Seeking an escape from the madness of the Edinburgh festival with a relaxing afternoon tea with friends and family? Then look no further than our exciting list of the capital's best venues.

The early forerunner for what would go on to become brunch, afternoon tea became hugely popular in the UK in the early 1800s.

Thankfully, the tradition carries on today in some of the capital’s top establishments.

A meal usually comprising of sandwiches (ideally cut into ‘fingers’ or ‘triangles’), scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes, is usually reserved for a special occasion or a spot of indulgence with friends.

Here are the perfect places for those who still enjoy a bit of afternoon socialising – with food and tea of course.

Edinburgh Gin Afternoon Tea

(The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL) 

Running from the 2nd of August until the end of the Festival, Edinburgh Gin are adding a wee gin and tonic to The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant’s already iconic afternoon tea, which has also been specially enhanced with hints of Edinburgh Gin’s sensational liqueurs.

Edinburgh Gin Afternoon Tea guests will be given priority seating on the sun terrace: the perfect spot to enjoy the beautiful backdrop of Princes Street Gardens.

Price: £25 per person

Teapot Dram Afternoon Tea

(356 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NF)

Edinburgh Festival food and drink events

Another exciting drinks brand bringing an afternoon tea to the festival is Glengoyne Distillery, who are offering their famous Teapot Dram with a delicious afternoon tea served in one of the oldest buildings of Edinburgh’s Old Town, throughout the festival.

Price: £25 per person

Damm27

(27 Causewayside, Edinburgh EH9 1QF)

Those who like their afternoon tea with a bit of gallic flair should head to the southside and the newly refurbed Damm27.

Oozing ‘ooh la la’, Le Goûter (France’s answer to Afternoon Tea) lets you can enjoy filled croissants and dainty French pastries impeccably arranged on marble cake stands.

Served with tea or coffee, the selection of sweet and savoury delights is available Monday to Saturday, with boozy upgrades available including prosecco, cocktails and a luxurious glass of Perrier Jouet champagne.

Price: £12.50 pp (upgrades – prosecco\cocktail £17.50, champagne £22.50)

Mimi’s Bakehouse Leith

(63 Shore, Edinburgh, EH6 6RA)

Afternoon Tea Edinburgh Festival

Picture: Mimi’s Bakehouse

Just a short walk from the epicentre of the festival, Mimi’s Bakehouse is a little oasis of calm in the hustle of the city in August.

It’s a family run bakery with two branches in the city and everything is homemade on the day. Go for classic or get a little merry with the champagne version and enjoy one of the best afternoon teas on offer in Edinburgh.

They also do vegetarian, gluten free and vegan alternative teas.

The Vintage Red Bistro Bus 

(23 Waterloo Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3BH)

afternoon tea in Edinburgh

Picture: Vintage Red Bus Bistro

For one of the most unique afternoon teas on this list, you should try out the Vintage Red Bistro Bus.

Sample a selection of sandwiches, cakes, savouries and warm home baked scones with Traditional preserves and fresh locally produced Dairy cream, as you are whisked around some of the city’s most impressive sights on a vintage bus, including the Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Old Town.

Combine two quintessentially British classics Afternoon Tea and gin by adding their signature Gin Pot-tails.

Price: £35 pp or £44.95 for the gin tea

The Afternoon Tea with authors series 

Enjoy afternoon tea with Scotland’s National Chef. Picture: contributed

The Edinburgh Book Festival brings readers and writers together for inspiration, entertainment and discussion and they are offering a series of afternoon teas perfect for book fans this August.

With Young British Foodie nominee Alissa Timoshkina, Edinburgh-based food journalist Caroline Eden, Globetrotting food writer and broadcaster Ghillie Basan and champion of Masterchef: The Professionals in 2016 Gary Maclean in the line up there is a lot to get excited about.

Price: From £25 pp – various dates 

Tigerlily

(125 George St, Edinburgh, EH2 4JN)

Afternoon Tea

Picture: Tigerlily

Relax and unwind in one of Edinburgh’s trendiest spots, Tigerlily.

Their afternoon tea is famed through the city and includes dark chocolate eclairs and a macaroon of the day.

Of course it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without the option of fizz which you can add on for a small sum.

It’s another spot that’s right in the centre of the Edinburgh Festival and if you feel like spending the night, there are some gorgeous boutique bedrooms where you can lay your head.

Price: £15 per person (Deluxe tea with prosecco £20pp, cocktail or champagne tea £25pp)

Bonham: Consulting Room

(35 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh, EH3 7RN)

Picture: The Bonham Hotel

If you’re looking for a classic Edinburgh afternoon tea experience, this is the place for you.

Located in The Bonham Hotel, The Consulting Room is old-school glamour at its finest.

Although you have the choice of tea or champagne alongside scones and finger sandwiches, The Consulting Room also offers some classic cocktails if you’re starting your Festival revelry early.

Price: From £19.95 pp 

Brewhemia

(1A Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DE)

For the “sophisticated man about town”, Brewhemia have created a novel twist on the afternoon tea offered daily at 12pm, 2pm or 4pm in their Bothy, with “hearty fayre, strong tea, fine beer and good company”.

Finger food has been swapped out here homemade pies, sausage rolls and thick sandwiches, while the prosecco and gin has been replaced with tank beer. Don’t worry though, you can still enjoy a cuppa.

Price: £30 pp

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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