10 Places to Try Afternoon Tea in Edinburgh: Hotels, Cafes & Castles

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Looking for a delightful afternoon tea in Edinburgh? This unique foodie experience is loved by locals, visitors and royalty alike, who often replace lunch for trays of cakes, scones and sandwiches! Many of Edinburgh’s hotels offer afternoon tea packages in opulent settings and there are a handful of Instagram-worthy cafes that serve afternoon tea platters too.

On a budget? We’ll show you where to find the cheapest afternoon teas in Edinburgh which don’t skimp on service or quality.

Hotels With Afternoon Tea In Edinburgh

1. Palm Court At The Balmoral in the City Centre

No stranger to the top hotels lists in Edinburgh, an afternoon tea at The Balmoral’s Palm Court is a big foodie bucket list.

Palm Court is the room across from the main entrance of The Balmoral, next to the reception desk.

This light room has its huge glass dome to thank for its ambiance and palm trees for its name.

A chandler hangs from the roof and champagne afternoon tea packages are on offer.

There is a harp which sits on the balcony.

The menu consists of a variety of teas including loose leaf and infusions.

Fresh scones, cakes and classic and contemporary sandwiches are also included.

Can’t finish it all? Guests can take food home via a gift plate.

This is an award-winning Edinburgh afternoon tea experience.

Prices start at £45 per person.

Why not make it an overnight stay in a suite with Edinburgh Castle views and a swim at The Balmoral Spa?

The Balmoral features in many of our accommodation guides including the best hotels with indoor pools, parking and dog-friendly accommodation.

2. The Dome, George Street

Afternoon tea at The Dome is a sought-after location so if you are planning to impress someone special do not hesitate to book this delicious experience.

One of the best decorated places in Edinburgh at Christmas, The Dome never lets punters down come November when they deck their exterior in lights and interior in dazzling decorations.

At the Georgian Tea Room, expect splendour and grandeur.

The classic menu includes sandwiches, savouries, scones and cakes and you can “add a little sparkle” with a glass or bottle of champagne.

The Dome also offers a vegan afternoon tea menu.

Prices start at £22 per person.

3. Afternoon Tea At Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh

Did you know that The Waldorf Caledonian, is located on what used to be the old Caledonian Railway?

A luxury afternoon tea here is on the right tracks for an eventful day out.

Served at Peacock Alley which is located within the lobby lounge, the indulgent afternoon tea session is served daily and includes pastries such as orange and blackberry domes and rose jelly Elderflower and rhubarb tarts!

Afternoon teas at The Waldorf start at £35 per person.

Why not create a staycation at The Waldorf and enjoy Castle views and a Guerlain spa treatment?

The Waldorf is in the West End of Edinburgh where there is plenty of bars and restaurants to dine at.

The historic Dean Village is very close by.

Cafes and Restaurants With Afternoon Tea in Edinburgh

4. Mimi’s Bakehouse

Mimi’s Bakehouse is a popular cafe located throughout Edinburgh and two of its locations, Leith and Corstorphine, offer afternoon tea menus.

Mimis afternoon tea stands include freshly made sandwiches, honey and mustard chipolatas, plain and fruit scones served with homemade jam and Cornish clotted cream.

Plus a selection of fresh cakes.

Prices start from £18 per person making Mimis one of the more affordable afternoon teas in Edinburgh.

5. Afternoon Tea At Harvey Nichols, St Andrew’s Square

A classic afternoon tea can be enjoyed at the upmarket shopping mall, Harvey Nichols.

Served with Edinburgh’s skyline in view, the session includes sandwiches, quiche, cakes and scones.

Prices start at £22 per person.

6. The Colonnades at the Signet Library, Old Town

Edinburgh’s finest afternoon tea can be devoured at the Signet Library.

The popular wedding venue opens its doors Thursday through to Sunday for delectable afternoon teas created by the resident head chef, Craig and sous chef, Aung.

Gluten free and vegetarian menu available on request. Notify the booking team 48 hours before.

Prices start at £40 per person.

A unique thing to do in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

7. Romanes & Paterson, Princes Street

Romanes & Paterson is a traditional 19th-century shop on Princes Street and a secret afternoon tea spot discovered by Ev Ed writer, Nicole.

You’d easily walk past this hidden gem above a Scotland shop. Head to the third floor for the tea rooms with views over Princes Street Gardens.

Expect tartan carpets, tourists and whisky tea.

Afternoon teas start from £18 per person.

8. Afternoon Tea At Edinburgh Castle

If you plan to visit Edinburgh Castle during your trip, you can also book an afternoon tea at the Queen Anne Tea Room.

Prices start from £25 per person.

You can also enjoy afternoon tea at The Café at the Palace of Holyroodhouse (9) and the Royal Deck Tea Room at the Royal Yacht Britannia (10). Read our HMY Britannia review.

You may also like our weekend guide to Edinburgh.

9. Prestonfield House

Dine on the patio or in the gothic drapes of Prestonfiend House’s Rhubarb Restaurant which features in the UK’s Married At First Sight.

Three trays on cakes, rock scones and sandwiches are presented with an extensive tea menu.

Prestonfield House in Afternoon Tea in Rhubarb Restaurant Hotel Food

The menu also includes melt in your mouth haggis bon bons and tasty sausage rolls.

There is also a vegetarian menu if you don’t eat meat.

Prices start at £35 per person.

Definitely check out the grand loos, painted in pink with an animal print seat if you need to sleep off your food coma.

Prestonfield House

Prestonfield House is surrounded by green space and is home to two peacocks that roam free and highland cows in a field.

A taxi from Waverley Train Station costs around £8 and the walk is approx 40 minutes.

Prestonfield House features in our most romantic hotels in Edinburgh guide.

10. Cheap Afternoon Teas in Edinburgh

If you are looking for a budget-friendly afternoon tea there are a couple of ways to do this.

Check out discounts websites such as Itison, Groupon or 5pm for decent afternoon tea deals.

For example, you can book afternoon tea at the Mercure Hotel for £14 for two people instead of £15 per person.

Another option is to sign up for hotel and restaurant newsletters and follow them on social media so you don’t miss an offer.

Scottish National Gallery Cafe Menu Food Scones Tea Edinburgh Museum Princes Street

About Afternoon Teas

So who started afternoon teas?

Legend has it that Anna Maria Stanhope, 7th Duchess of Bedford felt a pang of hanger come over between lunch and dinner which she described as “having that sinking feeling”.

The solution? Tucking into tea and cakes in her dressing room around 4pm.

She invited friends to join her which caught the attention of Queen Victoria who adopted the afternoon tea experience quicker than you can say that cake’s scone…

Ronan at Tower Restaurant National Museum Chamber Street Food

What’s the Difference Between Afternoon Tea and High Tea?

A high tea is an afternoon tea with the addition of a main meal such as steak pie.

Less popular in restaurants now, high teas were one of the highlights of my childhood!

Other Foodie Guides on Ev Ed

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