Growing up in Hong Kong, one of the things that stuck the most in my childhood is living a hybrid of Western and Chinese cultural habits. Eating Chinese meals, drinking cups of tea with milk and sugar (you only ever drink Chinese tea black). Speaking in English to friends, speaking in Cantonese in shops only to get asked if I was visiting from England (apparently because I spoke Cantonese with an accent and still do). Watching Japanese anime cartoons after school, then Wallce & Gromit series at night.
The one thing that I never experienced while living in Hong Kong is the holy grail of ‘extravagance’: afternoon tea (or high tea as it was referred to then). It’s seen as something the wealthier portion of the population would do. If you didn’t go for afternoon tea at The Peninsula, you’ve not really truly experienced a British tradition. Luckily for me, it’s not such a fad here and it’s a fun British thing to do with friends when they’re visiting, or if you really want to try their pastries and cakes to see how well they can bake.
We decided to spend that day at Rosslyn Chapel (where they filmed the last part of The Da Vinci Code film) in Roslin and wanted to go somewhere nearby. When my friend came to visit, I couldn’t believe how much choice there was when choosing where to go! We had already set a date to meet friends for brunch at Mimi’s Bakehouse so I wanted to bring her somewhere different. The opportunity came up to experience this wee past time at The Leadburn Inn near West Linton and we jumped at the chance.
Technically, the Inn is a hotel/pub, but it’s open during the day to serve food when there aren’t customers looking for a good chat over a pint at night time. It’s a nice and spacious open plan area with wooden flooring and panoraomic window. It had a modern yet slight homey, old-wordly feeling to it which made it comfortable yet throws you back in time when you can imagine Victorian ladies dressed up in the latest fashion sipping tea from their beautifully hand-painted cups.
We were given lovely China and the Manager that came to greet us was a lovely lady, very welcoming and always had a big smile on her face while greeting other customers, regular and new.
We had a large pot of tea (with the prerequisite tea cosy) with our yummy cupcakes, pastries scones and finger sandwiches.
Our eyes were probably as big as saucers while we tried to decide what we wanted to eat first.
Our afternoon tea cake stand
Our eyes were probably bigger than our tummies, or we just had too much tea while catching up and eating because we couldn’t finish the top tier of scones. We were really disappointed because they looked so good, but we were stuffed to the brim and couldn’t contemplate the idea of fitting in more food!
If you fancy a spot of afternoon tea with your girl friends, why not try the yummy offerings in Leadburn after visiting the Chapel?