For somebody who isn’t actually that enamoured with the idea of afternoon tea, I’ve sure expanded my horizons in the area over the past couple of years. I’ve had an anti-afternoon tea at the Malmaison hotel, I’ve had afternoon tea with ALL the twee at Thornton Hall hotel on the Wirral, I’ve a Christmas-themed afternoon tea and I’ve even had afternoon tea 300 ft high in the sky at the infamous Panoramic bar and restaurant on the Liverpool waterfront.
Next in line? Afternoon tea-style brunch at The Midland Hotel. Now, if anything is going to get me excited about afternoon tea, it’s the promise of miniature breakfast foods in one of the North West’s most historic and high-brow establishments.
Afternoon tea-style brunch at The Midland Hotel, Manchester
The Midland Hotel is a beautiful big building slap bang in the middle of Manchester city centre and really is an impressive sight to behold. The red carpeted stairs and brass handrails leading up to the expansive hotel reception set the tone straight away and give just a twinkle of homage to the venue’s illustrious and historic narrative.
The Midland has welcomed many a King, Queen, rockstar, president and celebrity since it’s beginning ways back in the late 1800’s and now, Hungry Harriet is the latest Princess on the list to cross the majestic threshold…
Fingers, toes and eyes tightly crossed that you’re sensing that tongue-in-cheek sarcasm there because I am neither rockstar nor royalty but I was certainly more than happy to be treated like one over brunch for the morning, that’s for sure!
It was lovely to be back at The Midland after the Northern Blogger Awards event there last autumn. I only really got to see the function room while I was there celebrating being shortlisted Best Food Blogger (mic drop) so was excited to be ushered into the ‘Tea Room‘ to get more acquainted with the place.
It was everything you might expect from a 4+ star hotel that has been serving afternoon tea since 1903 – quintessentially British and ever so, ever so quaint. White table cloths, hushed conversation, cotton napkins and bone china. Super peaceful ambiance complimented by a team of staff who were just the right amount of attentive. A bloody lovely way to spend a slow Saturday morning in the city.
I was shocked to see that some of the cutlery and crockery on the table was still dirty with remanence of jam and coffee from previous diners but hey, perhaps it was just a one off. I can’t imagine an established of this calibre would make a habit of dressing tables with grubby dishes.
The afternoon tea-style brunch is a new concept for The Midland and a stroke of genius in my hungry eyes. It basically comprises an array of miniature breakfast-based foodstuffs and well, I’m an absolute sucker for a mini version of pretty much anything. (Why is everything so much more appealing when it comes in miniature form?)
A little off the wall it may be but it does still come served on the traditional afternoon tea stand with your fill of tea and coffee. There is also a bottomless drinks options (£20pp) with your choice of prosecco, Mimosa or Bloody Mary and a waiter who promises to refill your glass every time they see it empty.
We sipped our way through our Mimosas while a seemingly never-ending procession of plates came to our table with the most perfectly presented morsels. I did notice there is a vegetarian or vegan options available (which is great) but we just went for the standard edition this time which came with
• Smoked salmon & scrambled egg bagels
• Waffles with crispy bacon & maple syrup
• Baked eggs with chorizo, mushroom & spinach
• Brioche cinnamon French toast
• Pancakes with blueberries & Chantilly clotted cream
• Granola yoghurt pot with berry compote
• Fresh fruit smoothie
• Fresh cheese scone with pancetta butter
Highlights for me definitely had to be the indulgent cinnamon French toast which was steaming hot and just the right amount of sweet, as well as the hot savoury scone which I slathered with the rich pancetta butter that came on the side. (There’s absolutely no room for calorie counting here, as I’m sure you have gathered!)
I poured my miniature granola yoghurt over my pancakes which was an epic – albeit a smidge uncouth – shout if I do say so myself and made for the ideal zesty refreshment after the smoked salmon, salty bacon waffles and flavoursome baked eggs with chorizo.
Sweet and savoury breakfast options seem to divide the nation so I think The Midland have done a sterling job in curating the perfect balance here. I also love that it’s served from 10.30am all the way up until 1.30pm every day. I mean, who says you can’t have breakfast for lunch?
Word to the wise though: walk-in tables are available but The Midland does tend to get super busy, even during the week so make sure you book online first to avoid disappoint and hanger.
I was very kindly invited to review brunch at The Midland but all words, photographs, opinions, teeth, hair, boobs and nails are my very own.