Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: The Great John Street Hotel, Manchester

Last week The Afternoon Tea Club were invited to one of Manchester's premier Afternoon Tea destinations to sample some of their high class delicacies and be stars for the day!

Street View


It’s easy to see why Great John Street Hotel is the residence of choice for many visiting celebrities. Located a comfortable distance away from the City’s busy shopping district, close to Granada Studios, this boutique hotel offers its guests the very best luxury experience, without being pretentious. As a four star hotel, Great John Street has clear credentials and these are evident from the moment that you walk through the door. Greeted by floods of paparazzi outside, you know that you have entered somewhere special and the hotel certainly doesn’t disappoint. 

Lounge Area

Inside the environment is refreshingly relaxed and immediately makes you feel at home. Their comfortable lounge area is furnished to a high standard with an eclectic combination of leather and velvet chairs, which are wonderfully offset by an interesting mix of feature pieces, including old books, luggage boxes, tea lights and a particularly impressive clock. 

Great John Street’s ability to mark itself as a premier class environment whilst still being homely is a credit to its design team - proving that traditional comfort can be classy! 


Entering Great John Street via a cluster of photographers makes you think, ‘okay, this place must be pretty special’. Well we’re here to tell you – pretty and special are this tea room’s middle names.  
‘Great John Street’ suggests an image of archaic builds and traditional furnishings yet one look at this gorgeous hotel and those conventional assumptions are shattered by a sense of sleek and welcoming modernity.
Our afternoon tea was served in the Osyster Bar, a section of the lounge which is decked out in a contemporary sitting room style. Rich textures and homely cushions invite you to make yourself at home and the luxurious sofas will entice you to find an excuse not to leave!
Soft lighting, neutral tones, clusters of clocks and mismatched china give it a truly unique character.
The atmosphere here is perfectly relaxing, with a great mix of people being drawn in by GJS’s effortless charm.



The food at Great John Street is nothing short of a triumph. The definition of indulgence, your sweet tooth will be more than satisfied with their decadent selections which include a coffee and vanilla cupcake, red velvet and meringue sponge, and a lovely chocolate and strawberry cake. My favourite of this selection had to be the red velvet which was wonderfully sweet and gooey - the perfect dessert. Similarly their presentation was beautiful, with pretty sugar decorations and a particularly impressive caramel rose enhancing the display. Red berries and  summer fruits also framed the silver cake stand, creating an enchanting visual. Their finger sandwiches too were delightful and offered a choice of Beef and Horseradish, Salmon, Cucumber and Cream Cheese, Ham and Mustard, and Egg, whilst their 'Mighty Leaf' Tea was served in abundance.

The overall feel of this composition was one of great sophistication, with a wonderful mix of flavours and textures, which set it apart as being one of the best in Manchester. My absolute favourite to date.

Spun Sugar and Cream Anyone?

This is certainly one of the most impressive looking afternoon teas we have ever seen – very rich and all three tiers are bursting with garnishes and edible decorations.  This bold look really shouldn’t work yet it absolutely does – and very well, might I add. Who wouldn’t want a caramel rose on their plate?
Our champagne tea began with a glass of Perrier Jouet champagne, fashioned with a refreshing strawberry followed by an unlimited supply of coffee – so far so good!
To start we had a great range of sandwiches with a good mix of breads and fillings. I think we’re both fans of the salmon finger sandwich at the minute but my favourite on this occasion were the beef and horseradish.

Tea for Two

To follow, we indulged in some gorgeously soft fruit scones with homemade jam and cream. I don’t think that any of our readers need reminding just how big a fan of scones I am, but just in case – I was a teeny bit excited about these little beauties and I was not disappointed.
Overflowing on the bottom tier of our 3 layer stand was a range of pretty cakes and treats. I must admit, I have been waiting for an afternoon tea to feature cupcakes and GJS was the first to adhere to my wish. A red velvet cupcake with a soft meringue top certainly made for a very interesting dessert. I especially loved the surprise layer inside that resembled an Oreo cookie. We were also spoiled with coffee cake and a wonderful slice of chocolate sponge to finish. All of the rich flavours complimented each other really well and made for a fabulous selection.



The service at Great John Street Hotel was incredibly warm and hospitable. From the moment that we stepped through the door until the moment we reluctantly left, we were made to feel very much at home. Our waiter and waitress for the afternoon were very attentive and made sure that our tea cups were topped and our needs catered for throughout. Their service cannot be faulted. 

Pretty Tea Service

Definitely some of the best service we have ever come across on our tea shop travels. Our servers gave us exactly the right amount of attention and not once did we have to ask for our tea to be topped up. The staff were courteous and friendly, even greeting us as we entered the building to guide us to our table. I could not have asked for any more – top marks!


Overall Thoughts

I'd heard some wonderful things about Great John Street Hotel in the past, so was very excited to be visiting - They didn’t disappoint. Everything from start to finish was top notch and I wouldn’t hesitate to come back again!

I would love to visit GJS during the evening as I can imagine it’s a great place to unwind with a cocktail or two after work. It’s high class all the way but what is so great about this venue is its ability to make you feel special without compromising its genuine personality. It was one of the most relaxing afternoons I have ever had. If you’re after somewhere with great surroundings and want to feel spoiled – look no further than Great John Street.

Cupcake Rating:

Plus The Golden Cupcake...

Great John Street Hotel is located on Great John Street, near Granada Studios, Manchester City Centre. Afternoon Tea Prices range from £19.50 - £25.00 pp (Ladies and Gentleman Jack Afternoon Teas). For more information please visit their website HERE 

As is common in the catering and leisure industry, we were provided with complimentary services for review purposes. Whilst this has not influenced our review, we believe in the full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.   


1 comment

  1. I was a bit annoyed that they would separate the teas in to gentleman's and ladies. It's kind of a put down for women.


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