Afternoon Tea at the Colonnades

Afternoon Tea at the Colonnades

Afternoon Tea at The Colonnades

It’s no secret that we love cake, and we have also been known to enjoy an Afternoon Tea or two. So when we were invited to the launch of the Colonnades at The Signet Library we jumped at the chance. The Signet Library became a favourite of ours when it opened its doors every August, but now you can enjoy this pleasure all year round.

The ColonnadesThe ColonnadesThe Colonnades

We were seated for the main event and some fizz was poured by the immaculate staff. We were served a little amuse bouche of gourgeres, which we can safely say we could have eaten over and over again.

Fizz and Mocktails

Fizz and mocktails

Our stand of savoury delights then arrived and we were blown away by the variety and the presentation.

The savouries

Savoury stand

The usual suspects of sandwiches were present, but a delightful selection. Egg mayonnaise topped with a quails egg and caviar (for that luxurious touch) and a Ramsay’s of Carluke honey roast ham with Arran mustard mayonnaise.

The savouries

The savouries

The other savoury items were equally as good. A light and fresh prawn cocktail, a mini Aberdeen Angus burger, smoked applewood cheese and celery tart, a mozarella bocconcini and sunblush tomato, a goats cheese mousse and finally Edinburgh Gin infused smoked salmon on oatcakes.

The savouriesThe savouries

With the bar set high with regards to quality we eagerly awaited the arrival of our stand of sweet items, and it did not disappoint.

The Sweet Stuff

The sweet stand

From the top we had a rhubarb fool, blood orange jelly and a very moreish lemon meringue tart.

The Sweet Stuff

Sweet treats

On the next layer there was a Belgian chocolate and sea salted caramel tart, a strawberry mille feuille and a passion fruit and mango eclair, which was the highlight for us.

The Sweet Stuff

Sweet treats

On the bottom were two lovely scones (served warm) with jam and clotted cream. Our final treat came as a surprise, a palate cleanser of lemon sorbet and was a lovely way to finish a magnificent afternoon tea.

Lemon Sorbet

Lemon sorbet

We washed all this down with fizz and fabulous teas blended in Scotland from The Wee Tea Company.

Tea from The Wee Tea Company

Tea from The Wee Tea Company

The afternoon tea can be made to suit various dietary requirements, including gluten free, with advanced notice.

The Colonnades opens its doors on the 4th June 2015 and we think this is one afternoon tea you should definitely try for yourself.

Other menus are also available if you’d like a snack and/or drinks. A full afternoon tea is £30 per person.

Highly recommended from us.

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Beforenoon Tea, Mimi’s Bakehouse

Mimi's Bakehouse, The Shore

Mimi’s Bakehouse is definitely on our list of top places to eat cake in Edinburgh.  Already well known for their amazing cakes and afternoon teas, they have revolutionised brunching with the introduction of the ‘Beforenoon Tea’, its never too early for cake!

Last Sunday we headed down to The Shore, which was pretty quiet and sleepy at 10:30am, but Mimi’s certainly wasn’t! The cafe was buzzing with people already enjoying their cake stands of breakfast goodies. When our stand arrived we couldn’t wait to tuck in!

Beforenoon Tea

On the bottom layer were delicious soft rolls filled with Ramsey of Carluke’s Ayrshire bacon.

Bacon Rolls

We moved onto the top layer which had fluffy Mull of Kintyre Cheese Scones and whipped Philadelphia Cream Cheese  and Chives – served warm, as we like them!

Warm Cheese Scones

And finally the bit we had all been waiting for, the middle layer.  A Pancake Stack layered together with Dulce de Leche, a Cinnamon Roll, a Granola Pot with Scottish Oats, Nuts and Honey and finally a White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffin.

The important sweet layer!

The Beforenoon Tea is a fantastic idea, we thoroughly enjoyed it and would have happily eaten the sweet layer in full sized versions!  The Beforenoon Tea costs £13.50 and is served between 9am and Midday on Saturdays and Sundays, booking is essential.  We definitely love this alternative to a brunch!

Houstoun House Mary Queen of Scots Afternoon Tea

Time for Tea

The Houstoun House Hotel is situated outside the village of Uphall in West Lothian, nestled in a very picturesque setting of 22 acres of Woodland.  It is said that Mary Queen of Scots was entertained here in the past, and with that in mind the Houstoun House has created a Mary Queen of Scots Afternoon Tea to celebrate this famous guest!  We were kindly invited to come along and try the afternoon tea and enjoy these historic surroundings.

Mary Queen of Scots is served afternoon tea on the lawn at Macdonald Houstoun House (2)

Photo Credit: Houstoun House Hotel

As you pass through the gates a long sweeping driveway awaits you, and then round the corner the hotel with its historical buildings comes into view.  Once we parked up we walked into the reception area and were shown to the The Vaulted Bar to enjoy our Afternoon Tea.  The bar itself was originally the cellars of the Houstoun House, so it is very atmospheric.  At one end there is a massive open fire, which I am sure makes the bar a cosy place in winter time!

