Afternoon Tea at the Signet Library, Edinburgh
Like books? Like cake? And, you know, maybe a cheeky glass of champagne, into the bargain?
What am I saying – of COURSE you do. I mean, you’re not savages, are you? Well, folks, I do I have a treat for you: or for ME, rather. Because, last week, Terry and I were lucky enough to be treated to afternoon tea at one of our very favourite Edinburgh venues – The Signet Library. So, we basically spent the afternoon surrounded by books (No, you can’t read them, sadly. Pretty sure the ones closest to us were property records from the 1970s, though, so maybe that’s not such a bad thing…) and cake, and if there’s a better way to spend an afternoon, well, I’m not sure I know what it is, really.
The library is located just off Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, and honestly, if you’re in the city it’s worth a visit just to see the building itself. I mean, it’s gorgeous:
Now, to be totally honest with you, libraries are my happy place regardless of what they look like, but this is a particularly swanky one, with tinkly piano music in the background, and a setting that makes you feel like you’re an extra in some kind of period drama or something. I REALLY regretted not wearing an outfit to match my surroundings (Particularly given that I dressed for the pouring rain we left home in, only to arrive in Edinburgh to glorious sunshine: nice one, Amber…), but the beautifully presented food soon took my mind off that:
The Signet’s afternoon tea is a set menu (You can see the current menu here), but they’re happy to take account of any dietary requirements: I’m not keen on fish, for instance, so they swapped my haddock quiche for tofu, which was perfect for me, although a bit of a disappointment for Terry, who normally gets to eat anything I’m not keen on. Sorry, Terry!
The Signet claims to offer the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh: now, I’d obviously have to try them all first to be able to verify that claim (And I fully intend to, btw. Don’t worry, guys, I’ll take one for the team, here…), but one thing I CAN say is that it was definitely one of the better looking afternoon teas I’ve sampled, and I left the place thinking, “Why don’t WE serve food in tiny little flowerpots, though? Why doesn’t EVERYONE?” It looked almost too good to eat, in fact, but luckily we were able to harden our hearts and get stuck in, and I can report that yup, it tasted just as good as it looked. Terry’s favourite was the duck croquette, while I loved the sweet potato soup that was served as an amuse bouche, but honestly, everything was so nice that I actually forgot this was just the savoury course. Well, you can imagine how I felt when it was cleared away and this little lot appeared in its place, can’t you?
As with the savoury course, there were tons of little details to admire here, like the gold flakes on the chocolate brownies and the edible flowers on the custard tart. By the time I’d worked my way down to the scones, I was definitely starting to flag a little, but I bravely soldiered on, and here I am now, to tell the tale.
So! The best afternoon tea in Edinburgh? Well, as I said, I’m going to have to sample them all to be sure (Tough job, I know…), but it’s definitely up there, and the venue is so beautiful and unique that it feels like a real treat just to be there – which is exactly how a good afternoon tea should feel, don’t you think?
[Thanks to the Signet Library for hosting us!]