City centre hotel the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly has just revealed a revamped afternoon tea menu for the festive period.

It’s packed with festive favourites like mulled wine, mince pies and gingerbread people and it comes with a festive bonus – a sky-high view of Manchester’s new Father Christmas, which was unveiled on Monday.

Big, steaming mugs of spiced mulled wine and hot chocolate will be on offer alongside pots of classic English breakfast tea to keep you warm now the weather’s taking a turn for the worst. If you prefer something with a bit of fizz, glasses of bubbly are available too.

Crustless sandwiches come filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg and cress, sliced cucumber and, for a festive twist, turkey and cranberry with sage and onion stuffing.

On the three-tier cake stand you’ll find traditional mince pies alongside gingerbread men dressed in their Christmas best, plump, warm scones, stollen bites and vanilla slices topped with berries.

It’s available to enjoy from the hotel’s Level 3 lounge and bar overlooking Piccadilly Gardens.

For the first time this year the Gardens are home  to new markets and a number of spectacular light sculptures in association with this year’s Lightopia festival at Heaton Park.

Floor to ceiling glass windows give you the perfect view of Father Christmas, the centrepiece of this year’s new Christmas lights trail.

The festive afternoon tea is available until 31st December and costs £17.95 a head (£8.95 for children). To upgrade to enjoy it with fizz, hot chocolate and mulled wine will set you back £23.95.

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