Dessert Before Dinner

Summer is peeking around the corner – or at least as I write this, I’m squinting at the screen, wishing I’d moved into the living room where at least there are big heavy curtains to keep the glare off my screen as the sun streams in.

I know we don’t always have the sun – it’s said we’re the city of liquid sunshine – and every year it’s a battle between the sun and clouds, us grumbling at how the weather reports got it wrong again and we left our coat at home and brought our sunglasses, when we should have done the opposite.

And each summer there’s one constant on Spinningfields. It was supposed to be temporary and yet here we are, years later and The Oast House with it’s hanging kebabs, Spin Fest weekends and ale tastings are, well, part of the Manchester summer tradition.

So who was I to resist when on a warm spring evening, an invitation went out for a ladies tea party, so we could sample the new dessert menu, including treats for the summer ahead?

After all, I’d heard there was ice cream.

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We were greeted by tea – not something I’d immediately associate with The Oast House. I’ll admit, I’m more likely to head in for a pint or a glass of wine, but in this case more than welcome given the dreadful cold I’ve been suffering with. Who can’t get appreciative of pretty teapots and cups and saucers? There’s something infinitely comforting about a properly brewed cup of tea sipped from a winsome teacup.

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But we were here for dessert before dinner and when they arrived, we were very happy ladies.

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Sticky toffee pudding and warm chocolate fudge cake – both staples of the Oast House dessert menu and deservedly so.

The chocolate fudge cake, despite is surprisingly light, yet the depth of chocolate flavour is fabulous. But the toffee pudding. I’ll let the image below speak for everyone there.

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We nearly licked the plate clean, despite the other goodies available, like the sweet twist on their kebabs with toasted marshmallows and fresh strawberries. Served with ‘Mr Oasty whipped ice cream in the base and a chocolate sauce laced with Sailor Jerry rum, this is seriously grown up.

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The mixture of warm gooey toasted marshmallows, cold ice cream, sweet strawberries and boozy chocolate sauce is divine. I’m not a big chocolate and fruit fan, but this? This works on so many levels.

It’s naughty, but there’s fruit, so it’s healthy. Right?

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And still there was more. Next came the new sundaes on offer – Rocky Road, Peach Melba and Banana.

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Ohhh mama.

The Peach Melba is filled with slices of peach and raspberry sauce and topped with crisp almonds. The Banana is a gorgeous mix of fresh bananas, vanilla and butterscotch sauce, while the Rocky Road is a mass of chocolate, vanilla and cherries.

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I’m thinking hot summer day, pretty face, one sundae, two spoons and fighting over the last mouthful.

Last, but by no means least, is the Mr Oasty – whipped icecream, cone and topping of your choice.

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These are an absolute bargain (and perfect for keeping the little ones quiet while you have a boozy sweet kebab). Whether you fancy raspberry sauce, glittery sherbert, or ‘one with everything’ prices start from £1.30 – so you won’t be breaking the bank, even if you just stop for a quick break while shopping. I mean icecream melts to fill gaps, so it’s not a proper meal. It’s just a top up.

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As we finished with a glass of fizz, to take the edge off all the sugar obviously, one thing was clear – next time you fancy a hanging kebab and a glass of beer, don’t whatever you do, skimp on dessert.

You’ll kick yourself.

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