Van Gogh Alive themed tea launches at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, with Sunflowers and Vincent self-portrait cakes

This post-impressionist feast is only available for a short time

Published 18th Mar 2022
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

The pastry chefs at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian have outdone themselves with what must be the most colourful afternoon tea in town.

It’s available until April 13 and was created in celebration of the multi-sensory Van Gogh Alive exhibition, which is taking place just up the road on Festival Square until July 17 and has toured to 85 cities worldwide and attracted 8.5 million visitors.

Served in Peacock Alley, there are sweet and savoury offerings across three tiers, and these include a bright yellow Sunflowers burnt white chocolate, pear and sunflower seed macaron. There’s also the Artist Palette, which is based on a traditional Dutch butter cake, but is dotted with daubs of ‘paint’. There’s also a petit gateau, Starry Night, and the blue floral Almond Blossom - almond frangipane with almond blossom, apricot and orange blossom compote.

Another version consists of a features a sugary opera cake reproduction of Vincent van Gogh’s sombre Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat (1887) which hangs in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and is reproduced in Edinburgh’s multi-media show. It’s layered with vanilla creme fraiche, hazelnut and coffee.

The sandwiches feature fillings including crispy duck, rocket, cucumber and coriander; and there are red pepper and black olive tartelettes, with hot drinks from Edinburgh business, PekoeTea.

In another stroke of genius, cream and jam for the buttermilk and citrus peel scones is served in metal paint tubes.

As well as this spread, for the duration of the show run, they’re also serving a Starry Night cocktail, made with gin, elderflower, sherry, citric acid and Champagne. This is usually £15 and the tea is £50, but Van Gogh Alive ticket holders, who quote Van Gogh when booking, can get both for £45.

Until July 17, those who’ve been to the show can also get 20 per cent off their food bill at dinner at Grazing by Mark Greenaway. And there’s the same discount on stays at the five-star Princes Street hotel if you quote VGOGH in the Group Code section at the time of reservation.

To book afternoon tea, see

For more information see

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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