9 Places To Enjoy An Afternoon Tea In Scotland

Elena Pederiva ·March 06, 2024Reading time: 9 minutes

Afternoon tea isn't just a meal in Scotland - it's a cherished tradition. It’s a chance to slow down and sample local produce whilst enjoying stunning scenery and a warm welcome. Whether you're a local looking to indulge in a spot of luxury or a visitor eager to experience Scottish hospitality at its finest, there are many charming spots across the country where you can take part in this beloved ritual. Read on to find some of the great locations where you can sample an afternoon tea across Scotland’s vibrant cities. 

  1. Maryculter House, Aberdeen Best for: the ultimate indulgent experience

    Maryculter House afternoon tea

    © Maryculter House

    Nestled on the banks of the River Dee, Maryculter House is one of Scotland's oldest hotels, built in 1225. The four-star luxury hotel in Aberdeenshire is steeped in history, with ties to the Jacobites and Bonnie Prince Charlie. Each quirk, nook and cranny in the building tells the story of its past. 

    As well as boasting stunning views over the river, Maryculter House Hotel offers food that showcases seasonal and local ingredients. The afternoon tea is a sumptuous celebration of seasonal savoury and sweet treats, promoting their themed afternoon teas as “the ultimate indulgent experience”. They offer a variety of seasonal afternoon teas, from an annual Mother's Day Afternoon Tea and Wimbledon Afternoon Tea in the summer, to their Christmas Afternoon Tea, which is served in Santa's Sleigh and includes lots of festive delights. 

  2. Mary’s Kitchen Tearoom, Dundee Best for: homely atmosphere and vintage charm

    Cup of tea at Mary’s Kitchen Tearoom

    © William and Gary Wallace

    Opened in 2019, Mary’s Kitchen Tearoom is owned by William and Gary, who decided to turn their passion into reality and name the tearoom after their late mother and grandmother, Mary Wallace. The tearoom, located in the heart of Dundee’s West End, is surrounded by a close community and friendly locals and they were named the Scottish Business Award Best Café Dundee in 2021. 

    The food is all homemade and the menu changes every day depending on seasonality. The staff are all very friendly and they'll make you feel right at home. The afternoon tea includes a delicious pot of tea or coffee, and a selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones. 

  3. Ness Walk Hotel, Inverness Best for: a luxury getaway

    Wimbledon afternoon tea at Ness Walk Hotel

    © Ness Walk Hotel

    Surrounded by a dramatic canopy of trees next to the River Ness, the Ness Walk Hotel promises a secluded atmosphere in the heart of Inverness city centre. Originally a 19th century family home, the building has been lovingly restored and still retains many of its period features, providing a flawless balance between past and present.

    Their afternoon tea is distinctive in the city, offering a truly gastronomic experience in the comfort of the Torrish Restaurant and lounge. With far reaching views over River Ness, there are few more tranquil spots in the city to indulge in afternoon tea, and their menu celebrates each season with locally sourced ingredients.

  4. The Orangery at Victoria Square, Stirling Best for: a classy escape

    Afternoon Tea at the Orangery Restaurant at Victoria Square

    © The Orangery Restaurant at Victoria Square

    The Orangery Restaurant at Victoria Square lets guests choose between taking in the beautiful, tree-lined views of Victoria Square, or cosying up by the fire in a more intimate setting.  The focus of their food is on quality, with a commitment to utilising the finest Scottish produce. 

    Their afternoon teas take inspiration from the atmospheric Victorian building where the Orangery Restaurant is located, offering traditional afternoon tea fare - classic afternoon tea in classic surroundings! All the cakes and savouries are made in house by the talented chefs and are a real favourite with guests, served alongside a selection of teas from the Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company and FairTrade Coffee. They cater their Traditional Afternoon Tea to several dietary restrictions including vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free and vegan. Definitely an experience not to be missed! 

