Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Teacup on Thomas Street, Manchester


Caroline: Oh Teacup, I'll always love you, I really will - You were the first independent tea room we visited in Manchester and our inspiration to start this blog... but I'm sorry to say, you've changed (and it pains me)

Re-opening after a series of sizable renovations, I expected to find my favourite tea room BIGGER and BETTER than ever, and upon discovering their extension to the upstairs area, it's certainly fair to say that it's bigger. However, 'better' is another question. The Teacup of old had an eclectic mix of New York Cafe Chic and Cath Kidston Kitsch, which worked perfectly to combine the American city with the English country. Their use of cute polka dot tablecloths and quirky graffiti wall art, gave the cafe a character which was uncharacteristic of many in the area, and made it the ideal place to spend an afternoon.

However, the new and 'improved' Teacup has unfortunately abandoned all of these things, settling for an arguably blander and safer alternative. The tables, although nice, are simple and wooden, while the wall art is none existant, with the designer having opted for a dark brown colour scheme throughout. The upstairs extension I feel, has also served to make the cafe appear chaotic, which although not a massive issue, has made the place seem less personal than before.

Having said that, I do like the new counter and blackboards, which make a welcome addition, but unfortunately these fail to make up for the loss of the other, more exciting, character 'features'.

Laura: Yes, Teacup has been our go to retreat for quite some timenow, our little place of tranquillity and indulgence where a slice of flourless chocolate cake could take all of our cares away. But I have to agree, change hasn’t necessarily been a good thing for our faithful friend.

The quirky set up of old has been stripped in favour of a much more minimalistic approach. The basic ambience of Teacup is still there but I feel that this extended version takes away the intimacy that I always found so inviting about the tea shop. I still think the place looks very appealing but I can’t help but miss its old personality, such as that found in little quips on receipts that would say things like ‘Tippers make better lovers.’


I've always loved the food at Teacup and have my go-to dishes which I always order when I visit, namely their Ham and Cheese Toasties and Flourless Chocolate Cake. Being a creature of habit, I once again opted for these on my last visit, in the hope of experiencing the same enjoymant as before. By and large the food was pretty similar to before, although I did feel that portion sizes were perhaps a little smaller and I missed the small pots of coleslaw and raddishes which usually accompany the meal.

Laura: As a bit of a soup addict lately I opted for the soup of the day which came served with granary bread to dip. As expected, it was lovely. I decided to move away from my flourless favourite for dessert on this occasion and chose a chocolate brownie (My initial choice of a cupcake was unavailable). Teacup has quite the brownie selection and I chose the Malteaser option. It looked absolutely yummy but I was a little disappointed that some of the brownie appeared undercooked and had more of a cake mix consistency to it. Unless this is a type of brownie I’m unfamiliar with?

Teacup isn’t the cheapest of tea shops we’ve visited with a soup costing just over £4 and a £3 for a brownie. I’d have to agree with Caroline too that the portions do seem considerably smaller than the last time we visited and this hasn’t really been reflected in any price changes.


Although the service was highly professional and incredibly friendly, there were occasions when we were overlooked. This is probably down to the new floor plan and with experience I'm sure the staff will adapt to this change of scene - we just happened to catch them at a particularly busy time.

Laura: The staff at Teacup are always extremely polite and friendly.Our server offered her expertise on the available dishes when I was told mydessert choice was unavailable which definitely gains them extra points.However, I too felt we were slightly overlooked as we were left waiting a whilebefore coming to the attention of a member of staff who eventually asked if we would like our bill.

Overall Thoughts

From reading my review you'd be forgiven for thinking that I hate the 'new and improved' Teacup. I don't - I'm just disappointed that the new changes have taken away some of the cafe's previous sparkle. When reviewed without previous experience, Teacup is still head and shoulders above a lot of other coffee shops in the city and is nonetheless a pleasure to spend an afternoon in.

Laura: I did in fact enjoy our visit to Teacup and would still recommend giving it a go. After all, as Caroline has already pointed out, it’s the tea shop that made us want to create this blog in the first place! I’m sure we will visit again, it really is a pleasant place to get your cake fix but our last visit didn’t completely match up to some other places that are quickly becoming firm Afternoon Tea Club favourites.

P. S We still love you though... maybe it's us, not you!

Cupcake Rating

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