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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.