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Fingal - Setting sail for Afternoon Tea
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Alexandra Dock,
City of Edinburgh Phone,
0131 357 5000

Sip a 'Shipwreck' cocktail, peruse the Captain's Log, marvel at the engineering innards in this boat’s belly.  These are just some of the things that fascinated our small crew of foodies when we went for Afternoon Tea aboard this luxuriously restored 'boatique' hotel berthed in the Port of Leith. 

Fingal inspires affection. As a working ship, she was commissioned by The Northern Lighthouse Company in 1963 and stationed at Oban to ferry supplies to and from Lighthouses. 

Long story short (go and visit) she was retired and eventually purchased by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust in 2014 via a stint of 14 years in Cornwall. 
Cabins have been refurbished with craftsmanship. Carpenters have lined the walls with layers of warm Sycamore panelling, textiles incorporate a signature 'sea foam' colour, leather and fabric have been hand-stitched and Neptune's trident, the ship's insignia, is dotted throughout. 

It is even on the 'titanic' block of ice chilling my murky sea green cocktail 'Shipwreck' which I sip in the Lighthouse Bar whose ceiling shimmers like a mermaid's tail. Belvedere vodka is infused with Marine plankton; then there's honey, the house cordial of apple, lime, wood sorrel and lemongrass, green chilli liqueur and smoke. 

Afternoon Tea sets sail with an amuse-bouche of pea soup (how appropriate) and proceeds with three decks of savouries and then three of sweet. A prawn cocktail is light; shredded lettuce and delicate shrimps are not drowned by overly-heavy Prawn Marie sauce. Fresh sandwiches are cut into Poseidon-sized fingers. Parmesan and Wild Garlic Tart has a thin, crisp pastry. Hoisin Pork spring rolls burst with juicy succulent meat.

 Everyone loves the Prosecco and Raspberry Jelly, and the virtual treasure chest of jewelled patisserie which includes freshly made eclairs, Frangipane tart and blueberry mousse with edible silver leaf.

I could go, but I am not here to spoil your voyage of foodie discovery. Fingal serves cocktails, food, has 23 cabins and a ballroom/function space fit for a captain. Plenty of reason then to venture down to Leith’s waterfront and enjoy this floating luxury ‘boatel’.

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