In Manchester we are known as bees. In the Industrial Revolution, the Mills were terms ‘hives of activity’ and the industrious mill workers likened to worker bees.
The term has stuck. You’ll see bees on bins, on walls, on ceilings, windows, even on us. When the attack happened in May, the bee moved from the past to the present – to the forefront. We proudly reclaimed our symbol. We might not be cotton workers any more, but we are still just as industrious little ‘busy bees’, crafting, creating, producing.
So it’s perhaps no wonder that the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, in supporting Pride for the fourth year in a row, and the We Love Manchester Charity, has created the #BEEPROUD afternoon tea. An opportunity to not only enjoy tea and cake and celebrate all things Mancunian with a glass of fizz, but to donate to charity at the same time.
I’ve been lucky enough to sample this Manchester themed feast – but first, I had a date. With a gym.
The opportunity to spend a little time in an air conditioned gym, away from the clang of dropped bars, the shout of studio classes, and the grunt of bench boys wasn’t going to be missed. Especially as I’m training hard for my last competition of the year in November. So the offer of use of the Radisson’s gym, was not going to be sniffed at. Especially with all the connectivity (the cardio equipment has screens for TV/YouTube/Internet) and the quiet.
Now was the opportunity to dip a toe in the pool. Or the jacuzzi. In fact it was the latter that made all the different. I don’t think I’ve felt quite so relaxed in weeks. And I think it showed!
Dragging myself away from pressing the button on the jacuzzi just one last time was a struggle, but tea and cake awaited upstairs.
As did that very welcome glass of Prosecco.
And what a spread.
Served with a pot of green tea for myself, the three tiers were laden with treats.
Tasty sandwiches – smoked salmon with lemon butter on rye, honey roast ham with wholegrain mustard on brioche bread, rare roast beef with horseradish on sourdough and cheese and red onion on soda bread.
Still my favourite scones (so far) with a proper biscuitiness to them that reminds me of my mum’s scones served with cream and jam. (Oh and cream first, always).
And a final tier of Manchester themed treats. Crisp Manchester Tart (including the thin layer of banana beneath the custard), a sweet layered bumble bee inspired shortbread, proper Eccles cake and a rich salted caramel cheesecake.
A sense of languor and laziness spread through my limbs – it could have been the Prosecco and sugar – but either way, my relaxation, and indeed my lazy weekend was complete. Were it not for the match traffic that awaited our journeys home, we’d have probably indulged in a second glass of something fizzy and stretched Sunday out just that little bit longer.
The #BEEPROUD afternoon tea is available throughout the remainder of August, including the Pride Weekend, when a host of other treats from Radisson await. Which include an art installation from Manchester-based artist, Christian Taylor, a live Gaydio event on Saturday 26 August, and a competition where guests will be encouraged to take a selfie from anywhere within the hotel and share their pride moments using #BeeProud @RBEHotels for the chance to win a luxury stay for two, with dinner and champagne at Opus One.
With thanks to the Radisson Blu Edwardian for their indulgence this weekend. Both in the afternoon tea, and in the use of the gym/pool facilities. It was blissful!