  5. The Willow Tearooms Glasgow & Edinburgh Best for: the art lovers and stunning views

    Castle view from the Willow Tearooms Edinburgh

    © Princes Restaurant Group

    Step into the world of Charles Rennie Mackintosh within the Willow Tearooms. The tearooms serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and a grand selection of home-baked goods all day long. Inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scotland’s most celebrated architect and designer of the 20th century, this tearoom is a firm favourite in Glasgow. They’ve also opened a new location on Princes Street in Edinburgh, with epic views of the castle.  

    They pride themselves on high-quality afternoon tea, a vast array of loose-leaf teas and delicious fresh coffee. As well as their traditional menu, the Free From Menus have a great range of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. Every bite is a fusion of artistry and culinary excellence, all alongside stunning views. 

  6. Garvock House Hotel, Dunfermline Best for: an environment rich in history

    Garvock House Hotel afternoon tea

    © Garvock House Hotel

    Garvock House Hotel stands handsomely overlooking the historic city of Dunfermline. Set amidst lush gardens, this 200 -year-old house is a unique setting for an afternoon tea with friends and family. Fresh sandwiches, warm homemade sausage rolls, just-out-the-oven scones and daily baked cakes make their afternoon tea irresistible. 

    Their afternoon tea is freshly prepared each day and easily caters to any dietary restrictions – so why not plan a trip to Scotland’s newest city? 

    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • Pets Welcome
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Wet room or level entry shower
    • WiFi
    • Breakfast Available
  7. Red Bus Bistro, Glasgow & Edinburgh Best for: sightseeing while you dine

    Red Bus Bistro with Edinburgh Castle in the back

    © Red Bus Bistro

    If you’re looking for something a bit different, Red Bus Bistro offer a fun and refreshing afternoon in Glasgow or Edinburgh aboard the vintage red bus. Their friendly team will welcome you aboard and guide you to your table. Slide into your seat, sit back and enjoy the ride whilst you sample the afternoon tea stand loaded with delicious sweet and savoury treats. 

    They promise a birds-eye view of all the city’s famous landmarks and an afternoon tea with all the classics, including home-baked scones with fresh whipped cream and jam, sandwiches, mini bread rolls or wraps, mini quiche, petit fours and mouth-watering cakes. 

  8. The Colonnades at Signet Library, Edinburgh Best for: serene and elegant surroundings

    The Colonnades at the Signet Library, Edinburgh

    © The Colonnades at the Signet Library

    Located just off the Royal Mile, the Signet Library is one of Edinburgh's finest Georgian buildings. Renowned as the most photogenic venue in the entire city, the Colonnades is a popular location, boasting elevated and distinctive culinary offerings. Housed within the historic Signet Library, this afternoon tea radiates sophistication and refinement.  

    With a menu that changes to showcase the flavours of each season, guests can expect plenty of unique treats. The availability of gluten-free and vegetarian menus makes it an inclusive choice suitable for a wide range of preferences and dietary needs. 

  9. Waterside Restaurant at The Glen Mhor Hotel, Inverness Best for: timeless elegance

    Afternoon tea cakes at the Waterside Restaurant

    © The Glen Mhor Hotel

    Set within the scenic grounds of The Glen Mhor Hotel on the banks of the River Ness, the Waterside Restaurant offers quaint and traditional afternoon tea in an elegant space. The Waterside restaurant allows you to sit and take in the panoramic views of the river, where St Columba's first sighting of the Loch Ness Monster took place! They pride themselves on being an innovative and sustainable hotel, minimising their environmental impact and supporting the local community.   

    Delight in a delicious assortment of sandwiches, freshly baked scones and a selection of homemade pastries and cakes. Their afternoon tea promises to be an experience of timeless elegance.

Did you know?

The tradition of afternoon tea is said to have originated in 19th century England and is credited to Anna Russell, 7th Duchess of Bedford and friend of Queen Victoria. The Duchess, finding herself hungry between lunch and dinner, began requesting a light meal and tea be served in the late afternoon. This custom soon became a fashionable social event among the aristocracy.

Over time, the movement spread rapidly across the UK in the 1880s and remains a beloved tradition to this day. It's celebrated for its elegance, charm, and sense of indulgence, so don't miss your chance to book an afternoon tea experience for your visit!

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