Despite being scared of heights, I discovered on our visit to Paris that I absolutely adore getting up high for those good views. During a recent visit to my parents, Ali and I hopped in the elevator and headed to Cloud 23 on the 23rd floor of Beetham Tower on Deansgate to enjoy an afternoon tea in the sky.
Growing up in south Manchester, I firmly remember when Beetham Tower was being built. Now a firm fixture in the Manchester skyline it’s hard to imagine a time when it’s distinctive shape wasn’t there.
Despite it standing for almost 15 years now and hearing fantastic things about Cloud 23, I’d never actually been up! It actually turned into a really nostalgic visit. I spent a lot of time pointing out places I’ve been and my favourite buildings in the city. And in true Manchester style, during the two hours we were there we experienced pretty much every type of weather you can imagine – from falling snow to blazing sunshine!
THE AFTERNOON TEA
As well as coffee and hot chocolate, there is a really wide selection of teas available. The earl grey was delicately flowery and delicious enough I worked my way through 3 pots in the couple of hours we were there.
As with most afternoon teas, we got lots of little sandwiches and cakes to enjoy the view with. The tuna on white bread and roasted peppers on brown were just to my taste. I adored the little cheese pastry and the ham and spinach wraps. The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the beetroot and cheese wrap – purely as I’m not a lover of beetroot!
I was a big fan of the scones with jam and cream. The strawberry jam wasn’t overly tangy, and the clotted cream was the perfect spreading consistency.
Then we had three desserts to fit in! The brownie was incredibly rich so if you’re a lover of chocolate it will be totally up your street. The citrus drizzle cakes were lovely and moist with the right amount of sugar crunch on the top. And last of all the lemon mousse, whilst runnier than expected, was the perfect palette cleanser to finish with.
Cloud 23 has a contemporary and spacious lounge full of seating, but of course, it’s all about the outside view. They have a rule of one bum per seat so it will never get overcrowded. However, I would highly recommend making sure you go for a good wander and take in the views on all sides of the building.
The traditional afternoon tea is £25 per person. For the experiential factor of Cloud 23 is a really good price. You can upgrade this to champagne afternoon tea as well which would be perfect for a celebration. And if afternoon tea doesn’t float your boat, there are nibbles on the menu, and Cloud 23 is a cocktail bar too!