Épernay, Great Northern Tower, Unit 1A, Watson Street, Manchester, M3 4EE – Visit Now
If you have a thing for champagne, head to Épernay for afternoon tea this Mother’s Day.
Let’s keep this short and sweet. The heroine of the Épernay Champagne High Tea is, of course, the bubbly – as you’d expect from a bar that specialises in the stuff. There are a couple of options if you’re feeling traditional (we were offered a Demi-sec or a Brut), or alternatively, three cocktails tailored to the triple-tier glory of afternoon tea. Though tempted by the Earl Grey infused vodka and marmalade syrup of the Breakfast Mar-tea-ni, it was the mysterious ‘Cloudcatcher syrup’ of its namesake cocktail that won us over. Made from a fruit infusion tea, the syrup muddled well with rum, rose and lemony notes for a drink as tart and as sweet as a baby trying something sour.
The spread at Épernay is cheaper than either the Midland or Radisson’s (with champagne)
So far, so splendid. But, geographically, Épernay has competition. It’s just around the corner from the Midland and Radisson hotels, where the delicacies are, well, more delicate. Épernay’s savouries were in chunky buns, rather than finger sandwiches, with fairly basic fillings, and the raisin studded scones were a little chewy after they cooled. Épernay is currently transitioning between cake suppliers, in search of sweet treats that won’t blast the champagne they serve – the passion fruit and vanilla cupcake, salted caramel macaroon and Bakewell tart we had worked well, if heavily.
However, the spread at Épernay is cheaper than either the Midland or Radisson’s (with champagne) – or the Alice in Wonderland-inspired showstopper at Neighbourhood. It might not compete with the frill and fun of Sugar Junction, or the lavishness at Richmond Tea Rooms, but if Épernay can get the food a bit closer to its fabulous champagne, it’ll be onto a winner.
This is an independent review, but our writer didn’t pay for her meal. For more info on our editorial policy, read our About page.