September 6th, 2017

Review: Afternoon Tea, Grand Pacific, Manchester

By Ria Amber Tesia

Review: Afternoon Tea, Grand Pacific, Manchester

When afternoon tea is described as “the deliciously delectable favourite done the Grand Pacific Way, served with a side of chitchat,” it’s a foregone inevitability that I wouldn’t be able to resist.

Now, I adore afternoon tea. The ritual of sipping Darjeeling, nibbling on luscious pastries whilst holding intelligent conversation (was Proust really ahead of his time?) is the epitome of my perfect day out.

And so it was, one sunny afternoon I pulled up outside the Grand Pacific. It was the start of the last bank holiday of the year, and there was a frisson of excitement at the thought of a nice long weekend peeking around the corner.

I attended the Grand Pacific launch earlier this year and was blown away by the stunning nature of the building. Imposing, grand as the name suggests and strikingly handsome to boot. Think of this as the Ryan Gosling of buildings, a real head-turner. Even the staircase is sexy. Up we went, were greeted by the concierge and took a seat at the pretty table that could easily belong on a set of Downton Abbey.

We were booked in for Champagne Tea, which is Grand Pacific High Tea plus a glass of Moët & Chandon.

One of the things that hits you whilst you take in your gorgeous environ, is that the place is stunning. The ambience is quaint with a major hit of cosmopolitanism. The service hushed yet attentive. With sunlight streaming through the massive windows, and with the promise of luscious baked goods to come, I couldn’t have been happier.

If you’re a brazen master procrastinator standing loud and proud about your faffing nature, then the tea list at Grand Pacific will have you weeping tears of joy. The extensive selection of teas includes English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Lapsang Souchong, Chai Spiced, Silver Needle, Moroccan Mint, Red Berry & Rose, and Gunpowder Green. I chose the latter (it was wonderfully smoky) whilst dining partner had Darjeeling, which was served piping hot in pretty crockery.

Afternoon Tea is served in two waves – sweet or savoury, you choose what goes first. We chose savoury, as I’m a firm believer that dessert should always sign off any meal. The first tray laden with savoury treats was beautiful and looked as if it had been touched by Midas, replete with half pineapple sitting atop the tray.

Review: Afternoon Tea, Grand Pacific, Manchester

For sake of brevity, here is each dish and my thoughts too.

High Tea savoury selection

  • Crumpet with Cornish crab butter: Tangy noisette piped butter a pretty adornment on delectably spongy crumpet.
  • Forbidden Rice Arancini with Goats Cheese: Perfectly seasoned, deceptively large mouthfuls of starchy goodness. Liked the crunch crumb and kimchi ketchup; would have been nice to see more ketchup or dip.
  • Salmon & Tuna Lomi: My favourite hands down. Loved the tender salmon with the citrus kick. I could eat this all day every day and not get bored.
  • Smoked Salmon Potato Cake: Great flavours with a hint of dill and garlic, lovely to look at too.
  • Egg & Mustard Cress Sandwich: Chunky pieces of egg refreshing in that it’s not the usual anodyne paste. I’m not a fan of egg sandwiches, but I liked this.
  • Coronation Chicken Sandwich: Nutty, filling, a good addition to the tray.
  • Eccles Cake with Creamy Lancashire Cheese: I didn’t know what to make of this. Eccles cakes are in my head and heart, essentially desserts. I was unsure if the addition of cheese was imperative to this, or if it worked. The filling was reminiscent of Christmas mince-pie filling. I’ve never had a mince pie this early, so this threw my taste-buds. This Eccles Cake wasn’t unpalatable, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.
Tags: Afternoon Tea, Grand Pacific, Review
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