Signet Library, Parliament Square, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF
  • Telephone 0131 226 1064
  • Seasonal times Festival: dinner 6–9pm (not Sunday); no lunch.
  • Food served Lunch Mon–Fri 11am–1.30pm; afternoon tea Mon–Fri 1–5pm, Sun 11am–5pm. Closed Sat.
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Photo of Colonnades
in association with
Birra Moretti

Fine dining lunches and elegant afternoon tea surrounded by books.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2018/19 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £7.95 (+p&p).

For daytime dining there’s nothing quite as deliciously indulgent as a proper afternoon tea. The combination of savoury and sweet treats, washed down by copious cups of tea and complemented by a sneaky champagne cocktail, is a series of matches made in culinary heaven. The tea, of course, has to be freshly strained leaves, served in the finest china and poured from a silver teapot. Colonnades gets a big tick at every point of the posh afternoon tea specification. There is even an upmarket cuppa-soup. Meticulous presentation is all, with the light pastry of ever-so-delicate sausage rolls, little pies, crustless sandwiches and quiches demolished in a couple of dainty bites each. Scones, warm from the oven, are served with piles of cream and jam. Cakes are works of art, almost – but not quite – too beautiful to eat in their colour-themed display.

The List's rating






Carol Main visited Colonnades on 5 March 2018
  • High point: This sumptuous venue also does lunch
  • Low point: The overdose of cheesy 70s piano hits
  • Notable dish: Pork, apple and black pudding sausage roll
  • Average price: £24 (set lunch)

Within the heart of the historic Signet Library in Edinburgh lies Colonnades, an elegant tea salon newly launched by award-winning café group and hospitality providers, Heritage Portfolio.

Located in an exquisitely calm location just a few paces away from the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Colonnades is set within the beautiful surroundings of the Lower Library which has been meticulously restored to its former glory. Tall fluted Corinthian columns line the salon surrounded by the gallery’s ornate balustrades in neo-classical style. Now you can enjoy the finest afternoon tea in Edinburgh, light lunches and breakfast amidst this most awe-inspiring of settings.

There’s a real sense of occasion when you take afternoon tea at Colonnades, from the moment our immaculately presented staff and maitre’d welcome you to your table, beautifully set with silver and linen, to guiding you through our selection of teas including our bespoke Signet Blend.

You’ll discover the finest seasonal ingredients in our sandwiches, delectable savouries and decadent cakes created by our resident pastry chef all presented on an elaborate silver tiered stand. We’ve an enticing range of champagnes, cocktails and soft drinks to add to your enjoyment. It’s how afternoon tea should be. And we think it’s the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh.

Text supplied by third party.

  • Private dining: Up to 36 covers
  • Provides: Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Piano renditions of 90s, 00s and 10s pop songs
  • Capacity: 40
  • Largest group: 40
  • Open since: 2015 June
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 20
  • House wine: £28 per bottle

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