It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of afternoon tea and this weekend gave me another opportunity to indulge my passion.
On Saturday my husband’s family came to Manchester for a day out and a chance to reminisce about our wedding, which my Grandmother-in-law (is that an expression?) unfortunately missed due to a fall.
We got married in the Town Hall on account of the fantastic architecture and beautiful decor so it was the perfect place to while away a few hours over afternoon tea in the Sculpture Café.
It’s a venue often missing from afternoon tea recommendations but I can only think that’s because people don’t want to share the secret. You will struggle to beat it for presentation, quality, and most of all, for value. At the very reasonable price of just £11.00, with a champagne option for a few pounds more, it’s about half the price of most afternoon teas in the city. And it doesn’t lack a thing in terms of flourish.
Afternoon tea for 6 was served on a giant cake stand, and beautifully presented.
The selection of savouries was fantastic. There was a ham and mustard sandwich, 2 egg mayonnaise wraps with a piece of crunchy toast, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and a tomato tartlet topped with a parmesan crisp. The plate was garnished with pea shoots, which added to the all important colour.
I always have my scone before I tackle the cakes and I’m a cream before jam person. My only grumble was the tiny portion of cream. It was barely enough for one scone, although they did provide more on request. The second pot was barely enough but I didn’t want to look like a pig by asking for a third helping. If I’m out for afternoon tea, I’m hardly watching what I eat – bring more cream! And I say that to everyone, not just the Sculpture Café.
Moving on to the cakes, there was a tantalising selection of goodies, including a Bakewell tart, a custard tart, a macaroon, and a really chocolatey moose hiding gooey chocolate brownie at the bottom. It was so delicious that we all had to restrain ourselves from licking the cup.
With plenty of tea on request, we were all more than comfortably full, leaving the plate clean. Luckily it’s only 2 weeks till the Great Manchester Run so I’m burning some of the excesses off in training!
And it’s not just the food that’s so magnificent. The Sculpture Café is aptly named for the sculptures of various Mayors and people of note in Manchester’s history, including Charles Hallé, founder of the Hallé Orchestra.
If you go on a Saturday you are likely to see a bride and groom posing for photographs against the backdrop of one of Manchester’s grandest and most beautiful buildings. Just make sure you save a place for me!
The Sculpture Café at Manchester Town Hall: For bookings call 0161 827 8767
Afternoon Tea: £11.00 per person
Champagne Afternoon Tea: £18.95 per person (served with 1/4 bottle of champagne)
Love cake? Check out my guide to the best afternoon teas in Manchester.