Afternoon tea at Cocoa Cabana Manchester
With just a matter of weeks before baby arrives I should be indulging like crazy. But I’m not. That’s right, instead of milking my divine right to eat with abandon and not worry about weight gain during pregnancy, I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. It’s miserable and depressing. And this no-sugar, no fun diet is making me have rude thoughts about the afternoon tea I had at Cocoa Cabana Manchester, which was a chocolate lover’s dream.
Cocoa Cabana afternoon tea – a hidden gem in Manchester
I’ve sampled my fair share of afternoon teas in London (you can read my roundup of the best afternoon tea here), so it was high time that I gave Manchester’s afternoon tea offerings a try.
It was the perfect occasion too, being little sis’ birthday. But with a two-year-old at home and a baby in my belly, I wasn’t keen on spending more time travelling to a venue than actually sipping tea.
I assumed we’d have to head into the city centre, but a quick review of the top 10 afternoon tea places in Manchester threw up a surprise. Right in West Didsbury – about a 15-minute drive from us was Cocoa Cabana, a small chocolatier which served afternoon tea with a twist. As a bonus, at £16 per person, it was a fraction of the price of some of the tearooms in Manchester.
A real USP of Cocoa Cabana was that they offered unlimited hot chocolate top-ups too, in a variety of flavours from biscotti to mint to Ferrero Rocher.
Decor of Cocoa Cabana Manchester
The chocolatier is definitely quirky with a vintage twist. There’s odd China, mismatched plates and eclectic seating. It reminds me of the coffee shops in Brick Lane, which boasted a cosy, hipster feel. It’s a far cry from the likes of The Sanderson Hotel, or Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, where everything was matched to perfection. But for Cocoa Cabana, shabby-chic seemed to work.
Afternoon tea at Cocoa Cabana West Didsbury – a chocolate lover’s dream
Here’s what we had for afternoon tea…
The brie sandwich with sundried tomatoes was a delight. The tuna and egg and cress was enjoyable. But as always, I really could have had more savoury over sweet.
Speaking of sweet, the star of the show was the dessert tier. There were chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate tarts, and brownies. You get the picture, there was A LOT of chocolate. Oh and just to break things up, there were macaroons and scones. The scones came with a chocolate flavoured cream, though I would have preferred a straight forward clotted cream accompaniment for my most favourite afternoon tea component. But the rest of the sweet treats were great, and predictably, we were stuffed to bursting.
What further fuelled our fullness were the hot chocolates, which were plentiful. To be honest, after one hot chocolate, I was full to the brim but the options were too tempting to not keep sampling. So we asked the waitress if she could provide smaller cups of the various flavours, as I hate waste. The waitress duly obliged and it was a great decision as flavour was unique and well worth sampling.
Service at Cocoa Cabana Manchester
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, what really makes the difference in afternoon tea is the service. Yes, sandwiches need to be tasty and quirky twists help, but only to a point. What’s more important is how comfortable you’re made to feel during your stay. I’m pleased to report that Cocoa Cabana Manchester passed this test with flying colours. Staff were attentive without being overbearing, they catered to all our needs, and even boxed the chocolates we couldn’t finish.
As a side note, as Cocoa Cabana also has a chocolatier, you can buy some of their handmade gourmet chocolates to take home with you. Not that we needed to. We couldn’t finish what we had.
So overall, I would thoroughly recommend afternoon tea at Cocoa Cabana Manchester. The service was great, the chocolates were fab and the price point made it more affordable than most afternoon teas. I would have loved to have more sandwiches, but that’s always the case with me (read: greedy git).
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About the Author
I’m not a makeup artist, chef, lifestyle guru or stylist. I’m just me. And like you, I’m trying to make the best of most things, only I’m sharing my warts-and-all thoughts along the way.