We’re just about starting one of the most exciting weeks of the year. No, forget all that football malarkey. I’m talking Afternoon Tea Week.

It was established to secure a tradition which began to grace British afternoons in the 1840’s. In those days, dinner often wasn’t served until after 8pm, and lunch wasn’t actually a thing. You’d go from breakfast to dinner and just starve in between.

Hence the creation of a new mini-meal in the middle of the day. It’s a quaint and quintessentially English experience of simple pleasures: cake, scones, tea and finger sarnies. How about an added glass of bubbly or cocktail? Now you’re talking.

It’s a little bit of what you fancy and here’s where to get it.

1The Midland

2King Street Townhouse

3The Lowry Hotel

4Great John Street Hotel

5Grafene

6Home Sweet Home GN

7Cloud 23

8Macdonald Hotel

9Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

10Marco Pierre White’s New York Italian

Granted, an Italian restaurant isn’t one of your usual suspects on a list of best afternoon  tea but Marco’s Italian MediaCityUK does things differently. The sandwiches are fresh as fresh comes. Choose from smoked salmon and cream cheese, ham and English mustard or cheddar and pickle. Then, homemade scones with strawberry jam and decadent cream and delicious sweet treats like the baked vanilla cheesecake, chocolate brownie, lemon drizzle cake and, personal favourite, pear frangipane. You can add champagne or make it manly by switching to the Gentleman’s Tea which includes mini American beef, mini Italian and mini chicken Milanese with skin on fries. Nice one.

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