You know when you're peckish for something a bit different? Yeah, that. I didn't fancy another burger (shocker, I know) and wasn't really in the mood for something too heavy either. Manchester has an exploding 'meat' scene, with burgers, burritos, bangers and steaks in all shapes and forms popping up on every corner. Sometimes I just fancy something a little more delicate.
My Twitter friends are a reliable bunch. I gave them said brief, and a few came back with the same answer; Rosylee Tea Rooms. They're the new kid on the block. They have only been open for a few weeks, but are already making waves amongst the food loving folk of Manchester.
They are selling them selves as 'Manchester's modern tea rooms', and appear to have successfully pitched up with a concept unlike any of the others. Don't get me wrong, I love the likes of Richmond, Sugar Junction and Home Sweet Home, but an exact replica of any of these would be unnecessary in an already thriving city.
Rosylee is modern elegance with a friendly edge. There's no pomp and ceremony like Betty's, and you are quite okay to rock up in your jeans, but something just feels a little more refined. There's no chintzy crockery, and none of the tea pots have chips in them. Their style is clean and simple, with a modern vintage feel. Creepers cover the beams, and the mismatched glass ceiling lights throw conflicting shards of light onto the white walls.
We ordered some drinks, and set about the menu. I'm a sucker for a modern looking cup of coffee. When we were in San Francisco last year, their famous Blue Bottle Coffee house served their cuppas in this way. This had a quintessentially British twist, with the addition of a little pile of biscuits to go with it. The reminded me of being six and scoffing Animal Biscuits from the box... We sampled a lovely pot of Darjeeling, a Fentiman's rose lemonade and had this pretty flat white.Rosylee Rarebit - Toasted granary bloomer topped with grilled Rosylee rarebit, vine tomatoes and rocket: a generous portion of thick cut granary bloomer, topped with oozing cheese rarebit sauce. My husband really enjoyed this, but said he would have preferred a little more kick.
RLT - Triple layered, with streaky bacon, baby gem lettuce, vine tomatoes, and saffron mayonnaise: this was just fantastic. The dimpled bread was soft, and a bit of a lighter option to the standard white. I'm not ashamed to say that I ate every scrap! The saffron mayonnaise gave a subtle difference to the normal BLT, and the addition of the sweet carrot crisps was nothing less than genius. Highly recommended.
Homemade thick cut chips: worth a mention aside from the rest of the meal. Chips served as a separate accompanyment in a 'cafe' environment are often a horrible let down. These were bob-on. Fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside.
Scones - two warm homemade Rosylee scones, clotted cream and fruit preserve: I have had a bit of a thing about scones since visiting Betty's a few weeks ago. I was sure I was setting myself up for disappointment after sampling such fine examples of baked goods in York, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. These arrived warm, with a good proportion of fruit to scone. There was plenty of jam and cream, and the texture was good. Very enjoyable indeed!
Chocolate Cream Éclair - Rosylee choux pastry éclair with vanilla cream and chocolate ganache: I saw the look on my husband's face when two éclairs arrived... It was somewhere between joy and slight panic. However, these were light as a feather. A huge fan of the humble éclair, he declared they were the best he had ever eaten. High praise indeed!
A very enjoyable afternoon. Rosylee Tea Rooms is the perfect city hideaway, and puts a tick in every box. Breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, you won't be disappointed. They even dish out free canapes with their cocktails in the evening... Whether you're a lunching lady, or hungry like the wolf, you'll be happy at Rosylee.
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