Neighbourhood prides itself on being a cool, New York style bar and with its dark interior, mirrored tables and mesh panels, you can definitely feel the NYC vibes. Situated in Manchester's swanky Spinningfields complex, the bar is almost hidden away in the Avenue, giving it an exclusive feel and shaped up to be quite the hip venue for Afternoon Tea.
The place is already set for tea when you arrive and the entire bar adopts a similar theme with floral pieces mimicking that of the tea set.
It's an impressive look and makes the most of the current trendiness in Afternoon Tea which has resulted in the popular bold cups and saucers we see at our table.
You can choose to sip your champagne first or begin with tea. Tea or champagne? Champagne or tea? A silly question really and one we promptly answered with the bubbly option.
There is a standard choice of tea however, a simple but classic everyday brew. It would have been good to have a choice here, perhaps a signature tea to match the Mad Hatter theme.
The afternoon tea itself looks absolutely lovely. It's got colour, texture and dares to be a little playful, adding jelly drops to the top layer.
The sandwich selection consists of cucumber and chive cream cheese, ham and mustard, egg mayonnaise and ATC favourite, salmon with lemon butter. The choice here was good, with a nice range of fillings but we couldn't help but notice the bread was a little dry.
|A spot of tea.|
Things are done a little differently at Neighbourhood, after all this is a Mad Hatter's tea party and the scones are housed in with the rest of the cakes. It's been so long since we've had cherry scones so these were a pleasant surprise, however more particular tea goers might not like that they've been saved the duty of deciding what goes first the jam or the cream, as it's already been done for you. Nevertheless we liked that they were different and can confirm they were delicious.
The scones were joined by slices of carrot cake, Victoria sponge and chocolate tart. The flavours here were nicely balanced with a little something for every palette, inspired by a very traditional Afternoon Tea menu.
To finish there are green and red jelly bites presented on spoons which are a fun palette cleanser to end the tea. However a dash of flavouring or splash of alcohol might have livened these up a touch - or does that say more about us?
The tea was nice and balanced but there wasn't anything particularly Mad about it. Instead, everything on the menu was quite typical. Of course why change an age old, winning formula, but it just felt it needed something to make it stand out before we could truly feel as though we had fallen down the rabbit hole.
For one of Manchester's premium champagne teas at £33 per person we're not too sure if it quite lives up to its price tag. There are others in the city offering much more for much less.
With a venue as attractive at this, and credit must be given for how fabulous this place looks, we reckon if Neighbourhood were to strip the Mad Hatter label or add a few unique touches it might become quite the Afternoon Tea hotspot.
Neighbourhood is located in Spinningfields, Manchester. Champagne Afternoon Tea costs £33pp. For more information please visit their website.