AFTERNOON TEA :: OPUS ONE, RADISSON BLU
It’s National Afternoon Tea Week! Yes, a full week dedicated to scrumptious bite-size treats and delicious teas. A British tradition so good, they needed more than a day to celebrate it. With this in mind, I thought I’d share with you my experience of Afternoon Tea at Opus One restaurant, Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester.
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It’s not every day that one of your closest friends turns 30
…and you happen to be working a minimum wage job, alongside paying a mortgage. Why am I mentioning this? Well, naturally I wanted to mark my friend’s 30th birthday, make her feel special and generally say, ‘Cheers for putting up with me for all these years’ but my problem was, I just didn’t have the funds. (Before I continue, I was putting pressure on myself, Jenna would have been just as happy with a chippy tea!) That’s when the Radisson Blu Edwardian came to my rescue and offered to treat not just Jenna and I, but also our pal Katie, to afternoon tea.
Meeting in Manchester at midday, one warm, balmy July afternoon, we strolled across town to the Radisson Blu Edwardian and found it located in the historic Free Trade Hall. Once inside, soaring ceilings and gold decor mixed with high-gloss black wood made for a very grand entrance. Grand it might have been, but the warm welcome from Garry, their head waiter, made us feel right at home. Especially when he arrived with three glasses of champagne complete with fresh strawberries! Yum.
Once we’d taken our obligatory champagne shots, Garry talked us through the menu and we were given a choice of Afternoon Teas. Choices varied from traditional, hops, gentleman’s or celebration afternoon tea (you can see their afternoon tea menu, here). We opted for a Gentleman’s Tea because we wanted to try something a little different, why not! The Gentleman’s Tea offers a selection of rustic sandwiches, mini Yorkshire pudding, warm pork pie, mini fish and chips with freshly baked scones. The execution was mouth-watering.
…and the food was absolutely delicious. None of us had eaten before making the journey into Manchester and the Gentleman’s tea was certainly filling! Bite-size treats that were cooked to perfection. Now, no afternoon tea would be complete without a choice of tipples. A range of specialty teas were on offer, from Assam to Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong to a Breakfast tea. Creatures of habit, we chose Assam and Earl Grey.
Amazing food, but what about the service? Well, Opus One is the proud owner of a Trip Adviser certificate of excellence and we could certainly see why. Staff were never over-bearing, but always on hand should we need anything. We had a wonderful afternoon, chatting, relaxing and catching up on each other’s news. Two hours later, we wanted to start the afternoon again. (And yes, this old dress again! My Lindy Bop Matilda dress is certainly serving me well!)
*You should know that our visit was complimentary in return for reviewing our visit with honesty. At full price, our afternoon tea would have cost £27.95 per person. For special occasions, such as this, we could definitely justify this price tag and will definitely be back… once I’m earning a proper wage again!*