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The Richmond Tea Rooms, Manchester, Tea

The 11 best afternoon teas in Manchester

Want to go all-out in classic British style? These are the best places for afternoon tea in Manchester according to us

Rob Martin
Written by
Rob Martin
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Manchester is well known as a nightlife mecca. But if you want your trip up here to be a little more genteel, then never fear: you’ll have to sample one of Manchester’s superb afternoon teas. Whether you go for a classic British blowout at a dinky neighbourhood café or a more of an international spin at a high-end restaurant, you’re bound to go away happy (and full). Time for tea? Yes please.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Manchester

Best afternoon tea in Manchester

Annie’s
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Jessica C.

1. 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).

Australasia
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Pan-Asian

If you want an afternoon tea with a difference, then pan-Asian restaurant Australasia really 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.

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Cloud 23
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars

Halfway up Beetham Tower – aka Manchester's tallest building – sit the 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 from £20 per person.

Cocoa Cabana
  • Shopping
  • Off licences

Perhaps the best value afternoon tea is 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, Cocoa Cabana offers a range of fantastic afternoon teas – standard, champagne and bottomless. That's a lot of fancies!

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Housed inside the iconic former Free Trade Hall, the five-star Radisson hotel has two restaurants, of which The Library 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.

  • Restaurants
  • Pan-Asian
  • price 3 of 4

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 you dashing ferris wheels full of edible delights, from scones to brownies.

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  • Hotels
  • Luxury hotels

Open since 1903, The Midland is Manchester’s oldest hotel and was 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.

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 whole new level.

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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.

Vienna Coffee House
Photograph: courtesy Vienna Coffee House

10. 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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Proper Tea
  • Restaurants
  • Tea rooms

If you, like us, believe that afternoon tea is not a meal to be taken lightly, then Proper Tea should give it the gravitas it deserves. In the yard of Manchester’s historic cathedral, you can munch on scones and some posh brews (you know they’re fancy when they come with a tea timer), all while gazing up at some truly magnificent architecture.

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