tea 42, manchester

by thinhungrygirl

tea 42 opened in late 2013 and quickly became known among afternoon tea and cake lovers alike.

placed on the road between debenhams and the arndale centre, it’s a slightly strange location – but this doesn’t stop people from flooding in.

visiting for a saturday lunchtime, we were seated fairly quickly but told we’d have to return the table in one hour. this wouldn’t hinder our meal according to the host as we’d be able to “have a three course meal in that time!”

not in my lifetime.

we were given our large menus (seriously, we could barely fit three on the table and ended up jousting with them) and our drinks orders take. then the waiting began – first, for the drinks to arrive, and then for our food order to be taken. we were given a complimentary drink for the wait on food, but it doesn’t help when you can see servers milling around with seemingly nothing else to do.

the menu is a pretty vast array of breakfast, lunch, starters/small plates, cakes and sandwiches.

i went for what the menu describes as, and i quote, “chickpea & roasted red pepper pate with Galore! red onion marmalade & artisan toasted shards.”

tea42i received some tasty chutney, a pot of hummus with about 3 specks of red peppers in it, and bread. not even lightly toasted.

tea422my mum’s piri-piri chicken skewers were tasty, nicely spiced and very juicy, but the “red onion and lime salsa salad” was predominantly oil. if you look carefully, you can see that it’s full to the brim.

tea423my boyfriend’s soup and sandwich was probably the better option, but the waitress seemed to have no recollection of us ordering it, then putting on the table without a spoon – or second glance.

yes, they were busy, but there are ways to deal with this. service was poor, despite the attempts to be friendly, food was okay, and it felt like noone quite knew what they were doing.

if they were to specialise in just the tea and cake perhaps – it worked for teacup for long enough – but i wont be heading back.