It’s the perfect time of year to indulge a little, as Spring brings seasonal foods worth treating yourself to. Afternoon tea is top of the list for seasonal appropriate cuisine, making great timing to undertake a trip to Cloud 23 in the Hilton and try the special Easter Afternoon Tea.
Up in the Clouds
It’s hardly difficult to locate, as the Hilton Hotel sticks out like a very stylish sore thumb amongst Manchester’s city-scape surroundings. The tallest tower in the UK outside of London, the Hilton is a landmark in Manchester City Centre. Cloud 23 has home on the 23rd floor, hence the name, with it’s own lift to grant exclusive access made separate to the hotel’s own facilities.
A guest greeter is placed at the foot of the lift, complete with iPad to check bookings and escort approved visitors into the lift before they are greeted in the main reception. Stepping out onto the floor gives way to a carefully styled bar area, adorned with gold and white finishings to adhere to Cloud 23’s aspirational aesthetic.
Making way through to the dining section, the mood changes from light to dark, presenting a mixture of bronzed sofa’s and classic black leather armchairs to seat diners comfortably. Light pours in from floor to ceiling windows, truly giving the impression of being amongst the clouds; whilst providing a remarkably unique 360° view of Manchester’s landmarks and the surrounding Lancashire countryside.
Tipple and Tea
Our Easter special included a chance to try exclusive cocktail the Fluffy Bunny, which included Raspberry Vodka, Mini Eggs and Whipped Cream. Ideal for those who may have given up chocolate or alcohol for lent prior, the cocktail enables sweet indulgence you won’t feel guilty about afterwards. To add the Fluffy Bunny to the standard afternoon tea is an additional £10, so decide whether you’re brunching or boozing before you visit.
The Traditional Afternoon Tea comes inclusive of a variety of Tea selections. Naturally, English Breakfast Tea is featured but what is most intriguing is the choice of more unusual blends. Venetian Rose is an offering combining black tea with rose buds for an idyllic Spring refreshment. Organic Frog Tea isn’t as off-putting as the name may suggest, mixing mellow leaves to create a more bespoke Dark Green Tea.
If the standard hot drinks quite literally aren’t your cup of tea then a host of Hot Chocolates and Coffees are available to present an all-inclusive selection. STYLEetc can personally recommend both the White and Milk Hot Chocolate, both presenting creamy goodness in a luxury blend. We also sampled the hybrid Chai Tea Latte, which was a delightful discovery if you’re a latte lover who seeks a less caffeinated alternative.
Onto the afternoon tea itself, it’s recommended to start from the middle and progress outward. Here, savoury bites include; a perfectly balanced sweet and smoky BBQ flavoured Pulled Pork Wrap and Sandwich choices of Chicken and Mayo Sweetcorn on Brown Bread and Egg and Cress on Brown Bread to cater to classic British preferences.
Smoked Salmon aperitifs on dark Rye with Dill Cream Cheese are also in supply, fresh tasting with a hint of salt that suggests your dish has come straight from the sea itself. The final savoury piece is the Caramelised Onion Tart, which will satisfy cheese and onion lovers palettes aptly.
Goodies found on the top shelf are deigned to satisfy sweet toothed guests, promising a selection of chocolate themed desserts and classic scones. The scones take the shape of an Easter Bunny with raisin eyes, delightfully fitting for Easter Weekend, served alongside Clotted Cream and Jam.
A chocolate extravaganza is found in the form of the Rocky Road Cake, soft marshmallow and popcorn pieces pressed under a blanket of chocolate. More chocolatey goodness continues with the Chocolate and Mint Mousse, which offers more of a rich flavour than sweet so best to eat that one first. Finally a third chocolate delight is offered in the Chocolate Brownie Cupcake, topped with a Mini Egg to adhere to the Easter theme.
The Easter Afternoon Tea is available this weekend at Cloud 23, if you miss the opportunity there is still the Traditional Afternoon Tea available all year round.