The team at Dormouse had a real treat the other day. We were invited to review the afternoon tea at The Lowry Hotel in Manchester.
For those of you who have not heard of The Lowry, it is a award winning five star hotel on the banks of the River Irwell. The hotel is plush and luxurious with a bold and contemporary decor, but still retaining a relaxed light and airy feel.
We were a little early and lunch time service was in full swing, but we were still welcomed into the delightful river restaurant. Seated at a comfortable booth the menu options were explained, we were both served with a chilled glass of Billecart Salmon champagne and a delicious bowl of British strawberries with Chantilly cream. Simply gorgeous.
The maitre d' was very knowledgeable and happy to chat to us when we enquired about the provenance of the strawberries. Overall were very impressed with the restaurant's ethos of using local and seasonal produce wherever possible. Throughout the tea the quality of the produce just shone.
At this point there was a minor mishap when we were brought the wrong blend of tea, but this was quickly rectified and pots of hot JING morning blend were brought to the table. Again the maitre d' was able to talk knowledgeably and passionately about the tea and the producer. His knowledge was in fact very impressive and really made the tea for us.
Then the glorious sandwiches arrived. A rainbow wave made up of smoked salmon, egg and cress, tomato and cheese, cucumber and cream cheese, and ham and mustard. We enjoyed the lovely views down the river as we ate and both agreed the smoked salmon sandwiches were to die for, with the egg and cress (so simple, but so easy to get wrong) coming a close second. They all were quite delicious.
During this time our new waiter (service had changed over) Fatin was quietly bringing us fresh tea and a stunning stand of amazing looking cakes and scones. One of the most impressive things about The Lowry is the friendliness of the staff, we felt so welcomed and comfortable. Included on the slate slab was a strawberry trifle, white chocolate and orange profiterole, a chocolate delice and both fruit and plain scones served with clotted cream and raspberry jam.
We dived into the trifle first with the dearest tiny trifle spoons. Light cream gave way to creamy custard, to the intense strawberry jelly in the base. An absolute triumph. Next up the profiteroles, I am not usually a fan of orange with chocolate but this pastry really worked well with the lightest of orange scents on the finish. Finally the chocolate delice, this was lovely but it was very rich you couldn't eat a lot of it and I think perhaps it was a little heavy here. That's just my opinion, but then again I am not really a chocoholic and perhaps I would feel differently if I was.
To finish the scones, fresh tea was brought and we tucked in. Unusually the scones were a perfect size and so light and fresh. I think they would have benefited a little from being served warm, but they were lovely and buttery and tasted homemade. They were the perfect finish to a special afternoon tea.
Oh wait... Fatin had caught wind that it was our wedding anniversary...
We left feeling pleasantly full and totally pampered. Highly recommended!
Afternoon tea at The Lowry Hotel Manchester starts at £19.95 for a traditional tea, to find out how to make a booking click here
We recieved afternoon tea at The Lowry Hotel free of charge to review.