Proper Tea is another fantastic place to indulge in tea and cake when you’re out and about in Manchester.
From the same team as Teacup Kitchen in the Northern Quarter, home of the rainbow cake, Proper Tea occupies Hanging Bridge Chambers in Cathedral Yard. It’s slightly off the beaten track but if you are sightseeing, or need a break from a hard day’s shopping, it could provide a welcome pit stop.
The building itself has its own interest value. The hanging bridge used to provide access to the Cathedral from Deansgate, crossing the Hanging Ditch, which connected the River Irk to the River Irwell. The Cathedral Visitor Centre is accessible from the back of Proper Tea, and in here you can find the original hanging bridge. I haven’t been able to find references to any hangings mind. Apparently the first known reference to the bridge was in 1343, when it was called Hengand Brigge, so the name ‘Hanging Bridge’ may just have evolved from there.
As for the tea, well in the same vein as Teacup Kitchen there are a wide variety of teas to choose from. It’s nice to see tea drinkers being paid the same attention as coffee lovers.
When it comes to choosing a brew I have to confess I’m not very adventurous. I like ‘normal’ tea, or something close to it so I went for the Assam Breakfast Tea. It arrived in a glass tea pot so you could watch it infuse, accompanied by a 3 minute timer and a separate pot to pour the tea in to once it had reached the perfect brew. Stewed tea is not acceptable here.
The boy had a Jade Tip Mao Jian Green Tea. The leaves reminded me of the moss we used to fill our hanging basket! This tea also came with timer and jug. So simple, and so effective.
Knowing we would be running the following day, we both indulged in a huge slice of cake. I reasoned that the carrot cake could just about qualify as legitimate carb loading (I do actually have a recipe for a runners carrot cake). It was delicious, fruity, and extremely sweet. In an action rarely seen by me, I let the boy finish my slice.
He opted for the lemon cake, which was light and lemony. It was yummy but the carrot cake got both our votes for being the best.
So, for a bit of history with your cuppa, be sure to pop in to Proper Tea.
Proper Tea: 10 Cateaton Street, Manchester, M3 1SN, Tel: 0161 832 3220
Love cake? Check out my guide to the best afternoon teas in Manchester.