M60 7HA   Manchester Oxford Street
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Refuge afternoon tea

Afternoon tea in the Winter Garden

It’s time for tea in the Winter Garden, and in true Refuge style, we’ve put a spin on the traditional set-up. Forget cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwiches – it’s all about our punchy kimchi sausage roll. To get the lowdown on what’s on the stand (and in the cocktail shaker) we spoke to Exec Chef, Paul, and Assistant General Manager, Rose.

Oh, and if you can’t quite finish everything, we’ve got a rather lovely cake box for you to take those last morsels home.

The food

Paul’s inspiration was bringing the Dining Room vibe into afternoon tea – so it’s all about flavours from around the world with a few northern twists, think a sausage roll laced with kimchi, and a Refuge-coloured Battenberg.

And he wasn’t working alone either – it’s been a group effort with Senior Sous Chef, Tom, and Pastry Chef, Derek.

Oak-smoked salmon, beetroot chutney, labneh, pumpernickel
Smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches are very much a staple on afternoon tea menus – we don’t do staples. The chefs took the smoked salmon, paired it with a earthy, tangy beetroot chutney, and creaminess of labneh – a Mediterranean cheesy yoghurt. It all matches brilliantly with the dense and rich pumpernickel bread that’s made with rye and seeds – it’s about as healthy as bread can get.

Kimchi sausage roll
Your traditional pork sausagemeat is blended with ground kimchi (that’s Korean fermented cabbage for the uninitiated) to give it a mild background of spice – don’t worry, it’s not overpowering at all. All that’s wrapped in puff pastry, glazed with egg and sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds before baking until crisp and super flaky.

Cheddar cheese custard, flatbread crisp, baby carrots, radishes
Sharp cheddar is set in a creamy custard, with warm Spanish paprika and baby vegetables sticking up like a little vegetable patch. It’s most certainly not your bog standard finger sandwich.

Sour cherry and date scones
A classic scone base recipe, but we’ve added sour cherries and dates to change up the flavours. Served with jam and clotted cream – simple.

Yoghurt and tahini choux bun
Basically a profiterole that’s gone on a holiday to the Eastern Med. Slightly sour yoghurt slicked with nutty tahini paste and sweet honey, it’s topped with craquelin (a sort of biscuit mixture that’s goes all crispy in the oven).

Spiced carrot cake, cardamom, rose petal
This isn’t your nan’s carrot cake. We’ve added garam masala to provide an earthy warmth – it’s a classic with a hint of Refuge. Although we still top it with a super indulgent cream cheese frosting, we’re not monsters.

Fig Battenberg
Another twist on a classic with Refuge-coloured sponges sandwiched together with fig jam, then wrapped in marzipan. Does what it says on the tin.

Passion fruit and white chocolate opera cake
Fluffy sponge is layered with creamy white chocolate mousse and zingy passion fruit jelly – a perfect balance between richness and vibrance.

Our Black Forest Gateaux
Paul’s version of an old school classic, which pairs brilliant with our gin partners, Monkey 47, whose botanicals are sourced in the Black Forest.

The cocktails

Rose wanted to bring a bit of afternoon tea to her cocktails, so much so, she’s even put sparkling tea in a couple! Naturally, every afternoon tea comes with the choice of pot of The Brew Tea Company tea or a Heart & Graft coffee.

Rooibos Sbagliato
Campari, sweet vermouth, grapefruit, sparkling red tea
An Italian staple aperitif with a twist – we switch out the sparkling wine for sparkling tea. There’s plenty of citrus and dark berry notes, with base notes of Lady Grey and Earl Grey tea.

Peach tea Bellini
Peach liqueur, sparkling green tea
This drink is steeped in nostalgia – it’s a classic combination, and yet so many flavours to discover: lemongrass, citrus, ginger and crisp green apple. It’s also on the low-alcohol end of the spectrum, so perfect if you’ve got to head out and do something important after tea.

Hibiscus Margarita
Olmeca tequila, Cointreau, lime, hibiscus gomme
Colourful and bold like the hibiscus flower itself, this twist on the Margarita is sweet and sour combo with delicate floral notes. Using aged tequila gives it a natural warmth too.

Breakfast Martini
Monkey 47 gin, Cointreau, marmalade, lemon
Simple, but effective. This one’s harmonious mixture of gin, Cointreau and marmalade. So you’ll get layers of sweet orange followed by a tart finish – it won’t fail to refresh your palate after all that cake.

The details

1-4pm, Tuesday to Thursday

29.50 per person including a pot of The Brew Tea Company tea or a Heart & Graft coffee

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