Where to find the best afternoon tea in Manchester (2024)


From vintage cream teas to those with bottomless prosecco, we've picked out the very best in the city.

Georgina Pellant -6th August 2021

Where to find the best afternoon tea in Manchester (2)

Afternoon tea is a real indulgence and one of the most quintessentially British pastimes we can think of.

From the steaming pots of tea to the dainty sandwiches and cakes – everyone has their favourite bit. Personally, ours has to be fruity scones slathered in clotted cream and strawberry jam. There’s just nothing better.

Add in a co*cktail or a glass of fizz and you’re all set for a brilliant afternoon. Now, all you need is the venue.

Of course, not all afternoon teas are created equal – which is why we’ve put together this list to help you separate the wheat from the chaff. Keep reading to discover the best places for afternoon tea in Manchester.

The Refuge at Kimpton Clocktower

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Taken in The Refuge’s beautiful glasshouse winter garden courtyard, the afternoon tea here comes out in two waves: First, you’re presented with savoury treats and scones before moving on to a birdcage full of sweet treats.


Start with gorgeously soft pork and kimchi sausage rolls, oak-smoked salmon with beetroot chutney and labneh on pumpernickel, and a mild and creamy cheddar cheese custard with carrots and flatbread crisps for dipping before diving into date and sour cherry scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Then, finish with sweet treats like fig Battenberg, sesame snap-topped tahini choux buns, passion fruit and white chocolate opera cake, the cutest little black forest gateaux (served in an edible chocolate cup) and delicately spiced slices of carrot cake.


Price: £29.50 per person with a pot of tea or coffee from Mancunian suppliers. co*cktails, such as a peach bellini made with sparkling green tea and a negroni sbagliato made with sparkling rooibos, start from £9 on top.

Richmond Tea Rooms

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One of the boujiest spots in Manchester for an afternoon tea, if you’re looking for a raucous all-out affair you can’t do better than Richmond Tea Rooms.

Before the pandemic, it moved to a brand new home opposite Sackville Gardens in the Gay Village – which is absolutely stunning. Decked out in hot pink, the mad hatter’s theme continues throughout – right down to hosting their very own bespoke Alice in Wonderland-inspired tea parties.


Alternatively, opt for the house Hatter’s Tea – served all day, it’s perfect for those who just can’t get enough tea and cake at any hour.

Price: £30 per person for the Mad Hatter’s Tea parties, or £11.95 for the Hatter’s tea which is served all day.

Sugar Junction

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This vintage tearoom can be found in the Northern Quarter on Tib street, serving up a range of delicious cakes and teas throughout the day.

Everything comes decorated authentically in a vintage style – from the tea pots to the china.

The classic afternoon tea here features homemade cupcakes, finger sandwiches, scones with strawberry jam and cream and a selection of freshly baked cakes – plus two organic loose tea infused tea bags.


co*cktails are available separately – and well worth it (in our opinion).

Price: £22.95 per person with co*cktails available to purchase separately.

The Midland

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The Midland Hotel has been serving afternoon tea in Manchester for over 100 years. The venue has recently reopened its original dedicated tea rooms, where you’ll find a range of delectable afternoon tea menus to suit all dietary requirements.

Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, there’s all sorts to choose from – including fun sandwiches choices like coronation tempeh, heritage carrot tartar and roasted pepper, rocket and feta.

Cakes, meanwhile, include favourites like lemon drizzle, chocolate and apple macaroons, olive oil and pistachio polenta cake and apple and caramel ‘crumble’. In such gorgeous settings, you can’t go wrong.


Price: £28.00 per person for the traditional, vegetarian and vegan afternoon teas, all of which include a choice of premium loose leaf tea. Gluten-free and royal options start at £38 each.

King Street Townhouse

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At King Street Townhouse, there’s not one but two afternoon teas to choose from.

Opt for their traditional afternoon tea with all the classics – like cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off and apricot scones with jam and clotted cream – or go for their gentleman’s afternoon tea for a more meaty affair.

A twist on the classic, the gentleman’s tea features options like steak and ale pie, lamb kofta pittas, mini fish and chips and sea salt fries – offering something a little bit different for those who want to push the boat out.

