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Choosing a venue for afternoon tea in Edinburgh can be a challenge: the city’s home to a whole host of amazing hotels, restaurants, cafés and more, each offering their own take on the quintessentially British 19th century meal. We love the idea of a meal to break up the gap between lunch and dinner...but with so much choice, where should you book? Take a look through our picks below - and enjoy afternoon tea in Edinburgh in style!
Edinburgh’s landmark hotel, five-star The Balmoral is a seriously stylish and sophisticated place to enjoy a chic and civilised afternoon tea. Book a table in the hotel’s Palm Court for their award-winning afternoon tea, and you’ll be wowed by your surroundings: a beautiful glass-domed ceiling, ornate chandeliers, tall palm trees in an elegant space that needs to be seen to be believed. Their afternoon tea offering is a mix of the classic and the contemporary, with a generous selection of sandwiches and savouries, warm scones served straight from the oven, and a range of dainty pastries that look almost too good to eat...
The Balmoral, 1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2EQ
You’ll find bar and restaurant One Square within the Sheraton Edinburgh Hotel: it’s a chic and stylish place to dine that has the added bonus of an outdoor terrace for an alfresco afternoon treat. There’s great views to be had over Festival Square and the Castle, and an afternoon tea menu that changes with the seasons, meaning that there’s always something different to sample. Picnic-themed in the summer, with a festive twist in the winter...there’s even been an Alice in Wonderland-themed tea in the past. And if you choose a loose-leaf tea to accompany your food, be prepared for the theatre that awaits you when it’s served...
One Square, 1 Festival Square, Edinburgh, EH3 9SR
If you like your afternoon tea on the more eccentric side, we highly recommend a trip to Anteaeques, just east of The Meadows. It’s a tea house and antiques shop in one: a tiny place where booking ahead is definitely wise. Surrounded by antique furniture and other bits and bobs, and with your afternoon tea served on a traditional three-tiered bone china stand, it’s a great way to celebrate this British tradition - and the selection of loose leaf teas available is amazing. Their huge, fluffy scones (with a choice of jams) are out of this world - and if you don’t have a chance to try the matcha cake on your first visit, it’s well worth a second...
Anteaques, 17 Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JH
The luxurious Peacock Alley at the Waldorf Astoria was a railway station concourse and ticket office in a former life - it’s a bright and airy place that’s known for its relaxed glamour. Their afternoon teas are immaculately presented on white china, and the menu includes all sorts of exciting savouries - not just the regular choice of crustless sandwiches. The miniature cakes and pastries, which include various fruity, chocolatey and other options, look almost too good to it - and those who normally avoid afternoon teas for dietary reasons will be pleased to know that there are seriously good vegan and gluten free afternoon tea menus on offer too.
Peacock Alley, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2AB
The Leith branch of Mimi’s Bakehouse is their original premises - you’ll now find two others elsewhere in the city too. Michelle (Mimi) is at the helm of this family-run bakery and café, where afternoon tea is served seven days a week. It’s a quirky, somewhat kitsch place - think floral bunting, brightly coloured chandelier-style lighting and cutesy ornaments and wall art - and it does a cracking take on an afternoon tea too. Alongside the sandwiches and scones you’ll find some beautifully made sausage rolls, and a regularly changing selection of tempting cakes and traybakes. There’s a gluten-free afternoon tea on offer at Mimi’s too - just be sure to tell them when you book.
Mimi’s Bakehouse, 63 Shore, Edinburgh, EH6 6RA
Just ten minutes away from Edinburgh’s city centre, Prestonfield House is a beautiful country house-style five-star hotel - with an indulgent afternoon tea to match. Served every single day from 12pm to 7pm, you can enjoy your afternoon tea in a choice of locations, from their Yellow Room (complete with log fire in the winter) to the ornately decorated Tapestry Room. They blend their own exciting range of loose leaf teas, with plenty to choose from and served in silver teapots, and alongside the sandwiches you’ll enjoy savouries that are baked in house, light and fluffy scones, plus miniature cakes and pastries that both look and taste the part. Delicious.
Prestonfield House, Priestfield Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5UT
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|How booking last-minute saves you money|
|1||Even the best restaurants have empty tables. TablePouncer negotiates last-minute deals on their unfilled tables, with discounts of up to 70%.|
|2||You book the tables easily and securely on our website. You pay a small booking fee up front to secure your table and we send an SMS booking confirmation to your mobile.|
|3||The restaurant will automatically apply the TablePouncer discount to your bill when it's time to pay. No vouchers needed!|