Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23

In our house there is only one way to celebrate a birthday and that is, predictably, with afternoon tea.

We recently went to Manchester for the day to surprise Simon's Mum with the Coronation Street Studio Tour and after all the exhausting drama on the cobbles we were in definite need of a good sit down and some fancy cakes.

It's not always easy to pick out somewhere to go in a city where you don't live but I immediately remembered going to a gorgeous bar many years ago for a cocktail, so after a little research I was really thrilled to see that they served afternoon tea.

Cloud 23 sits at the very top of the Hilton Hotel and is accessed by its own special lift in the hotel lobby.  We loved being whizzed straight up to the 23rd floor and stepping out of the lift to be greeted by elegant surroundings.   The bar is decked out in creams and golds, has high marble tables and bar stools for cocktails and plush sofas for afternoon tea. 

We were very lucky and bagged ourselves a table by one of the floor to ceiling windows looking out across Manchester and beyond to Salford where Simon grew up.  

Sitting down I noticed immediately how cold it was with the air conditioning blowing out freezing air.  Luckily our wonderful attentive and friendly waiter promised to sort out the temperature for us and true to his word within 5 minutes I was able to sit comfortably in short sleeves.

We all opted for Traditional Afternoon Tea, which during October and November has gone pink in support of Break Through Breast Cancer.

As always we started with the savouries where we had a generous four sandwiches each as well as mini tomato quiches.  I always love it when something different appears on the savoury tier and the quiches were a very welcome addition.

Another change to the traditional was the cherry scones.   We had a scone each and it was disappointingly small and flat compared to other monsters that we've had in the past.  It tasted great though and Simon's Mum was very quick to comment on how fresh it was.

After a little pause and a quick stroll round Bar 23 to admire the "sheer drop" view from one of the glass panes built into the floor we were ready to tackle the cake tier.

I really loved how everything was pink, it made the cake stand look really fun.  It's always great to have something that's a bit different.

We started with the lemon tarts that were topped with pink meringue.  They were beautiful, the lemon was very sharp but was complimented perfectly with the sweet tasting meringue.

Next we went for something a bit lighter and picked up the raspberry jelly. It was good to have something that wasn't stodgy.   The jelly was really sweet and fruity.

To finish we had red velvet cupcakes topped with a generous swirl of bright pink icing.  I love cupcakes and they are very welcome on my cake stand. 

We were really impressed with the quality of the afternoon tea and level of service at Cloud 23.  Our tea was constantly refreshed and we were really looked after and made to feel special. 

If you are ever in Manchester, definitely make sure you head up to the Cloud for a truly indulgent afternoon tea.


  1. Oooh nice review! I love the all pink theme! I've heard other good things about afternoon tea at Cloud 23, and lucky for me, I've been promised a trip when we move down! x

  2. Oh wow everything looks stunning :)
    Please let me know if you would be interested in following eachother on GFC and Bloglovin.Would love to stay in contact.

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  3. I love the look of the tea, anything pink will get my approval!! I've been to the bar for drinks as one of my best friends is from Manchester, its a really cool bar.
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

  4. We too have also had a lovely Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23. I have to disagree with the reviewer I think the scones are just the right size. You don't want a 'monster' of a scone when having an Afternoon Tea. You want to enjoy every aspect of it and not to be over faced by the size of the desserts.

  5. Aw, the last photos is so lovely because everyone looks so happy! The food looks really amazing, especially the cupcake - delicious! Thank you for the comment on my recent post (you leave the BEST comments, always so happy to see your name pop up!) It's always interesting to hear your opinion on the same places. It is a real shame about Brown's, especially for the price. It was generally ok, but just came away feeling a bit disappointed and I don't think we will go back again. We stood at the entrance, waiting to be seated, for ages (felt unwelcoming) but it was the tiny things that did it - like burnt burger, and forgetting to bring a glass of tap water for my mum when we asked. Where abouts is Blackfriars? is that the one tucked in at the end of china town? xxxx

  6. Ooh having afternoon tea at height is a real treat. I love the pink addition. You all look like you had a wonderful time Lucy x

  7. I love cloud 23. Have been a couple of times for cocktails. :) The afternoon tea looks heavenly.

  8. That looks delicious - is that jelly and cream in the pots?

    Lizzie's Daily Blog

  9. Ooh this looks so yummy! I'd love to go up there for a drink. Not sure Matt could stomach the heights though!

  10. Wow I just stayed here last week! Gorgeous hotel & you can never have too much tea! x