Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


June 8, 2013

The Afternoon Tea Challenge

In case you are wondering if it’s possible to eat Afternoon Tea in London and Edinburgh in the same weekend, I can tell you right now it is and I will show you how in the Afternoon Tea Challenge.

We live in the shires north of London so we drove down to Heathrow and G had arranged for us to park in the Business Parking at Terminal 5 as a treat for me!  Why, as every time we head to Heathrow I get pretty excited when I see the parking pods, very “Jetsons” and have always wanted a ride in one.  Luckily enough our flight was departing from Terminal 5.  You can see I was pretty damn excited!

heathrow terminal 5 business parking pods We left the luggage in the car, took the pod ride and caught the Tube into Central London for our Afternoon Tea at the Goring Hotel.  I can see why it has been awarded the Tea Guild award and the gluten free version is the best I have tried to date.

the goring hotel london exterior entrance afternoon tea

the goring hotel gluten free afternoon tea london pastries cakes

After scoffing a lot of sweet treats and a few alcoholic drinks we jumped back on the Tube and headed to Terminal 5 parking to collect our bags (seriously for a one night stay G looked like he was heading away for a week and I always have less luggage then G when we travel – fact!)

Checked in for our BA flight (we were doing the mad dash up to Edinburgh as G needed 10 points on his British Airways Executive Club to go up a level before the 8th of June – yes crazy I know; my craziness is slowly rubbing off on him, FINALLY!)

We landed in Edinburgh and caught the airport bus into the city. You know you have landed in Scotland as everyone is so happy and cheerful, it reminds me of New Zealand.

I had made a booking at the Crown Plaza Roxburghe which is a new addition in the IHG group in the past month.  We used our Priority Club loyalty points (we have a lot and decided to use some of them).  The location of the hotel is fantastic especially if you arrive late evening like we did as there are plenty of restaurants and bars around the area.  The staff were extremely welcoming and we had a few giggles when we checked in which was cute.

The hotel itself has a boutique feel inside and is very discreet from the outside; to be honest we didn’t realise it was the hotel.

crown plaza edinburgh hotel scotland exterior

crown plaza edinburgh hotel scotland interior

We were upgraded thanks to our membership status and received access to the club lounge which gave us free breakfast the next morning and free drinks throughout the day.

Sunday morning we took a walk around Edinburgh to the Castle and the Royal Mile where we queued forever to see the jewels (queuing is also loved by the Scots not just the English!).

Edinburgh Castle scotland on a beautiful day

Flat shoes are required if you don’t want to break your neck while in Edinburgh.

kelly and g shoes in edinburgh scotland

I did a little bit of shopping and picked up a tartan scarf (G rolled his eyes, something about it’s almost summer and me having plenty of scarves already but all I heard was blah blah blah); so I am the proud owner of a beautiful cashmere Scottish woven scarf.

Our second Afternoon Tea was at The Balmoral in Edinburgh and what made me book the tea here was that they offered a selection of Scottish treats on their menu and for me that was a unique selling point.

the balmoral edinburgh gluten free afternoon tea cake stand scotland

We had a fabulous experience at The Balmoral and left with very full tummies and a doggy bag for the flight home.

We caught the bus back to the Airport and caught our BA flight back to London with the same crew as the previous day.

As we were 15 minutes early landing we were left at the back of the airport where we enjoyed a lovely Sunday drive around Heathrow airport.

If you plan to do this Afternoon Tea challenge I recommend having a light breakfast and wearing extremely comfortable clothes that let you expand.  Remember Joey from Friends wearing the maternity trousers to eat the Turkey; might be a good idea if partaking in two Afternoon Tea’s.

Now I just need to find somewhere in Wales and do a 3 Tier Tea Challenge; like the 3 Peak Challenge however with food!  Anyone up for it?


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