It was lucky then that only a few days later a Living Social deal popped up for Afternoon Tea for Two at the Tea Hive. Unable to resist the exciting bargain, I immediately snapped it up and we booked ourselves in for the Thursday afternoon of my half term holidays.
I was really excited as I had heard excellent things about the Tea Hive since my first encounter with it and had also read a good review on So...Chorlton blog. Bailey was a little less excited as he was quite poorly bless him, but I knew a good afternoon tea would be sure to sort him out.
We were greeted at the door by the most friendly of staff who led us to our cute little vintage table which was adorned with lovely little flower-filled teapots and the most gorgeous mother of pearl salt and pepper shakers.
The staff came over and told us about the range of teas they had and we were also told by more than one member of staff that if we needed or wanted anything we were only to ask. A really lovely way to be made to feel if you ask me.
While we waited for our tea we marvelled at the décor. I said that if I had designed a tea room myself it definitely would have been similar to the Tea Hive. There were mismatched chairs and tables, fresh flowers, amazing mismatched floral china everywhere you looked and gorgeous knick-knacks on every table. I was enamoured with the whole place.
When a wonderful three-tiered cake stand arrived with cakes, scones and finger sandwiches along with a teapot full of Tea Hive blend tea, I really was in afternoon tea heaven.
To start with the tea, we thought the Tea Hive blend - apparently a mix of African, Indian and Ceylon leaves according to the lovely luggage label attached to the teapot - was really tasty and great with a bit of milk. I loved the wonderful tea pot it came in - I described it as "my dream tea pot" and loved drinking it out of my cute cup and saucer.
We started off with the finger sandwiches - cheese and chutney, cucumber with dill cream cheese and ham. Good fillings but a little bit too thinly cut for my liking because when you bit into them they fell apart. Still the ingredients were yummy and they weren't shy with the butter.
Next we moved onto the scones. On our table were two beautiful little china dishes filled with clotted cream and 'Bellini Jam' made from peaches, raspberries and Champagne, which I smothered my scone in.
This I really, really enjoyed - the scone was big and fluffy and not too sweet, the clotted cream was gooey and smooth and the jam was absolutely incredible - I admit after eating my scone I actually scraped the last bits of jam out of the pot with a teaspoon.
Finally we moved onto the cakes and (in a really geeky fashion) Bailey and I made sure we ate the same cakes at the same time so we could discuss them as we ate.
We started on the Red Velvet Heart which was tasty with yummy icing but a little bit dry. Next we had the Beetroot Cake which was delicious - super moist, perfect consistency and with loads of delicious icing. Next we tasted the Victoria Sponge which was lovely and light - I think it had the Bellini Jam in again but if not it was an equally delicious, rich jam. Finally we had the ginger chocolate cake which was very tasty with a strong hit of ginger but a little bit dense after eating so many other cakes!
After thoroughly enjoying our afternoon tea (we realised afterwards it took us about an hour to eat it all! It felt more like minutes!) one of the lovely waitresses brought us over a little box of cakes and more of the Tea Hive blend tea to take home with us - a really lovely touch I thought.
The Tea Hive has really won me over and I am absolutely smitten with the place. We really did leave feeling super relaxed and full of lovely things. Although there were a few bits and bobs here and there that could be worked on food-wise, I feel we have high standards as we were comparing everything to Gwyn Brock's Secret Tea Party. The food was good, the café itself was an absolute treat and the staff were so genuinely lovely, I really can't wait to go back there for another cuppa, some more of that jam and a lovely bit of food on gorgeous china.