Sumptuous Afternoon Tea

The most decadent spreads

Written by Luxury Scotland

At Luxury Scotland, many of our members provide a truly spectacular spread, from a version including gin blended with pure Scottish loch water at The Torridon, to homemade scones and shortbread at Kinloch Lodge.

First and foremost on the list of truly outstanding Afternoon Tea experiences in Scotland simply has to be the one at Gleneagles. Taken in the Glendevon room, diners delight in the mouth-watering, entirely homemade selection served daily. In addition to the classics, on offer are delicate French pastries, flaky scones, delectable savoury finger sandwiches and sumptuous cakes. The highlight for most people is the view, over the hotel grounds and the picturesque Ochil Hills.

At the newly refurbished Dunstane Houses Hotel in Edinburgh, the selection of teas is provided by St Andrew’s Tea Lovers’ Company, who give all of their profits to educational charities across the country. So, as you relish the homemade scones – served with Heather Hills Scottish preserves – you can also delight in knowing that you are giving back. Guests adore the seasonal selection of artisan cakes and freshly prepared tea sandwiches. This delicious afternoon of indulgent treats will create an oasis of calm in the bustling Capital City.

Afternoon Tea at The Torridon is a celebration of distinctly Scottish ingredients, with savoury items like Isle of Ewe smoked salmon wraps, Mull cheddar quiche and Perthshire ham finger sandwiches. The jam for your scones is made from berries grown in their gardens and their Arcturus gin is blended with local botanicals and pure Scottish loch water to produce an aromatic tasting gin with a dry finish. The Jasper Conran for Wedgwood china and the charming library setting create a supremely enjoyable experience.

Do not let the humble setting of Kinloch Lodge, facing Loch na Dal on the Sound of Sleat in Skye confuse you, the dining experience is nothing short of exquisite. The award-winning culinary team, led by Michelin star chef Marcello Tully, serve Afternoon Tea in the cosy, relaxed drawing rooms, which adds so much enjoyment of the whole experience. Their signature raspberry jam brilliantly complements the vanilla notes in the homemade scones and shortbread, and the delicate finger sandwiches are ideal for something savoury before the indulgent cakes and patisseries.

Three generations of talented chefs, the formidable Albert Roux, his son Michel Roux Jr and Roux Jr’s daughter Emily, oversee the culinary operations at Crossbasket Castle, so book Afternoon Tea with confidence in the splendid selection that awaits. The cakes are decadent, with meticulous garnishes that show such attention to detail, and the warm scones melt when you take a bite. An afternoon here, just 40 minutes from Glasgow, is one very well spent indeed.

With these suggestions, you cannot go wrong. And if you are upgrading so that the experience includes Champagne, Little's Chauffeur Service can provide the transportation to and from your delectable afternoon outing. The only item left for contention is the age-old conundrum of cream first or jam first on your scone. 

First published 27 June 2019. Information correct at time of going to press.