Conventionally thought of as an activity to do with your granny, afternoon tea is now officially cool again- thanks to venues like One Square Edinburgh. It has thrown out stale scones and sandwiches in favour of stylish high tea, with a special Christmas version offering a festive twist on afternoon tea staples (complete with fake snow dusting the table).


On arrival guests are greeted with a Twinings tea experience, allowing them to smell a selection of loose tea leaves in turn and pick the one that most appeals to their senses. The tea is then freshly brewed at the table by the knowledgeable waiting staff, who also offered us a mini mulled wine and a glass of champagne. The only difficult part? Choosing which to drink first.


Christmas dinner is often unbearably filling, so One Square offer the highlights in miniature form- packing a punch with flavour but avoiding an unpleasant bloat afterwards. A Yorkshire pudding encases roast sirloin of beef and mustard; a circle of thyme bread is stacked with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce; and a stilton tartlet is topped with soft pear.


A stack of desserts is then brought out, ranging from a delicate Clementine and gin posset to a decadent chocolate and marmalade dome. The selection on offer is both generous and carefully thought out, but each cake is light rather than stodgy and doesn’t prove over the top.


If you can’t finish all the desserts on offer then the helpful waiting staff -who were attentive without being saccharine- will box up the remainders for you in a glossy One Square gift bag.


Located within the Shearton Grand Hotel, One Square is a short walk to tourist sites like Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle. Haymarket train station is ten minutes away.

The festive afternoon tea costs £32 per person, or £44 per person for the champagne afternoon tea. Visit