Putting on the fizz: afternoon tea at The Signet Library

The newly refurbished tearoom at the Signet Library is a great choice for hens looking for a indulgent treat. BSW went along to sample its afternoon tea.

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The set up: a table all ready for you and your hens

As a slight (okay, HUGE) bookworm it was a total treat to pop along to afternoon tea at the Signet Library, and be surrounded by bookcase after bookcase of classic volumes. The Colonnades is a seriously stylish mix of traditional and modern: with some impressive pillars sitting alongside contemporary ghost chairs and swanky, plush seating.

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All the small things – blackberry jelly, peach melba, white chocolate and raspberry éclairs, fresh strawberry pastry mille-feuilles and a salted caramel tart – all made from local ingredients and cooked from scratch at The Colonnades

From the moment you arrive in the tearoom, it’s clear the staff are all superstars. The café boasts a tea sommelier, Champagne experts, mixologists and a pastry chef. From the gazpacho-style amuse-bouche which kicks things off to the grand finale of sumptuous lemon sorbet, each individual piece is explained fully by your waiter. All the food is locally sourced and made from scratch on-site, which is instantly obvious when you tuck into your still-warm delicious home-made tartlets.

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Shiny shiny: how many hours of polishing must it take to make the tea sets and table gleam like that?

The Pommery Champagne we had alongside our tea was light and refreshing, and the teas were packed full of flavour. We chose ‘Earl Grey and Blue Flower’ and ‘Ginger Chai’ and were feeling pretty smug about our choices.

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This Parmesan frittata proves that the best things really do come in small packages

Every bite of our afternoon tea was mouth-watering: highlights included show-stopping gin-infused salmon, the signature Colonnades tartlet, sandwiches topped with a quails egg and caviar, delicate mille-feuille and a mini lemon-meringue tart topped with some impressive sugar work.

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Hats off the the pastry chef: my personal fave was the teeny lemon meringue pies, topped with sugar-work Mary Berry would be proud of

Large tables can seat up to 10 people, and would be perfect for hens wanting to splash out and live the high-life with their nearest and dearest. It could be the classy family-filled prequel to the messier, friend-filled antics later on. The café bar offers a tasty trove of cocktails so hens can start their party in city-chic style.

For more info on The Colonnades afternoon tea:

0131 226 1064, www.thesignetlibrary.co.uk/colonnades

 For more info on weddings at The Signet Library:

0131 225 0651, www.thesignetlibrary.co.uk/weddings