1. Proper Tea
For one of the most high-quality afternoon teas around, head here for a loose leaf pot. Situated opposite Manchester Cathedral, this little tearoom is one of the prettiest places to go for a brew and a bite, whether it’s a savoury pastry or hearty stew.
Manchester Cathedral, Cathedral Yard
Tucked away near the Royal Exchange, just off St Ann’s Square, Annies serves up traditional, good quality food with friendly service. Owned by actress Jenny McAlpine and her husband, this is one of the top spots for a relaxed nibble and glass of something bubbly. Enjoy macarons or scones with clotted cream and jam, and make sure to visit the tea shop on your way out.
5 Old Bank St
3. Richmond Tea Rooms
You’ll feel like you’re in a Tim Burton movie or Alice in Wonderland in this colourful tearoom. The over-the-top decor and unique menu make this a great spot to escape from reality. You can order quirky packages such as the Queens Tea, Hatter’s Tea or a Gentleman’s Tea, the last of which includes a Cumberland scotch egg, sausage roll and fish and chips.
Richmond St, The Village
4. The Sculpture Hall Cafe
Set on the ground floor of Manchester’s historic Town Hall, this is one of the grandest settings in the city for afternoon tea. Guests are surrounded by statues of some of the city’s most respected historical figures, such as conductor Charles Halle. Lounging back in cosy chairs, you could literally spend hours munching your way through the cake stand.
The Town Hall Manchester, Albert Square
5. Harvey Nichols Bar and Brasserie
The department store isn’t just known for its vast fashion offerings. With a view over the busy Exchange Square, it’s possibly the most extravagant afternoon tea in the city. Their Luxury or Champagne options include a large selection of mini treats, scones and jam, plus sandwiches such as chicken liver and hot smoked salmon.
21 New Cathedral St
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6. Cloud 23
Feel like you’re on top of the world in this plush afternoon tea setting. Cloud 23 is set on the 23rd floor of the Beetham tower, with floor-to-ceiling windows that help to give that “floating on air” vibe. A smart and stylish dress code is advised, which is only fair when you’re pairing it with tasty tarts and the finest sparkling beverages.
Beetham Tower, 303 Deansgate
7. Great John Street Hotel
The Great John Street Hotel does a ladies’, children’s and gentleman’s afternoon tea, the last of which is nicknamed the Gentlemen Jack and is less cake and more savoury bites, with whiskey instead of bubbles. The townhouse hotel is housed on the grounds of an old school, making it a unique experience.
Great John St
8. Manchester House
This is one of the city’s top restaurants, so you can expect the afternoon tea to be amazing. It’s served inside the Lounge on 12 and features a sample of sweet and savoury bites from chef Aiden Byrne. Cocktails arrive at the table in teapots, so no one will ever suspect you’re slurping on something stronger.
18-22 Bridge St, Spinningfields
– TEXT BY LEAH SIMPSON
PHOTOS: PROPER TEA AT MANCHESTER CATHEDRAL FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, RICHMOND TEA ROOMS FACEBOOK, CLOUD 23 FACEBOOK
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.