8 Hot Spots For Afternoon Tea In Edinburgh For Students

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Who doesn’t love a tower full of sumptuous sweet treats, delicious finger sandwiches served with endless pots of tea?…even describing it now is making us hungry!

We all deserve to indulge in Afternoon Tea every once in a while, especially as a student! 

When you’re drowning in uni work, there’s nothing better than hopping out of your student accommodation for a couple of hours to enjoy a peaceful meal with friends.

You’d be surprised just how many spots there are for afternoon tea in Edinburgh! To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 hot spots you NEED to visit whilst you’re here for uni. 

1. Palm Court, The Balmoral Hotel

1 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ

people eating afternoon tea in Edinburgh

Experience afternoon tea like no other at the grandeur Palm Court in The Balmoral Hotel. 

Taking luxury to the next level, this exquisite, award-winning venue is set underneath a Venetian glass chandelier, held up by a stunning glass dome. 

Choose from a selection of sandwiches and savouries, but most importantly, freshly baked homemade scones with clotted cream and homemade Balmoral jam…how divine!

With 88 different types of teas on offer, you’re bound to find one you fall in love with instantly. 

Prices – From £45 per person

Customer Reviews

‘How fancy is Palm Court. Spoil yourself and indulge in their high tea. Beautiful room and a lovely harpist to listen to. A tasty selection of food served with very thoughtful details.’

‘The best afternoon tea in Edinburgh. It is an experience that I will recommend to anyone who wants to enjoy delicious food, outstanding service and an incredible selection of tea.’

2. The Georgian Tea Room, The Dome

14 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PF

quaint tea room in edinburgh

Make sure to head to The Dome for a delicious spread of traditional afternoon tea in The Georgian Tea Room. 

Served daily, you can enjoy dishes such as smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers sandwiches, or Vol- au- Vent filled with Egg Mayonnaise. 

For the sweet tooth lovers out there, you’ll be treated to the pastry chef’s selection of mini cakes & macarons…delicious!

However, what’s appreciated most about this afternoon tea in Edinburgh is that they offer a separate vegan menu. We love it when companies cater for everyone!

Prices – From £22 per person

Customer Reviews

Loved it! We had a vegan high tea and a normal one. Lovely selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones and lots of tea, served in generous pots. Decadent surroundings. Attentive staff. Exquisite building inside, fit for any celebration. Would highly recommend it.’

‘I visited the dome for afternoon tea and it’s certainly got the wow factor in every day. Inside is very art deco I loved it. The cakes, sandwiches and tea were excellent and nothing was too much bother for the staff to I would highly recommend

3. Cannonball House

356 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NF

girl pouring tea for her meal

If you’re feeling fancy, make sure you book afternoon tea at the Cannonball House! 

Tuck into your tower of traditional finger sandwiches and choose your loose leaf tea from the delightful Scottish selection on offer.

You’re guaranteed to have the perfect afternoon here, as most customers agree that the atmosphere is second to none (and it’s a great break from all that uni work!)

Prices – From £25 per person

Customer Reviews

I met with friends yesterday to have afternoon tea at Contini Cannonball. What a delicious range of sweet and savoury treats. We deliberately hadn’t had lunch so the portion of soup in a shot glass was great, followed by tasters of smoked salmon haggis balls and sandwiches was appreciated.’

‘My sister and I took out mum here for afternoon tea for her birthday. It was fantastic. The location is excellent and we had a good view of the Royal Mile. The food was delicious and nicely presented.’

4. The Red Bus Bistro

Stance ZE, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3BH

red bus catering afternoon tea

For something a little different, why not enjoy a classic afternoon tea aboard an iconic red, double-decker bus?! 

This unique experience will allow you to bask in the views of the charming Scottish capital, whilst indulging in unlimited tea and coffee refills. Of course, when served, the bus will be stationary to support your comfort and safety!

What we love so much about this is it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Usually, you kinda know what to expect with an afternoon tea experience, but this will take you to a completely different level – we’re living for it!

Prices – From £37 per person

Customer Reviews

A lovely and relaxing afternoon tea in a very unique way! All staff members were friendly and helpful and allowed people to stop twice to get off and use the toilet/ take photographs if wished. I have dietary requirements, and when I arrived everything was all ready for me and it was clearly labelled and all the food was delicious!’

