When the Duchess of Bedford found herself becoming peckish mid-afternoon, she came up with the idea of afternoon tea to tide her over until dinner. I doubt she had any idea how popular the notion would become – she was probably just hungry. If you too find yourself peckish in the afternoon, this list is for you. Whether in the Highlands, or closer to home, there’s something for everyone when it comes to afternoon tea, finds Charlotte Cohen

The Signet Library

Parliament Square, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF, Monday-Friday 1pm-5pm and Sundays 11am-5pm, 0131 225 0651, £38 per person, www.thesignetlibrary.co.uk

Boasting the finest afternoon tea in Edinburgh, the Signet library allows guests to dine in the surroundings of the Lower Library itself. Working with award-winning caterers, Heritage Portfolio, the Signet Library promises good food and service in spectacular surroundings.

Old Course Hotel

Old Course Hotel, Old Station Road, St Andrews, KY16 9SP, available daily 1pm-4pm, £20 per person (£32 with a glass of champagne), 01334 468001, www.oldcoursehotel.co.uk

Situated on the Old Course, guests can enjoy afternoon tea in the original home of golf. At only £20 per person, it’s a more affordable luxury experience. Served daily from 1-4pm in the conservatory, guests can look out over the course whilst enjoying a selection of pastries and cakes created by the hotel’s pastry chef, and maybe even pop for a round of golf afterwards.

Mackintosh at the Willow

217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3EX, 12pm-4:30pm daily, 0141 204 1903, £23-£26 per person, www.mackintoshatthewillow.com

Having recently been restored to the former wonder of 1903, Mackintosh at the Willow offers guests the chance to dine in the only surviving Tea Rooms designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Their traditional afternoon tea comes in at the cheaper end of the scale, a fitting £19.03 per person. For something a little more exciting, the standard afternoon tea can be upgraded to gin, whisky, prosecco or champagne afternoon tea. These range from £23 per person for whisky and prosecco, and £24 for gin, to £26 for their champagne afternoon tea. Operating as a social enterprise, you can enjoy a delicious afternoon tea whilst also benefitting the community.

Red Bus Bistro

Pick up and drop off at 266 George Street Glasgow, G1 1JF, 12pm or 3pm, Wednesday to Sunday, 01355 229 448, £35-£44.95, www.redbusbistro.co.uk

The Red Bus Bistro offers afternoon tea with a twist – a vintage Routemaster bus, touring around Glasgow while you dine. Also available in Edinburgh, The Red Bus Bistro offers both regular afternoon tea and their gin tea experience (at £35 and £44.95 respectively) plus children go free with at least one fare-paying adult. Starting off in George Street, the tour visits 28 Glasgow attractions including the Gallery of Modern Art, The Clydeside Distillery and Kelvingrove Park – the full Glasgow experience, there really is something for all the family.

Kilcamb Lodge Hotel

Kilamb Lodge Hotel, Strontian, Ardnamurchan, PH36 4HY, 01967 402257, £22 per person (£32 with a glass of champagne), www.kilcamblodge.co.uk,

Kilcamb Lodge Hotel promises to be the best place for afternoon tea in the north west. With the option to eat outside when the sun decides to shine, and in the shade of their 100-year-old lime tree, you can take in the stunning views the Ardnamurchan has to offer whilst enjoying a full afternoon tea for only £22 per person.

The Tea Rooms at Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG, £40 per person, including entry to the castle (£45 with prosecco), 0131 225 9846, www.edinburghcastle.scot

Situated on top of the castle in Crown Square, the Tea Rooms offer guests the chance to have tea in Edinburgh Castle. Including admission into the castle, it’s an opportunity to take in one of Edinburgh’s historic sites whilst enjoying a delicious afternoon tea.

Carlton George Glasgow – Windows Restaurant

Carlton George Hotel, 44 West George street, Glasgow, G2 1DH, 12pm-4pm daily, 0141 353 6373, £15.95-£17.95 per person, www.carlton.nl/en/hotel-george-glasgow

If the weather eventually improves, there’s no better place to enjoy a spot of afternoon tea than the only rooftop restaurant in Glasgow. Located on the 7th floor of the Carlton George Hotel, you can take in stunning views of Glasgow whilst enjoying unlimited refills of tea and coffee. At only £15.95 per person (£17.95 Friday-Sunday) it’s one of the cheaper options in Glasgow.

