Edinburgh's Best Afternoon Teas

Tea Cup
Photo by Freeimages.com/Peter Albrektsen

by The Daily Telegraph, February 25, 2016

1. Palm Court, The Balmoral Hotel
This is a formal afternoon tea with a sense of occasion, including impeccable silver service under a Venetian crystal chandelier, palm trees and a harp playing gently in the background. It’s worth going for the amuse-bouches alone, not to mention the chocolate financiers.

Price: £35 per person
Opening: Daily, noon-6pm
Address: 1 Princes Street, EH 2EQ
Contact: 01315 562414;  roccofortehotels.com

The Palm Court at The Balmoral sees guests taking afternoon tea under chandeliers.

2. One Square, Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa

A seasonal menu, including dishes themed around gin and chocolate, this offering is particularly perfect on a dreich autumn or winter afternoon. Watch the castle light up in the deepening dusk as you tuck into a salted caramel macaroon and coffee.

Price: £27 per person
Opening: Daily, 2:30-4:45pm
Address: 1 Festival Square, EH3 9SR
Contact: 0131 221 6422;  onesquareedinburgh.co.uk

3. Anteaques

A deliciously eccentric antique shop and tea room combined, Anteaques has lace tablecloths, a vast choice of fascinating teas and home-made cakes and scones. The matcha green tea cake is divine. It's a tiny place, so book ahead.

Price: Pot of Tarry Souchong tea - £2.90
Opening: Fri-Sun,11am-7pm
Address: 17 Clerk Street, EH8 9JH
Contact: 0131 667 8466;  anteaques.co.uk

Anteaques is a quirky combination of tea room and antiques boutique

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4. Fourth Floor Bar, Harvey Nichols

Afternoon tea with chicory, pear and blue cheese salad? Absolutely fabulous, if only for the view. Embrace your inner Patsy and have it with a cocktail…or three.

Price: £20 per person
Opening: Daily, 3-4pm (book 24 hours in advance)
Address: 30-34 St Andrew Square, EH2 2AD
Contact: 0131 524 8350;  harveynichols.com/store/edinburgh

5. Peacock Alley, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian

Peacock Alley offers old-school glitz and glamour in a former railway booking hall, so is perfect for a brief encounter. It’s luxurious, lavish and the pastry chef’s works are things of genius, from the pumpkin and walnut tarts to the choux pastry swan.

Price: £32 per person
Opening: Daily, noon-5pm
Address: Princes Street, EH1 2AB
Contact: 01312 228945;  waldorfastoriaedinburgh.com

The Dome offers sumptuous pastries and cakes in opulent surroundingsCredit: The Dome

6. The Georgian Tea Room, The Dome

In a building with a Graeco-Roman façade and Corinthian Portico, this is a reassuringly traditional treat – fine china, spindly chairs and starched white linen with finger sandwiches (egg mayonnaise, ham and smoked salmon with cucumber), scones and cake. Miss Marple would surely approve.

Price: £16.50 per person
Opening: Daily, 11am-5pm
Address: 14 George Street, EH2 PF
Contact: t hedomeedinburgh.com/restaurants-bars/the-georgian-tea-room

7. The G&V hotel

Cosmopolitan chic in possibly the coolest hotel bar in Edinburgh – piña colada ice lolly with your afternoon tea, anyone? Get your glad rags on for this one.

Price: £21.50 per person
Opening: Daily, 2:30-5:30pm
Address: 1 George IV Bridge, EH1 1AD
Contact:  quorvuscollection.com/gandv-hotel-edinburgh

8. The Tower Restaurant, National Museum of Scotland

You’ll find it hard to tear your eyes away from the magnificent skyline views from this popular see- and-be-seen restaurant, but don’t miss the lemon and polenta cake.  There’s a pretty good museum downstairs, too.

Price: £18.95 per person
Opening: Daily, 2:30-5:30pm
Address: National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, EH1 1JF
Contact: 0131 225 3003;  tower-restaurant.com

Etekeat offers cakes, scones and sandwiches in "girly" surrounds

As conventionally girlie as can be – pink and blue and flowered all over – this tea room is both a boon and a bargain for tired shoppers. Have a quick cuppa and a big slice of carrot cake, or a scone, clotted cream and homemade jam. Gluten-free options are available.

Price: Cream tea – £4.95
Opening: Daily, 9am-6pm
Address: 41 Frederick Street, EH2 1EP
Contact: 01312 262982;  eteaket.co.uk

10. Colonnades at the Signet Library

A glorious neoclassical library is the superb setting for a particularly generous afternoon tea. It’s a classy affair, with tea poured from heavy silver teapots and the quiet clink of spoons on china.  Ask for a table in one of the alcoves and do try a signature ‘Signet Gin’ cocktail.

Price: Afternoon tea – £30 per person
Opening: Mon-Fri, 11am-7pm (last booking 5pm)
Address: The Royal Mile, EH1 1RF
Contact: 0131 226 1064; thesignetlibrary.co.uk

Live further south, or visiting the capital of England? Read our  guide to the best afternoon teas in London

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