Edinburgh Etiquette

So we just got back from spending Easter weekend in Edinburgh with my (sort of) mother-in-law, who is, by the way, a lovely woman. She likes cats, mid-day gin and appreciates good grammar. She also bred my wonderful other half. It’s easy to see why I’d like her.
The weekend itself was a good one, we were very lucky with the weather (I know I’m being boring), we did lots of wandering around and eating things (you’re yawning aren’t you?) and we were all able to catch up as we don’t get to see her very often, barely even once a year, and she obviously misses her son and grandson. It of course helps that Edinburgh is a beautiful city, crammed with gracefully ageing architecture and all centred around that unavoidable view of the castle.

Okay, I’ll stop that now.

Old buildings aside, while we were up there we did have the pleasure of stumbling across a little place called Eteaket, on Frederick Street, down some tiny steps and into kitsch heaven.
We were on the hunt for a decent afternoon tea (of course) and we were not disappointed.
I am therefore adding this to my list of afternoon tea reviews, as an honorary outside-Newcastle member. Perhaps I’ll start a nationwide hunt for the best afternoon tea. Who knows. Anyway, I digress.
Eteaket’s particular brand of afternoon tea was a very colourful and cosy affair. We were seated in the corner of the ’boutique’, in an excellent spot, secluded enough to chat but with a good view of our surroundings.
Neon pink walls, boldly paired with lime green ornamental chairs and sofas, the walls dotted with framed pictures of hamsters in teacups and guinea pigs hanging out with teapots, all the quaint, fragile china unapologetically mismatching but very pretty; quite reminiscent of the Mad Hatter’s tea party I’m sure.
We were presented with an impressive array of choice. I’ve found most afternoon teas you are simply given a selection of sandwiches and cakes, and a pot of English Breakfast tea.
Not here at Eteaket. They are clearly passionate about their teas and you are encouraged to try different teas (or coffee for that matter) and choose from an assortment of sandwiches. We sampled chicken and pesto, smoked salmon and cream cheese, tuna with black pepper and lemon mayonnaise, and some sort of ham and mustard concoction I believe. These were all brought on two large three tier cake stands, again floral china. The bottom tier was of course stuffed with the sandwiches, the middle tier scones with jam and cream and the top tier a delightful selection of teeny tiny cakes. The cakes turned out to be miniature banoffee pies, lemon tarts and fresh cream chocolate eclairs.

Needless to say we were more than happy with this offering, for what was actually a very reasonable price. Even between the four of us we didn’t manage to finish the whole serving and had to ask to box up and take some of cakes away with us, a request that the cheerful staff were happy to accommodate.

Incase for some reason you’re still not sure, allow me to tell you straight.
Next time you are in Edinburgh I highly recommend that you find Frederick Street, find Eteaket and find yourself whiling away the afternoon stuffing your face with superb sandwiches and cakes, relaxing in an atmosphere that won’t make you feel like you can’t put your elbows on the table.
I’ll certainly be wishing I was back there with you.

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