Food and Drink Near Enough: Travel in the UK Restaurant Review Travel

Near Enough: A Trip to Two Manchester Tearooms

June 20, 2014


Last weekend I ventured over to Manchester with my mum for a day trip. I’d paid for tickets for the Coronation Street Tour for Mother’s Day and our allocated slot was a little after 2pm so on arrival to Manchester we had a quick look around a couple of shops (mainly Debenhams) and made a detour to Sugar Junction for some lunch.

I’d been to Sugar Junction once before with a couple of University friends and had lasting memories of their potato cakes. For this trip, we arrived a little late for breakfast options so we took a look at what else was on the menu.

It was quite a warm and stuffy day but as we were in a Tearoom I was intent on drinking tea and after being told that they were out of Elderflower Tea, I opted for Pucker Up Lover which consists of hibiscus flowers, rosehip, strawberry, apple, rose petals, elderberries and orange blossom. My mum was slightly more focused on cooling down and ordered a banana milkshake.

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My tea arrived in a pot which was mismatched with the cup and saucer but looked lovely all the same and my mum’s milkshake arrived in a rather retro looking jar complete with candy cane striped straw.

We were reasonably peckish and both ordered a hot dog with BBQ pulled pork and melted cheese and served with a portion of sweet potato fries. The presentation was spot on with the hot dog sausage being balanced on the wooden board with each edge hanging slightly off either side.

Whilst the presentation was inviting, I found the mustard on the hotdog to be a little too much and the taste of the pulled pork didn’t come through at all which was disappointing. I’d asked for some ketchup on the side to balance out the strength of the mustard but it tasted really bitter and didn’t make it any more palatable.

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As someone who quite likes ketchup with a variety of dishes, I find that the ketchup provided can be a sign of how well a place delivers those small touches which really make a difference.

The sweet potato fries were lovely if not a little strange, sweet potato is so much softer than its white counterpart and that’s what I love about sweet potato chips, they’re chunky and wonderfully soft so it was quite strange to have the added crunch.

I’d been looking forward to my return visit to Sugar Junction and was saddened by how disappointed I was with the meal. I think that next time I’ll try something else from the menu and focus on the cake (that can’t be a bad thing really can it?).

Processed with Moldiv

Following our tour of Coronation Street it was time for another break from venturing and realising that we weren’t too far from the Cathedral, I guided my mum to Proper Tea.

Last year I was invited to a special launch event of Proper Tea within the Cathedral library where we read our tea leaves with Yvette Fielding and I hadn’t had the chance to visit the cafe since it had opened. We arrived at quite a busy time but luckily it wasn’t long before we were seated.

Once again I was determined to have tea whilst my mum wanted something a little cooler so I had the Green Mulberry and my mum had an orange juice. As well as rehydrating, it was certainly time for some cake and we decided on rainbow cake for me and chocolate cake for my mum.

The cake slices arrived pretty quickly and were devoured in about as much time. The portions were plentiful (especially for my choice) and certainly provided the sugar pick me up that we required (we’d been close to falling into an afternoon lull).

Sugar Junction is located at 60 Tib Street and the postcode is M4 1LG. It’s in the Northern Quarter, not too far from Afflecks and Pieminster (I need to go there at some point after trying their pies at last year’s Latitude!). For further information about their teas, cakes, food and cocktails, visit their website.

Proper Tea is at Manchester Cathedral in Cathedral Yard and their postcode is M3 1SQ. They’re just around the corner from Selfridges and Harvey Nichols and you can read more about their offering on their website here.

We travelled to Manchester Piccadilly from Leeds and explored the city centre on foot (the Coronation Street Tour and Spitalfields is approx. 20 minutes from Sugar Junction).

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