The best spots in the UK to enjoy the latest indulgent double act…
Forget sipping a cup of tea with your afternoon slice of cake – these days many tearooms are offering something a little stronger in the form of expertly shaken cocktails. The classic Champagne afternoon tea has a rival thanks to this new culinary dream team on the block. There’s even a cake and cocktail members’ club ‘for all lovers of cake and decadence’, run by baking queen Lily Vanilli. It seems afternoon tea has been taken up a notch, and we’re all for it.
If, like us, you’re one of the aforementioned cake and decadence devotees, then add these venues to your must-visit list pronto. We’ll probably see you there.
There’s something to admire in every corner of this independent vintage-inspired tea room on Cheltenham Road, from retro glad rags to antique china, but even all that vintage loveliness probably won’t hold your attention for long once the cocktail menu is placed in front of you.
Concoctions such as Drunken Granny’s Garden, featuring Prosecco topped with berry, apple, beetroot and hibiscus-infused sugar syrup, and Chai Wallah Rumble, a mix of gold rum, chai tea, lime and a dash of ginger beer, are served up in cute teapots alongside some of the best homemade cakes in the city. Unsurprisingly, seats fill up fast, so be sure to book your spot to ensure you get your cocktail-and-cake fix.
In Manchester’s hip Northern Quarter you’ll find a café that certainly doesn’t do anything by halves. Their huge psychedelic cakes are migraine-inducingly colourful and tastebud-tantalisingly awesome – check out the photos on the Facebook page to see what I mean – and you can enjoy your chosen slice with a Bloody Mary made with the house tomato juice and infused with fresh chilli, herbs and citrus. Alternatively, for an afternoon pick-me-up, sip an Espresso Martini comprising a blend of vanilla vodka, kahlua coffee liqueur, white cacao and a freshly pulled shot of espresso.
We’ve heard the breakfasts and brunches are something to write home about too, although are perhaps best enjoyed with a coffee rather than a cocktail – or at least wait until the sun is over the yardarm, anyway.
Sitting pretty in Brighton’s Kemp Town is Metrodeco, a gloriously kitsch, glamorous, 1930s-inspired hangout that is right at home in its bohemian setting. Although the decor may be straight out of the Prohibition era, no such restrictions are applied here, although the cocktails are served in teapots so no one need know you’re indulging in a tipple (you never know when the fuzz might raid the joint, after all).
Metrodeco’s lovely libations are all tea-infused so will go down delightfully well paired with one its many delicious cakes. Will you plump for the Graham’s Ruin – white rum infused with their own Graham & Green chocolate tea, brandy and orange juice – or perhaps the Shady Lady, featuring gin infused with Metrodeco’s Shades of Grey tea, mixed with pomegranate and rose cordial, lychee liqueur and tonic water?
Leaf tea experts Eteaket have travelled the globe in search of the finest tea leaves to serve in their cosy Edinburgh tearoom and online shop, and they put just as much effort into getting their myriad of delectable treats and expertly mixed cocktails just right too. Their concoctions are, of course, tea-based, and include such tasty tipples as the Royal Earl Grey G&T, Iced Chai White Russian and Perfect Peppermint Mojito. We highly recommend sampling a few brews from the impressive list of teas too – these guys truly are tea experts.