Having survived the many months of lockdown fads (exploding sourdough starters and endless banana loaves included) it’s high time we hung up our pinnies and let someone else do the baking.
Indulging in a little luxury, we skipped off to Edinburgh’s The Register Club who have reopened their doors in style, offering us the chance to enjoy their new Afternoon Tea in a sumptuous setting. Don’t mind if we do.
Located in St Andrew Square on the fourth floor of the iconic Cheval The Edinburgh Grand, formerly the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters, this plush setting feels timeless and elegant. Neither I nor my plus one could resist looking skywards to the beautiful original features as we took our seats in a cosy booth in the cocktail bar.
Served by impeccably-trained staff, we were brought two glasses of crisp Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve which was bursting with apple and citrus – a fine start indeed to kick-start proceedings. Soon to follow was my Strawberry and Rhubarb tea – the perfect accompaniment to the sweet and savoury tower of joy that was swiftly brought to the table – while my plus one opted for a classic Breakfast Blend.
Ultimately, we agreed that the savoury offerings were the stars of the show, and much to our delight there was not a soggy-bottomed cucumber sandwich in sight. Even better, the chefs had selected a range of seasonal, local fare for their new menu.
The coronation chicken focaccia which was served with pickled grapes and a poppadum topping was a delectable start as it was both sweet and savoury, with a beautiful crunch. We were pleased to see this classic on an Afternoon Tea menu again – far too frequently it seems to disappear off the radar. A chestnut mushroom, pear, feta and truffle roll was a personal favourite – juicy, salty and beautifully smooth, this disappeared in a matter of gluttonous moments. Frankly, if they had brought nothing but a tray full of these I would have been content with my lot.
The smoked salmon gougères with crowdie mousse and chive were perfectly flaky and smooth, but the BLT with slightly dry brioche bun was a little less thrilling – particularly as one of the two was missing the all important gherkin – but that small oversight was quickly forgotten when we saw what was next up.
Beautifully presented homemade scones – two buttermilk, two chocolate and orange – were served with clotted cream and Scottish jam. Again we thought these were slightly dried out, but we both welcomed the change from the usual fruit scones served at Afternoon Teas.
With just enough room to squeeze in the last layer of treats, we moved onto dark chocolate salted caramel eclairs, raspberry macarons, and coconut and rum chocolate truffles. Love it or loathe it, salted caramel seems to appear almost everywhere you go these days. Though it isn’t a favourite of mine, my plus one (known better for their savoury palate) was surprisingly bowled over by the sweet treat. For me, the macaron was light and chewy – just as it should be – and finished off a heavenly afternoon.
The takeaway from The Register Club’s Afternoon Tea was that, minus a few dry scones and brioche buns, it is a beautifully sumptuous setting in which to partake in a glass of fizz with loved ones. From the moment you walk through the door you are incredibly well looked after – and given the trials and tribulations of the last six months, it was precisely what the doctor ordered.
The Register Club’s Classic Afternoon Tea starts at £28pp, while the Champagne Afternoon Tea starts at £38pp. Served between 3pm and 5.30pm.
To find out more visit The Register Club’s website.