Friday, 23 March 2012

Dish and Spoon, Burton Road, Didsbury



Environment
Laura: The Dish and Spoon has a real seaside vintage feel with a mix of cornflour blue hues and natural tones. I found the retro kitchen quality to the tea room to be very inviting with the various jars and utensils on display along with the folddown table tops and old fashioned sweet jars. We visited on a particularly quiet afternoon so it was difficult to judge what kind of atmosphere it projects but I can imagine that with its petite and intimate design it would create a really friendly environment when full of tea and cake lovers.


Caroline: Simple and sophisticated, Dish and Spoon provides the perfect environment for a relaxing afternoon alone or with friends. Decorated throughout with blue and wooden themes, this cafe emits a tranquility which is rare within the city, providing a calmness characteristic of a rural or southern coastal town.

I particularly liked their blackboards and old fashioned scales, which really gave the place a quaint, homely feel. I can also highly reccommend their personalised memorabilia, which can be purchased in store and has some of the nicest designs I've ever seen - especially their tea towels!


Food

Laura: Oh what to do when every cake in an entire shop looks so yummy? I’ve had a real obsession with peanut butter buttercream lately so my decision was made when I saw that they had a cupcake with this on top. It was absolutely lovely, deliciously moist and the buttercream with chopped nut sprinkles was perfectly smooth. I chose a bottle of raspberry lemonade to go with my chocolate treat which was a refreshing change from usual drinks menus and definitely added a special touch.


Caroline: A while ago someone told me to try red velvet cupcakes, so when I saw that Dish and Spoon were selling them, I had to taste one. It was YUMMY and I especially loved the cream cheese topping - which I'm definitely going to try when I make some of my own cakes soon!
To accompany my cupcake, I chose a sicilian lemonade which was just perfect for a warm spring day.




Service
Laura: We were assisted promptly at the counter and our food was brought to our table which I personally believe makes a world of difference to a tea room experience. We were greeted with the upmost of manners and a smile, something very high up on my checklist!


Caroline: Once again, I have no complaints in this department. The service was pleasant, friendly and efficient - Very well done!

Overall Thoughts:

Laura: I thoroughly enjoyed our visit and thought the cupcakes were just delightful. The tearoom itself is pretty but not too over the top with vintage accessories, which for a quick cake and coffee pit stop, makes it the ideal place to be.

Caroline: This place is a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, and with its nice cake, good service and relaxing environment, I wouldn't hesitate to visit again!

Cupcake Rating:


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Airyfairy Cupcake Boutique, School Lane, Didsbury


Environment
Laura: Airyfairy aims to create a cupcake-topia (That works right?) and it definitely succeeds. Sitting at one of their cute and individually patterned table tops I almost forgot I was in Manchester! Decorated to perfection with vintage radios, old milk bottles and mismatched wall art, it’s a hotchpotch heaven for all things kitsch and cakey. They even offer customers a chance to indulge in some of their retro goodness with a selection of items available to purchase.

Caroline: Pretty as a picture, Airyfairy is one of those places that makes you smile as soon as you walk through the door. With their eclectic themes and country kitchen hues, this cafe blends the traditional with the modern to create something really quite wonderful, making it the perfect environment to while away a sunny afternoon. My personal highlights included their lovely cupcake tablecloths and retro fridge, which were teamed perfectly with their cute old-fashioned-department-store-style cupcake cabinets to create that boutique feel!



Food
Laura: As a lover of all things cute, fairy tale and Disney I had eagerly anticipated trying one of the boutique’s adorably named cupcakes. I chose to dine with Cinderella, a vanilla on vanilla girly cupcake. Sprinkled with sugary flower shapes it looked absolutely delightful, however I was a little underwhelmed by the sponge as it was slightly dry. Nonetheless I still enjoyed it and felt our late visit could have been to blame here! Airyfairy serves a selection of hot and cold drinks and as it was such a beautiful day I chose a bottle of fresh orange juice. A cake and a bottled drink cost £3.50 which was a fair price for somewhere that looks so pretty!


Caroline: Like Laura, I too was enchanted by their fairy tale inspired cupcake names and after reading their menu, couldn't wait to try one for myself.

