Afternoon Tea: Browns, Manchester

I do love a little tea and cake. 

OK, OK, I like a lot of tea and cake. Tea is my go to for post training, before bed, when I’m stressy and I have lots to do, when I need quiet time to myself, or just if I need to get my nose to that grindstone and do some work.

Like, well, now. 

But I’m certainly not averse to a little something fizzy with my cake – after all, a good dry Champagne can be a great pairing for a soft fruity sponge, or a sweet macaron. And when it comes to the savoury treats for an afternoon tea, nothing says luxury more than smoked salmon with your glass of bubbly.

Which is probably why, when Brown’s launched their Royal Afternoon Tea for the royal wedding, it did so well. So much so, in fact, that they’ve now revamped their afternoon tea entirely, making every afternoon tea fit for a princess. 

So of course, when I was asked to try some of the tasty treats that you can get as part of it, I said yes. Well, wouldn’t you?

I mean, just look at it. Three tiers of sandwiches, cakes, and pastries, and of course well risen scones. Plus three types of Champagne for you to choose from – Moet et Chandon, Veuve-Cliquot, and my personal favourite, Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, and they’re served from a magnum said to offer the best balance between liquid and bubbles. 

Each brings a little something different to the glass. Moet is perhaps the most recognised, after all you can even find it on supermarket shelves, but it’s still a great Champagne for all it’s availability. It’s still got a classic flavours of green apple, and brioche, with a little toast. Veuve-Cliquot (named after the Widow Cliquot who took over the company following the death of her husband and made it into the house it is today) is a little softer, but still has that gentle bready note that you expect from a Champagne. And finally Ruinart Blanc de Blancs uses only Chardonnay grapes, has riper flavours – more peaches and citrus, and it’s also still bottled in the original Champagne bottle shape – short and sturdy. Yes, like yours truly. 


Along with our smoked salmon, we had a selection of sandwiches – delicate slices of cucumber with cream cheese, an excellent coronation chicken, along with delicate mini rolls. And the cakes. Well. 



Victoria sponge with buttercream and lashings of jam, a beautifully soft carrot cake, and sharp but creamy lemon posset dusted with raspberry. 

Perhaps my only grumble about the night was that my half of scone had jam on first, rather than cream – but maybe that’s an argument for another day. 

Meantime, there’s cake to be eaten. 

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This event was hosted by Brown’s allowing us to sample both the Champagnes they have on offer and elements of the afternoon tea. It’s a bit lovely. 


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