The Best Afternoon Tea in Edinburgh

Afternoon Tea Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, a gem in the Scottish crown and one that has more in common with London than it does with any other big city north of the border. This is a place of refinery and opulence. We’re not saying that the rest of Scotland isn’t the same, but that Edinburgh is a step above and one of the best places to enjoy some afternoon tea followed by a night on the town.

These are the best places for afternoon tea in Edinburgh, so make sure you drop by during your next visit to the capital.

Afternoon Tea at Prestonfield: Pure Class

Ideally situated just a stone’s throw from the city centre, Prestonfield is a luxurious tearoom in a unique gothic-inspired setting. It’s like taking a trip back in time, complete with leather and dark wooden furniture and a roaring log fire.

You’ll have more enough leg room to enjoy yourself as you sample their cream tea, but there isn’t a great deal of space so make sure you book in advance as they don’t seem to be able to accommodate a lot of visitors. The good news is that Prestonfield serves afternoon tea from noon all the way through to 7pm, so there’s usually plenty of gaps in the calendar for them to squeeze you in.

The price for afternoon tea at Prestonfield is £30 for a standard menu and £40 for high tea with Champagne. They have a varied selection of quality loose leaf teas, freshly made scones (complete with a serving of their own homemade jam), plenty of finger sandwiches, and home-baked goodies. High tea in Edinburgh doesn’t get much better than this.

Afternoon Tea at the Principal Edinburgh: Great View

This venue overlooks Charlotte Square, which you can get a full-view of as you tuck into your homemade scones and other baked treats. It’s as classy and refined as Prestonfield and as with the aforementioned tearoom there are also cozy leather seats, but this one is a touch more contemporary and a little more refined, if that’s possible.

It’s also situated in a great area, one complete with rows and rows of Georgian townhouses and private courtyard. It’s a leafy paradise in the heart of a busy city, making it the perfect place to unwind, kick-back and enjoy an afternoon of great food, great tea and perfect solitude.

Afternoon Tea at Eteaket: Quirky and Fun

There are a lot of upmarket, grand 4-star and 5-star hotels in this city, all of which seem to be replicating the vibe of afternoon tea service at some of the most famous venus in London. It’s the sort of thing that you should look to experience at least once, but the sort of thing that many of you may tire of. If that happens, then be sure to book yourself into Eteaket for something completely different.

It’s quirky, it’s fun and it’s fantastic. The servings are bigger, the food is a little messier but the experience is all the better for it. They also have one of the biggest selections of teas that you will find in any Scottish tea room, a true gem for lovers of this hot drink.

Afternoon Tea at Tigerlily: The Best Looking Venue in the City

Cream Tea Edinburgh

This is one of the hottest spots for afternoon tea in Edinburgh right now. It can be found on George Street and offers customers an array of choices beginning at less than £8. You will struggle to find a higher quality cream tea for less and if you want something more substantial they also have a fully-stocked bar and restaurant.

The decor in Tigerlily is like nothing else on this list. It’s not the somewhat dated, classic decor of the big hotels and it’s not the quirky aesthetic you’ll find in some of the smaller tea rooms. It’s sleek, modern, vibrant and very fashionable. It’s easy to see why this venue has been such a big hit with millennials looking for something fresh and exciting.

Afternoon Tea at Clarinda’s Tea Room: Affordable Gem

Another quirky gem that can be found on the Royal Mile. It’s lacking the opulence and it’s a little more like your crazy aunt’s house than your posh grandparents house (in a good way), but with freshly baked goods and chunky sandwiches, it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

It’s also one of the most affordable tea rooms on this list, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking for Edinburgh cream tea on a budget. If you want the true Scottish experience then stop by prior to 11am for their freshly baked rolls filled with eggs, haggis or bacon and costing less than £3 each. There also have a full Scottish breakfast, complete with haggis and a scone, for less than £6.

More Places to Enjoy Afternoon Tea in Edinburgh

There are so many great places to enjoy teas, sandwiches, scones and more in this big city. Some of these are smack-bang in the middle of the city, others are a little harder to find on the outskirts. All are well worth a visit though and we’ll try to keep this updated to ensure we are as up to date with the information as can be:

  • The Dome: Located on George Street, this is a hearty afternoon tea complete with thick, fluffy scones and crisp meringue deserts. It’s one of the most sought-after in the city, but they serve tea from 11am to 5pm, so there is usually some room available if you book in advance.
  • The Waldorf Astoria Caledonian: A truly glorious establishment and one of the best places to stay in the city. It’s glamorous and elegant, with a style plucked straight out of the 1930s and an aesthetic that wouldn’t be out of place in grand London hotels like The Ritz. The afternoon tea may be a little pricy and underwhelming, but the service is impeccable and there are plenty of options to spice it up.
  • The Palm Court: Another refined afternoon tea in a famous Edinburgh hotel. If you’re staying here then we would definitely recommended booking in for some cream tea downstairs in the dining room.

You should also take a look at our cream tea guides to Glasgow and Aberdeen.