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After a fabulous Halloween-themed afternoon tea in the sophisticated setting of Hilton Manchester Deansgate’s plush Cloud 23, I recently returned to try out the seasonal Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea and see if the great expectations could be met once more. Thankfully, you’ll be pleased to know, this wintery offering was even better than the last.
With gorgeous views across the city, decadent comfort and an ambitious menu, Cloud 23 did not disappoint!
We kicked off with our delicious Winter Wonderland cocktails: Epiphanio (left) and Tin of Roses (right). The Epiphanio is a mix of Bulleit Bourbon and Tanqueray, infused with a mix of dried winter fruits and spices, topped with Jacquart Champagne – giving hints of Christmas pudding and seasonal cheer. The Tin of Roses, meanwile, features cocoa-infused Havana 3 with Cointreau, cherry brandy and walnut, with Roses chocolates on the side. This managed to capture the sweetness, fruitiness and nuttiness of your favourite tin of chocolates all in one drink.
The savoury dishes include a turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce wrap, which was my favourite due to its wholesome, seasonal flavours; a puffy pastry croque monsieur, which was my dining companion’s favourite of the bunch; mushroom duxelle quiches; prawn cocktail wraps; and hummus and pepper finger sandwiches on brown bread.
The surprising winner in this Winter Wonderland afternoon tea was the chocolate orange Bakewell tart (and I don’t even like chocolate orange!). A superb blend of ingredients that was, surprisingly, not too sweet nor too citrussy.
It’s the little touches that add class, though, and the Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea has those in abundance. Paired with exceptional service, it’s always a winner, any time of year!
Cloud 23, Hilton Manchester Deansgate, 303 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LQ / 0161 870 1600