Afternoon tea is a real indulgence and one of the most quintessentially British pastimes we can think of.
From the steaming pots of tea to the dainty sandwiches and cakes – everyone has their favourite bit. Personally, ours has to be fruity scones slathered in clotted cream and strawberry jam. There’s just nothing better.
Add in a cocktail or a glass of fizz and you’re all set for a brilliant afternoon. Now, all you need is the venue.
Of course, not all afternoon teas are created equal – which is why we’ve put together this list to help you separate the wheat from the chaff. Keep reading to discover the best places for afternoon tea in Manchester.
The Refuge at Kimpton Clocktower
Taken in The Refuge’s beautiful glasshouse winter garden courtyard, the afternoon tea here comes out in two waves: First, you’re presented with savoury treats and scones before moving on to a birdcage full of sweet treats.
Start with gorgeously soft pork and kimchi sausage rolls, oak-smoked salmon with beetroot chutney and labneh on pumpernickel, and a mild and creamy cheddar cheese custard with carrots and flatbread crisps for dipping before diving into date and sour cherry scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam.
Then, finish with sweet treats like fig Battenberg, sesame snap-topped tahini choux buns, passion fruit and white chocolate opera cake, the cutest little black forest gateaux (served in an edible chocolate cup) and delicately spiced slices of carrot cake.
Price: £29.50 per person with a pot of tea or coffee from Mancunian suppliers. Cocktails, such as a peach bellini made with sparkling green tea and a negroni sbagliato made with sparkling rooibos, start from £9 on top.
Richmond Tea Rooms
One of the boujiest spots in Manchester for an afternoon tea, if you’re looking for a raucous all-out affair you can’t do better than Richmond Tea Rooms.
Before the pandemic, it moved to a brand new home opposite Sackville Gardens in the Gay Village – which is absolutely stunning. Decked out in hot pink, the mad hatter’s theme continues throughout – right down to hosting their very own bespoke Alice in Wonderland-inspired tea parties.
Alternatively, opt for the house Hatter’s Tea – served all day, it’s perfect for those who just can’t get enough tea and cake at any hour.
Price: £30 per person for the Mad Hatter’s Tea parties, or £11.95 for the Hatter’s tea which is served all day.
This vintage tearoom can be found in the Northern Quarter on Tib street, serving up a range of delicious cakes and teas throughout the day.
Everything comes decorated authentically in a vintage style – from the tea pots to the china.
The classic afternoon tea here features homemade cupcakes, finger sandwiches, scones with strawberry jam and cream and a selection of freshly baked cakes – plus two organic loose tea infused tea bags.
Cocktails are available separately – and well worth it (in our opinion).
Price: £22.95 per person with cocktails available to purchase separately.
The Midland Hotel has been serving afternoon tea in Manchester for over 100 years. The venue has recently reopened its original dedicated tea rooms, where you’ll find a range of delectable afternoon tea menus to suit all dietary requirements.
Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, there’s all sorts to choose from – including fun sandwiches choices like coronation tempeh, heritage carrot tartar and roasted pepper, rocket and feta.
Cakes, meanwhile, include favourites like lemon drizzle, chocolate and apple macaroons, olive oil and pistachio polenta cake and apple and caramel ‘crumble’. In such gorgeous settings, you can’t go wrong.
Price: £28.00 per person for the traditional, vegetarian and vegan afternoon teas, all of which include a choice of premium loose leaf tea. Gluten-free and royal options start at £38 each.
King Street Townhouse
At King Street Townhouse, there’s not one but two afternoon teas to choose from.
Opt for their traditional afternoon tea with all the classics – like cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off and apricot scones with jam and clotted cream – or go for their gentleman’s afternoon tea for a more meaty affair.
A twist on the classic, the gentleman’s tea features options like steak and ale pie, lamb kofta pittas, mini fish and chips and sea salt fries – offering something a little bit different for those who want to push the boat out.
Price: £28 per person for both, or upgrade with a seasonal cocktail or champagne for £38.
At this drinking and dining palace in the sky, you’ll be treated to one of the most indulgent afternoon teas in the city.
Available Monday to Thursday 2pm – 4.30pm, the new and improved afternoon tea features a tempting selection of sandwiches, classic sweet treats, homemade scones and pairing tea options – with the extra option to upgrade to a Moet Chandon afternoon tea.
Price: £20 per person for the 20 Stories Afternoon tea, or £32 for a champagne upgrade.
Set in the stunning surroundings of King Street’s old Reform Club, Grand Pacific’s afternoon tea menu is just as gorgeous as the venue’s stunning interiors.
Available to book between 2pm -5 pm Wednesday to Saturday and 12-3.30 pm on Sundays, teas come served on the restaurant’s signature golden pineapple stand for that extra touch of glamour.
Tuck into a plethora of bite-sized sweet delights and sandwiches, accompanied by some aromatic beverages from faraway places.
Price: £23 per person, or upgrade with a cocktail for £29, with house champagne for £28, or Moet Chandon for £30.
The Ivy has two afternoon teas on offer: a cream tea and a special summer garden afternoon tea, which is currently being served in the brasserie and on the roof garden daily between 3pm and 5pm.
For the summer garden option, you’ll be treated to such delicacies as marinated cucumber and dill finger sandwich on basil bread, lemon & raspberry donuts with pink lemonade, chocolate caramel flower pots and pistachio nasturtium crème brûlée.
Yes, The Ivy has really gone all-out on the flower theme and we’re here for it.
