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It’s time for Italian afternoon tea
It’s a first for Edinburgh as Divino Enoteca, the luxurious Italian restaurant and wine bar hidden away on Merchant Street, just off Cowgate, have branched out into the world of afternoon tea! Italians are not exactly known for tea, dainty sandwiches and scones so this is a bold move! We visited recently to discover more.
Like modern afternoon teas elsewhere, there’s a selection of tea available but you don’t actually need to have tea. You can have coffee, if you want to feel more like an Italian (just remember no cappuccino as that’s a morning drink!). The goodies also still come served on a traditional three-tiered cake stand. So what’s different about it?
Well, every item is clearly Italian. On the top tier there was the classic sweet stuff comprising a rich creamy tiramisu and fruity, fluffy panettone with chocolate sauce.
The middle level was more sweetness but this time with a crunch: pistachio mousse cannoli (someone helped themselves to two before I could take a photo!) and four pistachio cream covered figs. Mmm.
While on the bottom was the savoury stuff, the highlight of which was the gnochi fritto filled with smoked swordfish, pickled beetroot and samphire; a very unusual mix, which we both thought was some sort of ham at first! In addition to this, there was also a more traditional tomato bruschetta and focaccia with ricotta cheese and fried capers.
We were seated in the covered courtyard, which feels more private than the main restaurant, and although it was a dull day when we visited it was still brighter thanks to the natural light. Service was polite and friendly, and the food was delivered promptly, which was quite filling but only a slight sugar coma was induced!. The tea was also topped up without prompting. If you love afternoon tea and are open to the concept of an Italian afternoon tea then pop along between 3 and 5pm, Monday to Saturday. Prices are £30 for two, which includes a choice of teas or coffees, and you can also add a glass of Italian Prosecco each for £40. If you’ve never been to Divino before and decide to pass on the Prosecco bear in mind that it’s a beautiful, award-winning restaurant with an intriguing wine system and chances are that you’ll end up staying for a few glasses so I’d leave the car at home. We travelled by train from Glasgow to Edinburgh Waverley and from there it’s a 12 – 15 minute walk. Toilets checked and were clean but they are located in the restaurant above (Vittoria on the Bridge).
+ Original concept
+ Come for afternoon tea, stay for wine!
Monday – Saturday from 3-5pm only. Closed Sundays.
Divino Enoteca Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, 5 Merchant Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 2QD
Telephone: 0131 225 1770
Disclaimer: we were invited to Divino Enoteca to sample the Italian afternoon tea alongside some other bloggers. Fred was gutted that he never got to steal some swordfish but he still reckons that this is a truthful review.