Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


May 17, 2013

Afternoon Tea at The Balmoral, Edinburgh

You are probably thinking by this stage how much Afternoon Tea does this girl eat and to be honest last weekend was out of the ordinary where I managed to squeeze in two Afternoon Teas in one weekend.  Considering one was in London and the other at Edinburgh I think I did pretty well!

After doing a bit of research on who offered the best Afternoon Tea in Edinburgh I picked The Balmoral as their menu had a Scottish twist and was pretty excited to find out it was part of the Rocco Forte group.  G and I love Brown’s Hotel in London and drink their tea at home; nothing wrong with having some posh tea at home.

The Balmoral is one of Edinburgh’s top hotels and you can see why the moment you walk in the doors, it’s such a classic beauty.  Afternoon Tea is served in the stunning Palm Court.

the balmoral edinburgh reception interior flowers scotland

We started the Afternoon Tea with a Pimms Amuse Bouche which was very tasty and a nice way to start the proceedings.

the balmoral edinburgh afternoon tea palm court pims scotland


My gluten free sandwiches were open on white bread with a yummy selection of different fillings including egg, ham and mustard, salmon and cream cheese and cucumber.  The verdict on the Gluten Free bread was that it was really tasty and I liked the non fussiness about the sammies.

the balmoral edinburgh gluten free afternoon tea sandwiches scotland

G’s sandwiches had exactly the same fillings as little ol’ me however his came with crisps.  Now I am unsure if this is the Scottish way of serving the savory section of Afternoon Tea however I am kind of use to receiving crisps with sandwiches in pubs not 5 star hotels, it just didn’t feel right.

the balmoral edinburgh afternoon tea sandwiches scotland


I’m not going to lie after my incredible Afternoon Tea at The Goring the day previous the scones had a LOT to live up too.

First impressions was that they looked pretty good however I noticed when I cut into the gluten free scones they weren’t cooked through but that didn’t stop me eating one of them and they weren’t bad at all.  If I had choose between the Gluten Free scones at Browns Hotel or The Balmoral I would choose the ones at The Balmoral.

the balmoral edinburgh gluten free scone afternoon tea scotland

When I pointed this out the staff I was offered a swift replacement (which I declined, there were cakes to be eaten!) and a discount on my Afternoon Tea (which I wasn’t expecting at all but shows you how good their service is).


Now this is where The Balmoral exceeded my expectations to the range and quantity of gluten free cakes and pastries.  There was the top tier of the cake stand and then another plate of goodies – trust me I felt rather spoilt and I got my own cake stand again!

the balmoral edinburgh gluten free afternoon tea cake stand scotland

the balmoral edinburgh afternoon tea gluten free cakes scotland

There was so much on offer including Turkish Delight, Shortbread, Rhubarb Fool and Peach Melba to name just a few.

Needless to say this kiwi girl was just about to pop and I had to take a doggy bag onto the BA flight along with G’s cake as he couldn’t squeeze another slice in either.


I tried two tea’s which was actually nice as you were given a choice during the course of the meal.  My first choice was The Balmoral Tea which is a strong black tea which has been designed especially for the hotel and the second choice was the light and refreshing and slightly peppery Peach tea which was unusual but I preferred it to the black tea.


The Palm Court is a small area and quite intimate and I liked the fact that the area wasn’t too fussy.  There was loads of room to swing a cat so you didn’t feel like you had to listen to your neighbours conversation.


Now this is where The Balmoral excelled and yes Helen I am going to mention you!  I have never giggled so much during Afternoon Tea and I loved the banter that we had with Helen, it made a refreshing change from the stuffiness you can get in some of the London hotels.

The nicest thing was discussing other Afternoon Tea’s with Helen as she also had a Gluten Free dietary requirement so we were discussing what was on offer at Brown’s and The Goring.

We did get offered refills of the sandwiches and also there were plenty of cake options so don’t fret if you think you are going to leave hungry; you won’t; your biggest concern will be trying to get through the front door!

When you are at The Balmoral check out the ladies toilets (easy if you are a girl obviously not for the boys!) as they have cool retro floral basins and loved that they had Ren products on offer as they are my favourite beauty brand.

Would I recommend, totally especially if you have a Gluten Free dietary requirement as there are so many options for you to nibble on.

The Traditional Afternoon Tea costs £25pp.

Now I just need to have Afternoon Tea at The Lowry Hotel in Manchester!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.