Friday, 28 April 2017

The Tea Room At The Midland Hotel Peter Street Manchester

The Midland Hotel is an iconic building, located on Peter Street, close to Oxford Road and Piccadilly train stations.   The Midland Hotel is an impressive building, built a hundred years ago and many a famous guest, including Kings, Queens, Presidents, Prime Ministers and rock stars, have walked across its threshold.

I have never experienced afternoon tea, but a recent email from The Midland Hotel, promoting their new Tea Room, opening on the 15th April 2017, got me all fired up.   I emailed to enquire about a vegan afternoon tea, whilst accommodating my allergies.   I received a very positive response from Tearoom Manager Thomas Smith, who said they offered a vegan menu and chef could tweak the menu to suit my allergies, so I booked immediately.

I am a member of two Manchester vegan Facebook groups and word was they served vegan afternoon tea on bone china, rather bizarre, from a vegan point of view.   I emailed Thomas to ask if they could offer alternative crockery and received this response, which is the epitome of good service:

Apologies, I'm waiting on confirmation from our crockery manufacturers that the other items we have elsewhere in the hotel are definitely vegan friendly (from a fairly in depth Google search I'm pretty confident that they are)

I must admit it's something we hadn't considered, but we'll definitely have a solution for you and for our entire vegan afternoon tea service moving forward.  

Its really no trouble, all confirmed, our usual hotel crockery (for banqueting, breakfast etc) is vegan friendly, so we will make use of that for your visit.   Once again, thanks for bringing this to my attention, we will now make it standard practice for all vegan afternoon tea.

I was so excited on the day and although I did not take photos of the Tearoom itself, as I did not want to impinge on other diners experience, it is a beautiful room, specially refurbished for the purpose of afternoon tea.

A warm welcome off Thomas got our visit off to a great start and as promised different crockery was provided for me.   I drank a very nice glass of vegan Montaudon champagne, whilst deciding on my tea choice, opting for peppermint and caramel.

There was a bit of a wait for the food to appear, but I imagine this is due to it being freshly made to order, so no chance of dry curled up sandwiches or stale cakes, but it was worth waiting for.

My sandwiches and cakes were placed on a tea stand, next to the table and looked so appealing I had to dive in straight away.   I got carried away taking food photos, so have had to rein myself in and not post them all.

 Smashed avocado, chipotle chilli and
semi dried tomato on crispy tortilla

Moroccan spiced carrot, butternut squash and
pumpkin seeds on granary bread

 English cucumber, Hendricks gin and apple chutney
on dark malt bread

Roasted vegetable and sweetcorn wrap

Roast red pepper and houmous with coriander

The sandwiches were packed with filling, moist, totally delicious, satisfying but light.   I had reservations they would be too filling and I would be unable to do justice to the cakes, but the portions were well thought out.

 Banana and coconut bread with raspberry gel

Bitter chocolate cake with crystallised hazelnuts

 Fruit scone

 Plain scone

Scone with plum jam and almond cream

Almond cream

I ate my mini red berry pavlova, without taking a photo, although you can see it on the cake stand above, as it stuck to the serving plate and it was too squished for a photo, but understandable, as the room was warm and they are delicate things.   However it made me realise I need to go back to the drawing board, on meringue making, far superior to mine, like a soft Italian meringue.

The cakes were scrumptious, especially the chocolate cake and the chefs made almond cream with almond milk, which made a perfect partner for my scones and plum jam.   The scones were as light as a feather, with a lovely open texture.

Great thought and consideration has been given to the vegan afternoon tea and it cannot be easy for the kitchen, having to deal with a vegan like me, with allergies, but they came up trumps.   If you are unable to finish the tea, they provide you with a beautiful box to carry any leftovers home with you.   I have to hold my hand up, I did not need a box. 

Front of house service, headed up by Thomas was excellent and there was no rush either, it was a wonderful experience and one I cannot wait to repeat.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This looks amazing: ) I think I might go one day. I have never actually had a proper afternoon tea and after going vegan I thought I never will. Good job!