Manchester boasts an array of brilliant afternoon teas, from fancy hotel numbers to vintage tea rooms and new-school Insta-friendly hangouts. We’ve rounded them all up in this handy guide, so whatever your tea of choice, you’ll find something to suit right here.
Manchester once had a reputation for being a little grey and dismal, and though the weather doesn’t always show up, the same can’t be said for the city’s food scene. In the last decade especially we’ve watched Manchester evolve into one of the UK’s most exciting food cities, with a new generation of restaurants and bars putting Manchester on the culinary map. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at our list of the Top 100 Restaurants in the UK, which contains plenty of talent from the Greater Manchester area.
The city has plenty to offer for afternoon tea fans as well. Naturally, some of Manchester’s best known hotel addresses offer luxurious afternoon teas, perfect if you’re taking mum out for Mother’s Day, or planning some special with a loved one. You have lots of other options too though - these days Manchester boasts high rise afternoon teas at the top of skyscrapers, in historic Grade-listed buildings and in quaint old tea rooms with vintage crockery.
What can you expect when you venture out for afternoon tea in Manchester? For starters, a range of delicious savoury treats - often that means finger sandwiches, but some teas also lay on some savoury baking too. Then, freshly baked scones with a range of jams and spreads, followed by sweet treats. This can be traditional cakes or fancy patisserie treats, or even a mixture of both. Fine loose leaf teas are a given, of course, and pretty much all of the afternoon teas in this list also offer Champagne afternoon tea for an extra fee.
Did we get your tummy rumbling? Scroll down to read more about our favourite afternoon teas in Manchester.
The Lowry Hotel
What: If you’re looking for somewhere special to take someone for a celebration, you can’t go wrong with the five star Lowry Hotel. Teas here are exquisite, from the chocolate orange Sacher torte to the squash and apricot tartlet with chilli. Even the simple things, like plain scones, are done beautifully.
Where: 50 Dearman's Place, M3 5LH
Book now: The River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel
What: Afternoon teas and views often go hand in hand, and afternoon tea at Cloud 23 certainly has the latter on lockdown, with panoramic views across the glittering Manchester skyline. The tea itself sticks to classic savouries - cucumber and cream cheese, egg and chive - and the sweet bites are well executed as well. There’s also a free-flowing Champagne afternoon tea where you get bottomless bubbles for an hour and a half.
Where: Beetham Tower, 303 Deansgate, M3 4LQ
Book now: Cloud 23
Richmond Tea Rooms
What: One of the best known and most popular afternoon tea spots in these parts, Manchester's Richmond Tea Rooms serves a wide array of different teas, many of which fit into an Alice in Wonderland theme. The interiors are pleasantly floral, with themed areas ranging from an enchanted forest to a beautiful, bright orangery. Food is excellent too, even if you’re just stopping off for a scone and a cup of tea.
Where: 46 Sackville Street, M1 3WF
Book now: Richmond Tea Rooms
What: Sugar Junction of Tib Street is another of Manchester’s afternoon tea darlings, thanks in part to the vintage china tea sets and cake stands. The afternoon tea is very simple by comparison with some others in this list, but if you’re in the market for a traditional mix of finger sandwiches, sweet treats and scones, Sugar Junction is fantastic and great value.
Where: 60 Tib Street, M4 1LG
Book now: Sugar Junction
The Tea Room at The Midland
What: One of Manchester’s most notable cultural landmarks, it’s no surprise that The Midland serves an excellent afternoon tea. This old hotel now has a purpose-built room just for afternoon tea, where you can relax in plush armchairs and couches and enjoy some of the best sandwiches and home baking in the city. If you're looking for afternoon tea in Manchester city centre, you can't go wrong with this ultra-reliable high tea spot.
Where: The Midland Hotel, 16 Peter Street, M60 2DS
Book now: The Tea Room at The Midland
Grand Pacific Manchester
What: Grand Pacific’s calling card is the fabulous venue - once the Reform Club, where the likes of Churchill and Lloyd George would give speeches. Nowadays Grand Pacific is a restaurant and bar with a touch of Pacific grand hotel grandeur. That suits the High Tea rather nicely, which combines classics like roast beef and Coronation chicken sandwiches with duck hoi sin sausage rolls, raspberry macarons and fine teas.
Where: 50 Spring Gardens, M2 1EN
Book now: Grand Pacific Manchester
What: With vegans and gluten-free diners catered for, Annie’s is ideal if you’re organising afternoon tea for a group with dietary requirements to consider. Otherwise, Annie’s keeps things simple but delicious with traditional finger sandwiches, scones and sweets like Victoria Sponge, fruit tarts and vanilla slices.
Where: 5 Old Bank Street, M2 7PE
Book now: Annie’s Manchester
What: This pretty-in-pink restaurant and venue serves up live entertainment on weekends in the form of circus acts and musicians, as well as a cracking afternoon tea. Tea itself arrives on a miniature ferris wheel, with treats taking a slightly more modern twist with the likes of duck croquettes, beef sliders and a cake selection. There are more traditional teas on offer as well, as well as an option for bottomless bubbles or mimosas.
Where: One New Bailey, Salford, M3 5JL
Book now: Menagerie
What: Hotel Gotham sits inside one of Manchester most impressive old buildings, the Edwin Lutyens-designed old Midland Bank at the top of King Street. Inside you’ll find a host of smart rooms, as well as a moody bar and Honey restaurant, which serves afternoon tea throughout the week. Expect classic combos from Gotham Hotel's afternoon tea, with a twist, from cucumber and jalapeno cream cheese sandwiches, to honey and stem ginger macarons.
Where: 100 King Street, M2 4WU
Book now: Honey Restaurant at Hotel Gotham
Sunset at Australasia
What: Among the many different venues attached to this stylish, subterranean restaurant and bar, Sunset is an Asian-inspired afternoon tea, set in an Instagram-friendly pastel pink dining room. Choose between a range of different exotic afternoon teas, which all arrive in bento boxes, with frozen cocktails or teas of your choice.
Where: 1 The Avenue, Spinningfields, M3 3AP
Book now: Sunset at Australasia
King Street Townhouse
What: The tea lounge at King Street Townhouse is a lovely quiet space, perfect if you’re looking for somewhere calm to step away from Manchester’s busy streets for an hour or two. The teas are all about luxury too, with generous portions of scones, sandwiches, savouries and precision patisserie all accounted for. We love the Marmite butter scones.
Where: 10 Booth Street, M2 4AW
Book now: King Street Townhouse
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