in Manchester

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

All at sea when it comes to afternoon tea in Manchester? Don’t despair. From high tea with a view at Harvey Nichols to the Alice in Wonderland-inspired Richmond Tea Rooms, our team of trusty tea tasters has set sail to find the finest places to sip Darjeeling, eat dainty finger sandwiches and slap extra clotted cream on a freshly baked scone. This is our guide to the best afternoon tea. Now, shall we be mother?

Here are our picks

  • 1. Midland Tea Room

    Ian Jones

    Midland Tea Room, Peter Street, Manchester, M60 2DS - Visit now

    With its bone china and crisp linen, the whole experience has a pre-Beeching, high-class railway café feel. If you’re looking for a boisterous dining experience, with all manner of 21st century gadgets and modern fripperies, go elsewhere. However, if you want a gentle, Enid Blyton style glimpse into our nation’s most-loved meal, an afternoon at the Midland Tea Room comes highly recommended.

  • 2. Cloud 23

    Cloud 23, 303 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4LQ - Visit now

    Sitting proud on the 23rd floor of the Beetham Tower, Manchester’s tallest building, Cloud 23 boasts unparalleled views across the city. There’s a stunning range of cocktails on offer, a possible compliment to a traditional afternoon tea. Go and stand on the small glass oval in the floor to look down at street level 23 floors below and really get your heart racing.

  • 3. Harvey Nichols’ Second Floor Brasserie

    Harvey Nichols

    Harvey Nichols’ Second Floor Brasserie, 21 Cathedral Street, M1 1AD, Manchester, Manchester, M1 1AD - Visit now

    Harvey Nichols’ second-floor brasserie has quietly established itself as a place to escape the bustling city centre, whether it be working on that novel or somewhere to take grandmama for her birthday. The floor to ceiling windows deliver glorious views over the city, giving a birds-eye glimpse of how Manchester’s industrial past, still evident in the redbrick rooftops, contrast with the glass-and-chrome-filled ground level. Go for the views, stay all day for the food (and endless amounts of tea).

  • 4. Richmond Tea Rooms

    Image courtesy of Richmond Tea Rooms

    Richmond Tea Rooms, Richmond Street, Manchester, Manchester, M1 3HZ - Visit now

    Despite its two large rooms, one Alice in Wonderland-esque, the other more Scottish Highlands in style, the Richmond Tea Rooms regularly gets booked out. This might be because of its hidden away feel, its four different afternoon tea options, or the high quality of the food. Either way, book ahead.

  • 5. Sugar Junction

    Sugar Junction, Northern Quarter Manchester.

    Sugar Junction, 60 Tib Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1LG, Manchester, Manchester, M4 1LG - Visit now

    The retro-styled Sugar Junction is a dainty place for treats served on vintage china. With everything from a simple cream tea through to a cake platter and the traditional afternoon tea (with or without prosecco), this is one of the less pricey options in the city – but the quality is still up there with the best.

  • 6. LEAF on Portland Street

    Courtesy of LEAF on Portland Street

    LEAF on Portland Street, 113–115 Portland St, Manchester, M1 6DW - Visit now

    Head to LEAF Manchester for wholesome food, award winning loose-leaf tea, an inspired drinks menu and a varied events calendar. Their afternoon tea offer includes a delicious selection of sandwiches and homemade cakes which is served with unlimited tea.

  • 7. Proper Tea

    Proper Tea Cathedral Quarter Mancheste
    Creative Tourist

    Proper Tea, Manchester Cathedral Visitors Centre, 10 Cateaton Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 1SQ - Visit now

    Proper Tea sits opposite Manchester Cathedral, serving up artisanal teas (with instructions on how long to leave them brewing), sandwiches, soups and excellent cake.

  • 8. Level 3 at Mercure Manchester

    Ian Jones

    Level 3 at Mercure Manchester, Level 3, Mercure Hotel, Portland St, Manchester, M1 4PH - Visit now

    Boasting delightful views over the city centre, Level 3 in the Mercure Piccadilly Hotel are offering an interesting twist on the classic Afternoon Tea – the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea offers a pint over prosecco, and a hearty savoury main over a sweet. Traditionalists need not worry, there’s the still the original classic Afternoon Tea too.