Walking past eteaket on Edinburgh’s Frederick St several times, I have been intrigued by their clever branding and pretty styling. Recently boutique tea houses, like Morningside’s Loopy Lornas, and the very tradition of afternoon tea have undergone somewhat of a renaissance. I’ve always been partial to afternoon tea and the allure of enjoying this tradition in Edinburgh city centre proved too much this Saturday. With the rain splashing on eteaket’s outdoor seating, we soon found ourselves entering eteaket’s charming facade and obediently waiting by the “please wait here to be seated” sign.

Exterior of eteaket, Edinburgh Afternoon tea at eteaket, Edinburgh

It was no surprise to find eteaket extremely busy, especially with groups of women enjoying a respite from the shopping crowds. However, it was a surprise to see eteaket’s staff brush past us as if we were invisible. Had it not been for the sight of the delicious looking cakes, mini scones and chocolate brownies we would have taken our trade elsewhere long before we found ourselves walking towards the counter. Once there we were hardly greeted, but did have some menus pushed towards us, which we took as a sign to wait for a table.

A chirpier waitress shortly explained that a table would be free soon and 10 minutes later we were directed to the bright seats of the ‘lounge’. After the time we’d spent absorbing the grandeur and finish of the eteaket’s front room, the backroom gave the impression of economy class, against the first class of our waiting room. A range of sandwiches, light meals, teas and treats constitute eteaket’s menu, but we had eyes only for eteaket’s afternoon tea at £9.85 each. This offers a sandwich of your choice, scone with jam and creme and a small collection of mini cakes.

A few minutes after ordering the waitress came out to advise there were no New York deli sandwiches “made up” and did I want to reorder or wait an indeterminable period for my afternoon tea to arrive. Not appreciating the time consuming nature of placing pastrami, mustard and pickle between two slices of bread I stuck with my original choice, but agreed that one afternoon tea could be served before the other. Five minutes later our tea, complete with quirky hourglass timers to indicate optimum brew, arrived. Fifteen minutes later both afternoon teas arrived on a single cake stand.

The irritation at the almost nonchalant service and slowness to prepare a very simple product, was overcome somewhat by two deliciously fresh sandwiches, helped by the quite brilliant soft multigrain bread. The scones were excellent - light and obviously baked earlier in the day. All the mini cakes had their own merits, but the mini banoffees really were delicious and the chocolate brownies passed the Blog’s Brownie Barometer test. My “rare” tea, Oriental Oolong, carried a 40p supplement but it went down a treat, as did our other choice of second flush Darjeeling.

The great concept, colourful marketing, quality food and tea offerings make it clear why eteaket has become such a popular tea house in Edinburgh city centre, in such a short time. It’s just a shame the service failed to show the same panache as eteaket’s product.

eteaket is located at 41 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EP
Telephone: 0131 226 2982

6 Responses to “eteaket”

  1. I’ve been meaning to go in here for ages, but might not bother now. The afternoon tea at Tea Tree Tea is good value and you will always get good customer service there !

  2. I went here on Saturday too, and I have just written my own review! I Came to very similar conclusions… good tea and food but service somewhat lacking.

  3. We’ve been to Eteaket and also have come to the saem conclusions about the service and also the food.
    The tea was OK, but I’ve had better.
    The Scones I had were dry and tasteless - almost felt like they’d been purchased in Tesco from the “Value” range.

    I now much prefer Loopy Lorna’s in Morningside. Tea and cakes there are fantastic and with the nostaglic crockery and the funky tea cosys it makes it all the better.

  4. I’ve been in a few times, and had the same problems with service. The worst time was when I had to wait 40 minutes for my tea and scones, and ask twice what the hell was happening with them! My friend had got and eaten his deli sandwich long before my scones turned up…and it’s not as if they were being freshly baked: why it took 40 mins to cut them open, put them on a plate and bring them out, I haven’t a clue!

    Nice food, shame about the disinterested staff and rubbish service.

  5. Hi. We’re the owners of eteaket and are really sorry that you didn’t have the best experience on your visits. We have recognised that our service needed to be improved so we are making changes to address this. One of which is the recent introduction of table service and also the recruitment of more staff.

    In all honesty we’ve been caught out a little by how busy we’ve become since opening in December and haven’t always been as prepared as we should have been. We remain passionate about our tea, coffee and food which is freshly baked and freshly prepared using quality ingredients. We are proud of this and we understand our customers expect nothing less.

    We’re not a big business, just passionate about tea and good food so we really do appreciate your feedback and we hope we don’t lose your support in the future.

  6. I was just next door at Cafe Rouge (only because there were free tables outside) - thanks for the head’s up. Will definitely check it out anyhow.

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