While visiting Edinburgh it would be criminal to miss out on a traditional afternoon tea, especially as Edinburgh has some of the most amazing venues to enjoy it in. Afternoon teas in Edinburgh are a luxurious and indulgent way to relax after a few hours pounding the cobbled streets of this beautiful city. It's an experience, one to be savoured with friends, one to enjoy with loved ones, where you can sink into a comfy seat, sit back and chat while relishing the pretty, dainty treats on offer.
Splashing out on afternoon tea dates back to the 1880's when Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford, fancied a light snack during the long afternoon gap between her lunch and evening meal. What began as some tea, bread and butter served in her room with a few friends quickly caught the attention of high society and the light snack became a glamorous affair enjoyed by ladies dolled up in dresses, long gloves and posh hats.
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The Dome, Edinburgh Afternoon tea is one of the best dining experiences in the city. If you want to splash out this is a fantastic option. The huge, elegant Georgian Tearoom is lined with black and gold wall panels, with grand chandeliers and beautiful warm wall lights. The menu is created by chef Sue Snider. There are 9 flavours of loose leaf tea including a traditional Scottish brew and the meal is served on bespoke Fine Boned China. There is also a children's afternoon tea menu with finger sandwiches, mini cupcakes and fruit juice.
Stand out item - Savoury Choux Bun filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese
In my opinion one of the best afternoon teas in Edinburgh. This small chain of bakeries in Edinburgh are most famous for their amazing cakes but also serve a pretty delicious afternoon tea. With funky wallpaper and decor, and a cosy, comfortable atmosphere Mimi's is a lovely place to spend time. Leave some room for the cakes, they are made fresh every day and they are to die for. They also do a... wait for it.... a before-noon tea, with cheddar scones, cinnamon rolls, bacon rolls and granola pots. If you are staying in Edinburgh they will also deliver an Afternoon tea for two for £30.
Stand out item - Hot pork and apple sausage rolls (award winning!)
If you want a classy place for afternoon tea but not somewhere too, shall we say, stuffy, this is the place to go. You may have guessed from the name but Eteaket is famous for its tea and many of the other places in this list serve Eteaket tea with their offerings. Not only can you choose from the massive range of exciting and often unheard of whole leaf teas, including black teas, green teas, Oolong teas, tea lattes and fruit and herbal teas you can also enjoy the new range of tea cocktails! There is also a cream tea and a high tea on offer.
Stand out item - Minty Mohito Tea Cocktail
Harvey Nichols is a luxurious British department store which is famous world wide for its outstanding collection of designer clothes, beauty products and food department, so, of course, the restaurant would have to be pretty fantastic too and it certainly is. For one of the most upmarket afternoon teas in Edinburgh head to the Forth Floor restaurant which has amazing views over the city and across to the Firth of Forth. If the weather isn't being typically Scottish you can even sit outside on the balcony. Food-wise, the afternoon tea is traditional with an original twist, with quiche, tarts and miniature salads replacing the sandwiches.
Stand out item - Serrano ham, courgette and feta quiche
The Cafe at the Palace of Holyrood House
After your visit to the wonderful Palace of Holyroodhouse or the Queen's Gallery you can relax in the cafe in the historic mews. This Edinburgh afternoon tea gets good reviews and deservedly so. With views over to Arthur's seat enjoy a great selection of teas with your afternoon tea in Edinburgh, which is made using the best locally sourced products. A little difficult to find but worth the hunt!
Stand out item - Whisky-soaked raisin and cherry scone
This funky yet classy boutique hotel is hugely popular, it's a fantastic place and the decor is pretty unique. The rooms are fab, the restaurant is fab, the food is brilliant and the service is top class. It's not traditional so if you are after something a bit different this is where to go, you can even enjoy a teapot cocktail!
Stand out item - Teapot cocktails
Palm Court at the Balmoral
For the ultimate Edinburgh afternoon tea it has to be a Balmoral afternoon tea. The building is a landmark in the city, with Edinburgh's most prestigious address, Number 1 Princes Street. The Balmoral is over 100 years old and is home to luxurious suites, an award-winning spa, the Michelin-starred Number One restaurant and the elegant Palm Court, where the award-winning afternoon tea is served. Enjoy delicate treats created by executive pastry chef Ross Sneddon under the exquisite glass dome and grand chandelier.
