December is often filled with mince pies, mulled wine, pigs in blankets and gingerbread flavoured everything. I love this and this is one of the reasons I am obsessed with this time of year. However, sometimes it can get a bit too much. There have been multiple occasions where I have gone overboard on the mince pies and never want to look at one again. It was therefore so refreshing to visit the incredible Manchester House and try out their afternoon tea. Whilst brought out just in time for Christmas, it is not at all seasonal and it was so nice to enjoy some different flavours!
Up in The Lounge on the 12th floor, with incredible views of Manchester city, we were served their new afternoon tea. This can be paired with a range of loose leaf teas, champagne or even a cocktail pairing selection. Had it not been midday on a Wednesday I would have definitely gone for the later but we kept it safe with a lovely cup of tea. We were offered a glass of champagne though and of course I didn’t turn this down! It is Christmas after all…
This afternoon tea has everything you would hope for from a traditional menu but this is accompanied by a few more unique and extra special elements. It wouldn’t really be afternoon tea without scones and finger sandwiches would it, but when you’re in a location as special as this one you also expect something a little different from the food. It really was a feast of taste, colour and spectacle.
My absolute favourite from the savoury selection was the hot bloody mary demi-tasse with bison vodka jelly. Essentially this was a beautiful, tomato soup with a slight chilli kick yet finished off with a few pieces of vodka jelly. A strange addition in writing yet it worked incredibly well. I think it was the texture more than anything else. The little melt-in-your-mouth cubes were not strong in flavour but transformed the dish into something so unique.
The Lancashire cheese and onion pie was topped with a spoonful of piccalilli which I adore. This was another of my favourite from the savoury selection. Other classics served up were a chicken and tarragon bun, ham & mustard mayonnaise sandwich and finally fill, cream cheese & cucumber sandwich.
The sweet selection was just beautiful. A collection of bright pinks, lilacs, gold and pastel greens it looked almost too good to eat! My favourite was the grapefruit and rose Battenburg. The grapefruit and rose flavours both came across so intensely; it was just exquisite. The rose flavour was soft and delicate whilst the contrasting grapefruit was fruity and slightly sharp. I also loved the mini Manchester Tar which featured a raspberry meringue and custard. There were so many elements to this little pastry, I could have eaten more of it just to experience the collection of flavours and texture again.
Other sweet treats included the Millionaire’s “shot” of Manjari chocolate mousse with tonka and vanilla panna cotta, caramel and gold and of course the iconic scone with clotted cream and jam. Jam that has been home made there at Manchester House that very morning!
I absolutely loved trying out the new afternoon tea at Manchester House. It was such a special occasion and would be perfect for birthdays, hen dos and celebrations alike.