In fact, many Manchester institutions have turned the traditional afternoon tea on its head – inventing more fun, boozy and carb-injected tiers of grub for us to nibble on. So, without further ado… Check out our guide to the very best afternoon tea offerings in Manchester.
1. The Alan
Modern industrial hotel The Alan offers a truly stylish afternoon tea all for £28pp, including a pot of Bohea Tea, with the option to upgrade to Telmont Champagne for £10pp. The spread includes some absolute classics in the form of sandwiches – how very English – including cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon, and egg and cress. There’s also the option to try the smoked ham and celeriac option as well as the chicken tarragon, offering a slight twist on the classic sandwiches.
In terms of sweet treats, The Alan delivers with freshly baked plain and fruit scones, of course accompanied by Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve, and a delicious assortment of seasonal pastries and cakes – perfection! You can book in for The Alan afternoon tea here. The Alan Manchester, 18 Princess St, Manchester, M1 4LG.
2. American Pies
American Pies might be well known for its parent company’s humongous sharing platters, but the Manchester restaurant-turned-Chicago-pizza-joint actually also serves an afternoon tea specifically designed for people who hate afternoon tea.
On the tiers you can opt for a seven-inch pizza of your choice , chicken tenders, deep fried potato dauphinois wrapped in prosciutto, hot honey duck lasagne bites, mozzarella wedges, smoked cheese lollipops, or pepperoni garlic knots with vodka sauce. This version completely ditches everything traditional about the afternoon meal for the better, replacing actual tea with a bit of booze and giving us the carbs we really deserve. Afternoon tea costs £55 all in, with drinks available to purchase as extras. American Pies, 58 W Mosley St, M2 3HZ.
3. King Street Townhouse
King Street Townhouse delivers a traditional afternoon tea, apparently the ‘best afternoon tea in Manchester’, for those who like the novelty of it, albeit served with a glass of champagne instead if you’d prefer a bit of booze over a pot of tea. The traditional option is served with an array of sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries, but for those looking for something a little different – there’s a High Tea to choose from, too.
With this one, guests will have the choice of more savoury options – expect lamb kofta sausage rolls, crispy truffle mac ‘n’ cheese and duck and hoisin spring rolls. This one is served alongside the extensive tea selection, with cheese and chutney instead of scones and cream. Both the Afternoon Tea and High Tea options come in at £30pp, with the option to upgrade to champagne or cocktail for £42.50pp. King Street Townhouse, 10 Booth St, M2 4AW.
4. Grand Pacific
A great spot if you’re looking for something special, Grand Pacific‘s Afternoon Tea is as opulent as the venue itself. Served on a lavish stand with a huge golden pineapple in the middle, guests can treat themselves to a selection of cakes and sweet treats, with evolving themes throughout the year (including Pride, Halloween and Christmas!).
Savoury options are available – packed with so many delicious treats such as warm lobster brioche roll and arancini – or for those with a sweet tooth, opt for macarons, trifles and tarts. Prices start at £29.50pp. Grand Pacific, 50 Spring Gardens, M2 1EN.
5. Sunset by Australasia
Inspired by the flavours of Australasia (just like their main menu), Sunset’s Afternoon Tea is packed full of goodies and is best suited to those with a bit of a sweet tooth. Scoff macarons, honey cake, ice cream and more – with drink options including cocktails, rosé, mocktails, and a new addition for 2023, the frosé afternoon tea. For those who prefer something savoury, there’s a bento box to start with which is packed with sushi, edamame beans and other favourites, and can be finished off with Sunset’s very own frozen Pornstar Martini. Prices start at £26.50pp. Sunset by Australasia, 1 The Avenue, M3 3AP.
Menagerie is one of Manchester’s most Instagrammed venues, and for good reason, too. Every corner is a spectacle – with floral installations, neon lights, angel wings and so much more draped from the ceiling, and marble tables with gold finishings that just scream ‘lavish’. But anyway, onto their equally fabulous afternoon tea.
Arriving at the table on its very own Ferris wheel, the traditional afternoon tea includes a selection of classic sandwiches and cakes, with their Menagerie Afternoon Tea including more varied treats such as Bao buns, sliders, Caulipops and
7. 20 Stories
An afternoon tea high up in the sky, 20 Stories offers a number of different options suited to different tastes – including a classic sandwich selection, an afternoon tea packed out with tiers of tasty sweet treats (that look as good as they taste), and a scone selection – again, replicating the traditional afternoon tea. Each offering can be enjoyed with tea, or paired with cocktails for a boozier affair. Prices start at £35pp. 20 Stories, NO. 1, 1 Hardman Square, M3 3EB.
Part traditional, part suitable for those who aren’t totally mad on sandwiches, Malmaison‘s afternoon tea includes the choice of the ‘Classic Cream Tea’ which is full of scones, tarts and brownies, the ‘Mal Afternoon Tea’, which includes burger sliders, wraps, cakes and more, and a number of alcoholic versions including cocktails, prosecco and champagne. Fancy! For those who prefer a warm cuppa, there’s a huge list of teas to choose from. Prices start at just £16.50pp up to £34pp – depending on whether you opt for fizz or tea. Malmaison, 1-3 Piccadilly, M1 3AQ.
9. Richmond Tea Rooms
Bringing that ‘rabbit hole’ feeling to Manchester every single day with their curious Wonderland-themed venue – Richmond Tea Rooms provides a place where guests can escape from the world while indulging in delicious cocktails and afternoon tea. Hosting an array of events every single month, Richmond Tea Rooms turns up the debauchery for their Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – dialling up their delightful afternoon tea experience with booze, drag queens, live entertainment and, of course, the Mad Hatter himself, alongside friends such as Alice, the white rabbit, and other bonkers characters. Prices start from £11pp. Richmond Tea Rooms, 46 Sackville St, M1 3WF.
10. Cocoa Cabana
The afternoon tea at Cocoa Cabana cuts straight to the chase with all the good stuff you could possibly think of- finger sandwiches, brownies, mousses, chocolate tarts, bonbons, scones, macarons, and hot drinks – all topped off with a pot of salted caramel. The menu features sweet options such as a chocolate espresso martini and a dark chocolate and chilli daiquiri, with other twists on classic cocktails including their matcha and avocado Pina Colada. Chocolate afternoon tea starts from £25pp, with kids options also available. Cocoa Cabana, Murray Street, Manchester, M4 6HS.
11. The Midland
As Manchester’s only setting dedicated to afternoon tea, The Tea Room at The Midland is one of a kind. Served in opulent surroundings overlooking St Peter’s Square, The Tea Room has its own knowledgeable team to guide you through this quintessentially British pastime. From £32pp you can indulge in sundried tomato and feta quiche, a selection of sandwiches, scones, cakes and a range of loose leaf tea.
Upgrade to a glass of champagne for an extra £10pp, and peruse the the dedicated vegetarian menu for the same price. You can book a coveted spot here. The Midland Hotel, 16 Peter St, Manchester, M60 2DS.