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Unexpected Finds: Champagne Days at the Signet Library
SPECIAL TOTAL FOOD GEEKS PROMOTION!
You too can enjoy a Pommery Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two!
And as you’re one of our lovely readers…
You can have it for only £34 rather than the usual £50 (for two people)!
Valid for all of August – Booking is required for the promotion to be valid – Quote “Total Food Geeks” on booking – Call 0131 225 0652/1 to book!
The grand libraries of Edinburgh are places of peace, learning and quiet contemplation, with many locals finding their historic walls to be the perfect spot to seek relief from the rushing around of day to day life.
This month, however, The Signet Library is offering a slightly different remedy to us, in the form of one of modern life’s best medicines – champagne. For the period of the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (3rd – 27th August) these luxurious literary surroundings have been transformed into ‘The Pommery Champagne Café Bar‘ to create a sparkling destination for any discerning fizz lover.
Fellow TFG Macaron Mistress and I were lucky enough to be invited to indulge in one of their specialities – The Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two - in the magnificent Signet Library building, claimed by King George IV as containing “the finest drawing room in Europe”. We prepared ourselves for an indulgent afternoon in opulent settings – and Pommery did not disappoint.
What did we have?
Before I begin with a list of treats which will leave you green with envy, it should be noted that all of the items served to us where freshly made by the Pommery kitchen team run by Heritage Portfolio (with the exception of the delicious bread, provided by a local Edinburgh baker).
Fruit scones with homemade blackcurrant jam & chantily cream
Pink vanilla macaroons
Thick caramel shortbreads
Mixed fruit and coconut slices (the gluten free option)
Blue chocolate cupcakes
Dainty rhubarb cupcakes
Savoury scones with courgette, goats cheese and balsamic glaze
Thick, indulgent chocolate brownie
A selection of sandwiches and fairtrade/organic tea
And of course… perfectly chilled Pommery Brut Royal.
For us, the standout items were the scones with moreish blackcurrant jam, the devious chocolate brownie, and perhaps more surprisingly for two with a sweet-tooth… the sandwiches. Often the warm up act for an afternoon tea, we felt that the soft bread and well-balanced, flavoursome fillings held their own very well and far surpassed sandwiches enjoyed at similar experiences.
Our only niggle, and it was a small one at that, was the gluten-free option – the mixed fruit and coconut slice. Although it is highly admirable to develop a gluten-free alternative for an afternoon tea experience, we felt that this particular slice was a little too confused and dry to match the skill and beauty of the rest of the offerings (all delicious). Nevertheless, it did not prevent our enjoyment in the slightest!
Throughout the afternoon we found the staff to be friendly and very attentive, and the classic surroundings combined with modern luxury fittings transported us far away from the hustle and bustle of festival only metres away. (For those looking to combine some festival people-watching with the Pommery experience, there is also a delightful outside eating area on Parliament Square). In conclusion: We were in heaven.
The champagne afternoon tea left us satisfyingly full, but very refreshed, and we would recommend whiling away a special afternoon in this fashion to anyone (£25.00 p/p or £17.00 p/p for a Classic Afternoon Tea).
For those with a penchant for the savoury, The Pommery Café Bar also offers a tempting array of anti-pasti sharing platters, lobster dishes and the more traditional soups, salads and sandwiches (download the menu here). And if you check out their Twitter account and Facebook page there are regular fantastic offers to ensure you can visit again and again.
Many thanks to the Pommery team.
Photo credits: Heritage Portfolio Ltd.
“We have worked for a long time on our food offering – cooking almost everything from scratch, using local and Scottish produce – thereby adopting the philosophy of our other cafes at Edinburgh’s galleries and Hopetoun House.“
Colin Brand, Cafe Bar Manager at the Pommery Cafe Bar at the Signet
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