Although I am biased as Manchester is my hometown, I do think that it is one of the best cities for getting involved. There seems to be a huge community spirit and since the Manchester attack in May, I feel that we have become an even tighter knit place to live. Simple things like walking through the bustling streets seems to be more friendlier, with strangers smiling and showing just how tight we are in our town. With the Manchester Gay Pride festival fast approaching, I for one, am getting very excited for the weekend. It’s the only weekend of the year that I start planning 11 months after the last event. This year, the focus on Manchester is even stronger and the Gay Pride event is not the only thing that is happening. Right next door to my work building is the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, in the iconic Free Trade Building that dates back to 1853. One of the most beautiful buildings in Manchester, it has had it’s fair share of tragedy, where it has been bombed, abandoned and now rebuilt to home the 263 bedroom hotel. Situated inside the Radisson, Opus One restaurant plays host to a great Afternoon Tea, and with National Afternoon Tea week having just been and with the Gay Pride festivities just around the corner, the Radisson has devised a special Afternoon Tea menu paying homage to Manchester.
The #BeeProud Manchester Afternoon Tea Menu was a much needed post work treat, that although I had every intention of eating the lot, I actually came away with some cakes in a box. I actually failed at completing it, and I am so disappointed in myself. However, all was not lost as Salted Caramel Cheesecake in bed was a worthy treat. I took my friend Anushka with me for a good old catch up and to put the world to rights, whilst we had incredibly attentive service from our waiter Nick. Sitting down at a cosy table for two, we were served with glasses of cold and sparkling prosecco, decorated with a strawberry whilst we chose from the two Afternoon Tea menus; the Traditional or the more male orientated. Traditional it was, and whilst browsing the menu, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the Manchester inspired pastries and cakes.
Served on a traditional Afternoon Tea cake stand, the lower tier held a selection of finger sandwiches; Honey-roast ham with wholegrain mustard mayo on brioche bread, Scottish Smoked salmon with lemon butter on rye bread, Rare roast beef with horseradish mayo on sourdough bread and Cheese and red onion on soda bread. The roast beef was so succulent, I could have eaten a full plate of them. I was really excited for the scones, they came out whilst warm, and there’s nothing more satisfying than a warm scone with jam and clotted cream. I’d taken my lactose tablets prior to the tea, so I could enjoy some cream without getting the side effects, but my god, it was so worth it. A choice of a plain scones and raisin scones were available, and I had to take my plain scone home for later.
I was most looking forward to the top tier. I mean, just look at it! Decorated with the #BeeProud hashtag in chocolate sauce, the top tier held the most delicious salted caramel cheesecakes topped with popcorn and spun sugar decorations, Manchester Eccles cakes, Traditional Manchester Tarts as well as a bumblebee inspired shortbread. I must admit, that I still get a warm fuzzy feeling seeing the Manchester bee everywhere. It’s become our symbol and it makes me feel very proud. I finished my tea with a cup of the sharpest, richest black coffee which gave me the boost I needed to get myself and my full stomach home!
The Radisson Blue have really used the inspiration of our historical city and the Northern flavours to create a fun and exciting Afternoon Tea, that is just that little bit more special than others at the moment. It’s available at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester until the 31st August and I would suggest booking for a weekend visit. Priced at £22.50 for Afternoon Tea and £29.50 for the Afternoon Tea with Prosecco, it’s a great treat. You can see the full menu here, and you will not be disappointed.
*Afternoon Tea provided FOC but all opinions are my own.