I have always been a firm believer that afternoon tea is one of the nicest things you can do. There’s something about it that sparks a sense of occasion; maybe it’s down to the Champagne or the sugar rush that comes with so much cake, but whatever it is, it’s one of my favourite things to do and last Thursday, I’m pretty sure I experienced the best there is. Afternoon tea now has a lot to live up to thanks to Colonnades.
Taking up residence in Edinburgh’s stunning Signet Library, Colonnades has set its bar about as high as it can go. We arrived to an assortment of gins, blended in conjunction with the fantastic Edinburgh Gin. With afternoon tea inspired flavours on offer such as chai tea and ginger and earl grey, gin took on a whole new meaning. It was a lovely way to get things started.
I can safely say I’ve never drank gin in such stunning surroundings. The Colonnades has invested heavily in the Signet Library, with every last detail having been carefully thought through, right down to bespoke crockery. The mirrored tables were stunning, the glassware was impeccable and the presentation of the afternoon tea selection beat every other afternoon tea I’ve ever had hands down. And as you all now, I’ve had more than my fair share of miniature cakes and sandwiches.
As we sat down we were presented with a glass of fizz and a gougeres, which were so moreish. I could have ate MANY, MANY more of these given the chance. Thankfully I wasn’t, as what was about to come was about to get even better.
Colonnades is run in partnership with Heritage Portfolio, which has an excellent reputation for the standard of its food. An innovative approach had been taken to the savoury selection presented to us – there were delicious sandwiches – one was even topped with Caviar, and there was also a selection of other items on offer, including mini burgers, Edinburgh Gin infused salmon served on oatcakes, an incredibly fresh prawn cocktail served with a mango salsa and mozzarella and sundried tomato bocconcini. You could really tell a lot of thought had been put into this menu. The balance of flavours was fantastic and I loved the originality of the likes of the mini burger.
Following such a stand out savoury selection, the sweet treats had a lot to live up to, but they did so with ease. Colonnades has its own dedicated pastry chef, which was entirely apparent down to how light and crisp the pastry was in both the lemon meringue tart and the chocolate and sea salted caramel tart. The pastry was incredible – the sort that would do Mary Berry proud. There were also mille feuille served with berries and cream, passion fruit and mango eclairs, rhubarb fools and plain and fruit scones, served warm. It really was quite an event.
I fell in love with Colonnades from the moment I sat down. From the incredible surroundings to the interior finishes and the decadent touches, it really is set to become the venue for afternoon tea in Edinburgh.2 likes