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Afternoon Tea at the River Restaurant

12 May 2016
Venue Spotlight


The Lowry Hotel has recently received an Excellence Award from The British Tea Guild, so we decided to sample the new Spring Afternoon Tea menu, created by newly appointed Head Pastry Chef Ririn Biggs. The spread was delightful with finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve and dainty pastries. It was served in the River Restaurant's beautiful dining room complete with crisp white linen and impeccable service which has maintained the Lowry's reputation for over fifteen years.

Rirrin Bigs Pastry Chef

I was feeling in the mood for a more opulent afternoon tea experience so went for the full champagne afternoon tea. This comes with a glass of champagne, strawberry and elderflower macaroon and a delightful choux bun filled with cream cheese and dill - easily my favourite item on the menu. There is a range of exotic teas to try, the organic Jade Sword green tea for example or the Jasmine Pearls scented tea. But given the fact I had a glass of bubbly to get through and was feeling more like a sleepy tabby than a crouching tiger, I decided against a more exotic beverage and had a simple Earl Grey with lemon.

Champagne Afternoon Tea
Champagne Afternoon Tea

We had the pleasure of meeting the new head pastry chef Ririn Biggs who brought out our afternoon teas with a beaming smile and carefully explained to us what each perfectly executed pastry consisted of. Ririn obviously has a wealth of experience under her belt and has been honing her pastry skills for eight years.

Our Scone Accompaniments

Set against the backdrop of the restaurant’s dining room, this feels like a decadent occasion however we had absolutely nothing to celebrate! So we toasted to good health and tucked in. I tried to steal the other choux bun but my date was having none of it. He agreed the buttery pastry was particular delicious so I moved on to a finger sandwich negotiation. I lean toward the smoked salmon and cheese rather than egg and meat fillings and after a bit of toing and froing I got my way.

Smoked Salmon Choux Bun
Smoked Salmon, Dill & Cream Cheese Choux Bun

It has to be said that afternoon tea is meant for sharing so a certain amount of swapping and bartering is inevitable but it would be nice to be able to choose the sandwich selection yourself. I find this with all afternoon tea experiences and sometimes wonder what Mary Berry would have to say?

It seemed a shame to demolish such beautifully turned out pastries, so I whipped out my iphone, committed them to posterity - then unashamedly tucked in.

A Selection of Beautiful Pastries

It always surprises me how filling an afternoon tea can be and I was at the point of reaching my limit but hadn't even touched the banana cupcake with honeycomb or the coffee opera cake.

Banana and Honeycomb Cake

I asked the waitress if I could take the cakes home as it seemed such a waste to leave them and after meeting Ririn in person I felt it rude to leave them on the platter. Our waitress swiftly came back with a box and I was relieved as this must be a frequent request.

Recommend To A Friend?
I have visited the River Restaurant on many occasions but this was my first experience of their afternoon tea. It's a beautiful dining room, the large round tables dressed with heavy white linen. This attention to detail is mirrored throughout the restaurant from the impeccable service to the beautifully crafted pastries. I would most certainly recommend afternoon tea at the Lowry to a friend. For the regular tea it's just £22.50 per person - with its two AA rosettes, elegant dining room and faultless service your friend would not be disappointed. Afternoon Tea is a popular Mother's Day treat, however if like us you just need a little lavish TLC then this is certainly the place. I will certainly be returning with girlfriends very soon and next time I'm definitely going to try the organic Jade Sword tea.

The River Restaurant Afternoon Tea selection changes monthly, view this month’s menu here