“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” ― Jim Davis
People often talk about getting healthy in the New Year. Not me! I believe January should be about easing into the new year as gently and comfortably as possible, not depriving ourselves of life’s pleasures. With that in mind, my first post of 2017 is… a very indulgent afternoon tea.
Lovely Sarah recently turned 30 so we decided to celebrate with tea, cakes and bubbles!
We opted for the plush Manchester House in Spinningfields, high up on the 12th floor of Tower Twelve. The Lounge at Manchester House is sleek but has a welcoming ambience with incredible views across the city. I visited late last year for cocktails and promised to return for afternoon tea.
I’ve experienced afternoon tea in many places but there’s undoubtedly something very special about dining in a restaurant with floor to ceiling windows enjoying panoramic views of a city.
It was lovely and quiet when we arrived on a Friday afternoon at 3pm. It felt like we’d escaped the hustle of the streets below. We were shown to our table, all of which are positioned looking out across Manchester, and began settling into our decadent surroundings.
Everything is displayed in a contemporary style, there isn’t a lace tablecloth or vintage china in sight. That being said, afternoon tea lovers won’t be disappointed. The obligatory delicate finger sandwiches, cakes and pastries all feature.
The food was delivered on a two-tier chunky wooden stand. It was beautifully presented with a modern twist. We had three of everything so there was no fighting! I had vegetarian options and my other friend, who has a nut allergy, was also well catered for. The birthday girl was more straightforward and ate from the usual afternoon tea menu. I was very impressed that we each had our own selection (well done Manchester House) and they all tasted amazing!
We started off with the bottom layer of sandwiches. I was happy to see that we were given a good variety, on different types of breads and wraps. We cleared these in record time before moving onto the scones, discovering which of us opted for Devonshire (cream on the bottom and jam on top) and which of us chose Cornish (cream on top and jam on the bottom).
Next came the cakes! Few people could be disappointed with the selection of on offer. Macarons, chocolate fancies, Eton mess and an incredible eclair each.
We enjoyed our Champagne while watching the sun set over Manchester, leaving only the lights from the Christmas trees twinkling around us.
The clock struck 5pm and the bar began to fill with city slickers, keen to enjoy a cocktail or two in one of The Lounge’s four heated outside terraces. We made room for them and continued drinking downstairs in the bars of Spinningfields.
As if our day couldn’t get any better, we stumbled upon an outdoor bumper car track where we challenged each other to a race. The next day our various aches and pains proved that we’re no Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel but it was certainly a great way to end a memorable day.
I definitely recommend Manchester House for a special occasion, the staff were all excellent and even left a birthday card on the table for Sarah, which was a lovely touch. Even if you don’t have an occasion to celebrate, still get dressed up and treat yourself. The perfect way to cheer yourself up during this cold and dark January.