REVIEW : Fingal Edinburgh, Afternoon Tea

Fingal opened in January 2019 in the historic Port of Leith as a unique addition to Edinburgh’s hotel scene following a £5 million development. This former Northern Lighthouse Board ship, begins an exciting new chapter offering beautiful cabins, dining and entertaining space.

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Permanently berthed in Edinburgh’s waterfront hotspot of Leith, guests will be ideally situated to access the best the city has to offer. Award-winning restaurants, bars, artisan boutiques and galleries are just a few minutes’ walk away. The Royal Yacht Britannia is also nearby. From the moment of arrival, guests will be attended to with the highest levels of service to feel part of the new history of Fingal.

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The Lighthouse Bar offers a stylish yet relaxed setting for enjoying Fingal’s interpretation of a classic afternoon tea or a light supper celebrating the best of Scotland’s larder, from coast to port. Raise a glass at the welcoming Moët Hennessy Champagne bar or enjoy a cocktail from the creative menu whilst the sun sets through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Spacious outdoor decks provide a blend of private and public spaces to bask in the quayside setting or sit out under the stars.

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I was visiting Fingal to taste their newly launched Afternoon Tea in the Lighthouse Bar and it was tremendous.

First up was the Lighthouse Martini ~ Gin, Vermouth, grapefruit bitters and Amalfi lemon.

The signature cocktail of The Lighthouse Bar, served from a frozen lighthouse shaped bottle (which we all loved). Containing Britannia Gin, distilled in Edinburgh by Pickering’s Gin Distillery and Wermod Great British Vermouth, created within the Dalmeny Estate near Edinburgh. The vermouth is made using 23 different herbs from the estate, including wormwood, a herb known to aid digestion and one of the key ingredients in vermouth. The Amalfi lemon peel is pickled with white wine vinegar, caster sugar, juniper berries and coriander.

It’s extremely dry and crisp, served superbly cold. A drink for sipping slowly and most definitely not quaffing down in a oner!

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We start with Amuse-Bouche of Pea Soup. It’s warm and thick, but silky and flavoursome. A dark pea green set against the off white china, was a wonderful way to ready the eyes and the tastebuds.

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Afternoon Tea was served in two parts - savoury coming in first with the sweet following soon after. There were 10 of us at the table, so if there are only 2 of you, you might receive both the savoury and the sweet on the same stand.

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There are some absolute gems on this stand and for me the savoury star of the show was this, this Aged Parmesan Tart with Wild Garlic.

A bite-sized morsel of fine tart base perfection, with the tang of the cheese and the pungency of the garlic coming to the fore. Just give me 10 of these little beauts on a plate and I’d be in heaven.

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I love the uniformity of Afternoon Tea sandwiches. They stand proud showing off their precise thin lines of colour that fill the soft bread fingers.

  • Coronation Chicken

  • Baby Gem Lettuce Isle of Arran Cheddar and Tomato Chutney

  • Honey Roast Ham with Wholegrain Mustard Mayonnaise

  • Fingal’s Hot Smoked Salmon (which they smoke in-house) and Cream Cheese.

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Another wee gem was this Classic Prawn Cocktail which was packed with juicy fresh prawns and a nice tangy mayo.

The Hoisin Pork Spring Roll and the Tomato & Herb Arancini finished off a wonderful plate of exceptional bites.

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Cocktail time yet again. This is the Yard No 140.

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A blend of Sea Wolf White Rum, pineapple wine, aloe vera syrup, burnt lime and peach bitters.

Yard No. 140 was the name Fingal was given when she was first commissioned in 1962. A complex cocktail including Sea Wolf White Rum from the Strathearn Distillery in Perth. Full of tropical fruit notes, with hints of citrus and spice including pineapple wine, which is made on board. The garnish of tarragon leaves adds a kick of freshness.

I would happily drink this all day. It’s fruity and sweet but with a complex lingering note at the end. The rum is strong and you can taste a wee bit of banana and a lot of salt coming from the Scottish rum.

I did order tea too (good ol Breakfast tea for me). It was delightful to have both and it eliminated the need to make decisions between tea or cocktails.

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After we demolished the savoury treats, this delightful stand arrived laden with colourful, glistening, brightly coloured bakes and cakes. There was jellies and berries, scones and tarts. As foodbloggers, we always take a million photos before we eat, but I think we all made an exception in this case. We took the photos as quick as we could so that we could tuck in.

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Dulce de leche, Milk Chocolate Eclair - heavenly. At least 3 bites out of this eclair and if not careful you’d eat your fingers too. You so wanted there to be more of this.

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A wee Frangipane Tart with Oakchurch Raspberries was most certainly tart but the butter thin casing along with the sweetness from the frangipane was sublime and balanced the tartness of the berries.

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Blueberry Mousse with Vanilla Sponge was another delight as was the Elderflower & Prosecco Jelly with Scottish Strawberries.

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To wash it all down, I tried yet another of their cocktails. This time is was the Tarbat Ness with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, cucumber washed Cocchi Americano and strawberry compote.

Vida is a single estate Mezcal produced in keeping with tradition and never compromised. The cucumber is washed in Cocchi Americano, an Italian wine based aperitif. Add in a splash of strawberry compote and enjoy Tarbat Ness – sweet and fruity but perfectly balanced.

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For those of you who might be designated drivers or non-drinkers, their mocktail is a hit. Ordered over and over by several guests on our table, Fingals Cave is a concoction of Seedlip Garden 108, fresh lemon, wild mint, dandelion syrup, ginger ale and turmeric dust.

Its a bright and herbal blend of peas and garden herbs!

Afternoon Tea on Fingal is special. As soon as you board, you feel time slow down and you instantly start to unwind. The interior decor is luxurious and tangible, and you’ll want to run your fingers over just about everything!

The staff are knowledgeable and attentive, happy and confident to recommend cocktails or teas and to point out their favourite treats in the Afternoon Tea stands.

Fingal is floating luxury and if you are in need of somewhere for a special occasion, want to treat that someone special, have cocktails with friends or sip on tea whilst tucking into some kitchen pastry wizardry, then definitely think Fingal.

Fingal, Alexandra Dock, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 7DX. Tel : 0131 357 5000 www.fingal.co.uk

My Spoon Award : Tartan Spoon 10/10

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