Fonab Castle

Fonab Castle Hotel, Foss Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5ND, 01796 470140, £32.50-£57 per person, www.fonabcastlehotel.com

Beside the peaceful waters of Loch Faskally in Pitlochry, Fonab Castle provides a fine dining style afternoon tea experience. As well as their classic Fonab Afternoon Tea, they also provide champange and gin afternoon teas ranging from £32.50 per person to £57 for the finer of the two champagnes. With floor-to-ceiling windows in the lounge and brasserie, the views of the Ben Vrackie mountains are sure to make it an unforgettable afternoon tea experience.

Art Lover’s Café

House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park, 10 Dumbreck Road, Glasgow, G41 5BW, 2pm onwards daily (booking required), 0141 483 1600, £12.95 per person, www.houseforanartlover.co.uk

Another Mackintosh inspired option is the Art Lover’s Café, located in House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston. Set in a Mackintosh inspired house, afternoon tea is available every day from 2pm until 4pm. Located in Bellahouston park, within House for an Art Lover itself and right beside places like the Walled Garden and the Glasshouse, there’s plenty to do to work up an appetite.

The Tea Jenny

1 Kings Court, High Street Kings Court, Falkirk FK1 1PG, 07879864498, www.theteajenny.co.uk/index.html

For a completely different experience, look no further than The Tea Jenny, providing vintage tea parties in the comfort of your own home which promises to recreate the atmosphere of a traditional tea party in any venue and for any occasion. The Tea Jenny provides a selection of menus with the option of customisation. Although based in Falkirk, she serves most of the central Scotland area. For a summer tea party for family or friends, The Tea Jenny is sure to impress.

Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club

Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club, Kirknewton, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH27 8EB, Available 7 days from January to November, £16.95-£21.95 per person, 0131 333 1845, www.dalmahoyhotelandcountryclub.co.uk

For something a little bit different, why not try the Gentleman’s afternoon tea at the Dalmahoy hotel in Edinburgh? Taking a different approach to the traditional afternoon tea, they provide gourmet sausage rolls, mini pork pies and Scottish cheese and chutney, with the option to add a craft beer or single malt whisky. The perfect treat after a round of golf. At £21.95 per person (which includes a bottle of craft beer) it won’t break the bank either.

Prestonfield House

Prestonfield House, Priestfield Road, Edinburgh, EH16 SUT, available daily, £30 per person (£40 with a glass of champagne), 0131 225 7800, www.prestonfield.com

Overlooked by Arthur's Seat, the gardens of Prestonfield House are the perfect place to enjoy afternoon tea in the summer. Even if the weather isn’t cooperating, there are plenty of beautiful rooms indoors to choose from – you might even spot some peacocks roaming around outside.


Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire, PH3 1NF, available daily 12:30pm-3pm, £45 per person (£62.50 with a glass of champagne), 01764 694270, www.gleneagles.com

For a classic afternoon tea experience, Gleneagles promises luxury afternoon tea and ‘traditional Highland hospitality’. With views of the hotel grounds and Ochil Hills, afternoon tea at Gleneagles is sure to be an unforgettable experience.


110-112 Market Street, St Andrews, KY16 2PB, available daily from 12pm-5pm, 01344 441 396, £12.95 per person (£17.95 with a glass of prosecco), www.mitchellsstandrews.co.uk

Sticking with the home of golf, Mitchell’s in St Andrews provides a substantially cheaper alternative to The Old Course Hotel. A former butcher shop located right in the town centre, Mitchell’s specialises in Scottish produce. By working with over a dozen local suppliers, it’s sure to provide an authentic Scottish take on afternoon tea.

Colquhoun’s Restaurant

Lodge on Loch Lomond, Loch Lomond, Luss, Argyll & Bute G83 8PA, daily from 12pm-5pm, 01436 860201, £22.50-£29.50 per person, www.loch-lomond.co.uk

Situated on the beachfront at Luss, afternoon tea at Colquhoun’s restaurant provides stunning views of Loch Lomond courtesy of its floor-to-ceiling windows. In the summer, their outdoor terrace allows guests to enjoy their afternoon tea al fresco overlooking the tranquil waters of the loch. Available 7 days a week, it’s the perfect mid-week or weekend escape.