We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

London, United...
Level Contributor
178 posts
23 reviews
the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

Hi everyone,

I know there are a few threads on the forum around the topic of afternoon tea in Edinburgh, but none of them seems to answer exactly my queries – so I’ll ask again :-)

My sister is graduating at the end of the moment and her boyfriend is giving her as graduation present a trip to Edinburgh, from May 26th to June 3rd. As my graduation present, I thought it would be nice to give her a voucher for an afternoon tea somewhere elegant while they’re in Edinburgh. I was thinking of something quintessentially British and quite “posh” – not any afternoon tea. I’d like it to be a completely new and memorable experience for her - we are from Italy so I’d like her to experience something that showcases this fantastic tradition at its best and that is also a good pampering occasion after 4 years of hard work.

So far I’ve read about a few places, which I won’t mention because I don’t want to influence any of your suggestions! :-) Ideally though it should be centrally located or easily reachable by public transport.

Thank you very much in advance!!

Edinburgh
Level Contributor
490 posts
13 reviews
1. Re: the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

If you're looking for elegant and central, the Balmoral Hotel would fit the bill. It's not the cheapest on offer, but it won't exactly break the bank either.

edinburgh
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
1,454 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

Would agree with the Balmoral

Edinburgh
Level Contributor
438 posts
3. Re: the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

Harvey Nicks is my preference; Prestonfield House Hotel is very good too.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
2,843 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

I would vote for The Balmoral too. Whilst I agree that Harvey Nichols is very good it doesn't have the "something quintessentially British" atmosphere that The Balmoral has. Afternoon Tea at The Howard is also very good but it lacks the views of central Edinburgh.

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
4,851 posts
265 reviews
5. Re: the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

The Balmoral is special - the ambience is lovely and the food delicious. Last time I went the heather honey mini scones were divine. I shared a single tower of food with my companions, and just purchased extra coffee for us; saving lots of money. The service was slightly stilted, but friendly. It was during the festival and Joan Rivers came and sat nearby (flanked by body guards) - certainly added to the grandeur :)

Abs

Edinburgh
Level Contributor
6,465 posts
137 reviews
6. Re: the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

My vote is for the Balmoral too!

thebalmoralhotel.com/dining/…

Edinburgh
Level Contributor
11,488 posts
17 reviews
7. Re: the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

before I read the other replies, the Balmoral came to mind. The Scotsman is nice too.

London, United...
Level Contributor
178 posts
23 reviews
8. Re: the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!! So far the Balmoral is a definite winner then. At £23 per person though, it might be stretching my budget a bit too much though, considering that since she’s going with her bf I’d need to book for two. I have made further research, starting from the places that have been mentioned here, and I’ve come up with this shortlist:

The Howard Hotel – £33.90 /2ppl

Prestonfield House Hotel - £33.90 /2ppl

Harvey Nichols - £20 /each

The Scotsman - £9.95 each (but their offer seems limited if compared with other places)

Sheraton Hotel - £39.90 /2ppl

Caledonian Hilton Hotel - £15.95 /each

Elliot’s - £29 /2ppl

So far then I am leaning towards either The Howard or Prestonfield House – as they seem to tick many boxes in terms of location, period charm, and food offer. What do you guys think? Any thoughts on the places that haven’t been mentioned previously, i.e. Sheraton, Caledonian and Elliott’s?

Thank you!!!

edinburgh
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
1,454 posts
2 reviews
9. Re: the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

The Prestonfield is well outwith the city centre and your daughter would probably need a car or it will cost about £5 - £7 each way by taxi

Edinburgh
Level Contributor
438 posts
10. Re: the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh?

Yeah, bear in mind its a taxi or a bus to Prestonfield House and its a fair hike from the bus stop. Harvey Nicks still gets my vote and the view is fantastic. Took my Mum recently for her 80th Birthday and she loved it.