Afternoon tea: a concept that I’m all over in theory, but the reality is often very different. So when I offered to take my sister as a birthday treat, along with our nieces, we decided to try chocolatier Cocoa Cabana hoping that they would break the mould. Thankfully, they did, and it was an afternoon to remember.
The sun was shining over West Didsbury, so when we arrived a bit early we were happy to sit outside and watch the world go by.
Cocoa Cabana is a tiny little independent chocolatiers. The owner trained at Slatterys which, as any northern chocoholic will tell you, means she knows her stuff. The shop a glorious riot of vintage cabinets full of their wares with just two tables and six seats. Six seats has to be the definition of cosy! But it means that service is impeccable.
Tea and coffee are included with the afternoon tea, but we were all seduced by the vast hot chocolate menu. The others started with milk chocolate orange, and it’s safe to say they were a success. I had a little sip for research purposes and it was smooth and creamy.
The afternoon tea
Sandwiches, oft an afterthought of afternoon tea, were served on super fresh soft bread. Ham and mustard, egg (I don’t do egg sandwiches but this wasn’t the smelly nightmare of packaged sarnies, it was another level) and cheese and pickle. Simple but perfectly executed.
Full size scones, light and fluffy, came served with clotted cream and, brace yourselves, salted caramel sauce. Yes dear reader, someone has taken the quintessential scone and made it better! Flipping heck it was good. And staff were happy to oblige with jam for my niece too.
The salted caramel sauce was also suggested as a drizzle for the gooey little brownies which my family said were ‘nearly as good’ as mine. I think they were being polite so as not to hurt my feelings!
Delicate chocolate filled tarts each had a different topping. Mine had marbled choc drops, though I fancies the orange one too. But you snooze you lose in my family!
A bit sized chocolate cup was filled with a white chocolate and rose ganache and topped with a raspberry. We all agreed it was better than Frys Turkish delight! Then there were macarons (mmm, pistachio) and a bite sized patisserie (I went for a pistachio layer thingy which was a cloud).
The dark caramel hot chocolate I went for half way through was probably the reason that I had to take some of my treats home with me. It was worth it though!
We couldn’t leave without a bit of shopping. The girls went for chocolate unicorns (*eye roll*) made in house, and I had to take the haggis spiced bar from Chocolate Tree…I’ve not tried it yet but I will report back.
Cocoa Cabana has restored my faith in afternoon tea. I’d take you all with me but you’ll have to form an orderly queue!
Cocoa Cabana. 128 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester. M20 2JQ