Posh Afternoon Tea
If you're looking for somewhere to go for a special occasion, you might want to try a Royal Afternoon Tea at The Midland Hotel in Manchester.
Situated in the heart of Manchester city centre this impressive red bricked hotel has played host to many a famous figure and has a reputation of finery and splendour, therefore when looking for a location for an afternoon tea treat for my recent birthday, my friend and i decided The Midland it was going to be!
It is at least an hour's journey time for me but based on reputation alone I was anticipating something very special.
We were greeted by a very friendly member of staff, who took our coats and showed us to our table (which we were permitted to change, to a quieter side of the room).
Another waiter appeared (Jack) who was a young, amiable chap with a font of knowledge about their tea menu, therefore helped us choose our first pots of tea. Earl Grey for me, which I have to say was stunningly good (and I have tried a few) No bitter aftertaste only a smooth vanilla roundness which was extremely enjoyable.
The had a very good selection of teas to choose from, this was a big plus.
We were brought a glass of champagne, as this was included in the menu we'd booked. It fizzed like nothing I had ever seen before, I'm sure there was something in the bottom of the glass!
Then it was time for the food itself. The stand was not your usual 3 tier cake stand, on no, this was an impressive rectangular arched stand with china plates.
The selection of sandwiches was not your usual flavour variety - not an egg and cress in sight! As you can see from the menu, the broad list of ingredients made it a delight to tuck in to.
My particular favourite was the brioche bun, that was delicious.
It was however not all without a negative - we did have to request the change of a plate and a knife for "clean" ones. Some of the sandwiches were also ever so slightly dry on the outside which was a tad disappointing for that calibre of establishment.
Back to the positives, the ambiance was relaxed and refined and the music was from the 40's but not too loud that you couldn't enjoy a conversation. We weren't pestered too much, which for me is a good thing. Constantly being asked "is everything alright" is not on my list of positive experiences but I am pleased to say they got it just right.
We had three pots of tea each and changing the strainers and bringing fresh cups was not an issue, the waiting staff were most helpful and efficient.
When we finally got around to eating our scones, the waitress appeared with a selection of preserves, which she then described and served to us (nice touch) including lemon curd - result!
We did not feel under pressure to vacate our table and were allowed plenty of time to gather ourselves before paying the bill and being brought our coats from the cloakroom.
All in all it was a very pleasurable experience. The Tea Room was busy but not noisy, the staff friendly but not too attentive, the food was well presented and had interesting and varied flavours, the tea was wonderful and the choice extensive and the ambiance was for me what topped it off, the music was like stepping back in time and I loved it, like being in a Miss Marple film!
I would recommend trying Afternoon Tea at The Midland Hotel, you are made to feel special, which is always a bonus, and you can find some good deals on sites such as Groupon and Living Social which makes the price per head more bearable. https://tearoomatthemidland.co.uk/