After we wrote up our guide to afternoon tea in Glasgow, we thought it was only fair that our headquarters Edinburgh received the same treatment. So we have tried and tested where you can enjoy this ever so British indulgence and come up with our pick of the best and boy was it hard – there is a lot of competition out there!
1. Harvey Nichols
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea in Harvey Nichols Forth Floor restaurant. Start the experience off with savoury bites, followed by traditional scones and Harvey Nichols preserve and finish off with a selection of mini cakes and pastries. And choose from a selection of loose leaf teas.
Afternoon tea is served Sunday – Friday, 3pm-4.15pm and costs £40 for two (or £65 for two for the Champagne version).
Address: Harvey Nichols, 30-34 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AD
Phone: 0131 524 8350
2. One Square
One Square has built up an excellent reputation for “afternoon tea with a difference” with its innovative and modern take on this British institution. The menu, which changes seasonally, showcases highly decorative themes such as floral, chocolate, cup cakes and gin (after all its bar boasts more than 60 different brands of premium gin). Afternoon tea is served in One Square’s restaurant which features floor-to-ceiling glass views of Edinburgh Castle – the perfect spot to while away a few indulgent hours.
Afternoon tea is served daily between 2.30pm and 5.30pm and costs £25 per person (or £35 per person for the Champagne version).
Address: One Square, 1 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SR
Phone: 0131 221 6422
3. The G&V Hotel
Located just off the Royal Mile the G&V hotel mixes modern design with Scottish culture and it’s a winning formula. For afternoon tea choose from old favourites like scones and jam and more modern selections like open top focaccia sandwiches and ciabatta caprese salad. Finish off with a mountain of delicious cakes!
Afternoon Tea is prices at £21.50 per person up upgrade to processo for £27.00
Address: G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh, 1 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1AD
Tel: +44 (0)131 220 6666
4. The Balmoral
The Balmoral hotel is about as quintessentially British an establishment as it comes. The hotel is home to one of Edinburgh’s Mitchelin star restaurants, but it is in the hotel’s central Palm Court where the sandwich action happens. The afternoon tea menu includes; amuse bouche to start (bite sized hors d’œuvre), followed by a selection of sandwiches, next come the scones and pastries all washed down with a choice of teas.
Afternoon tea is priced at £27.00 or upgrade your tea to Bollinger for £42.00
Address: 1 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ
Phone: 0131 556 2414
5. Prestonfield House
Set slightly outside of the city centre in idyllic country surroundings, this 23 room 5 star hotel, formerly the Lord Provost’s house built in 1687 is a celebration of Gothic opulence. Part of the James Thomson collection, famous for the Witchery restaurant on the Royal Mile Prestonfield house is the non city centre place to have afternoon tea. In summer sit outside in the rose garden and in winter relax by the fire. Start with leaf tea and then move onto sandwiches, scones and a fine selection of home baking.
Afternoon tea is served from 2pm-7pm daily and priced at £20 or add a glass of Billecart-Salmon Champagne £30
Address: Priestfield Rd, Edinburgh EH16 5UT
Phone: 0131 225 7800
6. The Caledonian
The Caledonian Hotel (part of the Waldorf Astoria group) is a guaranteed winner. After our recent trip to the Waldorf in Amsterdam there is no doubt about it that this hotel brand knows how to do luxury! Afternoon tea is served in Peacock Alley formerly the station concourse and ticket office when the building was part of the railways. Their afternoon tea consists of finger sandwiches, leaf tea or coffee and the obligatory scones and pastries.
Starting at £25 for non-alcoholic, or upgrade to £34 for a glass of Perrier Jouet Brut, £36 for a glass of Perrier Jouet Blazon Rose or £36 for Kir Royal.
Address: Princes St, Edinburgh EH1 2AB
Phone: 0131 222 8888
7. The Bonham
The Bonham, which is part of the Townhouse group of hotels (you can read about our stay at the Blythswood hotel in Glasgow) is located in Edinburgh’s charming New Town. Afternoon tea here is quite an affair; located in the hotels ‘consulting room’ you will be served a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and preserves followed by cakes and pastries.
Afternoon tea is £16.95 with tea or £25 with a glass of champagne
Address: 35 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH3 7RN
Phone: 0131 226 6050