One of the last activities we did as part of our road trip was going to afternoon tea at Hopetoun House in the north of Edinburgh. It’s a very difficult place to reach by public transportation so we decided to add it to our itinerary. And why not treat myself for my birthday, right?
After visiting Falkland Palace, we drove across the Forth Bridge and found our way in the backwaters of Edinburgh, in South Queensferry. Hidden, far from the prying eyes, is the estate that hosts the magnificent Hopetoun House.
It’s quite a sight, I can tell you! You may have seen it as the residence of the Duke of Sandringham in Outlander if you watch the programme.
We arrived a few minutes early, parked and walked toward the house. It’s very impressive and it was great to be able to see it from so close. Hopetoun is a stately home dating back to the 17th century and sits amidst 6,500 acres.
It has housed the Hope family since the 17th century and the Lord Hopetoun still lives there.
It costs about £10 to visit the house and the grounds and there is a house tour every day at 2pm. We were going for the afternoon tea and decided not to visit the home and we didn’t really regret it.
The afternoon tea
The Stables Tearoom is where they serve afternoon tea was nothing impressive, but it was modest and lovely. The Brit is used to horses and had fun seeing all the changes that had been made to the old stable house to convert it into the tearoom.
We were sat quickly and confirmed our afternoon again to our server. I always order the pescatarian option as I try not to eat meat, but for some reason they made our entire order pescatarian (at the Brit’s disappointment).
In all honesty, this was one of the poorest afternoon teas I have ever had. I expected loads and it fell short.
Sadly for me it started with ordering my favourite tea, and they came back a few minutes later to tell me they ran out… I don’t even know.
Presentation was also poor. We were served the sandwiches and desserts separately. I often like to alternate between eating my sandwiches and my scones, but we had no choice here. Finish the sandwich if you want your dessert!
The scones were lovely, however, for the price we paid we expected real clotted cream and more than a dollop of it. I judge afternoon tea by how much cream they give for your scone. This one didn’t fare so well.
The pastries were okay. They had a delicious macaron that almost made up for the whole afternoon tea. Almost…
Overall, I would say that I don’t recommend the afternoon tea at Hopetoun. It’s out of the way (and Edinburgh itself probably has better to offer) and truly isn’t not great value for money.
What’s your favourite part of afternoon tea?xx