My friend Redqueen and I started this project about a year ago. At first we would meet up under the pretence of visiting an art gallery or some other cultural interest, but eventually we abandoned the pretence and just went for the tea. and a chinwag.
So this has been in the archives for ages waiting to be finished. Then I realised that it is never going to be finished.
Tomorrow we are continuing our research by returning to the Richmond Tea rooms, because I didn’t have any pictures. We will see if this place is a good a second time and I promise to get pictures.
1. RICHMOND TEA ROOMS
We went back to the Richmond tea rooms, my personal favourite, as I had no photos and I will post this account separately soon.
Photo courtesy of Redqueen.
2. 47 KING St WEST
At the restaurant, first impressions were really positive, as we were greeted by a charming and polite young lady who showed us to our table and continued to refer to us as “ladies” throughout.
The decor is smart and snazzy, cream and black kind of modern art deco style, (and if you judges a place by it’s toilets, this would get 110%!)
The greeter told us they had a “jubilee theme” and a “surprise” for this week, but this just seemed to consist of a sparkler and union jack paper serviettes. I am not sure whether the plan was to play the national anthem, when they served the food (God forbid!)…but it didn’t happen thank goodness.
Still the very good selection of loose leaf teas came first,followed by the tea stand.
The sandwiches were excellent, obviously freshly made and a good selection of beef and mustard, tuna and cucumber, egg mayonnaise, and something else with capers.
The scones were fresh, but a little “doughy” for my taste. Nice jam and thick double cream, (not clotted.)
The cakes on the top were from Slatterys. A very well known and renowned local patisserie. The whole thing was garnished with delicious fresh strawberries.
So we spent a pleasant couple of hours, catching up, discussing our travels to Crete, Estonia and of course Paris. Debating the question of monarchy and republicanism and the Jubilee.
(Cost £ 13.95.)
3. THE RADISSON HOTEL.
This conversion of the historic Free Trade Hall is luxurious and the décor stunning. We were shown to the glass covered bar overlooking the street. The waiter asked if we had any dietary preferences for the sandwiches and we said we did not like smoked salmon. Unfortunately when the tea came there were smoked salmon sandwiches on the plate. The waiters seemed very pressured, even though the place did not seem that busy and it took a while to get somebody’s attention, when we did they rushed away saying they would be with us in a moment. This took about ten minutes.
Although the wait staff were polite, I felt that the calm ambiance of the lounge and afternoon tea was spoiled by the busyness of the waiters. I think good waiter, like a duck may be peddling furiously underneath but remain calm on the outside. They should be invisible, but available when you need them.
Eventually when the smoked salmon was removed, unfortunately the rest of the sandwiches were tainted with the strong flavour of the smoked salmon. I should have sent them back a second time but the first time had been such an effort I just left. it.
This was a christmas present from my daughter which came in the form a metal pebble. So I took Michael with me.
Slatterys is a renowned local cake maker with a cafe upstairs. The business is housed in an old pub out of Manchester city centre so a car is needed to get there ( unless you cycle!)
We were asked what kind of sandwiches,we wanted from ham, tuna, egg and cheese, and not given a selection.
The scones however were particularly delicious light and fluffy but were were just given an almond slice and a piece of fruit cake as the cake selection…a bit of a disappointment in such a renowned cake shop.
However, I now know that this is more in keeping with the traditional afternoon tea, which did not include cream cakes but plain cakes like almond slice or fruit cakes.
Price £12 50p
5. THE MIDLAND HOTEL
Once Manchesters premier hotel, sadly the Midland has been overtaken by it’s newer rivals the Raddisson and the Lowry. The Octagon lounge is a bit dark and dreary for my taste and the public areas could do with a make over.
The tea however was fine and the service was good. The preserves and jam with the scones was especially tasty. The sandwiches were fresh and NO smoked salmon, but poached salmon on rye bread which was delicious. The cakes were a bit plain and we cut them in half as there were not two of everything.
6.LECKENBYS TEA ROOMS BURY
27 Minden parade, Mill gate shopping centre Bury.
Michael and I came across this lovely tea room one Sunday when we took a trip to Bury when we were bored. Bury is a lovely town to visit 15 minutes on on the tram from Manchester,for a tourist. Go on a market day Wednesday, Friday or Saturday. The best market in Europe I have ever seen. A typical Northern town.
The Tea was lovely. Freshly and individually made sandwiches just for me., cakes again came from
Slatterys and the service was good too.
(Cost £ 11.95.)
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