I sank into the chicest of food comas.
Afternoon tea is a big deal in our lovely little country, as we all know. And if you want to treat your fam, BFF or S.O., Menagerie’s brand new afternoon tea is a solid bet.
Easily one of the most Instagrammable spots in town, Menagerie first opened its doors in September 2016, and in that short 6 months, it’s made a well-earned name for itself for its interactive, immersive dining experience. Here, you can book in for dinner with dancing girls hanging on the “happy hour chandelier” above you, or dine in a giant, ornamental birdcage covered in greenery. Afternoon tea is the newest offering on the decadently curated menu, and this weekend I was invited to come and try it out.
The afternoon tea began with a glass of Moet each and a miniature ferris wheel of handmade cakes. Our waiter talked us through each one, but first on the list was a Nutella-filled donut, so naturally, I didn’t take in anything he said after that. Luckily, my bestie remembered it all: two chocolate brownies, two lemon meringue pies, two Victoria sponges, a marshmallow-filled donut and definitely the most delicious of all – the Nutella-filled donut.
We then worked our way through a plate of finger sandwiches each – ham and wholegrain mustard, egg, beef and horseradish, tuna and cucumber, and smoked salmon. All delicious, but somehow we had to leave room for a plate of scones, served with clotted cream and raspberry and strawberry jam. In between sips of English Breakfast (for me) and Earl Grey (for Sarah), we managed to cram them in (!), before our waiter came back over to congratulate us. “I don’t think anyone’s managed to finish the whole tea yet, so well done!”
We didn’t know whether to cry or pat ourselves on the back, but we buttoned up the top of our jeans again to have a wander around the restaurant, before parties of people started piling in for weekend celebrations.
All of the neon lights make for the perfect Insta posts, and the split-level dining at the back of the restaurant is perfect for special events on ground, and people-watching up top. There’s even a neon-lit catwalk running right through the middle.
Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the center of Manchester, Menagerie is the perfect spot to escape the bustle, sip on a well-earned glass of bubbles and feast on the afternoon tea. As Marie said, “let them eat cake”.