Sunday 10 March 2013

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: The Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester

Last week the Afternoon Tea Club headed off to the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel in Manchester to sample some of their lovely afternoon tea in the Opus One Bar. 


Located in the historic Free Trade Hall on Manchester’s Peter Street, the Radisson Blu Edwardian is a building of grand proportions. From its beautiful Victorian exterior to its undeniably modern interior, this hotel is bubbling with ambiance and has a certain je ne sais quoi which makes for a wonderful afternoon tea.

The striking red themes which run throughout, create a vibrant and luxurious atmosphere, whilst the side room where tea is served extends this theme, also offering a lovely bright aspect onto the street outside, through the inclusion of wonderful feature windows. The furniture is also very comfortable and includes brilliant red-velvet swivel chairs which were an absolute delight and a personal highlight of the afternoon (who can resist a swivel chair?!)

Any unabashed Twi-hard would delight in the fab decor inside the Opus One Bar . Cool and classy, it's kitted out in patent black and red with huge chess pieces dotted around the bar. A very good start and there’s a noticeable contrast moving through to the afternoon tea area as the atmosphere changes, positively of course, as we find ourselves allocated a window table – this is definitely a place to watch the world go by.
There's a lovely feel to this section of the restaurant as the large windows invite great natural lighting and give the illusion of outdoor dining - without having to brave the cold!
The layout is pristine and crisp with white table cloths and super slim fire places. I absolutely loved the scarlet, rotating chairs which made it incredibly easy to get in and out of our seats without any tea spillages - more places should invest in these!
The Radisson Blu Edwardian is modern yet quite understated and certainly makes for a perfect afternoon tea location.


The food at the Radisson was delicious and offered a good selection of traditional classics served on a three tiered silver stand, including: a selection of Finger Sandwiches in a variety of flavours (Beef, Ham, Tuna, Cheese, Prawn and Egg), Plain and Fruit Scones (with Clotted Cream and Tipton Strawberry Jam) and a wonderful array of Cakes and Pastries (Strawberry Tart, Banoffee Pie, Chocolate Cake and Summer Fruit Jelly)

The sandwiches in particular were quite special, being served as a double layer for twice the taste sensation - very impressive. The cheese mayo was my personal favourite - so much so in fact that I also claimed Laura’s for my own! The scones were also lovely and light, being served warm with a dusting of icing sugar for extra effect, whilst the patisserie crowned the stand, taking pride of place at the top. The selection here was very impressive and offered a real focal point to the display. Of this choice, my favourite by far was the Strawberry Tart which had the hidden surprise of a cream filling, which was a very welcome alternative to the usual crème patissiere and got me in the mood for summer!

This was the dessert selection I had been waiting for. But before I get down to cakey business, let’s look at what else was on offer.
There are 3 different types of afternoon tea available at the Radisson Blu with one particularly exciting option - a Gentleman's Afternoon Tea. As tempted as I was by the sound of mini Yorkshire puds and pork pies - my sweet tooth got the best of me and I chose to sample the Traditional Afternoon Tea.
There was a great selection of sandwiches with a good mix of fillings including beef, prawn, tuna, egg and ham. My favourite was definitely the beef - simple and not overdone by other toppings that might otherwise make it too fussy.
Next up were the scones. I was very happy to find we were given a fruit scone and plain scone each and both were incredibly soft and still warm with a good amount of jam and cream.
And finally, the the final tier, the fabulous dessert selection. Oh my. Picture this; banoffee pie, chocolate cake, strawberry tart and summer fruits jelly - perfect. The banoffee pie was lovely and fluffy and the chocolate cake was just delicious.
The fruit jelly was certainly very different and made for a great refresher at the end of our tea.
These desserts were all quite rich which might be a bit much for some diners when presented together - but if you can't manage to finish it all, the lovely staff will box anything left over for you to take home.
Of course we found no problem in finishing the entire thing!


I always feel that I tend to say the same things when reviewing service, but once again the waiters at the Radisson worked to a very high standard. All staff were very attentive and made sure that we were well looked after, whilst the personal welcome from the charming bar manager was also a nice touch. On a purely aesthetic note, I really loved the fact that everyone was wearing suits - It gave the place an executive/business feel which I liked very much. Great Job!

The service here was carried out to such a high standard. Our server took extra care to explain all of the different tiers and was very attentive when it came to topping up our hot drinks.

Each member of staff we encountered was friendly, with one lovely lady engaging in a joke with us when collecting our coats. This gave the service a much more genuine feel yet still remained top class.

Overall Thoughts

I really enjoyed our afternoon at the Radisson Blu Edwardian and would recommend it to anyone wanting to experience a traditional tea in a relaxed environment. The food is lovely and the service impeccable. Overall a very enjoyable afternoon, that I wouldn’t hesitate to repeat - Next time I'd love to try their Savory/Gentleman's tea which sounds fabulous!

This was definitely one of my favourite afternoon tea menus. I would go back here simply for the choice and the service. It's an impressive space and you are made to feel extremely welcome. I think next time I will have try the Gentleman's Afternoon Tea, such a unique idea and certainly one to look out for. Just a delightful afternoon.

Cupcake Rating:


The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel is located on Peter Street, Manchester City Centre. Afternoon Tea Prices start from £16.95pp. For more information please visit their website HERE

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