High Tea in Edinburgh

Tea Time is a common ritual in the UK, although High Tea is a bit (a lot) more special. Susan happened to be in town at the same time as my friend Amandine's mother. So Amandine decided we all needed a treat. We got dressed up for this one.
     The best place for High Tea in Edinburgh is the illustrious Balmoral Hotel. It sits in a prominent spot at the end of Princes Street. The maitre-d's wear kilts, hold the ancient doors open for you, and guide you into the lovely Palm Court dining room.
     I'll admit it's been a while since I've done High Tea (*ahem*), so I wasn't sure what to expect. For instance, we were welcomed by mysterious harp music which wafted down from a hidden balcony. (Susan spotted it later.)
Our group was me, Susan, Sowan, Amandine and her mom Valérie.
Amandine is a publicist and represents some specialty tea companies, so she walked us through what to order. She suggested the Scottish White Tea, which I'd never had. She has taught me that a good tea does not need any sugar, milk or lemon in it, and she was right. It was delicious!
     A parade of treats followed. First was an amouse bouche of mushroom soup with a cream-shaped heart.
Then came the tiers of joy.
There were mouses and tapiocas, cucumber and salmon. The egg cups were actual egg shells with custard and crushed pistachios on top.
Amandine let them know I was gluten free, so a special selection was made for me, including GLUTEN FREE SCONES. OMG!!!!!
I have been drooling over scones since my arrival to Europe and these were amazing. Can you say 'birthday craving'?
     With all that tea, bathroom trips were inevitable, and a delight. Susan got the great photo as to why. ROSES!
     Then, believe it or not, we got to witness another wedding party!!! That's two in one weekend - I'm certain it's a good-luck omen. As I said, there is nothing cuter than a little boy done up in his Scottish best. Both he and dad were so proud.
     Our cute waiter was from France and a complete delight. We all chatted and laughed...

We all concluded that we received special treatment as treats kept coming out, like wee ice-cream cones and take-away gift boxes with more sweets and tins of loose tea. Certainly, we were the last ones to leave with hugs all around.
I love having special people in my life, like Susan and Amandine, who recognize the value of treating oneself sometimes, to soaking up life, and enjoying it with gusto!


Marilyn M. M. said...

Elizabeth, This brought back some happy memories. I'm sure I've shared with you that for ten years my husband was the American Coordinator of the Anglo-American Business Law Association. The group met in alternate years in Britain and the United States. One year my daughter and I came with Henry for the meeting in Edinburgh. We stayed in the Carlton Hotel on North Bridge (and had a room on the corner with the fun windows). The association's official dinner was held at the Balmoral Hotel and both Henry and our daughter (who did competitive Scottish dancing) did the Highland Fling as entertainment during the evening. We had just picked up their kilts (ordered before the trip) the day before. What fun! I'm so enjoying your adventure!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Marilyn, I have a feeling we will have MUCH to talk about this summer! Cheers, e