We're Good to Go
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

Fine dining lunches and elegant afternoon tea surrounded by books.

Eating & Drinking Guide

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In the historic hall of the Signet Library, the Colonnades’ set lunches and sumptuous afternoon teas create a sense of occasion among shelves and shelves of gilted books, while romantic alcoves add an air of privacy to some of the choice tables. Lunch is proof that the Colonnades doesn’t solely rely on its distinctive setting to impress. Dishes are presented with dramatic sweeps of jus and neat parcels of vegetables while the seasonal menu is crafted with precision. Crab meat bound in parchment-thin cucumber slices is a refreshing start, while guinea fowl accompanied with the warm spice of haggis and a creamy whisky jus is an indulgent main. Doughnuts with silky violet custard are presented with an artistic splatter of tangy blueberry compote, finishing off a fine dining experience reserved exclusively for daytime hours. Afternoon tea is an impressive affair too, with savoury delights like smoked salmon and poppy seed meringue to begin and rose and orange Battenberg for sweet afters, all washed down with endless cups of loose-leaf tea or perhaps champagne cocktails.

The List's rating






Suzy Pope visited Colonnades on 17 January 2019
  • High point: Sumptuous lunch in a bibliophile's dream setting
  • Low point: Closed on Saturdays (except during the Festival)
  • Notable dish: House made doughnuts with violet custard
  • 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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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).