REVIEW: Afternoon Tea at The Ivy on the Square

over 1 year AGOIain Fenwick Restaurant Reviews

by Kate Lenart of Gastronomic Agency

Afternoon tea is a British tradition that will never go out of fashion. Invented by Anna Russell, 7th Duchess of Bedford in 1840 to stem her hunger during the long wait of an evening meal, afternoon tea evolved as a mini meal featuring a selection of scones with cream and preserves, sandwiches and finest teas.


The Ivy on the Square, despite being open for less than a year, has already gained a reputation of being the place in Edinburgh to come for Afternoon tea. 

The Ivy on the Square offers a classic afternoon tea with a contemporary twist. You can indulge yourself with a delectable selection of handmade cakes and savouries, inspired by the best British produce.

Renowned for glamour and celebrity diners, the restaurant interior bursts of rich colour, leather booths, floor to ceiling windows, large brass light fixtures and sophisticated luxury. On a sunny day you can sit on their Parisian style outdoor terrace overlooking St Andrew Square, or sit at the bar and choose from selection of refreshing and timeless cocktails.

We booked our table for Monday afternoon hoping that the place would be very quiet and we wouldn't annoy diners with our continuous picture taking routine. When we arrived, the restaurant was almost full with only few empty tables. General manager Eric welcomed us warmly and offered one of their sublime cocktails. He recommended 'Dark and Stormy' and for my guest one of their summer fruit smoothies.

Diners can choose from 3 delicious options: Cream tea (£7.95), Traditional Afternoon Tea  (£17.95) or if you are looking to spoil yourself, Luxury Champagne Afternoon Tea ( £25.95).

We opted for for a Classic Afternoon Tea with choices of teas of coffees. With all the delicious and alluring food presented on the traditional silver tiered tower, it was difficult to know where to start. Our server was passionate and knowledgeable, explaining every item on display aswell as offering personalised recommendations.


Truffled Chicken Brioche Roll

The Truffled Chicken Brioche Roll was absolutely divine! The creamy chicken, sprinkled with truffle shavings placed on sweet and soft brioche roll stole the show. I would come back just to eat another one of these!

Marinated Cucumber and Dill Finger Sandwich and Smoked Salmon on Dark Rye Bread with Cream Cheese and Chives

Marinated Cucumber and Dill Finger Sandwich - a modern twist on a classic cucumber sandwich, but was a bit underwhelming after the truffled chicken. Still tasty though.

Smoked Salmon on dark rye style bread with cream cheese and chives is a classic combination that works every time.

Raspberry cheesecake

Light and creamy cheesecake topped with 2 fresh raspberries did not disappoint. Cheesecake is one of my favourite desserts, simple and delicious, and this one was just faultless.

Chocolate and salted caramel mousse

Chocolate and salted caramel mouse was cleverly presented in a tiny flowerpot. A quick spoon dip revealed whipped cream and salted caramel hidden under a chocolate crumb layer. This irresistibly rich and decadent small dish was just the right size to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Creme brulee doughnut

I have to admit that cream custard filled doughnuts that you can buy at the supermarkets are my guilty pleasure, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a little sugared doughnut on the top of the tower.  Being used to large amount of filling, I would not mind a little bit more inside the doughnut.

Warm fruited scones with Dorset clotted cream and raspberry preserve

To finish we had 2 large lattes with cream scones that were light and fluffy, clotted cream, strawberry preserve and fresh chopped strawberries.


Afternoon tea at The Ivy was just as we had hoped it would be. Executed very well, being both cheerful and luxurious at the same time. Impeccable service and a wonderfuly relaxed atmosphere with people chatting busily and enjoying their food.  You will find quality ingredients, all-time favourite classics and a few gourmet twists that will surprise you along the way. The Ivy is the perfect place for every occasion. If you are not a fan of afternoon tea, their stylish bar is stocked with great gins, exquisite wines and beers, top mixologist in the city serving carefully curated selection of classic and modern cocktails.

Afternoon tea is served daily from 3pm-5pm and I would strongly recommend to book your table in advance as the place is extremely popular.

The Ivy on the Square - 

6 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD


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