I’ve had some pretty delicious afternoon teas while travelling around Scotland. Lately I’ve been checking out some of the best in Fife. So what are the perfect ingredients for an afternoon tea? A warm and elegant setting? Lovely surroundings? A nice view? Delicious tea and the option to enjoy it without being rushed? Handmade cakes? It isn’t always so easy to find somewhere that ticks all the boxes, but I think I’ve managed.
After much experimenting here is my list of Fife’s top Afternoon teas.
This stunning country house hotel is situated just outside St Andrews in 10 acres of beautifully designed and award winning gardens. With turrets and ivy clad walls this house wouldn’t look out of place in a Jane Austen novel, with four Visit Scotland gold stars it has more than good looks though.
A traditionally Scottish interior with plush couches and roaring fires means you can relax and enjoy the view, which is exactly what I did when I visited recently.
Accompanied by my daughter we were warmly welcomed and seated in the homely and rather elegant Drawing room. The fire was a treat after our chilly walk as was the steaming pot of tea, from Tea Lovers Company. Created by Luke Nothy-Baker in St Andrews five years ago, TCL uses biodegradable whole leaf pyramid tea bags and he also donates all his profits to educational charities. So not only is the tea superb but your donating to charity at the same time!
Our dainty rectangular sandwiches had fillings such as chicken and rosemary mayonnaise and smoked salmon with cream cheese. A handmade warm sausage roll was a nice touch and large fluffy scones with ample jam and cream were also delicious.
What I loved the most though is the option to have a Kids afternoon tea. So while I indulged in my cucumber and dill sandwich my daughter tucked into a Nutella, then a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
A divine selection of handmade cakes finished our meal perfectly and included banoffee pie and a light and creamy chocolate mousse.
Rufflets also have a great looking menu for lunch and dinner focusing of using produce from Scotland as much as possible.
There was only one thing for it after all that. A lovely stroll through to the picture perfect little bridge over the river at the bottom of the garden.
Eden Mansion House hotel
An afternoon tea fit for a queen is the best way to describe this 5 star experience. Luxury at it’s finest would be another. Taken over by its present owners two years ago the mansion dates back to 1860 when it was built for the Haig’s, Scotland’s oldest whisky distillers. Hidden away in five acres of beautifully sculpted Victorian gardens this first class hotel takes you back to a bygone era, where elegance and sophistication is evident in everything from the polished silver tea sets to the elaborate chandeliers.
Accompanied again by my daughter we were greeted as we left the car by a butler with umbrellas as the rain has begun. A good start. A glass of elderberry wine or Prosecco was offered before we were seated by the large bay window in rather grand chairs as classical music played softly in the background. Served in antique silverware I chose an 1886 blend tea, inspired by the tea drunk in Victorian London and boy did they have taste, as this was my favourite tea by far. My daughter chose an English rose blend and assures me that this was also delicious. Delicate sandwiches filled with fillings such as Ham with Arran relish, and lightly salted cucumber; there was also a small roll with confit chicken and Dijon mustard. Warm scones with clotted cream and jam were followed by a delightful array of petite handmade sweets including a China cup filled to the brim with crème brûlée and a miniature white chocolate éclair. If you’re looking for the ultimate treat the Eden Mansion Hotel is a fine choice
Miss Daisy’s tearoom
Only opening 18 months ago and already receiving rave reviews for both the tearoom and the utterly gorgeous shop, Miss Daisy’s is an indulgent vintage treat. With only a few tables it’s cosy and comfortable with mismatched china tea sets and funky knitted tea cosies. Lovely meaningful quotes line the walls, knitted flowers in colourful vases on the tables; this little tearoom really is the epitome of cuteness. Situated close to the centre of my favourite town of Falkland the owner has created a lovely warm and welcoming addition to the village.
Sandwiches filled with cheese and coleslaw, cucumber and cream cheese, tuna and ham with Dijon mustard were followed by a choice of plain, fruit or cherry scones, which were large, fluffy and warm – Perfect. Little strawberry tarts, meringues filled with cream and delicious chocolaty rocky road finished off a scrumptious meal.
The shop itself is quirky and colourful with an impressive range of local art and accessories. The owner has spent time building up what is a brilliant collection of home wares, clothing, stationary and unique bits and bobs. I could easily have spent a fortune. I still might..
Need to know
Rufflets, St Andrews http://www.rufflets.co.uk/wine-dine/afternoon-tea/
Full Afternoon Tea – £20 per person. Children’s Afternoon Tea – £10 per child,
Served daily from 3pm – 5pm, advance booking essential
Eden Mansion, Guardbridge http://www.edenmansion.com
Traditional Afternoon Tea £19.50 per person. Traditional Afternoon Tea with a glass of Vintage Prosecco £24.50 per person
Miss Daisy’s shop and tearoom http://www.missdaisygifts.co.uk
Afternoon tea £11.95 per person. Open Tuesday – Saturday 10.30am-4.30pm, Sunday 10pm-4pm