Stand out item - A surprise Amuse Bouche
What was once the baroque home of Edinburgh's Lord Provost is now a multi award winning 5 star hotel. The decor is rich, colourful and extravagant and by enjoying one of Edinburgh's best afternoon teas here you'll be dining where none other than the Dali Lama, Elton John and Sean Connery have dined before you. In the winter eat by the roaring log fire in the Rhubarb Restaurant, named as owner Sir Alexander Dick was the first person to successfully introduce rhubarb to Scotland. In the summer you can enjoy your meal outside in the beautiful rose gardens or in the whimsical Gothic tea house. The menu changes seasonally so in the winter you can sample toasted brioche with chicken liver pâte, mulled apple cider and sultana chutney and in the summer enjoy goats cheese and red onion Palmiers and haggis bonbons.
Stand out item - Prestonfield own blend tea
Looking for somewhere to stay in Edinburgh? Search below and find the perfect place!
The Grand Cafe at the Scotsman
Once home to the advertising department of the national newspaper, The Scotsman, the Grand Cafe has been lovingly restored with plush teal blues, wood panelled walls and intricate detailing lining the bar, ceiling and furniture. The cafe is stunning and not only do they serve a beautiful handmade afternoon tea and a children's afternoon tea ,with hot chocolate and chocolate dipped marshmallows and strawberries, they also serve a Gentlemen's 'Club 43' afternoon tea with four different types of whisky and miniature dishes such as beef burger on brioche and pork pie with piccalilli.
Stand out item - Raspberry Financier
A cute and cosy vintage tearoom in the Canongate with classical music playing and a wonderful atmosphere, it's like sitting in a posh living room! Very nice and comfortable. If you are looking for a quirky afternoon tea in Edinburgh, something a little different, then you will love Clarinda's. The wooden sideboard is laden with all sorts of sweet cakes and scones, service is quick and thoughtful and this place is a wee hidden gem. There isn't a set afternoon tea menu here so you can pick and choose your sandwich fillings, scones and cakes.
The Vintage Red Bistro Bus
If you fancy something completely different why not kill two birds with one stone and combine your afternoon tea and your sightseeing? Board this lovely vintage bus at Stance ZF on Waterloo Place and explore the gorgeous streets of Edinburgh while indulging in miniature treats. You can also have a Gin pot-tail!
The Gateway Restaurant at the Botanical
Edinburgh's pretty Botanical Gardens cover 70 acres and is free to enter, with over 100,000 plants to see. There is a small charge to enter the 10 glasshouses (£7 for adults and £6 for children). After you have finished exploring the rock gardens, alpine houses, the woodland gardens and the Chinese Hillside (among many other displays) head to the award winning John Hope Gateway and enjoy afternoon tea at the Gateway Restaurant. If it's sunny outside dine alfresco on the outdoor decking area and soak up the wonderful surroundings.
Stand out item - Farmhouse bread
This legendary restaurant is often at the top of people's culinary bucket list and deservedly so. Named after the thousands of witches that were burned at the stake on Castlehill this romantic and opulent restaurant is a delight for the eyes. Tapestries line the walls with oak panelling saved from a fire at St Giles Cathedral, deep red leather seats, gilded ceiling and antique church candles complete the scene. Choose to have your afternoon tea in the lavish Witchery dining room or the magical Secret Garden, hidden down a close in a historic courtyard. One of the top afternoon teas in Edinburgh and also one of the best afternoon teas in Scotland.
Stand out item- The Edinburgh Gin cured salmon
The Tea Rooms at Edinburgh Castle
If you have been dreaming of a trip to Scotland and are including Edinburgh in your Scotland travel itinerary then how about adding this amazing Edinburgh afternoon tea experience? A traditional Queen Anne afternoon tea served in the tearooms at the very top of Edinburgh Castle! Combine a visit to Edinburgh Castle, Scotland's top attraction,.and an afternoon tea fit for royalty, in a beautiful restaurant with outstanding views over the city. The price includes entry to.the castle. They also do a special kids afternoon tea with castle shaped sandwiches, mini milkshakes and rainbow cones!
