All at sea when it comes to afternoon tea in Manchester? Don’t despair. From high tea with a view at Cloud 23 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 top 5 picks
Proper Tea occupies an elegant café next to Manchester Cathedral; there’s outdoor seating when the sun is shining and the view of the of the city’s grandest buildings makes it an impressive spot all year around. Go for specialist teas (they’ll tell you exactly how long to brew it for), and three tiers of goodies.
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.
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.
The Grand Dame of the city’s hotel scene, the Grade II-listed Midland Hotel serves up one of the more old fashioned afternoon teas in the city – which isn’t to say it’s not popular. Guests can revel in the gently faded Moorish grandeur of the Octagon Lounge, whilst enjoying finger sandwiches, warm sultana scones with Cornish clotted cream and homemade pastries and cakes.
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.