Price: £28 per person for both, or upgrade with a seasonal co*cktail or champagne for £38.


20 Stories

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At this drinking and dining palace in the sky, you’ll be treated to one of the most indulgent afternoon teas in the city.

Available Monday to Thursday 2pm – 4.30pm, the new and improved afternoon tea featuresa tempting selection of sandwiches, classic sweet treats, homemade scones and pairing tea options – with the extra option to upgrade to a Moet Chandon afternoon tea.

Price: £20 per person for the 20 Stories Afternoon tea, or £32 for a champagne upgrade.

Grand Pacific

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Set in the stunning surroundings of King Street’s old Reform Club, Grand Pacific’s afternoon tea menu is just as gorgeous as the venue’s stunning interiors.

Available to book between 2pm -5 pm Wednesday to Saturday and 12-3.30 pm on Sundays, teas come served on the restaurant’s signature golden pineapple stand for that extra touch of glamour.


Tuck into a plethora of bite-sized sweet delights and sandwiches, accompanied by some aromatic beverages from faraway places.

Price: £23 per person, or upgrade with a co*cktail for £29, with house champagne for £28, or Moet Chandon for £30.

The Ivy

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The Ivy has two afternoon teas on offer: a cream tea and a special summer garden afternoon tea, which is currently being served in the brasserie and on the roof garden daily between 3pm and 5pm.

For the summer garden option, you’ll be treated to such delicacies as marinated cucumber and dill finger sandwich on basil bread, lemon & raspberry donuts with pink lemonade, chocolate caramel flower pots and pistachio nasturtium crème brûlée.

Yes, The Ivy has really gone all-out on the flower theme and we’re here for it.


Price: £7.95 for the cream tea or £24.95 for the summer garden afternoon tea.


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Located next door to Manchester Victoria station, Mamucium’s afternoon tea features such delights as grilled cajun goosnargh chicken wrap, creamy Lancashire bomb, and sweet pickle finger sandwiches and home-baked scones with clotted cream and preserves.

The big treat here, though, is that you can also upgrade your afternoon tea to make it bottomless – meaning you’ll get 90 minutes of bottomless prosecco to tuck into alongside your three-tiered feast.

Price: £14.95 per person, or £24.95 to upgrade with 90 minutes of bottomless prosecco.

Feature image – Mamucium.


You can learn all about Manchester’s LGBTQ+ history on a new walking tour around the cityEmily SergeantWhere to find the best afternoon tea in Manchester (13)

A brand-new LGBTQ+ history trail across Manchester city centre has just launched ahead of next week’s Pride celebrations.

From Victorian drag balls and Canal Street, to the Campaign for hom*osexual Equality and the city’s
famous Pride Festival and parade, it’s always been queer up north, as they say – and Manchester has been at the heart of LGBTQ+ culture for countless centuries now.

For many, the annual Manchester Pride Festival is a time to celebrate and party in the present, but for others, it’s also a reminder of the past and a time to recognise those who led the way for the LGBTQ+ community today and the continued fight for equality.

This is why Manchester BID has launched a new LGBTQ+ history trail.

The trail has been launched to celebrate the Manchester Pride Festival this August bank holiday weekend, and spread the message that “everyone is welcome” in our city.

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Where to find the best afternoon tea in Manchester (15)
Where to find the best afternoon tea in Manchester (16)

Spanning all four corners of the city, the new walking trail and guided tour is hosted by local playwright and guide, Chris Hoyle, alongside some special guests, and offers the chance to explore Manchester’s rich LGBTQ+ history like never before.

With all the proceeds from ticket sales going directly to support the work by the Manchester Pride Charity, organisers say the trail is all about exploring LGBTQ+ stories, while celebrating and reflecting on the city’s “activism, resilience, and progress” over the years.

The Gay Village, the Beacon of Hope, the Alan Turning Memorial, and The Hacienda are just a few of the locations featuring as part of the new two-hour walking tour.

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As well as being open as a self-guided tour, there’s also a few guided tours happening next week on Tuesday 22 August (6pm), Wednesday 23 August (6pm), and Thursday 24 August (1pm & 6pm) – with guest appearances from Drag Race UK star Cheddar Gorgeous, activist Paul Fairweather, Hollyoaks actor Annie Wallace, Trans Creative’s Kate O’Donnell, and drag queen Anna Phylactic.