Their options are endless and include;

Cinderella – Vanilla on vanilla -always a favourite and still proving the most popular cupcake flavour.
Prince Charming - Chocolate cupcake through and through and on the top..oh and in the middle...
Queen of Hearts – vanilla sponge with pink raspberry buttercream with or without a raspberry jam centre
Hansel – vanilla sponge with crushed oreo topping
Gretel - chocolate sponge with a crushed Malteser topping
Peter Pan - Peppermint buttercream on a chocolate sponge topped with a minty treat nom!
Mother Goose - Lemon or vanilla sponge and lemon flavoured topping, made with fresh juicy lemons
The Pied Piper - Chocolate Orange flavour with a chocolate orange segment topping
The Mad Hatter - vanilla sponge with a Nutella chocolate buttercream blend topped with hazelnuts.
Goldilocks - We use carrot, a hint of orange & a blend of spices including nutmeg & cinnamon with cream cheese
March Hare - Apple and Cinnamon with a vanilla buttercream

For my afternoon enjoyment, I opted for a Queen of Hearts Cupcake, which was a vanilla sponge, topped with a raspberry buttercream and finished with an adorable miniature jammy dodger. Like Laura, I too found the sponge slightly dry, but again I agree that this was probably down to the lateness of our visit. In spite of this slight hitch however, the rest our cupcake experience was faultless, with their buttercream and presentation done to perfection!


Service
Laura: After spending about five minutes ogling the cakes (They really did look gorgeous!) we were served politely and quickly. My only criticism about the counter service was the way it was set up. We were given our cakes at one end of the counter and were then left to follow our server to pay at the other side of the station. I found it a little off-putting to have to go back to the other side of the counter and disrupt customers who were in the middle of being served after us, in order to pick up our cakes. Not a massive issue but just something that felt could be worked differently.


Caroline: The service at Airyfairy's was friendly, efficient and professional, being everything which I would expect from an establishment of this kind. Again, just to underline Laura's previous point, I would agree that the moving backwards and forwards between till and counter was a little inconvenient, as it placed you in the position of having to lean over the next customer to get your cake. But this detracts nothing from the overall service and is something which can easily be changed!


Overall Thoughts
Laura: I’m glad they called it a boutique because I don’t think just calling it a ‘tea room’ would do Airyfairy enough justice. It is absolutely gorgeous and a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy Didsbury strip. A lovely place for a girly girl’s afternoon.

Caroline:
If you live in the Manchester area and haven't been to Airyfairy already - GO!
It's an absolutely delightful environment in which to spend a relaxing afternoon with friends and I would highly recommend it!

Cupcake Rating:


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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Hey Little Cupcake Winner

Congratulations to our Hey Little Cupcake Voucher Winner!

Hope you enjoy spending your prize Natalie :)


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Monday, 19 March 2012

Twitter Competition


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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Richmond Tea Room, Richmond Street, Manchester



Environment


Caroline: Follow that white rabbit, as you enter into the magical world of the Alice in Wonderland, at the Richmond Tea Rooms Manchester...

When I first heard about this place I was very excited, but then I started to worry that it might not live up to my expectations. Well, I have some news for you - it's perfect!
From its throne-esque chairs to its adorable dolls house, this place oozes magic and fairy dust. I particularly loved the 'Eat Me' 'Drink Me' signs above the bar and the mulit-zoned layout which really completed the 'Alice' look!
- Fabulous

Laura:
The Richmond Tea Room really does make you believe you have been invited to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Perfectly patterned walls, rich velvety canopies and even an indoor greenhouse all add to the quirky fairy tale environment.

I loved the window seats filled with luxurious pink cushions and the decadent mirrors that wouldn’t be out of place in a Disney movie. Little touches such as Alice artwork, vintage sounds and an old fashioned till register make Richmond Tea Rooms one of the most beautiful tea shops I have ever visited…and that’s a lot!



