Girly Weekend with my BFF | Neighbourhood Afternoon Tea

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve had a great start to the week…over half way there now, woohooo!

So a few weeks ago one of my colleagues told me about this FAB deal that she saw on Travelzoo – Champagne Afternoon Tea for 2 for only £29 at a bar I’ve been to on a few nights out. Honestly I didn’t even know they served food (I blame the fact that I’ve always had a few too many cocktails when I’ve been there for that one). It turns out that, whilst by night Neighbourhood is one of the top nightlife locations in Spinningfields in Manchester, by day and evening it serves awesome food (they even do a Sunday roast!!) and afternoon tea options.

As soon as I saw the deal I knew I had to give it a go, the price was impossible to say no to and I wanted to check out what Neighbourhood had to offer during daylight hours (and without copious amounts of gin swimming through by bloodstream). Better yet, I knew my best friend was coming to visit very soon – she lives in Leeds so we don’t see each other as much as we’d like to – so I thought it would be a great excuse for a really girly day. I text her first to make sure and got the indisputably up for it response of “Hell Yeah!”. The voucher went in my basket and I booked us in for 2pm on Saturday 23rd January – I couldn’t wait!

Caz arrived on Friday night, we had a few glasses of vino and caught up on all the latest trials and tribulations (for once it was me that was drama free – hallelujah!). Then we ordered a Chinese and watched a movie before having a bit of a pamper session – we did face masks with her Body Shop seaweed oil balancing clay mask AND we even managed to get Phil involved; the three of us had a little girly night in. Before bed, as I was in pamper mode, I also used my Kedem (recently rebranded as Kedma) Peach and Honey salt scrub that I got from before Christmas to cleanse my hands; it makes your hands and body feel so silky smooth and it smells amazing! Let me know if you’d like me to do a review of it?

On Saturday we headed in to Manchester on the tram and made our way to Neighbourhood. Now, during the night, when the venue is a bar/club, the tables are moved out, there are big open spaces for people to mill around in and it obviously has the lights turned down with loud music playing etc – usual nightlife stuff. But during the day the venue is pretty light and the high ceilings give an airy-er feel to the place. In this setting you really get to appreciate the decor and lighting which is very modern and funky – a brickwork bar, graffiti walls and neon lights – whilst also being very classy with perfectly laid out tables, gorgeous lighting and intricate room partitioning – things I never really notice when I’m partying and drinking on a night out.

When we arrived we were shown to the cutest little table that was off to the side slightly – it was quite separate from the rest of the restaurant tables which some people might not have liked but we had loads to catch up on and gossip about so it worked perfectly for us! Plenty of privacy for those not so subtle or PG rated girly chats. The table was already set out with a colourful tea set and plates which were just beautiful – I need to get myself a set! And we were seated in some high-backed plush armchairs that I could have fallen asleep in because they were so comfortable.

First we were brought a glass of bubbly with strawberries on the side – magical! – and they took our order for tea. Now, I’m not a huge tea drinker, in fact up until recently I would only drink tea once or twice a year at most. Currently I tend to have a cup or two – only before lunchtime – in the office (I blame my tea-fiend coworkers for getting me into this habit!) but at home, and over Christmas etc, I don’t touch it. But as I was having afternoon tea I thought I better get involved – we both chose English Breakfast Tea (I’ve never had anything but PG Tips – is that the same thing?!) and they brought us over a teapot and a little jug of milk – SO CUTE! I was there thinking, I could get used to this – the sooner my boyfriend gets rich and I can be a brunching lady of leisure the better, no pressure babe!

They asked us about our allergies and all that jazz (“no allergies, bring us everything!”) and then brought over a gorgeous 3 tier cake stand full of goodies. On the bottom tier were savoury snacks, two of each – from left to right it was a smoked salmon bagel, some kind of brown bread with a dollop of really refreshing cream cheese and a cucumber slither (this one was my fave!), a houmous pitta bread (close second!) and a mini sub with beef, cheese, gherkins and mayo. They were all so yummy but the middle two were my favourites, they were actually sort of opposites in their taste and texture – the refreshing feeling of the cream cheese and cucumber vs the much heavier consistency of the houmous and pitta – but they were so delicious.

On the top and middle tier were a selection of sweet goodies – helloooo! – which were all so yummy. On the top were strawberries with cream, ginger biscuits, shortcake, chocolate brownies and jam doughnuts. Then on the middle tier were more strawberries with cream, ginger biscuits and shortcake with some brandy snap twirls with creamy filing and some soft chocolate biscuit/cakes with creamy middles. Absolute heaven!

We started with the savoury bit ands then moved on to the sweets, all whilst gossiping away and catching up on the last few months – we’ve both been so busy recently that we haven’t seen each other properly in waaaayy too long so it was really nice to get some quality time with my baby girl!

We were stuffed by the time we finished and we’d had a great time! We had a French waiter (I forgot his name, ooopps) who was absolutely awesome – really friendly and helpful, always checking we had everything we needed, he explained all of the food we were given and chatted with us about our day. I’d really recommend afternoon tea (or any meal really) at Neighbourhood – the waiters were fab and couldn’t do enough for us, the decor is amazing and the food and drinks were divine!

Have you had Afternoon Tea at Neighbourhood? Can you suggest anywhere else in Manchester that offers a great Afternoon Tea? Let me know…

Lots of love

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