Houston House HotelThe Vaulted Bar

Our friendly waiter asked us for our choice of Clipper teas or coffee, and shortly presented us with a tower of tasty treats. As the theme was Mary Queen of Scots, the sweets and pastries celebrated some traditional well loved treats, which is always welcome!

Tower of treats

The first layer was our savoury layer; small, soft mini Scot’s rolls where filled with delicious egg, smoked salmon and roast beef all tasty and surprisingly filling!

Filled Rolls

Up next was the scone layer.  Two sizeable, light, fluffy scones each, with the bonus of being slightly warmed, just how I like them! Accompanying these was butter, clotted cream and jam.

SconesScones with cream and jam

And finally was the Cake Layer, a tier of traditional Scottish sweet treats.  There was a delicious fruity and creamy Cranachan (which was our favourite), Tablet, Shortbread, and Clootie Dumpling, all of which were very tasty!

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We spent a good few hours munching our way through this lot until we had had enough.  Our waiter kindly wrapped up what we didn’t eat so we could enjoy later.  We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon tea and would definitely recommend paying the Houstoun House Hotel a visit.  The Mary Queen of Scots Afternoon Tea is £29 for 2 people, they also do a Traditional Afternoon Tea, a Cream Tea and a Create Your Own Afternoon Tea – so lots of choice, plus gluten free options are available.

REVIEW – Casa Angelina

Casa Angelina, Vintage Tea Room and Patisserie now open on London Street, Edinburgh

Casa Angelina has opened in London Street (at the bottom of Broughton Street) and we couldn’t wait to pay a visit. The photos they were posting on their Facebook page made our mouth water so much, we booked in for a full afternoon tea.

A warm welcome as we entered the basement property which has been completely revamped since its former owners, The French Fancies.

We were immediately hit with the wow factor as we examined the table full of cakes, scones and anything else sweet you could think of.

The owner greeted us and showed us to our table in the rear of the premises. It took us a while to get there as we oohed and aahed at the gorgeous vintage decor and took in our surroundings.

You instantly feel at home in Casa Angelina, which was the owners intention. The patisserie is run by  Marie-Claire Semeraro  who is a professional pastry chef. She has trained and worked for some of the most prestigious restaurants in the UK such as Rhubarb, The Balmoral, Harvey Nichols (London & Edinburgh), Hush and St John in London. Casa Angelina was named after Marie-Claire’s late Italian Grandmother.

As the afternoon tea was served to us, their expertise in preparing and presenting food was evident. We were blown away by the tier of goodies presented to us. Marie-Claire did talk us through each item, but like excited kids, we weren’t paying full attention to everything she told us. We liked what we saw and heard and just wanted to dive in!

 The afternoon tea is served with lashings of Eteaket tea. The ones we chose were: chocolate, Earl Grey and strawberries and cream over the course of the afternoon. There’s no limit on the number of teas you can try.

Our neighbouring table look over in envy at our tower of delights.

The warm goats cheese parcel and smoked salmon and cucumber wrap were savoury highlights and it was a refreshing change from the usual finger sandwiches.

The scones were served warm with butter,  a scoop of clotted cream and a choice of two homemade jams.

No complaints from us as we took a breather before hitting the final tier of treats.

The eclairs had lemon cream inside and were perfectly tangy. The opera cake was flavoured with Earl Grey and the amount of blueberries on the perfect tart base almost made it a healthy option!

The dessert highlight was the shot glass of strawberry and chocolate brownie. It didn’t look like an ordinary brownie but was extraordinary in taste.

We had been offered boxes to take any remaining items home, but it was clear from the empty cake stand that we would be saving on cardboard.

We relaxed in our seats and admired the pictures on the wall, the handmade doilies and the chest of vintage hats and clothes you’re allowed to dress up in if the mood takes you.

The savoury menu consists of soups (served with mature Isle of Mull cheddar scones) and beautiful sandwiches and salads.

Gluten free scones are always available and there’s an additional choice of two gluten-free cakes daily making Casa Angelina a perfect choice for coeliacs.

A table of delights

Prices for all food and drinks are very fair considering the quality served, with the afternoon tea coming in at £15 per person. Having tasted several afternoon teas around Edinburgh, we can honestly declare that Casa Angelina currently serves the best one in the ‘Burgh.

We further examined the main table of cakes on our way out and couldn’t resist buying a couple of extra goodies and a jar of homemade jam. Everything on the menu is also available to take away.

There are only a handful of tables in the rear, so best to book your space if you want to visit for a special occasion.

We’ll be back to Casa Angelina very soon as we want to try out their great breakfast choices and their lunches. And another afternoon tea……..

Highly recommended from us.

View from above

Information

Casa Angelina, 42 London Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6LX

Opening hours:

Tuesday – Friday: 8.45am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday:10am – 5pm

Casa Angelina are on Facebook and on twitter @Casa_Angelina

Website coming soon, email enquiries@casaangelina.co.uk

Telephone: 0131 558 1002

You can book out the rear for children’s afternoon tea parties (separate afternoon tea menu from the one we tried).

Suitable for disabled? Unfortunately Casa Angelina is down a set of stairs.

Suitable for children? Yes, very child friendly, with a play box of toys and baby changing facilities. High chairs also available.

Vintage decor

Cute touches