Last Saturday my partner and I went to Anteaques, a small tea room and antiques store in the centre of Edinburgh.
First thing that hits you when entering are that it’s really tiny; there’s only space for 4 in the front room, and 8 in the back. Make sure to book a table if you want to go!
What doesn’t help with the size of the shop is that the store is positively packed with both an incredible amount of teas, and of course the antiques store.
Both of these factors, result in just how cute the whole thing is. There’s a real old school feeling to the shop, as if you’ve stepped through the door into the 1950’s (only better because it, in fact, isn’t the 1950’s). The colour scheme is very pleasant and easy on the eye, classic brown in the front and delicate pastel pink in the backroom. The staff are friendly, very knowledgeable, and look gentlemanly.
They are specialised in “a wide selection of fine loose teas”, which you see is overwhelmingly true as soon as you take a good look around you: the front shop’s walls are filled with many, many different types of tea.
For those like me who get confused easily by so much choice there’s always “tasters” available that you can smell, or you can ask the staff to help.
As it was a particularly cold day here up north, we went for wintery teas: Almond/marzipan and hazelnut black teas, with a scone and a lemon tart.
The presentation is both adorable and, in the case of the tea, practical, as it comes in glass pots so you can see the leaves infusing the water to your taste.
The teas were quite nice, and both very nutty. The almond tea had a strong marzipan smell but none of that sugary sweetness (that I am not a fan of), and both teas were very easy to drink. Adding a drop of milk to the hazelnut tea gave it more of a Christmas pie flavour, which was a pleasant surprise and very satisfying.
The lemon tart, which had a white chocolate layer on the crispy base, was absolutely delicious. So was the scone, I was told.
I love this shop.
The style of it hits all the right spots for me, and I could spend entire days there just browsing, trying all their teas, exploring all of the decor (which is also the wares), and chatting with friends whilst enjoying the tasty pastries.
And it seems I am not alone in these sentiments, as the shop was fully booked when we were there, and there was a constant flux of people coming in to see when a table would open up.
It’s not for everyone though, as my partner told me that he found the size and filling of the shop a bit intense and too busy, and I can see that.
That said, I will most definitely come back and spend many a lazy afternoon enjoying the expertise and selection of Anteaques .