Afternoon Tea at The Colonnades, Edinburgh

the colonnades edinburgh afternoon tea review

Afternoon tea is one of those life luxuries that not only bring a touch of class to your day but leave you satisfied after indulging in the delicacies and light bites. Afternoon tea is one of those things that we love to do as Mother and Daughter so as part of our trip to Edinburgh, I made sure to book us in for a high tea in one of the most gorgeous locations.

Afternoon teas are a great place to go with friends and family to enjoy an afternoon nibble and natter, and what better place to do that than in one of Edinburgh’s finest spots, The Colonnades, based at the Signet Library?

We were truly spoiled by The Colonnades who kindly invited us to try out their finest afternoon tea whilst visiting Edinburgh. After doing some research, I found out it’s one of the most beautiful 19th-century buildings on the Royal Mile that offers a true sense of luxury in the Scottish capital.

The afternoon tea at Signet Library is available all-year-round meaning whether you’re visiting in the heights of summer, or the depths of winter, you’ll still have the most gorgeous location to spend some time and enjoy their wonderful array of delightful cuisine.

afternoon tea at the colonnades signet library edinburgh

Is there any way to put into words the architecture of the Signet Library? Still a functioning elegant library, the moment you walk in the sparkling silverware and glistening tables catch your eye. You can feel the luxury and attention to detail before you have even begun to look at the finer details.

With the cutest attention to detail, intricate architecture and mirrored tables, it’s certainly an instagrammable location in the city of Edinburgh. The whole atmosphere is welcoming and the ambience is the perfect spot for afternoon tea. This may well be the best place to have afternoon tea. The attention to detail is certainly nothing short of impeccable.

With a year-round adapting menu, the afternoon tea at The Signet Library is constantly adapting to bring the finest seasonal ingredients into their flavoursome sandwiches, mouthwatering savouries and light and airy cakes served upon bespoke silver tea stands. All of this, fully-equipped with palette cleansing, warm and comforting teas and coffees. Each bite leaves you craving for more.

What’s your cup of tea?

afternoon tea at the colonnades edinburgh signet library

We were greeted warmly by the most professional and friendly team members. Leading us to our table, we could sense the luxury and I was absorbing as much of the atmosphere as I could. It’s like a fairytale. You know that moment when Beast opens the library door and Belle stands, just taking it all in? I was living it. I felt like I’d been cast away into a storybook and that this was all something to be left in the imagination. But, it wasn’t. It’s real. Unbelievably amazing, but real.


the afternoon tea at the signet library

We sat down at our shiny table, which I couldn’t stop taking photos of, to have a browse at what was on offer. Is it time for a glass of fizz to celebrate a wonderful weekend, or is it time to have a warming cup of tea after battling the brisk temperatures of Edinburgh in the winter? There are several options of fizz available which will add a glimmer of sparkle to the experience. It really is sophistication and class in the centre of Edinburgh.

The extensive list of tea and coffee is enough to overwhelm the experts amongst us, however, the welcoming team ensure you’re treated with the highest respect and talk you through the various options. They ensure they find you the best tea that suits your own preferences. The best part though is that all of the tea and coffee is unlimited. There are plenty to choose from and it’s worth giving as many of them a try as possible, you might just find a new blend of tea that really is your cup of tea.

A bite of Savoury


We were delighted with a warming cup of soup to greet us which was so welcomed after being so cold exploring the castle. The soup sets the standard ridiculously high about how the afternoon tea will go! However, the first stand to arrive was the three-tiered savouries. I am much more of a sweet person, so the savoury stand, although intrigued me, wasn’t what excited me about the afternoon tea. I did, however, love the Haggis neeps and tattie pie!

Time to get sweet

macarons at the signet library

Possibly my favourite part of afternoon tea is the delicate sweets that arrive and The Colonnades did not disappoint. In fact, they may have just raised my expectations the max.

When the stand arrived with all of the delicacies perfectly arranged, it certainly raised an eyebrow from me. Okay, I also said “omg wow” too but that’s not so prim and proper, is it? It looked nothing short of mouthwateringly exquisite. The colours were spectacular and it was all arranged so beautifully.


Fluffy plain and fruit scones with dashings of scrumptious clotted cream and lashings of strawberry and champagne jam really is a solid way to start the delicacies. Working our way up, each one was quite possibly as gorgeous as the previous. I quite easily could have stayed all day nibbling on more and more.

The apple frangipane tart was flavoursome and light, the winterberry macaron rivalled those to a French patisserie and the violet and blueberry choux were light, fluffy and tasty. However, the Tiramisu dome was the enchanting delicacy which stole the show for me!

Tiramisu dome the colonnades

What to Wear at The Colonnades

outside the signet library afternoon tea edinburgh

Prior to attending The Colonnades afternoon tea, I was frantically googling what exactly I could wear. Formal? Casual? Formal casual!? Just preparing an outfit sometimes can be a minefield and there wasn’t really any information floating around online. Some afternoon teas have dress codes and I was very conscious that I didn’t want to look over or, even worse, underdressed.

The good news is: there is no dress code, dress how you feel comfortable. 

I had in mind a floaty dress to wear with my gifted Lace & Favour occasion heels  – a brand which specialise in heels and essentials for your special occasion. I had ideas of curling my hair and wearing make up – but after battling the elements up in Edinburgh Castle and a 12 o’clock check out – it was a case of switching from the boots to the heels outside job, windswept hair made a little more presentable with a hair bobble bow and lip balm to cover the cracked lips from the cold!

Inside The Colonnades, there were people in suits, people in dresses, people in jeans and a jumper. There was no set dress code, which made me feel a lot better!

Overall Impressions

The afternoon tea at The Colonnades was the perfect past time with my mum in Edinburgh. Finishing off our weekend away to the Scottish Capital, it was a delightful lunch that filled us both up before our flight later that day.

It certainly was a very special afternoon and one I am very pleased we had. I don’t think there could have been a more perfect ending to the weekend away in Edinburgh. The staff were so attentive and couldn’t do enough for not just us, but everybody else in the room.

The Colonnades serve afternoon tea from Monday to Friday from 13:00-17:00 and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00-17:00. Priced at £35.00 per person.

the afternoon tea at the colonnades review.png

Book Now:

Colonnades, Signet Library

Signet Library, Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF
0131 226 1064 – Please mention Diary of a Spanglish Girl when booking.
Hasta luego,
diary of a spanglish girl signature


the colonnades afternoon tea review


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.