Heaton Park Cafes' Lakeside Dining Domes are back for summer, perched at the water's edge and delving out afternoon teas. From sweet treats to savoury snacks, this meal is one of the most quintessentially British, so I was eager to see what Northern spin and 'proper Manchester portions' - a direct quote from the attentive service here - would deliver.
Strolling around the corner on a balmy Saturday afternoon, my friend and I found these pretty, private spaces perfectly set for our arrival. This wasn't your cheap, plastic-look igloo either, fronting wooden floors and solid slats giving a more luxurious feel. It was also simply, yet tastefully, decorated with some hanging foliage inside and plant pots at the door, leaving the views across the lake or of your afternoon tea as the primary focus. Better yet, the chatter of families, picnickers and people taking to pedalos was almost totally drowned out by the surprisingly soundproof pod. Bliss.
The food itself was equally impressive and, coming someone who's been helping with baking almost as long as they've been able to walk, that's a fair compliment. From chicken mayo finger sandwiches to the moist chocolate brownie topped off by piped salted caramel ganache, every item was impeccably presented. When it came to favourites, the refreshing meringue full of cream, pineapple and passionfruit stole the show out of the desserts. On the savoury front, the indulgently-sized free-range scotch egg boasted a perfectly crisp outside, richly flavoured sausage and a yolk that was still a little gooey, meaning it topped the lot. My only gripe was the scones being served alongside Chantilly cream, rather than clotted. Nevertheless, I happily munched away until the sheer volume defeated me.
The DesignMyNight Digest
With an incredible price given its size, afternoon tea at Heaton Park Cafes' Lakeside Dining Domes is the epitome of value for money. The quality here is high and the view isn't half bad either. Not to mention, there are boxes available to whisk away any leftovers too, so you can enjoy it all over again a little later.
💰 The damage: £23.95 per person.
📍 The location: The lakeside at Heaton Park Boating Lake, M25 0DL.
👌 Perfect for: Vegan or classic afternoon teas that offer fantastic value for money.
⭐ Need to know: There's a £60 minimum spend per pod, which seats up to 6, so best to take a few of your besties.