We love everything British, but Afternoon Tea really deserves a honourable mention. All kind of treats, sweet and savoury, served in beautiful china together with a comforting hot beverage and surrounded by a cosy atmopshere? That is heaven in our books.
We’ve already shared with you our wonderful stay at The Howard Hotel in Edinburgh, but we wanted to dedicate a special post to the lovely Afternoon tea we enjoyed in the drawing room of the hotel. With only 14 places available, this Afternoon Tea is an absolutely relaxing, unique, memorable experience.
Like everything in this hotel, the menu was traditional but had a few twists that made it even more delicious. Surrounded by tartan, served by the lovely team of butlers of The Howard, with a wonderful soundtrack which included the theme song of Downton Abbey (they got me right at that moment) we enjoyed one of the most relaxing afternoons we’ve had in a very long time.
We found the selection of sandwiches and savoury treats particularly delicate and enticing. Our favourites were the cheddar and tomato chutney in country white bread and the toothsome salmon and horseradish rye bread toast. The latter was something we had never seen in an Afternoon Tea menu, but we loved it. So spicy and fresh at the same time. The ham tartlet was exceptional as well.
Onto the scones: The Howard’s Afternoon tea menu changes regularly but usually serves two kinds of scones, always homemade. We’ve seen that this week they are offering plain and raspberry scones but when we visited we had plain and chocolate chip scones. If you have read any other posts on this blog, you’d know about my chocolate devotion, so this twist on the traditional scone was a pleasant surprise for me. Of course, they were served with Devonshire clotted cream and homemade preserves (raspberry and strawberry) in the most adorable tiny jars.
And finally, the assortment of cakes and pastries. We had a tender, moist carrot cake with a delightful cinnamon touch that brought Christmas into our minds, a cute almond and hazelnut ball, which flavour was powerful but perfect paired with out teas, a soft, delicate cheesecake and a wonderful raspberry and lemon sponge with strawberry jelly and lemon cream on top. This last treat was like nothing we’ve ever tasted before. Refreshing yet comforting.
Let’s not forget one of the most important ingredients of an Afternoon tea: tea itself. The menu at The Howard was impressive, we didn’t know what to choose… but finally decided on a fresh, zingy white tea.
While the menu was delicious, traditional yet different, we had to admit that it was the atmosphere and the beautiful location which made this Afternoon tea so perfect. The gentle, natural, faded Autumn light that invaded the drawing room, the cosy tartan armchairs, the fire place, the smooth music in the background, the attentive service… It was unbelievably relaxing. If you happen to visit Edinburgh, do book a table at The Howard for this memorable Afternoon tea. They are always updating the menu (check their festive Afternoon Teas for the upcoming holidays) so you will always be pleasantly surprised!