Go to Forsyth’s Tea Room to chat with the extremely nice lady that works there. Go to escape the busy high street and admire the quaint decorations, from mounted china plates to crocheted sugar bowl covers. Don’t go for the tea which, disappointingly, comes in only three varieties and all of them are in tea bags.
Luckily the selection of cakes made up for the stunted tea menu. The rocky road cheescake was wickedly chocolatey; even I was defeated by it, and I’ve been known to demolish 200g bars of Dairy Milk in a matter of hours. The apricot tart was delicious and the homemade jam served with the scone was so good that we ate it up with a teaspoon.
There was no music playing and since only one other table was occupied, we were painfully aware of the need to talk quietly so as not to disturb the other customers. Although the tea room seemed remarkably empty for a Sunday afternoon, the lady who works there assured us that come festival time the place would be packed.
Aside from the lovely staff, the charm of Forsyth’s Tea Room lies in its faintly old fashioned appearance. It claims to be an Edwardian style tea parlour and although I’m not quite sure that the decor is entirely right for that period, you certainly feel as though you’ve stepped back in time as you walk through the door. Just as we were leaving, an American couple came in exclaiming that they were delighted to have found the tea room after searching for it for two hours. They had been five years before on a visit to Edinburgh and had been desperate to come back. Perhaps it was the tranquility of the tea room that made it so memorable, a little piece of Edinburgh untouched by time and the madness of the Royal Mile. Whatever it was, you can’t get a better recommendation than that.
Forsyth’s Tea Room, Chalmers Close, 81 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR