Monday 22 June 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Épernay Champagne Bar, Manchester

Tea Stand
Apologies for this sorely out dated post. They say 'time flies when you're having fun' and in this case it has - by about four months. Anyway, a review's a review and as this tea is still very much available, I thought it'd be nice to jot down a few thoughts that I had about Épernay, when I visited back in late February.

For those of you who don't know, Épernay is one of Manchester's best champagne bars, frequented by the city's rich & famous and YoPros alike. Located in the back room of the main bar, their afternoon tea spot is absolutely delightful, with big open windows which allow for lots of natural light - perfect for enjoying glass of champagne in!

Champagne is a must when visiting Épernay, and I was delighted to be greeted with a glass upon arrival. However, if the bubbles aren't really your thing, fear not, because  they also offer a good selection of alternative cocktails for your delectation.

Their food was also good. Whilst not as big a selection as other places in the city, the range at Épernay is certainly interesting. With mini muffin sandwiches, served on a range of breads, and fillings including cheese, tuna and ham, this tea offers something a little different to the usual fingers, whilst the cakes are super soft and delicious. In fact, my only minus point in terms of the food was its colour - or lack of - as you might be able to see from the pics. It's only a small note, but I do like to have a strong visual palette when taking afternoon tea, so I found this a little neutral - however the cakes were delicious (particularly the Bakewell Tart) so I was able to forgive this!

All in all, I'd say that this is definitely worth a try if you're looking for somewhere new to take tea in Manchester. If you go, let me know what you think!

Find out more about Épernay here!

Have you ever been to Épernay? What did you think?


Sunday 21 June 2015

New in from Whittard: Margaret's Hope, Limited Edition First Flush Darjeeling

The 'First Flush' is considered by many tea lovers, to be the highlight of the spring/summer season, as crops come into fruition and are harvested for our tea-drinking pleasure! 

As a mark of this special occasion, Whittard have produced a special limited edition chestlet of their prized First Flush Darjeeling - Margaret's Hope, which has been cultivated at altitudes of 915-1830m in the Himalayas. Much like a fine champagne, the marker of a good 'First Flush' comes from its originating tea garden and you don't get much better than Margaret's estate, which is considered to be one one of Darjeeling's oldest and best producers.

Sweet and subtle, this tea is a great one to try if you fancy indulging in something a bit special - we love it!

Read more about Margaret's Hope and see prices on the Whittard site!

Have you ever tried a Darjeeling 'First Flush'?

We were sent a sample of tea to try, but as usual, all thoughts and comments are our own!

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Top 5 Gentleman's Afternoon Teas for Father's Day

Afternoon Tea isn’t just a ladies game you know! Just in time for Father’s Day the pies, mini fish and chips and whiskey selections have been creeping in to take the place of macaroons and mini pastries on the classic Afternoon Tea menu to give you the perfect excuse to treat your dad … and yourself! Here’s our pick of 5 of the best we've spotted so far... 

108 Brasserie - London

108 Brasserie

This Men’s Afternoon Tea is a little bit posh. Here you’ll find no finger sandwiches in sight but rather a grilled rib eye steak sandwich and free range pork & black truffle sausage rolls. Wash it all down with a pint of Guinness or authentic Irish whiskey for £28/£35 pp.

DoubleTree by Hilton – Manchester

We had the pleasure of visiting this rooftop afternoon tea hotspot last year in their exclusive skylounge (review here). Now this Afternoon Tea in the city has been given a manly makeover to include mini burgers, fish and chips and a pint of Manchester Bitter. Price pp. is £21/24 and booking is required. 

Park Plaza, Cardiff

Dainty but macho nonetheless, this offering is filled with meaty bites including a Brecon Venison burger and Welsh sirloin steak with caramelised onions and garlic mushroom on toasted ciabatta. Be sure to leave some room for the Rum Baba filled with Chantilly cream and raspberries. All this for £19.50pp.

The V&A Hotel – Manchester

Scones with a twist are on the menu at this Manchester retreat with cream cheese and red pepper relish relegating the classic the jam and cream. Top it off with a good old Manchester Tart for a sweet finish for just £16.95 pp. Check out our review from when we visited last year. 

The Milestone, London

We’re huge fans of the old world glamour and delectable Afternoon Tea menus at one of our favourite London tea parlours and have had the pleasure of indulging in both its traditional and Gentleman’s tea options (See our review). Treat dad to a savoury medley including chicken lollipop skewer and toad in the hole and to finish a trio of heady whiskeys. Prices start at £36.50 pp.

Are you treating your dad to tea this Father’s Day? Tweet us @TeacupReview!


Monday 15 June 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: The Lawn Collection

The Lawn Collection.

As always, it’s one of our fave things in the world to arrive home to some tea samples through the letterbox and this week’s posted treats came from The Lawn, a boutique tea company based in the Cotswolds.

Starting with the classic breakfast tea, the English Breakfast brew is a good strong cuppa for those difficult Monday mornings and packaged in a pretty polka-dot box makes it an ideal gift for the tea lover in your life.

Classic Breakfast Tea in a classic vintage cup.

We also tried a selection of fruit and classic flavours including Green & Peppermint, Rooibos & Rhubarb and Earl Grey. We're always a fan of peppermint tea so that very much welcomed but our fave was the rhubarb - a unique flavour but very subtle.

Finally, the highlight from the selection was the Rose Garden Fruit Tea. The beautiful, summer floral perfume invites you in straight away and the gorgeous pink rose buds are just lovely – this is quite simply summer in a jar. It’s fruity, refreshing and we highly recommend taking a few moments to enjoy this blend, relaxing in your garden.

Summer in a jar.

For more info on The Lawn Collection visit:

Thanks guys – we’re all set for those lazy summer days!
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