Tickets to the Manchester LGBTQ+ Walking Trail will set you back £10 each, with all proceeds going tothe Manchester Pride Charity, and you can grab yours here.

Read more:

  • The history of Manchester Pride (and how far it’s come)
  • Manchester Pride Festival reveals 2023 lineup – including Pabllo Vittar, Jake Shears, and Natasha Bedingfield
  • ‘Groundbreaking’ new drag school launched to teach LGBTQ+ youth performance skills

Alternatively, you can find an online version of the trail here.

Featured Image – Supplied


Sacha Lord is paying for everyone’s food and drink at a local Manchester restaurant this SundayDanny JonesWhere to find the best afternoon tea in Manchester (19)

Night Time Economy Adviser Sacha Lord is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to supporting local business and evening trade as he has announced he will be paying for everyone’s food and drink at a local restaurant in South Manchester.

Following on from his tour of Greater Manchester last year, when he covered the bar tab at various local venues for one hour, Sacha Lord is now taking his generous initiative one step further by offering to foot the bill for everyone’s food and drink this Sunday.

Teasing the announcement on Wednesday night, the Parklife and Warehouse Project co-creator told Mancs to prepare for the reveal in the morning, writing: “I’ve chosen an independent restaurant/bar and to show my support, it’s going to be free meals and drinks all day…for everyone…on me.”

Sure enough, just before 9am on Thursday, the Altrincham-born businessman and adviser told his followers that the Thirsty Korean independent restaurant would be selected as the site for his generous offer — and that there are absolutely no bookings, just walk-ins.

This Sunday. Free meals and drinks on me.

No catch.

The Thirsty Korean, Manchester Rd, Chorlton.

We need to support and protect our local independent Hospitality businesses. pic.twitter.com/CStip01PcX

— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) August 17, 2023

As he explains in the video, putting his card behind the till over at The Thirsty Korean on Manchester Road in Chorlton — for our money, one of the best foodie scenes anywhere in the region — he will be covering all costs on the night regardless of how many people turn up. Which will be A LOT.

Waxing lyrical about the place, Lord said, “I’ve met with the owner [Eunji Noh], she’s amazing, she’s lovely. She has great pride in what she does”, and so it was pretty much a no-brainer when it came to picking a restaurant that just so happens to be one of the best spots in Chorlton.

The Ojingeh Bokkeum: stir-fried squid with onions, spring onions, soy sauce, gochujang and noodles served with sesame oil. My word.

He also detailed how he first became aware of the restaurant after Eunji was reported as having been bullied and suffering racist abuse in the midst of advertising her business, and so Lord is urging us Mancs to “stand up to those bullies”.

Read more:

  • New Manchester hotel above Asha’s with all-gold Bollywood suite confirms opening date
  • WSL Manchester derbies to be held at Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium this season
  • Manchester street food market Hatch has launched a new breakfast menu

As for the catch, there isn’t one: “Between 4pm and 10:15pm, go in there, eat as much as you want, drink as much as you want, because I’m footing the bill”, says Sacha.

Knowing full well how packed this place is going to be, he quipped, “There’s no catch… try and rinse me” because, as he quite rightly puts it, “we need to support these independents”. There’s been far too many hospitality closures post-pandemic.

Lord will be there himself enjoying the atmosphere as well as his share of the food and drink, so you can always thank him in person on the way out. Just don’t rub how many courses you ordered in his face — salt in the wound and all that.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other places trying to help punters during the ‘cozzie livs‘ (yes, we hate that we just said that too).

Happy hour Manchester – the best drinks deals in the city centre

For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester,subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.

Featured Image — Sacha Lord (via Twitter)/The Thirsty Korean (via Facebook)

Where to find the best afternoon tea in Manchester (2024)


What's the difference between afternoon tea and royal tea? ›

Royal tea is a fancier version of afternoon tea, which includes a glass of champagne or similar alcoholic drink. It is also referred to a champagne tea.

What is the perfect afternoon tea? ›

Usually consisting of a selection of teas, freshly prepared finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries with all the trimmings, a light Afternoon Tea should allow for 4 sandwiches, 2 scones and 2 cakes (of different varieties) per person.

