Loose Women debate whether men and women have different tastes in food after restaurant is accused of sexism over ‘gendered’ afternoon teas with pies for men and sandwiches for women

  • A café has been caught up in a sexism row for serving gendered menus
  • The Wickentree Restaurant in Oldham serves men and women’s afternoon tea
  • One diner reportedly branded the idea of separate menus ‘bonkers’
  • The Loose Women panellists had different opinions on men and women’s tastes

Loose Women panellists questioned whether men and women have inherently different tastes in food after a sexism row erupted over a restaurant offering ‘male’ and ‘female’ menus.

Wickentree Restaurant in Oldham, Greater Manchester, made headlines after social media users asked why the eaterie offers separate afternoon teas for men and women.

The women’s option includes dainty finger sandwiches and a prawn cocktail, while men are offered a heftier steak, pork pie and chips. Both are priced at £21.95 per person. 

The Loose Women panellists debated whether women and men inherently have different tastes when it comes to the types of food they prefer

The Wickentree Restaurant in Oldham, Greater Manchester, serves different afternoon teas for men and women. This ‘Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea’ features hearty options like a pork pie

Meanwhile, the ‘Ladies’ Afternoon Tea’ offers lighter bites, including a prawn cocktail and delicate finger sandwiches

While the options both seem to have been on the menu for some time, Loose Women tackled the topic after The Sun reported yesterday that a diner had branded the different options ‘bonkers’. 

It cited a shopper who said: ‘Why are there gendered afternoon teas? I couldn’t imagine this still being a thing in 2021. And then to see the ladies’ was all ‘lighter’ options made it even worse.’ 

Another added: ‘Delicate lady constitutions obviously can’t deal with rugged, manly food like a steak sandwich or mini fish and chips.’

Discussing whether men and women have inherently different taste in food, Loose Woman panellist Brenda Edwards said: ‘I like a steak and chips. 

‘I like whatever that man’s having. If he’s having a beef wellington, give it to me. If he’s having a sausage, you better give me that sausage, and all the gravy.

Gendered meals? What’s on the menu

The ‘Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea’ option includes:

Pork pie

Fish and Chips

Chorizo and chicken sandwich  

Steak sandwich 

The ‘Ladies’ Afternoon Tea’ menu dishes include:

Mini prawn cocktail 

Cucumber finger sandwiches 

Chicken and bacon wrap

Cream cheese finger sandwiches 


‘And you better make sure my portion looks exactly like his portion. Don’t be scrimping on the portion…I would send it back.

‘Look, I wasn’t raised with this whole afternoon tea thing. 

‘It’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so I don’t know about cucumber sandwiches in the first place. Finger food? What is that?

‘You need to just give me the proper size portion, you hear?’

Jane Moore was more cynical about the cafe’s motives for offering the different meals, saying: ‘It’s a good pr stunt, isn’t it?’

She added: ‘Looking at that photo, I would have the one on the right [the designated women’s option], and [her partner] Gary would 100 percent have the one on the left.

‘He’d have a Scotch egg, a pork pie, a sausage roll, any other beige carbohydrate you can name, because that’s what he likes to eat.

‘So I do think – and it’s a sweeping generalisation – that men largely have different eating habits to women.’

Panellist Janet Street-Porter pointed out that the menu wasn’t gender-fluid, offering just two options.

She asked: ‘Do they have another menu in mind, and I wonder which way that would take you?’

Host Christine Lampard agreed: ‘It opens up all sorts of discussions this, I have to admit.’

However, she seemed to disagree with Jane that men and women have naturally different taste in food.

She explained: ‘I’m very lucky. [My husband] Frank and I will go in, and we will order exactly the same thing – to the point that we have to change things so that we don’t sound like idiots.’ 

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