Review: Balmoral Afternoon Tea Edinburgh – Don’t miss it.

a waiter serving tea in a restaurant

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Review: Balmoral Afternoon Tea Edinburgh

The Balmoral hotel flanks one end of the Princes Street Gardens, just below the Edinburgh Castle, and is the epitome of 5 star regality. We didn’t stay at the Balmoral, but the hotel just makes you feel like you’ve arrived and that you are truly their guest. If I’m ever back in Edinburgh I’d love to stay here, even for a night, just to experience it fully. If the tea is any indication…it’s pimp. I MEAN look at our server pouring that tea! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! After a dreadfully disappointing high tea at The Caledonian we didn’t really have high expectations going into Balmoral Afternoon Tea, but OH MY GOODNESS, was it incredible! Review: Balmoral Afternoon Tea Edinburgh:

What is Afternoon Tea/High Tea?



I mean…Look at this bad boy: The Balmoral



The Balmoral Afternoon Tea review is part of the NFL in London, Scotland, and Dublin Trip Report:

The Balmoral Afternoon Tea is served in Palm Court

Go straight through the lobby and at the back you’ll find Palm Court. You’ll laugh, you’ll sip fine teas, and you’ll do it all seated in the round, under a gorgeous vaulted ceiling



The Palm Court

It’s a circular room, not large, but feels luxurious, and the staff are extremely well trained. This is the type of service I’d expect if dining at a Michelin starred restaurant.



The setup

We ended up in a corner booth with a great view of the room. I’d highly recommend requesting a corner table vs the center purely because of the view.





The Balmoral Afternoon Tea menu and Deets

  • Served from Noon to 5pm
  • £35 per person – alcohol is separate

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The Experience

The Balmoral Afternoon Tea is one of the best I’ve ever had. This isn’t hyperbole, it’s really that good. From the moment you are greeted you just know you’re in for a treat. You can see from the Featured Image of the post, also seen below, it’s just an incredible experience. I always choose the tea associated with the establishment I’m trying out, and The Balmoral KILLED it with their Royal Scottish Balmoral blend. In fact, it’s so good that they have to pour it from feet above the pots because anything less baller wouldn’t do it justice.


The Tea starts out with an Amuse Bouche – this is very rare and it was outstanding. A tomato based consommé.


We had requested vegetarian options

Unlike the Caledonian, The Balmoral was incredibly inventive with their vegetarian options. You can see a felafel, cream cheese filled puff pastry, egg salad, cheese and chutney, etc. The sandwiches were outstanding. I also really appreciated the serving order. A lot of Afternoon Teas will serve sweets, scones, and sandwiches at the same time, which is fine, but this was more akin to a multi course meal. So smart.

The Service was impeccable. I find the biggest differences between 5 star and 4 star is anticipation and execution. The Balmoral staff could anticipate what you MAY need before you even knew you needed it. They also executed their job with discretion, blending into the environment rather than making you aware of their constant presence. That is a very fine line and they walked it to perfection.

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The Scones – some of the best I’ve ever had

I also loved how they had Palm Court butter coverings.

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I love the experience of Afternoon Tea, more so than probably the tea, and certainly more than the desserts. I often find the desserts to be overwhelmingly sweet. The Balmoral doesn’t hit you over the head with their desserts. They were perfect. This is the first afternoon tea I’ve ever had where I actually finished everything. These were by far the best desserts I’ve ever had at High Tea.


And then to top it off

We each got a mini ice cream cone, piece of chocolate, and collectible Balmoral tin filled with Royal Scottish Balmoral blend tea. CAHMON! This is RIDICS! I was in love with this experience and it was amazing to share it with my parents. It’s been almost a month since we enjoyed this tea and we’ve brought it up so many times. My parents are crazy for Afternoon Tea, and I think they did half dozen on this trip and the Balmoral couldn’t even be mentioned with the others…it was just in a league of its own.


I would highly highly highly recommend going here for Afternoon Tea if you’re in Edinburghbalmoral-afternoon-tea-edinburgh-38-of-38


Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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  • Rosalie August 3, 2017

    Looks amazing – I was there for afternoon tea earlier this year and am still dreaming about it. You’re dead on about reserving a corner table – it’s the best seat in the house!

    • Miles August 3, 2017

      Rosalie – That’s fantastic! Glad you had a great time =)

  • […] at the Raffles Singapore. Compare this to one of the best Afternoon Teas I’ve ever had at Rocco Forte’s The Balmoral in Edinburgh Scotland – The Balmoral is steeped in heritage and grandeur and their afternoon tea offering reflects […]

  • […] Balmoral Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court […]

  • Debbie April 22, 2017

    My husband and I have afternoon tea reservations while we are in EDI, the first week of August. After reading your review we are even more excited! One question though – what is the dress “code” for this adventure? We are tourists from the US so will have limited choices!
    Thanks so much!

    • Miles April 22, 2017

      Hey Debbie – you’ll love it. Double check with the hotel but I believe it’s smart casual and jacket isn’t required.

  • […] Balmoral Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court […]

  • Jenny December 27, 2016

    This looks amazing!! Thank you for writing this detailed review. I’m also vegetarian so this report is supremely helpful. I’m taking my parents to Edunburgh in half a year and will definitely have afternoon tea at the Balmoral!

    Do you also have a vegetarian afternoon tea recommendation for London? I know to stay away from The Caledonian base on your other review, but was wondering if there was one you would recommend in London? Thanks again!! 🙂

    • Miles December 27, 2016

      Jenny – Thanks so much for reading and also for appreciating the Afternoon Tea experience 😉 I’ve had a few high teas in London, and there are SOOO many that are excellent. My parents are pescatarians and really enjoyed teas at Grosvenor House, Selfridge’s and Fortnum and Mason. I personally, LOOOOOVED Sketch. Ask to be seated in “the glade” and if you’re in the mood for drinks have them in “the gallery.” The Glade feels straight out of alice in wonderland and the gallery has the vibe of mad men – it’s 1960’s posh perfection. The rooms are right next to one another and couldn’t be more different. Such a dope spot. Not cheap tho, but entirely unique.

  • […] Balmoral Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court […]

  • TQD November 5, 2016

    Thank you for sharing. My wife and I enjoy afternoon tea and this gives us a reason to go back to Edinburgh.
    Very nice review!

    • Miles November 5, 2016

      TQD – that’s so awesome and makes me happy! The Balmoral was legendary and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Glad to be reaached out to by another Afternoon Tea-er 🙂

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