After a fairly stressful April when we were jumping through hoops trying to sort out a first time mortgage, and with LittleGems Jewellery feeling under pressure at work, the early May Day bank holiday couldn't come soon enough. With both of us with the day off and the weather on the east coast expected to be better than on this side of the country, we jumped in the car and made our way through to Edinburgh. As a little treat for Nicola, I had booked afternoon tea at Hotel Missoni, the wonderfully styled hotel owned by the Italian fashion house of the same name. We were supposed to have had afternoon tea at Hotel Missoni back in December but after a night before of beer, wine, rum and cocktails, we had to cancel as neither if us were feeling classy enough the next morning for the fine surroundings of Missoni.
The sun was shining in Edinburgh when we parked up although it was still cold in the capital. We made our way to The Dogs (reviewed previously) for a quick coffee and a chat with the owner David, before Nicola dragged me over to Multrees Walk to look at the pretty things in Harvey Nichols, Mulberry and her new favourite shop, Michael Kors. We worked our way towards Greyfriars Kirkyard and the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, the most dedicated and loyal Skye Terrier ever to live, before checking in for our afternoon tea at Hotel Missoni. Our table wasn't quite ready so we began to soak up the exuberant surroundings of Bar Missoni, with a draught Peroni in hand for myself whilst Nicola cooled down with her Spritzer Melagrana, a union of chilled white wine, fresh pomegranate and pomegranate liqueur churned through crushed ice and topped with sparkling water.
Missoni are renowned for their striking patterns involving stripes, geometrics and abstract florals, all of which were clearly on display from the moment you walk in the door. Missoni kilted doormen and giant 10 foot tall zigzag patterned vases were followed with fantastic monochrome crockery at the table. Once seated our waiter talked us through the afternoon tea menu and took our tea order, before leaving us to relax and finish off our drinks.
Afternoon Tea at Hotel Missoni is traditional but served with an Italian twist. When our tea was served, our attention was drawn to the mini tubs of homemade Amaretto ice cream, which our waiter suggested that we tuck into before moving onto the main event. The bottom tray of sandwiches consisted of Brown Bread with cheddar cheese with pumpkin chutney, Ciabatta with cured pork neck, rocket and baby balsamic onions (this was my favourite), Focaccia with mustard cress, egg and mayonnaise, and Brown Bread with Scottish smoked salmon, soft cheese and chives (Nicola's favourite). Each of the sandwiches were well presented and loaded with plenty of toppings.
With the sandwiches finished, we moved onto the fresh scones with clotted cream and Italian strawberry jam. We had two fluffy scones each, one plain and one fruit which were still warm to the touch. There was plenty of clotted cream for the four scones, and whilst the individual jars of jam allow Hotel Missoni to prove that the jam is indeed Italian, I would have preferred that the jam be served in a bowl alongside the cream.
I am always puzzled as to how deceptively filling afternoon tea can be. Yet once again, after four little sandwiches and two scones - not forgetting a pot of tea each - we were both stuffed. So stuffed in fact that we couldn't make it to the top tier of the cake stand where there was an attractive selection of pastries awaiting. The Salted caramel macaroons, creative Frozen mocha ganache with a white chocolate topping, Chestnut cake with custard and marrons glacés, and Mini orange and Grand Marnier babas with candied orange zest, all looked wonderful but we would have been been eating them for the sake of it. In the end we asked for the pastries to be boxed up in order for us to enjoy later in the day when we would appreciate them all the more.
Our afternoon tea cost £20.50 per person which I thought offered good value for money, providing us with high quality sandwiches and pastries served in a modern and styling location. The highlight for me was the savoury cured pork neck ciabatta, whilst Nicola loved the salted caramel macaroon which she enjoyed with a cup of tea when we got back home later that night.
So the next time that you're in Edinburgh, why not treat yourself to Afternoon Tea at Hotel Missoni? Go on, you're worth it.