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Afternoon tea is my favourite meal. Nicely filling that otherwise too long void between lunch and dinner, it ticks just about every box I have. Tea is all the best parts of a meal, pared down and made beautiful. There are no brussel sprouts, no over-cooked meat, and no wilting salad on an afternoon tea tray. Instead it's tiny sandwiches with crusts delicately removed, fingers of cake and shortbread, and little hor'doeuvres. It's like a canape tray placed in front of you at a party, and you are free to devour the entire thing.

 

To add to its list of virtues, afternoon tea is economical. Granted, The Balmoral may charge £21 (£34.50 with champagne), but that's still a far cry cheaper, and every bit as luxurious, as a three-course dinner. Recline on a comfy chair, sample cakes from a tiered stand as the city rushes by outside and just try to not feel decadent.

 

But one problem with the resurgence in popularity of the afternoon tea is that it is now everywhere, and the difference in standards is dramatic. I recently visited a tea room in Morningside: the place where one would expect the utmost in afternoon tea. However, the afternoon began badly when my order failed to appear. When I finally made it clear that I wanted Afternoon Tea, and not a pot of tea (strangely for a tea room, this was quite the task), I waited the further 25 minutes for a plate of stale traybakes and soggy sarnies. Not a treat at all at £16.95.

 

But at the other end of the scale, The Howard on Great King Street is so confident of their tea service that they have an afternoon tea club. I am delighted to be their 139th member, and although tea is also £16.95 a head, they run a range of offers and promotions that make it quite an affordable visit. And with sandwiches like fig and parma ham and cucumber and mint, and coffee and pecan roulade and chocolate moelleux for sweets, it may well be my new favourite place. I plan on spending most of the winter here, in the style of Lady Bracknell, subsiding on cucumber sandwiches and Earl Grey tea - at least, until the German Market opens... (R. Edwards)

Reviews In Afternoon Teas (Total Reviews 11, Showing: 1 -> 8)

Cafe Musa
New Review
Afternoon Tea with Lindsey Lee

Eteaket - Our cup of tea
Afternoon Tea is by far my favourite meal. Nibble-sized sandwiches and sweets washed down by a cuppa. How can you go wrong? So I was keen to v...

Gran Caffè
New Review
Books, barristers and bakes

One Square
New Review
Bloom Gin Afternoon Tea at One Square - Summer in full bloom

One Square
New Review
Chocolate Orange Afternoon Tea

One Square - Orchard Afternoon Tea
New Review
 On one of Edinburgh's many rainy Friday afternoons, I settled in to a window seat at the One Square to sample their Orchard afternoon tea. The...

Rock ‘n’ Roll Afternoon Tea at Malmaison
Indulge in delicious mini cream scones, slender finger sandwiches and cheeky cocktail-inspired cupcakes all presented on a retro vinyl cake stand....

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