Signet Library, Parliament Square, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF
  • Telephone 0131 226 1064
  • Seasonal times Festival: dinner 6–8pm pre–Tattoo (not Sunday); no lunches.
  • 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

Elegant food in an opulent setting, serving lunch or extravagant afternoon teas

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2017/18 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

While Edinburgh has more than its fair share of grand spaces to eat in, a good proportion of them coast on their looks and skimp on delivering equally grand food. Not so at Colonnades. With its neo-classical balustrades, Corinthian columns and leather-bound books, it is absolutely drowning in pretty – and the food is just as sexy as the setting. Lunch is an absolute steal, and starts with surprisingly delicate, peppery spiced haggis gnocchi. Bouche amused, pan-seared cod flakes beautifully and is paired with delicious chorizo jam. Crispy polenta with heritage carrots whispers of Italian home cooking, with all the comfort that suggests. Dessert of apple compote with oat crumble is as spectacular to look at as it is to eat – and for a truly indulgent experience, be sure to wash it all down with lashings of Pommery champagne. There's also a superlative afternoon tea, including a haggis, neeps and tatties pie and a swoonsome Black Forest macaroon.

  • High point: Swigging champagne from coupés in a stunning library
  • Low point: Mirrored tables offer an unflattering view of your mug while dining
  • Notable dish: Crisp polenta, orange & vanilla purée, charred heritage carrots, coriander crumbs
  • Average price: £20 (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: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Instrumental piano
  • Capacity: 120
  • Largest group: 120
  • Open since: 2015 June
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 16
  • House wine: £22.50 per bottle