The next day, S and N took me around Manchester to do some sightseeing. There isn’t that much sightseeing though, and compared to other cities I’ve visited, I would say that the city is mostly locals. I felt sort of silly taking pictures and acting all touristy. One of the more significant attractions was the Manchester Cathedral which is a medieval church located in the city center. It’s a Gothic style church and has undergone restorations various times. The inside was being restored I think, so we weren’t able to go inside. Other than that, we just did some shopping at the huge Primark at Piccadilly Garden!
After shopping, we met up with their friend C and we went to the Teacup Kitchen. They told me it was for afternoon tea…since we’re in the UK and you have to have a British-style afternoon tea! However, the Teacup Kitchen was quite different from what I had imagined. Most of the afternoon tea spots in Vancouver are all decked out and quiet, but Teacup Kitchen was more like a cafe and very casual.
They offered a large variety of different cakes. It was more like a cake cafe where people could just lounge and chill here with tea and cakes. Some people were on laptops and working away. I actually really liked this casual environment and the waitress was extremely nice and friendly.
Although I found most people ordering just a cake and a tea, or some of their lunch menu, which included sandwiches, we still went for the Teacup Special Afternoon Tea. This came with a choice of any loose leaf tea and a selection of savory and sweet snacks. It’s available from 2:30 pm. At first, we were each going to order a set, since that’s what normally happens in Vancouver, but our waitress was a little shocked and suggested us to just order 2 sets between the 4 of us. She said there was quite a lot of food, and good thing we stuck with her on that. However, each of us still got our own individual teapots. I chose the Blue Sky Earl Grey since it seemed to be the most British… The description was “a quality blend of black teas, infused with bergamot but then given a hugely aromatic boost of grapefruit”. I liked how the tea separator was on top of the pot, rather than inside, since it really avoided the tea leaves getting in the tea. They were also very attentive in providing us with hot water refills.
This was one set of the Teacup Special Afternoon Tea. Instead of having the sweets at the top, like I normally see, they had the savory sandwiches at the top, then moved into some sweets in the middle, and then some sweeter cakes and scones at the bottom layer. This was beyond filling between two people. The only problem was it was a little difficult sharing some of the items.
The top layer was filled with all savory items. It’s been a while, so I don’t remember exactly what each item was called. There were two Egg Salad Sandwiches, a Cheese Quiche, and a Sausage Roll. There was also this Cheese Twist type of pastry.
The second layer was already filled with sweets. I believe the cupcake was a Flourless Chocolate Cake. It was a dark chocolate ganache and was gluten-free. Surprisingly not too sweet too. Next was a Lemon Meringue Tart. The pastry case was crisp and sweet, and was filled with lemon curd. On top, it had peaks of meringue. The last was a Flapjack. It was very dense and extremely healthy. It was made with rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, mixed fruit, cinnamon, crunchy pecans, and put together with honey and syrup. It was a little chewy but I really liked the texture and flavours.
At the very bottom were the sweetest treats! The Hearty Scone is their famous classic English scone but with a twist. It’s baked in a heart shape! They slice it in half and fill it with a raspberry jam and clotted cream. I liked how the scone wasn’t as dense as the typical ones, and the top was crispy. The yellow baked good was a Lemon-Licious. Its a lemon sponge cake with a zesty flavour to it and topped with citrus icing and white chocolate curls. This one was a little too sweet for my liking. Lastly, it came with two mini Battenbergs. Battenberg cake is a light sponge cake and is covered with marzipan. When cut, they show a checkered pattern. This one was a red velvet and vanilla sponge cake.
By the end of our afternoon tea, we were thoroughly full even though we only ordered two sets. I can’t imagine having the whole set alone! I wish I could try some of their other cakes. It seemed like such a cool place to chill after school or on the weekend if the weather isn’t so great.