Address: 53-55 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
Mungo Jerry Smoothie: £3.95
Blues Brothers Smoothie: £3.95
Americano coffee: £2
I loved the Northern Quarter long before it needed shop signs to tell you it was "alternative." In between the clothing wholesalers, the dodgy pubs tucked down back-alleys (how do they stay in business?), the endless "quirky" clothing shops, and the trendy bars there are some gems to be found. Sadly, Teacup is not one of them.
Teacup, owned by erstwhile Manc DJ/lenged Mr Scruff, looks nice, smells nice and feels nice. After it's done nicely pocketing hefty chunks of hard-earned cash, however, the niceness wears off pretty quickly. I was there with a friend from London. London friend (we'll call her Jess) gasped (no, really) at the prices on the menu. "You couldn't even get away with these prices in London," she said as she stabbed her finger at the coffee menu where an Americano (normal coffee, to non-coffee drinkers) is two quid.
All juices, smoothies and milkshakes are £3.95, as are most slices of cake listed on the menu. Unless they're giving me a full quarter of the cake, that's not a price I want to be paying. Forking over almost £4, I expected a giant (maybe a pint, or a tad less) Blues Brothers smoothie, thick with yoghurt and berries. What I got was a slightly watery affair in a normal-sized glass. It was tasty, but it wasn't worth the money. Jess felt the same.
With bright light bulbs hung low enough to bang your head on, the subsequent daylight robbery feels a bit like paying for the privilege of an interrogation in a twee tearoom. Teacup appears to be catering to the trendy-hipster crowd, with its cooler-than-thou staff and faux-cutesy décor, but to everyone without a trustfund it is unaffordable.