Price: £7.95 for the cream tea or £24.95 for the summer garden afternoon tea.
Located next door to Manchester Victoria station, Mamucium’s afternoon tea features such delights as grilled cajun goosnargh chicken wrap, creamy Lancashire bomb, and sweet pickle finger sandwiches and home-baked scones with clotted cream and preserves.
The big treat here, though, is that you can also upgrade your afternoon tea to make it bottomless – meaning you’ll get 90 minutes of bottomless prosecco to tuck into alongside your three-tiered feast.
Price: £14.95 per person, or £24.95 to upgrade with 90 minutes of bottomless prosecco.
Five golden tickets with massive prizes are being hidden in cakes in Manchester
A Manchester cafe is giving away massive prizes in a Willy Wonka-style giveaway, with golden tickets hidden in its cakes.
Loaf MCR, which has sites on Oxford Street, Affinity Living, and in Selfridges Trafford Centre, will be hiding the golden tickets beneath its mini loaf cakes.
Anyone lucky enough to find one will win prizes including two tickets to see Jason Manford with a chance to meet him, a meal for four at Bundobust, and a Birthday Party Cake Package worth £200 from Loaf.
The golden tickets are going to be hiding underneath Loaf’s Willy Wonka-inspired special loaf, a super-chocolatey chocolate sponge with a smooth ganache centre and a white chocolate-infused buttercream.
The cake is then topped with colourful sweets inspired by Roald Dahl’s classic tale, like a swirly lollipop, fizzy sweets, popping candy and pink mushroom foams.
A golden ticket sticker will be hidden in five of the £4.50 loaf cakes between Monday 27 November and Sunday 10 December.
Loaf MCR wants to spread a little festive cheer as Christmas approaches and is offering Mancs five chances to win big.
As well as the three massive prizes already announced, there are still two top-secret rewards to be revealed.
Aiden Ryan, founder of Loaf MCR, said: “We love to play with nostalgia and Willy Wonka gives just that! We love that we can infuse Christmas with a little bit of magic.
“At Loaf, we believe in giving people great experiences, and what better way than to start the Festive season with a treasure hunt?
“We’ve partnered with some great Manchester businesses to make this happen!”
There’ll be a limited number of the special-edition Willy Wonka loaf cakes available.
Once all five golden tickets have been found, there’ll be one last chance to win ‘The Golden Key’, which will get you free coffee and cake from Loaf MCR for a year.
But you won’t be able to find the golden key through cake – this prize will be given to someone nominated by the community of Manchester, and will reward someone who deserves something special this Christmas.
Prizes including in the Loaf MCR Willy Wonka giveaway
A Birthday Party Cake Package worth £200 from Loaf MCR, including 50 mini loaf cakes and a birthday cake.
Ultimate Christmas Dinner for four at Bundobust, Indian street food and craft beer specialists, to taste their festive menu. (Yes, your first drink on the house too!)
Two tickets to see Manchester’s favourite comedian Jason Manford live at the AO Arena and a meet and greet.
Two more prizes to be revealed this week…
The Loaf MCR x Willy Wonka giveaway will run from Monday 27 November until Sunday 10 December.
Clint Boon steps down from radio after nearly 30 years on the air
Manc music legend and long-serving DJ Clint Boon has announced that he is stepping down from his role on XS Manchester and radio in general after nearly three decades on the airwaves.
Confirming the decision to bring an end to his self-titled radio show and 28-year career on Monday, 27 November, Boon informed his listeners live on air and issued a lengthy statement on social media shortly after, explaining his reasons behind the decision and his plans post-hosting.
Thanking the multiple radio stations he’s worked with — Century FM, 96.2 The Revolution, XFM Manchester, Radio X, BBC Radio Manchester and XS for the last seven years — as well as his countless listeners during that time, Booney said that radio has given him a “security and stability” like he hasn’t experienced in any other role.
Born in Oldham and now based in the Stockport area, he has remained one of the Manchester music scene’s most prominent figures for as long as most of us can remember and we’ll admit it’s going to be strange not hearing him on the dial anymore.
The 64-year-old went on to say, “I’ve made some great friends during my time in radio. Too many to mention here. Not just people I’ve worked alongside but listeners too. Some of the greatest human beings I know.
“I’ve also got to meet a lot of my heroes along the way. Plus, I’ve been able to help many new bands and artists get on that ladder which all of us musicians dream of getting to the top of. That bit has been particularly special”.
Insisting that being back playing with his Inspiral Carpets bandmates since their comeback earlier this year is now the biggest focus for him, the talented keyboardist and DJ veteran said the group will be carrying on touring and “maybe writing new material” in the New Year and beyond, as well as a number of other plans for the future.
Most immediately, he said he’ll “spending more time with [his] wife, Charlie” and her beloved local event, Mrs Boon’s Tea Party, which takes place at various venues like Bask and more around Greater Manchester on a regular basis, as well as revealing that he is even working on a movie project entitled, Bickershaw — a village in the Abram part of Wigan.
Adding that he intends to get into podcasting and will carry DJing and hosting special events around the region when and where he feels like, he signed off by assuring that this was “100% my decision” and that the popular radio station is enjoying “all-time high” listening figures, insisting that he knows “it’ll carry on going from strength to strength”.
Thankfully, the former South nightclub resident didn’t rule out returning one day and we, for one, sincerely hope that we’ll get to hear that friendly and familiar voice through our car stereos again at some point in the future.