Sunday 30 June 2013

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: The Brasserie at Mercure, Manchester

Two weeks ago we headed off to a surprisingly sunny Manchester for an afternoon of tea and cake at one of the city's hidden gems.


On a bright summer‘s day, the views outside Manchester's Mercure Hotel are some of the best in the city. Three floors high and overlooking the bustling Piccadilly Gardens, this serene dining area offers an escape from city life, whilst still remaining at its heart. As a Manchester girl, I really loved having the opportunity to view my city from a new perspective, watching people carry out their daily lives whilst taking a quiet moment to enjoy a cup of tea.

Inside the décor is stylish and exactly what you’d expect from a hotel of this kind, and whilst a touch of maintenance here and there wouldn't go amiss, the room was still a delightful space in which to take tea.

On any regular day, Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens can be a chaotic blur of suits, shoppers and students. From the view on the third floor of The Mercure, Manchester, it's a picturesque metropolis and the perfect contrast for a relaxing afternoon of cake and tea. 

The restaurant inside the hotel is laid out very nicely with a separate space for Afternoon Tea and tables for 2 dotted along the huge windows allowing for just the right lighting on a summers day and stunning scenery. 

Like Caroline said, the décor could serve to be updated but nothing too major! With simplistic furnishings and warm natural tones, It really is a very pleasant space to be in. 


I can honesty say that I wouldn’t change a single thing about the Mercure’s menu. A success in its simplicity, this tea offers well executed classics, at a great price and is pretty fabulous. The sandwiches (Ham & Mustard, Cucumber, Salmon, and Egg) were freshly made on soft white and brown bread (always a winner), whilst the scones were brilliantly fruity and delicately sprinkled with icing sugar.

As with any afternoon tea, the main focal point was the cake selection, and on this front the Mercure didn’t disappoint. Out of the three choices available, my favourite was the berry-fruit meringue which provided a nice contrast to the other components, whilst also getting me in the mood for summer. I was particularly impressed with the overall balance of desserts menu, which were neither too cakey or too moussey, instead offering a variety of different textures and flavours to suit all tastes.

I must say, I was very impressed with the Afternoon Tea menu at The Mercure. With a selection of interesting teas and a fantastic cake assortment, it's a complete steal at just £12.95 pp.

The sandwiches were great; fresh bread and a choice of fillings including my favourite, salmon - it was clear we were on to a winner from the start! 

The scones were extra yummy and sprinkled with icing sugar to make the treat all the more sweeter and accompanied by clotted cream and strawberry jam - perfect! 
But of course, saving the best for last, the wonderful cake selection. We had a fab trio of berry-fruit meringue, carrot cake and gorgeous banana and custard pie. I'm quite hard to please when it comes to getting the cake balance right but The Mercure deserves top marks for an arrangement that has a great mix of both light and rich desserts. 

To top it off, as a rather experimental tea drinker, my tea of choice was a gorgeously named, Gunpowder Green. It had a subtle smokey kick to it but was quite soothing at the same time. I'm definitely a fan! 


The lady who looked after us during our visit was friendly and attentive, guiding us through the afternoon tea experience with great ease - great service!

I completely agree with Caroline, the service here was great and our server was particularly attentive and had a lovely bubbly personality too which really added to the welcoming tone. 

Overall Thoughts
At present, the Mercure is one of Manchester’s lesser known afternoon tea venues, but this shouldn’t be the case - if you’re ever in the city check them out - I for one had a fab time!

I am surprised The Mercure isn't shouting about its afternoon tea from its 3rd floor heights! If you're looking for something that doesn't break the bank but feels just as special, be sure to book yourself in! 

Cupcake Rating:
The Mercure, Manchester is situated in the heart of the city's Picadilly Gardens. Afternoon Tea is served daily on the third floor restaurant between 2.30pm and 5pm. Tea is priced at £12.95 pp. and booking is essential. For more information and to book, please visit the hotel's website here.


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