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“Afternoon Tea”

The Atholl at The Howard
Ranked #927 of 2,457 Restaurants in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$32 - US$72
Cuisines: British, European, Scottish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighbourhood: New Town
Description: Set in a luxuriant Georgian townhouse, The Howard Hotel is among Edinburgh's most beautiful. Its restaurant, the classically designed Atholl, gives the visitor the impression of stepping back in to a Jane Austen novel. Original features, from decorative mouldings to sash windows are simply decorated in white while a marble fireplace gives a charming sense of history. A peaceful, relaxing atmosphere sets The Atholl apart from the hectic Edinburgh restaurant scene while the traditional Scottish dishes are a joy for you Caledonian gastronomes. Whether it's an informal lunch with friends or a dinner date to impress the menu hits the right note every time.
Aldeburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Afternoon Tea”
Reviewed 15 March 2013

The visit to this hotel was extremely disappointing. The afternoon tea was the end of a weekend reunion with sisters and cousin. A chance to hat and catch up. Unfortunately the whole experience was less than comfortable from the dated decor the worn out look of the whole place advertised as "old world charm". More like old and tired.
The tea itself was ok with scones so hard they could not be cut, sandwiches which had clearly come out of the fridge and were so cold they had no taste whatsoever.
The final "icing on the cake". Was the dandruff on the waiter' jacket. So glad I did not have to eat anything from the top tier of the cake stand!!!!!!
I suggest the staff get out and experience high quality afternoon tea. Then up their game.

This experience I can leave behind and not repeat .

    • Value
    • Service
Thank Liz T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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85 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2012

From the outset, we were met by efficient friendly and welcoming staff. Our room which was a basement room was tastefully and beautifully furnished.
Dinner was one of the best dining experiences that I have had. We chose the taster menu and it did not disappoint, six courses complete with a different glass of wine to complement the course. All courses were described discretely by our waiter along with an explanation of the choice of wine.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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1 Thank steffaldo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newmarket, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Top quality festive menu at great value”
Reviewed 9 December 2012

This was the fourth time that I have eaten at this restaurant and again had top quality food at a good price. I found that again the restaurant was empty which I fail to understand. Every time I've eaten here the food has been perfect, as has the service. The menu is great and normally offers a set 3 course menu for just over £30, which is great value. I have read some of the other reviews left by others and can appreciate some of the comments made. The Atholl restaurant is located within the Howard Hotel, which is a relatively small five star hotel that prides itself on being a discreet hotel that provides a personal and private service to its guests. The hotel consist of three town houses with the Atholl Restaurant being located on the ground floor of the centre (main) townhouse. Due to the discreet nature the hotel is not that obvious from the street. Infact if you walked past it you probably wouldn't notice it. When you walk through the door you enter a large hallway. The small restaurant is located in a room off the hallway to the right. You will normally be met by one off the hotel butlers in the hallway. After your meal you are free to take coffee in the lovely hotel drawing room located opposite the restaurant. Give this place a go but don't expect all the bright lights that you get from a typical restaurant chain. It's very individual and traditional so enjoy it for what it is.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Stuart H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
29 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Wonderful food”
Reviewed 6 December 2012 via mobile

We have dined here several times and yet again wasn't let down, the food amazing, look forward to next visit

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Michellej1975-2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Campbell, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A Disappointment”
Reviewed 5 November 2012

I made a dinner reservations for 7:00 p.m. through www.toptable.co.uk/, the UK version of Open Table. The restaurant had a Top Table.com 4-star rating. I will grant you that we were not really "dressed up" when we arrived at the hotel, but we weren't "dressed down" either.

The restaurant itself is not identified in any way either inside or outside; you wouldn’t know it was there except for the menu posted by the street. When we walked into the hotel lobby we weren't really sure that we were in the right place. We were then met by a hotel employee of a sort that I didn't realize actually existed any more--sort of like the butler from "Upstairs, Downstairs". He took one look at us as though he was SURE we were in the wrong place. He asked what we wanted. When I responded that we were looking for the Athol he indicated that it was the hotel dining room, but he hesitated a moment and actually sniffed before he asked if we'd looked at the menu that was posted outside--apparently concerned about our ability to pay. We said that we had, and that we had a Top Table reservation, so he showed us to a table. For the rest of our visit we were the only people in the establishment.

Service was leisurely--so much so that I began to suspect that they had to call the chef in to work from home. Our meals were acceptable, but not what we might have expected given the pretentiousness of the establishment and the excellent reviews on Top Table and here on Trip Advisor.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
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    • Food
Thank Rusty A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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