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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.
- Read a full review of The Balmoral Hotel
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
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
Address: 17 Clerk Street, EH8 9JH
Contact: 0131 667 8466; anteaques.co.uk
Anteaques is a quirky combination of tea room and antiques boutique
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
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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