Taking afternoon tea to another level in the Northern Quarter
“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
If you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you”
It would seem there is never a bad time for tea, or a reason not to make time for tea.
As I write this at noon on a weekday afternoon a quick look at the UK Tea Guild website shows an estimated 84,997,936 cups of tea have already been consumed in the UK today.
I am responsible for just three of those.
In my opinion the only way you can improve on a cup of your favourite brew is with the addition of a cake or two.
Afternoon tea has seen something of a revolution in Manchester in recent years; no longer is it just the preserve of the high end hotel tea room or something to be saved for special occasions.
If like me though you still want some of the ceremony but without the stuffiness then I think we have found just the place for you…..
Teacup Kitchen is tucked away on Thomas Street in Manchester’s Northern quarter. I have visited on a few occasions in the past – they do a mean fish finger wrap! I particularly like that they only take bookings for eight or more which means you really can feel free to just turn up.
All the cakes you can spy on the counter as you walk in are made in their own Teacup Kitchen and delivered every morning. You will always find their well known and well loved specialities waiting for you – the Rainbow Cake and the Flourless Chocolate Cake are not to be missed. Two girls travelling around the UK from Japan recently visited and ordered the rainbow cake, they told staff they had read about it online and made a point of adding it to their ‘to do list’.
Since expanding the bakery operation off site they also take external orders and have become very popular for wedding cakes.
This was the first time I had been for a full afternoon tea, but I will definitely be going back. I loved the cute individual stand it arrives on – no need to argue over who had a scone already or count how many sandwiches you’ve all had.
I also like that you don’t just get sandwiches as the savoury offering.
So what makes up a Teacup Afternoon Tea?
Egg mayonnaise and cheese & pickle finger sandwiches
The egg mayonnaise was far from bland – it was really herby, and the cheese & pickle had a caramelised onion style pickle which was sweet as well as having that lovely vinegar like tang. The bread was soft and they were obviously freshly cut – no one wants a curly corner do they!
My favourite items were the mini beef pie, which had crisp pastry with a well seasoned filling that reminded me of the potted beef my mum used to put on sandwiches when I was younger (yummy). There was a salmon slice a little like a wellington which had a subtle clean flavour and moist fish. And finally a mini quiche with fluffy egg and cheese filling.
I like that these form part of the ‘standard’ afternoon tea as so many other places would only have them as an upgrade selection.
On to the next tiers – squishy and rich chocolate brownies, mini Battenburg wrapped in wafer thin marzipan, vanilla fudge that melted in the mouth, a zingy lemon tart with fresh berries and a heart shaped scone filled with just the right amount of strawberry jam and clotted cream.
All were indulgent and constituted just the right amount of naughtiness for an afternoon.
You can choose any tea from the extensive list to accompany your afternoon tea. There are ‘traditional’ teas like Assam and Earl Grey, fruit teas, green teas, floral teas and even a separate Tea Explorers List if you are feeling adventurous.
I had the Jasmine Pearls Green Tea served in a mini glass tea pot with an insulated tea glass to drink from.
The staff in Teacup know their tea and it arrives with its own egg timer. They instruct you which colour sand to watch depending on your choice of tea and how to strain it into your second pot to prevent it over-brewing, ensuring you taste your tea at its best.
If you still haven’t planned what to do for Mothers day or you and your friends are looking to treat yourselves Teacup’s afternoon tea is £16.00 per person or £40.00 for two including ‘bubbles’.
There are also gift vouchers available to slip in to Mum’s card this weekend.
Teacup Kitchen, 55 Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1NA
Tel: 0161 832 3233
Photographs: Jenny McAvoy
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