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Opus One Bar & Restaurant, Restaurants, OpenTable Listings, Manchester
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Afternoon tea in Manchester

Find the best places to enjoy a fresh scone, tasty finger sandwiches, cakes and a lovely cup of tea in Manchester

By Rob Martin
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Oh, the joy of the afternoon tea. No matter what kind of cuisine you prefer, from Italian to Thai, there's nothing quite like the sight of a cake stand, laced with sandwiches, stuffed with scones and caked in cake. Throw in a pot of delicious hot tea, perhaps a glass of bubbly too, and you've got the perfect afternoon treat.

So go and enjoy some of the very best afternoon teas Manchester has to offer.

Manchester's best afternoon teas

The Library at The Edwardian, Manchester

Housed inside the iconic former Free Trade Hall, this 5 star Radisson hotel in the city centre has 2 restaurants, of which it's The Library that offers the delights of an afternoon tea. And delightful it is, as curated by Assouline, the high-end book publisher. Available only at weekends from noon to 4pm and with live music on a Saturday, it'll set you back around the £30 mark but it's well worth it for a taste of proper indulgence.

The Richmond Tea Rooms

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Tea rooms

Had Alice emerged from the rabbit hole in modern day Manchester and found herself pining for a spot of tea, she may well have ended up at Richmond Tea Rooms. Situated on a side street in the Gay Village, it’s a space of two halves and the tea room has to be seen to be believed, taking camp to a new level.

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Annie's
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Jessica C.

Annie’s

Winner of the People’s Choice award for best tea room at the Manchester Tourism Awards, Annie’s is very much a crowd-pleaser. It’s easy to see why, too. Ditching fancy-pants glamour in favour of something altogether cosier, its prerogative is to make you feel right at home. Bonus: it’s owned by Corrie star Jennie McAlpine (aka Fiz Brown).

Cloud 23

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Cocktail bars

Halfway up Beetham Tower, Manchester's tallest building, separating the lower Hilton hotel with posh apartments above, sits two floors of Cloud 23, a bar offering the best views of any in the city, and afternoon teas of sandwiches, scones, cakes and unlimited teas and coffees start at £20 per person.

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Exterior of large Victorian hotel at dusk
Photography: The Midland Hotel

The Midland

Hotels Luxury hotels

Open since 1903, The Midland is Manchester’s oldest hotel and it has been famed for its afternoon tea from the very beginning. A huge refurbishment in 2021 has taken in the tea room and an array of actually-rather-forward-thinking menus are well worth the trip. You can nab vegan and gluten-free options, as well as their traditional and ‘Royal’ selections.

Sugar Junction

Restaurants Tea rooms

Naturally drawn to life’s old-timey pleasures? Then take a trip to Sugar Junction (don’t worry, it’s nothing like TOWIE’s Sugar Hut). There you’ll find vintage wallpaper, mismatched crockery and enough nostalgia to make you wonder what decade you’re really in. The menu’s pretty trad, too – but expect a couple of surprising treats.

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Australasia

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Pan-Asian

For an afternoon tea with a difference, Pan Asian restaurant Australasia is as different as it gets. For £25 per person, you get a high tea in two waves - the first offers salads and sushi with a glass of Australian 'champagne', whilst wave two is a three tier sweet indulgence.

Menagerie
Photograph: Courtesy Menagerie

Menagerie Restaurant

Restaurants Pan-Asian

These days, presentation is key. Sure your Nana’s little square sarnies might taste nice, but are they gonna cut it on social media? Sorry Betty, we think not. Menagerie have upped their afternoon tea visual game and then some, serving dashing ferris wheels full of edible delights, from scones to brownies.

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Cocoa Cabana

Shopping Off licences

Perhaps the best value afternoon tea is just outside the city center. This impressive, award-winning independent chocolatier in West Didsbury, specialising in handmade truffles, brownies, chocolates, cakes and other delicious and decadent things of a suitably sweet slant offers a range of fantastic afternon teas from their standard, a champagne and a bottomless one. That's a lot of fancies!

Cake stand with champagne bottle in background
Photograph: courtesy Vienna Coffee House

Vienna Coffee House

For a touch of Austrian romance in the heart of Manchester city centre, try Vienna Coffee House. Drawing influence from the Austrian capital’s historic Kaffeehaus scene, this city-centre café is a low-key gem. They do a mean high tea – expect all the classics, including some award-winning deli ham sarnies.

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