Tag Archives: Burton Road

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

A couple of weeks ago to celebrate two friends getting new jobs, a group of us went for afternoon tea at Cocoa Cabana in West Didsbury. To my shame I’ve never eaten there before, but I’ve bought and eaten plenty of their chocolates over the years. I was interested to see what their chocolate afternoon tea would be like, plus it seemed like a bargain at £16.99 each, so I needed to check it out properly. 

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

Cocoa Cabana in West Didsbury is a small chocolatiers and cake makers. They have three small tables inside and on nice days you can sit outside on Burton Road and watch the world go by. There were eight of us, so we took up all of the inside tables. Because of the size of Cocoa Cabana and the work involved in making an afternoon tea you do have to book in advance. 

My friend Sarah had done all the booking and had arranged for us to take some celebratory prosecco with us to have with our tea. There was rather surprisingly no corkage to pay for this. The afternoon tea comes with unlimited tea or coffee, you can have hot chocolate but there is an additional charge for this.

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

We were served pots of good tea and we chatted as our sandwiches were brought to us. I was one of two vegetarians and our sandwiches were brought on separate plates. I thought that was a nice touch as the carnivores often snaffle the veggie sandwiches before I get to them. The sandwiches were freshly made with seeded bread and good quality fillings. There were nice egg sandwiches, cheese and pickle and ham and mustard amongst others.

More tea was poured, prosecco corks popped and a procession of sweet treats were brought to our table. The freshly made fruit scones came with lashings of cream and a salted caramel sauce; a real twist on the classic but one I really enjoyed. It was a little sweet for a couple of my friends, but the sauce was a winner for me.

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

The chocolate tarts were much coveted. Crisp pastry filled with chocolate ganache and topped with a red berry. The tarts were excellent, but very rich and very intense. Most of us managed half a tart each (you can take what you can’t finish home if you’d like).

Following the chocolate theme, there was also a large plate of chocolate brownies. I am not much of a brownie fan, but I shared one with a friend and it was perfectly crisp on top and gooey in the middle. 

What did turn my head was this little plate of prettiness. Tiny eclairs, a teeny banoffee pie, a bite-sized cheesecake, little raspberry chocolate pots, a miniature lemon meringue tart and the lightest, most magnificent pistachio macaron ever.

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

As with every afternoon tea I’ve ever had, there was far too much food, which is probably a good thing. Afternoon tea should not leave you wanting more and the staff at Cocoa Cabana were clearly used to boxing up leftovers. 

The Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana is just £16.99 per person, which is really excellent value. We didn’t feel rushed and the service was attentive but not intrusive. I did need to go home and have a nap directly afterwards, but that is my greed and not a comment on the quality of the food. I liked the separate veggie sandwiches; and the macarons I will dream of for a while yet. I do think the salted caramel sauce should be sold in jars.

The verdict? A good afternoon tea, with some real highlights at very reasonable price, I’ve paid upwards of £25 in Manchester for very average afternoon teas and the Cocoa Cabana afternoon tea was better value and much better quality. Plus the service was accommodating and attentive. It’s nice to have afternoon tea (and chocolate) of this quality available outside of the city centre. Go on, treat yourself (and me).

Cocoa Cabana 128 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2JQ

Visit the Cocoa Cabana website for further information http://cocoa-cabana.co.uk/

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

Note: We paid for our Afternoon Tea in full.

Review: The Metropolitan, West Didsbury

Being a born and bred Didsbury girl, and also being something of a certain age, I can remember when The Metropolitan was The Midland Hotel and the best thing on Burton Road was a launderette. I’ve watched the gradual polishing up of West Didsbury over the years, lots of bars, cafes and restaurants have come and gone, but the cornerstone (quite literally) of West Didsbury since 2000 has been The Metropolitan.

For many years I worked around the corner from The Met, popping in for a swift after work drink, or for works lunches and Christmas meals. It’s convenient, they do great cask ales, there’s lots of parking, it’s really family friendly without being a Wacky Warehouse and it’s now little more than a sneeze away from the Metrolink. But is it any good?

I confess it’s been a while since I dined there. I don’t get “up West” as often as I should. There’s a lot to be said for the large and lovely beer garden at The Met, especially on what was the hottest day of the year, or summer as we call it in Manchester.

I met my companion at the bar, where we thirstily supped a cold pint while we waited to be seated at our table in the air conditioned and airy conservatory. It was busy, but not uncomfortably so, and I reckon the sunshine had brought everyone out for the evening, despite the fact it was a Tuesday and a school night.

We ordered starters, me a goats cheese and chive hash brown with apple puree (£5.75) and he the homemade crab cakes, crunchy salad, cucumber salsa (£5.95). As a veggie, I was excited to see something a bit more adventurous on offer for me and I was very pleasantly surprised with my hash brown.

Metropolitan

It was a big, thick, chunky portion, nicely seasoned, cheesy enough but not too goaty, and the apple sauce just made it extra special. I was pretty excited by this. I am beyond bored of blue cheese, mushrooms and veggie tarts, so it was good to find something interesting and different.

Metropolitan

My friend enjoyed his crab cakes. They were obviously homemade, the crab meat was generous and the cucumber relish an excellent foil for the dish. I had a little nibble and I’d quite like to buy a jar of that lovely fresh relish for myself.

Metropolitan

The portions were very generous, probably enough for me for lunch, so do arrive hungry if you want more than one course.

Moving on to the mains, as it was summer and my body is a temple or something, I ordered the Halloumi Superfood salad which included kale, baby spinach, beetroot, orange, pearl cous cous, watercress & toasted pumpkin seeds with a tomato, garlic & oregano dressing (£11.95). It was huge, with great big slabs of perfectly cooked, deliciously salty halloumi.

Metropolitan

Had I known about the generous portion sizes I wouldn’t have ordered the best sweet potato fries in the world (£3.50) as a side, but I did and I didn’t regret it for one moment. Hand cut and definitely not from frozen, the crispy skin-on fries, generously salted they were sweet potato perfection. We were fighting over them in the end.

Metropolitan

My friend ordered the Pan-fried Goosnargh duck breast, cranberry polenta cake, wilted spinach with a redcurrant jus (£15.95). The waiter warned him that it would arrive pink, but this was the only fault in our meal, and it was probably our fault, but the duck was not pink. I’m pretty sure it was our fault because we faffed about and took ages over our first course so the duck was probably being kept warm in the kitchen while we nattered and fiddled about with my camera.

Metropolitan

However, the duck was a beautiful looking dish. It was his first time with polenta, and it was something he enjoyed tremendously. It was riddled with fresh cranberries and the redcurrant jus was glossy and luscious. The duck was thinly sliced and as tender as Elvis’ tender heart.

Somehow we still had room, so we decided to share a pud. I chose the basil and lime cheesecake with lime syrup (£5.95) and it was as pretty as a picture. I don’t normally have a pudding so this was a rare treat. My friend wasn’t sure, but I really was. The basil ran through the cheesecake and there was fresh lime and lime syrup drizzled all over it. It was an excellent palate cleanser and I think would work well with a little bit of tequila in the syrup (or in a shot glass on the side). I’ve had dreams about that cheesecake.

Metropolitan

Our two and a half course meal and a couple of pints cost us £57.10. The portions were incredibly generous and the food was really good quality. This isn’t just your average pub grub, it’s very much a step or two beyond that. The Metropolitan is what every neighbourhood needs, a friendly casual place to hang out, with good food, good drinks and a good beer garden.

The Metropolitan is on 2 Lapwing Lane, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2WS. Visit their website to for more information and to view their menus.