‘Had an amazing afternoon tea on board the red bus bistro. The bus was very unique and great sightseeing around Edinburgh. The food was delicious, prosecco flowing and the staff are so friendly and attentive. Can’t wait to book again.’

5. The Ivy On The Square

6 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD

afteroon tea in edinburgh

Enjoy afternoon tea at one of the top spots in Edinburgh – The Ivy On The Square. 

Boasting elegant surroundings and an inviting atmosphere, this restaurant will make you feel extra luxurious and boujee…especially considering you’re greeted with an ice-cold glass of champagne!

How does a marinated cucumber and dill finger sandwich on basil bread sound? Or maybe you’re more into the lemon & raspberry doughnut with pink lemonade?

This afternoon tea in Edinburgh is excellent value for money and you’ll end up re-booking for the future.

Prices – From £24.95 per person

Customer Reviews

‘My partner and I went to the ivy for afternoon tea and it was delicious. The scones were fresh out of the oven and the jam and cream were beautiful. The service was also good and the layout of the afternoon tea was very neat. We will be back for lunch or dinner at some point!’

‘…Food was fantastic, not to be faulted and lovely tea. Complete value for money! My only regret is not having the champagne afternoon tea!’

6. The Colonnades at the Signet Library

The Signet Library, Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF

lots of quintessential afternoon tea

Serving a traditional Scottish afternoon tea, it comes as no surprise that The Colonnades at the Signet Library has made our list.

Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, this majestic tea room is not one to miss. Even just by looking at the stunning decor, you know you’re in for the perfect afternoon treat.

They have a fine selection of food available, such as the curried cauliflower & lentil Wellington, or the pickled cucumber & dill cream cheese.

For the sweeter side, make sure to indulge in the freshly made fruit and plain scones served with clotted cream and jam – a classic for afternoon tea in Edinburgh!

Prices – From £40 per person

Customer Reviews

The Signet Library is an afternoon tea experience for sure, each piece was beautiful, inventive and yummy, scrummy, could not wait to experience the next mouthful.’

‘I’ve had a fair number of afternoon teas in my time and this I would have to say rates as one of the best. The quality of the food was excellent and it certainly was not your standard afternoon tea, yes there were some sandwiches but many more savoury items that were delicious.’

7. Tigerlilly

125 George St, Edinburgh EH2 4JN

eating afternoon tea on white table

Boasting rooms of spectacular opulence, Tigerlilly is definitely up as one of the best places to visit for afternoon tea!

It’s currently run as a boutique hotel, however, within its bar and restaurants, they hold an afternoon tea event every day, from 2 pm – 5 pm. 

If you’re wanting a great insta pic – this is the place to get one! However, we do suggest you book in advance because this popular eatery can get busy very quickly.

Prices – From £17.50 per person

Customer Reviews

‘We had afternoon tea here and all sandwiches, cakes and scones were extremely nice and very well presented. Recommend’

‘I have never eaten from Tigerlily except for lovely afternoon tea. it is my favourite place to go for drinks, the interior is beautiful and there is a vast selection of drinks and the service is always great. Can’t wait to go back!’

8. Brewhemia

1A Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DE

eating out in scotland

Last but certainly not least, Brewhemia offers a delectable afternoon tea menu you don’t want to miss! 

Coming from a rich historical tradition, Brewhemia has appointed an executive chef who’s created a delicious, bespoke version of the classic afternoon tea.

Some delicacies which you can taste include the bruschetta with mozzarella and fresh basil, bratwurst sausage roll and the summer lemon tart…how divine!

They even offer a gentleman’s afternoon tea, for the sophisticated ‘man about town’ – we love it!

Prices – From £18 per person

Customer Reviews

Great service, warm welcome, finally used my birthday voucher for a lovely afternoon tea with prosecco. A tasty treat and a nice atmosphere. The staff were superb, very friendly and attentive, would highly recommend it!’

‘We had the Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea which was a gift for Father Day. The service was fantastic. The afternoon tea was just wonderful. Highly recommend.’

We hope you enjoyed our selection of afternoon tea venues in Edinburgh, we’re itching to get out and book one now! What also works well with afternoon tea?…a trip to the spa! If this is something you’re interested in, make sure to check out the top 5 spas in Edinburgh to relax and unwind.