Of all the Britain’s contributions to the world, I think afternoon tea is probably my favourite. Sure TV and the web are handy, but afternoon tea is delicious. Perhaps equaling the delights of discovering that the quinine in a G&T is a great anti-malarial…
Anyway, I digress. For those who haven’t ventured near York Place in recent months, Edinburgh’s instalment of the Hotel Indigo chain has been quietly making a name for itself, and now their new afternoon tea menu is set to build on this.
Coming through the door into the Turquoise Thistle (the bar/restaurant part of the hotel) my jacket was taken from me (although as I was wearing a black waterproof I felt instantly underdressed, despite it being a necessity at the time) and almost instantly replaced by a glass of prosecco – a very good trade, I feel. The rooms at the front of the hotel are not large by any estimate, but their intimacy nicely encapsulates the boutique nature of the hotel. I was coming for afternoon tea, but it had been billed as having ‘a contemporary Scottish twist’, so I was also itching to see how ‘alternative’ this non-traditional take on afternoon tea would be.
Seated in an elegant high backed chair, the usual china three-tiered afternoon tea racks did not appear. Polished steel and perfectly hewn slate was the first clue to the more contemporary take on the classic.
There’s been a very deliberate emphasis been put on the ‘Scottish-ness’ of what is on the slate’s tiers (my inner cynic suspects tourists’ appetite for the ‘traditional’ may be the root of this, likewise the ‘Turquoise Thistle’ name), but the quality is most definitely there for this to be a deliciously shrewd move. Cucumber and crow die on oatcakes, smoked salmon on potato scones, quails eggs in little pastry case and mini croissants – no finger sandwiches in sight.
Moving up a layer we were all greeted by little lemon drizzle cakes, scones hand made fruit tartlets in filo cases, scones and mini cranachan glowing radiantly in shot glasses (again playing the Scottish card perhaps a little too heavily). The tartlets being – in my un-humble opinion – the standout element of the tier.
Finally we had the chocolately section, with profiteroles and truffles to go with our coffee. I shamed myself as always by getting my fingers covered in the melting chocolate of the profiteroles and cocoa from the truffles (which we perhaps a touch too bitter to end on), but then again who was really watching?
I had a delicious afternoon at the Turquoise Thistle, that inner cynic of mine thinks they may be trying too hard on the ‘Scottishness’, but I am more than prepared to put that to one side and would happily go again. The sideways take on tradition makes it that little bit different and there were some absolute treats on that cake stand and with their prices starting at £12.50pp I don’t think you’ll get a better afternoon tea in town for that price.
Edinburgh Editor had Afternoon Tea at the Turquoise Thistle with a collection of other bloggers in an event hosted by the Turquoise Thistle and Zomato – this post is impartial and did not take this into account; if you would like to know more please read Edinburgh Editor’s Disclosure Policy. If you’d like to work with Edinburgh Editor please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org