Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Edinburgh is Delicious: The Colonnades Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea is one of life's more luxurious pleasures and we may have just experienced one of Edinburgh's finest, at the Colonnades, based at the Signet Library. We've been lucky enough to have afternoon tea at Signet Library in previous years at their annual Pommery Champagne Bar but as it is only usually available over the summer period it's been a total but oh-so-fleeting joy. After a £250,000 venue refurbishment, the newly renamed Colonnades introduce their elegant afternoon teas as a gloriously year-round fixture in Edinburgh. The venue has always been a stunning space, but it has been painstakingly restored with the highest attention to detail, from the intricate gold leaf, fluted Corinthian columns, handwoven carpet and mirrored tables to the bespoke stamped silverware and tea sets. Everything is perfection and we haven't even started raving about the food yet!

Part of Heritage Portfolio's collection, the afternoon tea changes seasonally to reflect the finest and freshest ingredients in Scotland, with produce from their gardens in Leith being incorporated into the menu. Rather than the traditional three tiers of an afternoon tea, the Colonnades place as much emphasis on the savoury elements as the sweet, so we began with an entire stunning stand of savoury goodies, including delicious bites such as fresh prawn cocktail with mango salsa, a brioche Aberdeen Angus mini-burger and Edinburgh Gin-infused smoked salmon on oatcakes.
The sweet treats that came next - another whole stand - were the stuff of dreams. Particular favourites were a tart lemon sorbet, passion fruit and mango eclair, lemon meringue tart in a crisp pastry adorned with stunning sugarwork and a classic mille feuille, with homemade pastry layers, organic cream and Perthshire berries. The scones were served warm with clotted cream and a divine strawberry and champagne jam.
An afternoon tea cannot be complete without, of course, the tea - with a selection supplied by the Wee Tea Company, we enjoyed unlimited cups throughout our sitting. Both the scented apple fruit infusion and the cherry tea proved lovely accompaniments. Glasses of fizz catered to those of the bubbly persuasion.

The Colonnades is now open for weekday bookings of afternoon tea and light lunches and there are plans to open on weekends for special occasions. We can't wait to visit again and we thoroughly recommend a visit for one of the most decadent afternoon tea experiences in Edinburgh.



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