Afternoon Tea & Snacks / Places in Manchester

Afternoon Tea at Marco’s Italian

Updated 23rd February 2020

I’ve not heard much about Marco’s if I’m honest but decided to give it a go on yet another LivingSocial deal and I’m not sure if it’s just me, but there’s a preconceived  notion that afternoon teas in hotel restaurants would be excellent. I took my sister with me as we proceeded to Marco’s Italian for some hopefully tasty food before an evening out at The Lowry.


We had a bit of trouble locating Marco’s Italian. I think if you entered the Holiday Inn, it’s on the right and up the stairs. We ended up taking the lifts on the left as it wasn’t immediately obvious that the bar was owned and connected to the restaurant. The red interior I found too dark for my liking, and I was very glad to be shown to a table next to the window overlooking Media City (the view wasn’t all that interesting, though, if I’m honest!).


Tea menu

Tea menu

I found the tea menu to be varied enough to cater to all sorts of people. If you just want bog standard tea, they’ve got that. Want a herbal or fruity type, they’ve got that too. Want something more unusual, yeap, that’s me and my sister; we ended up getting the Passionfruit Ceylon  and Nutty Chocolate Assam.

The Tea

The tea

The teas

The tea arrived and we both sampled each pot. They did not disappoint, both were fragrant and as with most teas, the smell is rather deceiving and the flavour is not overpowering. This makes both a nice accompaniment to the cakes and sandwiches to follow.

The Food

The afternoon tea arrived on this adorable miniature picnic table with the desserts and scones laid out on the table portion and the sandwiches and pies on the seats. It appeared to be a mix of their traditional afternoon tea and their gentlemen’s afternoon tea. I really enjoyed two of the savoury selection, which consisted of a mini meat pie, a mini fish and potato bite. It was a bit unusual from your traditional sandwich fare and I believe this portion was taken from the gentlemen’s afternoon tea.

The sandwiches were also nice, but I tend not to like mini bap/bun sandwiches compared to finger sandwiches. The scones were nice with one plain and one fruit, served with clotted cream and jam. The desserts were ok, nothing special of note; these consisted of macarons, mini eclairs and doughnuts and a fruit mousse. I found the ring doughnuts placed on top of the mousse weird as the two did not go together, so why place them together? The macarons weren’t strong in flavour either, I had a hard time determining what the green macaron was (I assume pistachio).

Overall rating and comments

6/10 -1.5 for atmosphere, I just felt like it was an odd place for afternoon tea as it was clear that the aesthetics were set up more for main meals. -2 for plain desserts. -0.5 for baps instead of finger sandwiches; this is a personal preference of course.

Would visit again?

Probably not, it was ok but not amazing, plus quite out of reach for me to get to.


Address: Holiday Inn, White, Salford, M50 2EQ


  • Jasmin Booth (@jasminbooth15)
    17th May 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Ah shame it wasn’t great! I do love the little picnic table though – that is a really cute touch! So many good afternoon teas now in Manchester!!

    Jasmin Charlotte

    • Elsa Lee
      17th May 2016 at 9:40 pm

      Indeed! I love a good afternoon tea, just trying to pick a nice one is the hard part! (Well, maybe 2nd hardest, the 1st is actually finishing a full afternoon tea!)

  • misspond
    18th May 2016 at 8:48 am

    I’d never heard of Marco’s Italian until you’d written this. It’s a shame the afternoon tea wasn’t great. My favourite in Manchester is still the Dish Ran Away With The Spoon in Didsbury, well worth a try 🙂

    • Elsa Lee
      18th May 2016 at 9:13 am

      Ah, thanks for that heads up, I’ll definitely put it in my to eat list!

  • Joanne Valentine
    19th May 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, I love Afternoons Teas and am always curious to hear about other peoples experiences. The presentation of the food looked amazing but the sandwiches do look a little heavy, I agree that finger sandwiches are far better for an afternoon tea

    • Elsa Lee
      19th May 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Glad I’m not the only one who prefers finger sandwiches!

  • nishkpatel
    24th May 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Ah I would have preferred finger sandwiches too, you’re definitely not the only one! The little picnic table is super cute though, I love it when afternoon tea comes on something different than the usual three tier stand. I really enjoyed the afternoon tea at teacup but I’d love to try some more places x

    nishKpatel | A Manchester Style & Beauty Blog

    • Elsa Lee
      24th May 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Yeah, I really enjoy Afternoon Teas. I’d go more often if I had more stomach space and money! Always on the hunt for nice places. If you need an eating partner, let me know 🙂


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