Are Marks and Spencer doing afternoon tea? ›

The M&S café is a place of comfort for many of us – you probably remember visiting with your mum, or perhaps taking your own kids there for five minutes peace while they demolish a jacket potato.

Is afternoon tea still a thing in England? ›

In Britain today Afternoon Tea is usually enjoyed as an occasional indulgence or to celebrate a special event, such as a birthday, a pre-wedding party, or baby shower with a group of friends.

Does Kate Middleton have afternoon tea? ›

Yes, really! The monarch isn't the only royal to enjoy the afternoon pick-me-up, with the likes of Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and the duch*ess of Cornwall all having their own individual preferences. It seems the assumption that the royals sip on Earl Grey and nibble on scones is only partially true!

What does the Queen eat for afternoon tea? ›

As well as sandwiches and scones (pronounced like cones, of course), the Queen's afternoon tea would also include petit fours: 'Anything from a mini chocolate eclair to a Queen's cake, and large cakes too which we would call a cut of cake,' says McGrady.

What are the 3 main foods served at an afternoon tea? ›

Prepare this in advance if you like and have a tasting of the food you would like to serve and the teas you are thinking about - we would suggest an Earl Grey Tea, an Assam and a Darjeeling. An Afternoon Tea menu should include light cakes, scones and sandwiches.

What do you eat first at afternoon tea? ›

Usually the food is served on a three-tiered tray, with sandwiches or savories on the bottom, scones in the middle, and pastries on the top. Afternoon tea etiquette is to eat the sandwiches first, then the scones, then the pastries.

Does Queen Elizabeth have afternoon tea? ›

The Queen had a cup of breakfast tea and the traditional afternoon tea every day, no matter where she was in the world—and even indulged in sharing a brew with Paddington Bear earlier this year.

Can I wear jeans to afternoon tea? ›

Dressing for afternoon tea can be modified to however smart or casual you may feel. While you can get away with a smart top and jeans, if you don't want to dress up, many ladies choose to take the opportunity to don a pretty frock.

Is Harry Potter afternoon tea worth it? ›

We attended today to experience afternoon tea and we were not disappointed. The presentation and food was superb and definitely good value for money. Steve, the member of staff looking after us was absolutely superb and his attentiveness to us and all of the other people having afternoon tea was exceptional.

Where is the most classically famous afternoon tea served? ›

In London, The Ritz is still the most famous location to take afternoon tea; there are over 18 different types of tea to choose from, sandwiches are replenished and, after the scones, cakes are served from a trolley.

What do the English drink with afternoon tea? ›

Tea selections range per venue, but generally there is English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Jasmine, Darjeeling, Assam, green tea, and an herbal tea option. It is also worth noting that the British typically add milk to their black tea so a small dish of creamer will usually accompany the meal.

What tea do Brits drink in the afternoon? ›

The three most important types popular in the UK are: Darjeeling, which comes from Northern India and is a light, delicate tea–perfect for Afternoon Teas. Ceylon Tea is slightly stronger than Darjeeling. It is aromatic with a slightly sharp taste.

What is a royal tea? ›

Not referring to Darjeeling tea (the “champagne” of teas), a Royal Tea offers a glass of champagne or sherry in addition to the full afternoon tea menu, and sometimes a flower, fresh strawberries or a fourth course, to give the meal an air of festive luxury.

What type of tea is royal tea? ›

Royal Tea is a caffeine-free fruity and floral blend of rose and cinnamon, in addition to pear, apple, orange peel and hibiscus. Every Twist Tea blend is created from the finest, ethically sourced whole-leaf ingredients.

What defines royal tea? ›

Popular in Japan and Hong Kong, Royal Milk Tea (Royal Tea) is a hot drink made with Assam or Darjeeling tea leaves and milk. Lovers of royal milk tea often add sugar or honey to sweeten this hot milky drink. It's easily found in restaurants, boba shops, and cafe menus.

What are the three types of afternoon tea? ›

"There's the savory course with tea sandwiches, the scones course served with clotted cream and jam, and, finally, the third course of sweet pastries," said Hemery.


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