Review: The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel

by Charlotte McGaffney

Did you know that a lot of hotels have a specially curated scent that’s piped throughout? You’ll notice as you enter the foyer of 5-star Edwardian Manchester a bright, fresh and luxurious scent, reflective of the feel of the hotel. The hotel is the kind of place that pays extra attention to detail, making each visit a wonderful experience.  

Housed in the former city’s Free Trade Hall opened in 1853, it’s one of Manchester’s oldest buildings and is conveniently located for Manchester’s top attractions.

Afternoon Tea is served in the plush Library Champagne Bar. The experience starts with a pot of tea by fine tea house, Newby. My personal favourite is the Black Tropical, as it marries together fresh fruit flavours together with black tea to create a refreshing blend that captures the essence of summer. We also had a pot of Moroccan mint and Earl Grey - both delicious.

It would be remiss to dine in the in the Library Champagne bar and not also have a glass of Champagne. Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial NV has a delicate mousse with flavours of fresh strawberry and red berry. Great for sipping to kick off festivities, but also an excellent pair with the food. For those wishing to join in, but not drink alcohol, the Wild Idol alcohol free sparkling wine is on offer.

The sandwiches are easily some of the best I’ve ever had. It’s wonderful when venues go the extra mile on the breads for the sandwiches. In this case, a separate bread is made for each sandwich to compliment the filling. Robata grilled courgette is mixed with fresh basil pesto and served on sourdough. Organic cornfed chicken with rich truffle is served on potato and rosemary bread. Soft cream cheese, married together with fresh smoked salmon on sour cherry bread was my personal favourite.

When it comes to the scone course, we usually try to only eat half and box up the rest to take home. In this case, we couldn’t help ourselves and ploughed through even though we knew we’d pay for it later by being ridiculously full. If you visit for the Afternoon Tea at The Library Champagne Bar, I’d like to see you try to resist doing the same! These have the perfect golden sheen on the top, strike the balance of butter and light. They are served with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry and vanilla preserve.

Then on to the patisserie! This collection is inspired by the flavours of spring and summer. Light layers of gel and mousse improbably shaped like a glossy cherry sit on a perfectly moist brownie, giving both fresh fruit and decadent chocolate. Tangy mango is combined with fresh mint to make a delightfully light cake. Cutting into the outer shell of the coconut and raspberry ‘truffle’ to reveal light cake added a fun bit of fun theatre. The strawberry and rhubarb gateau roule captures the flavours of English summer perfectly.

The Library Champagne Bar is an exceptional Afternoon Tea experience in the heart of Manchester. If you add it to your itinerary for when you next visit the city centre, we promise you won’t regret it.

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Charlotte McGaffney

Charlotte is the Digital Marketing Manager for Off duty, she blogs about wine at

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