Food

Caroline: I was SO excited when I saw their pretty cake cabinet and couldn't wait to try a slice of strawberry victoria sandwich - which I must add, was decorated to perfection. However, when it arrived, I was a little disappointed by the cake itself, which I found to be a bit dry (Although I am willing to believe that this was due to us visiting in the late afternoon, rather than earlier on!)

Pricewise, it's a little dearer than other places, with a cake and a coffee totalling £6.00. But when considering the high quality finish of the surroundings, you can't really complain about paying that little bit extra!




Laura:
The cake cabinet was a dream for a cake fiend like myself and offered a fabulous range of sweet treats. I too chose a traditional slice of victoria sponge which was wonderfully presented with a juicy strawberry on top. A generous piece but slightly let down by its dry sponge and hardened cream. However, maybe our late visit was to blame here!

Although tempted to go with the Alice theme and try ‘Curious Cola’, I opted for a latte which totalled the bill at £6. A little steep for coffee and a cake but when you’re comfortably sat in somewhere that pretty, what’s a few extra pounds?



Service

Caroline: The staff were all friendly and really went out of their way to make you feel at home - full marks!

Laura: The staff were all very welcoming and I appreciated that we were given a choice of table upon entry, which obviously saw me run for the pink cushions. Pleasant and polite – It’s all we ask for!


Overall Thoughts

Caroline: This place is truely wonderful and if disney had a tea room, this is how they'd do it. I'm already planning my return visit!

Laura:
I have already told just about anyone willing to listen about Richmond Tea Rooms. It’s wonderfully over the top, storybook-pretty and their afternoon tea choices looked amazing! I cannot wait to go back.





Cupcake Rating




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Friday, 9 March 2012

Home Sweet Home, Edge Street, Manchester



Environment

Laura: Well when they named it ‘Home Sweet Home’ they got it spot on. Immediately we were welcomed into this lovely environment that felt like someone’s humble yet modern kitchen. A refreshing style based on home comforts sets the perfect ambience for an afternoon (or evening as it’s open ‘til late!) with friends. Little accents of household objects such as board games, books and even cereal boxes made me feel like I was dining in a really kooky B&B. I really loved it!

Caroline: This café is one of the loveliest places we've visited so far on our travels. Its off beat, homely style, blends the modern with the traditional, providing the perfect atmosphere to enjoy one of their numerous edible delights! This home from home is accentuated wonderfully with various quirky features, including book lined archways and an ever so cool Kit-Kat Clock!



Food
Laura: I was super excited about trying the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies at Home Sweet Home. They take about 15 mins to be made but are most certainly worth the wait. Perfectly moist and still gooey warm from the oven, served with a glass of milk for dipping. For just £3 you get five cookies, now you can hardly argue with that! I also chose a cold drink to end our visit which came in the form of a retro Coca Cola glass bottle. A lovely touch and surprisingly cheap again at £2.20 a bottle.




Caroline: This week I moved away from cupcakes and opted for a traditional fruit scone with Jam and Cream - Needless to say it was lovely. I particularly liked the fact that it was warmed through before service, which made it extra delicious. Like the cookies, it was also very reasonably priced at just £3, and was definitely worth the money!

To drink I also had a bit of a change, opting for a sparkling water at £2 a bottle and as far as water goes it was very nice!




Service

Laura: I certainly felt right at home when we were greeted the minute we stepped through the doors. Our server was very quick to ask for our orders and made sure to inform of the wait time for my cookies. The friendly and enthusiastic staff were extremely polite and attentive to our needs. Smiles all round!

Caroline: The service at 'Home Sweet Home' was everything I could have asked for and more. All of the staff were incredibly friendly and greeted us as soon as we entered, offering prompt service and looking after us throughout our entire afternoon. Top marks!



Overall Thoughts

Laura: I will certainly be making another visit to Home Sweet Home. Where else can you get freshly baked cookies for such a great price in Manchester? Next time I’d love to try one of their fabulous sharer desserts which looked ever so tempting. Gorgeous place, a great mix of people, why wouldn’t I want to go again?!

Caroline: This has to be one of the best places to spend an afternoon in Manchester. Warm, friendly and comfortable - I can't fault it at all. I will definitely be back!

Cupcake Rating:



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