Address | Castlehill, EH1 2NG
Price | £32 with Prosecco, £27 without
Book | Just turn up
Stand out item - Struan Apiares Strawberry jam
There is a lovely story behind this venue, of a gentleman who read about Elizabeth Stuart's love of Bohemia and decided to visit himself. He fell in love with Bohemia and the hedonistic lifestyle. He met people throughout his life, heard their stories of places they loved and travelled there to experience it himself. He fell in love with beer in Bavaria, Prosecco in Venice and was taught everything he could learn about coffee. He brought the knowledge back to the Highlands of Scotland and it got passed down the generations to his last great, great grandson who opened Brewhemia, a fantastic mixture of everything learnt. Enjoy a relaxed afternoon tea in the modern Caffe or a Gentleman's tea with house baked sausage rolls, quiche and scotch egg, served in the stunning wood-lined Bothy.
Address | 1A Market Street, EH1 1DE
Price |£24 per person for two people with Prosecco, £18 without. Gentleman's tea £30 per person for 2 people
Book | Book via email here
Stand out item - Beer Brownie
The Roseleaf is a quirky, crazy little family pub in Leith that's extremely popular with locals for it's delicious food, big portions and value for money. This place needs to be seen to be believed, it's wonderful. With all types of miscellaneous and creative items on the walls, including an extraordinary amount of hats this pub/cafe is cute and has a great vibe. While they don't offer afternoon teas as such if there is a group of you (6 or more) you can book a Mad Hatter's Tea Party, where you can wear that hats or bring your own. Yeah, bonkers, but brilliant fun. One of the quirkiest afternoon teas in Edinburgh.
Address | 23/24 Sandport Place, Leith, EH6 6EW
Price | Varies
Book | Book via email here
Stand out item - Pot-tails
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is a magnificent red sandstone neogothic building on Queen Street. Not only does it hold a wonderful collection of paintings showing Scotland's heros and heroines, it also has the Portrait Cafe which serves a lovely afternoon tea. Your cake stand will be packed high with tasty savouries and what are known as the best scones in Edinburgh.
Address | 1 Queen Street, EH2 1JD
Price | £40 for two
Book | Book here
Scott's on Princes Street
One of the best afternoon teas in Edinburgh when it comes to views, you can sit and take in the view of Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street which enjoying a modern, Scottish afternoon tea. The dining room has some quirky and exciting art on the wall celebrating everything Scottish and the decor is modern and classy.
Address | Mercure Edinburgh, Princes Street, EH2 2DG
Price | £30 for two, £58 with champagne
Book | To book click here
The Colonnades at the Signet Library
Known as 'the finest afternoon tea in Edinburgh' it's also in one of Edinburgh's most exquisitely building. The library has been lovingly restored to its neo-classical origins and you can enjoy these grand surroundings, including the tall Corinthian columns and shelves and shelves of book, while enjoying delicious food and drink provided by the Heritage Portfolio, award winning caterers who have been granted a Royal Warrant of appointment to her Majesty The Queen. Your afternoon tea can include chicken, lemon and thyme pie, a sweet pea panna cotta and a pina colada delice.
Address | Parliament Square, EH1 1RF
Price | $40 per person
Book | Clickhere to book
We've had afternoon tea on a bus, how about afternoon tea on a boat? Fingal was originally used to carry lighthouse keepers and supplies to some of the most remote lighthouses in Scotland and now this beautifully-designed floating hotel is owned by the Royal Yacht Britannia. Both ships are located in Leith docks and the Fingal has 14 bedrooms, all named after lighthouses. The art deco dining room has lovely views of the ocean and the Port of Leith and a modern, sleek and warm atmosphere. Your tiered afternoon tea is served from the galley and includes delicacies such as a chicken tart with black truffle, curried haddock arancini and an apple lavender macaron.
Address | Alexandra Dock, Leith, EH6 7DX
Price | £50 with champagne, £40 without
Book | Book at Fingal's
The Ivy on the Square
This is a beautiful restaurant, it's colourful, there is trailing ivy and flowers everywhere and they do a Wonderland afternoon tea! The decor is stunning and the food is creative and stylish. Enjoy grilled chicken and truffle mayonnaise brioche roll, a pickled cucumber, courgette and basil double decker and a two of hearts chocolate shortbread.
Address | 6 St Andrews Square, EH2 2BD
Price | £35.95 with champagne, £26.95 without
Book | Book The Ivy on the Square
Map of afternoon teas in Edinburgh
Have you had a chance to sample an amazing afternoon tea in Edinburgh? The perfect addition to add to your itinerary.
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