Edinburgh’s most glamorous afternoon tea venue set to open


EDINBURGH’S most glamorous afternoon tea venue is set to open at the beginning of June.

The historic Signet Library has undergone a £250,000 restoration to become one of the finest lunch and tea venues in the capital.

The newly refurbished interior boasts unique lighting, intricate gold leaf and a bespoke handwoven carpet.

The afternoon tea will be "one of the finest" in Edinburgh
The afternoon tea will be “one of the finest” in Edinburgh


The lower library will also open under the name ‘Colannades’ – a reference to the classical pillars that grace the building.

Interior designer Amy Schellenberg brought years of experience working with clients such as Royal & Ancient to oversee the restoration.

The venue will have its own Tea Semmelier, Champagne experts and mixologists and an on-site pastry chef, with all food cooked from scratch and served in style.

Colonnades will work in partnership with some of Scotland’s best food producers such as the Wee Tea Company and Summerhouse Drinks, alongside the Signet Library’s favourite tipple: Pommery Champagne.

An artists impression of the Colannades interior
An artists impression of the Colannades interior


The signature afternoon tea will change with the seasons and reflect the best of Scottish produce. A gluten free afternoon tea option will feature, alongside a range of seasonal specialities and the best in Champagne and cocktails.

Robert Pirrie, chief executive of the Society of Writers to HM Signet, owners of the Signet Library, said: “This opening represents the crowning glory to ten years’ work by the WS Society and Heritage Portfolio.

“This is a new era in the extraordinary life of the Society, which goes back over 500 years to when the Signet Library was built for the Writers to the Signet as a library and meeting place at the height of the Enlightenment period in Edinburgh.”

Mark Miller, executive director of Heritage Portfolio, said: “Our business is renowned for offering luxury hospitality and Colonnades will certainly be the best example of how fabulous we can really make an afternoon tea.

“With bespoke silver teapots and table furnishings from Heritage Silverware, plus fizz and finery, we have transformed the venue into something truly unique and special in Edinburgh.”