Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Afternoon Tea at West Ivy, Bury


Despite only being an hour up the road, until this past week I had never been to the Greater Manchester town of Bury. Yet this weekend I somehow ended up there twice, first for Chinese food and retro video games and second for afternoon tea. Even with my impressive Ms. Pac-Man skills, the tea may just have the edge.


We first spotted West Ivy's afternoon tea whilst perusing our Twitter timeline for our next cake adventure and were instantly intrigued by its fun picnic-like presentation and pink strawberry milkshakes.


Opened earlier this year in a bid to deliver city centre dining without the price tag, the restaurant is adjacent to a range of high street eateries which form part of The Rock shopping complex, complete with an outdoor decking area for soaking up the sun. This al fresco feel continues inside where greenery cascades from the ceiling and light pours in through wall-to-wall full-length windows. We wore sunglasses inside, don't judge.


Word has clearly spread about West Ivy's unique offering as the restaurant was chock full with plenty of people enjoying afternoon tea, which added to the busy city dining ambience. When seated at our sun drenched window table, we were offered the option of prosecco, tea or coffee. It seemed odd that this was presented as an either/or choice - not a huge deal for us having only planned on hot drinks but might be one to check for those fancying some tea with a side of candy floss prosecco (yep, it's a thing).

Tiny criticism here with the tea, but one our eagled eyed Twitter followers haven't failed to pick up on. Tea is served with the bag still in the cup and nowhere discreet to place once used. It's certainly not a deal breaker but it would have been better to have drinks served in a pot to allow enough time to brew and avoid any unsightly (read: non-Instagram worthy) tea stains.


Food comes served in a wooden picnic style basket which opens out into three tiers on each side to reveal a huge selection of food, glorious food. With a bowl of fries thrown in for good measure (similar to The Baltic Social's Punk Tea), this is undoubtedly an alternative afternoon tea - scone lovers, be warned, you won't find them here.


What you will find though is a great variety of flavours and miniatures that will leave you feeling full but not in need of a forklift to take you home (if you've ever partaken in double afternoon tea, you'll know the feeling - will we ever learn?). To start, we had mini chicken salads served in individual dishes which were absolutely delicious, shortly followed by crushed avocado, tomato and radish on toast and chunky halloumi fries. Not to be a millennial cliché but the avocado on toast was amazing and the halloumi fries dipped in sweet chilli sauce were incredibly moreish.


On to the final tiers, and the part that earns this tea the moniker of the "sweetest tea" we've ever had, the dessert selection will send you into a sure sugar coma. Mini donuts dipped in Hersheys chocolate sauce (one of our favourite things ever), slices of caramel cheesecake, miniature jam jars filled with toffee popcorn, and a giant, lightly toasted, marshmallow and chocolate brownie skewer. It's all so good. Plus, to top it off, you have a strawberry and cream milkshake on the side decorated with more marshmallows, otherwise known as "the pink unicorn shake". Heaven.


It's been a while since we've sampled an alternative afternoon tea and the West Ivy may have just reignited our love, though for the traditionalists out there, it might not satisfy your classic afternoon tea cravings. At £19.95 per person, it's a good price if you're after something a little different and the environment itself is perfect for a modern take on afternoon tea. If you're a bit of a sweet tooth, the West Ivy is an absolute must.



For more information and to book visit: 

Have you been for an alternative afternoon tea? Let us know in the comments. 

Words: Laura
Photography: Caroline
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1 comment

  1. It looks great. Love an alternative tea. Just more interesting than the traditional.

    ReplyDelete

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