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Afternoon Teas

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 14, Showing: 1 -> 14)
Bistro Du Vin
New Review
It makes sense that the French do Afternoon Tea; macarons often make an appearance on an upper tier of the cake stand and French patisserie is of co...

Bistro Du Vin - An everyday indulgence
New Review
Our afternoon tea at Hotel du Vin Bistro got off to a shaky start! Nothing serious, just a wobbly cake stand, which actually added to the charm...

Cafe Musa
New Review
Afternoon Tea with Lindsey Lee

Carberry Tower Mansion House and Estate
New Review
There are a lot of pleasant afternoon teas to be found in town; I can think of half a dozen within a mile of my front door. So it takes something sp...

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 vis...

Fingal - Setting sail for Afternoon Tea
New Review
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 th...

Gran Caffè
New Review
Books, barristers and bakes

Mimi’s Beforenoon Tea - Is it just breakfast?
New Review
Last year, a friend made the rather excellent New Year’s resolution to go for afternoon tea once a month. This is my kind of resolution. After all...

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...

The Colonnades at the Signet Library - Books, bakes and barristers
New Review
Seated in a nook of The Signet Library I look at the books behind me which contain the parliamentary debates of the House of Common in the 1920s. &...

The Royal Yacht Britannia - Cream Tea with Royal Connections
New Review
It seems fitting that the Royal Yacht Britannia is moored in Edinburgh after her decommission in 1997; she was, after all, built at a shipyard in Cl...

The Scottish Cafe - where Scotland meets Italy
New Review
The Scottish Café & Restaurant Scotland meets Italy I was excited by an invite to sample the menu at the recently refurbished Scottish ...

The Shore Grill & Fish House
New Review
There can be little better way to while away a Friday afternoon than sipping bubbles, nibbling at delicacies and admiring the view of the Queensferr...

Twilight Tea -  The Principal at Charlotte Square
New Review
Tea, twilight, an indoor oasis. Merged, they’re the basis for The Garden, a glass-roofed courtyard that forms the focal point for The Principal’...

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