by Jane Sommerville

Afternoon tea is enjoying a bit of a moment. Formerly the starchy preserve of pinkies-in-the-air hotel dining rooms, it’s now appearing all over the shop– and perhaps starting to become a little tired. Enter new, vintage-inspired pop up tea party experience, Tealicious.

The latest addition to Edinburgh’s cache of imaginative dining ventures, Tealicious was dreamt up by passionate cake aficionados Michelle Holden, Katey Lee and Sarah Bell. Each month sees the girls put on a themed event at a mystery Leith location, combining their baking know-how to whip up an exciting and whimsical array of high tea goodies that goes beyond the scone and crustless sandwich. ‘Afternoon tea is wonderful but in its classic form is becoming a little formulaic’ says Katey, ‘We wanted to put a twist on the traditional and create our ‘ideal’ afternoon tea – something truly unique.’

And unique it is. Sunday’s tea party du jour, my first Tealicious experience, took me to the heart of a Parisian tea salon. No detail is overlooked, from the embroidered napkins to the flower-bedecked tables – but the star of the show is undoubtedly the food, a spread of French patisserie worthy of Marie Antoinette.

Highlights included melt-in-the-mouth cheese puff gougères, lemon curd madeleines and a Ladurée-shaming raspberry and rose macaron. We also indulged in three magnificent centrepiece dishes– a strawberry frasier layered sponge, a cherry cream bomb and – for what French afternoon tea worth its sugar would be missing the country’s most famous dessert? – a crème brulee, reworked into a glorious cheesecake.

Fragrant Parisian apple tea was on hand to wash down the treats, but for those who like their tea party a little tipsier, both cocktails and bubbles were available for purchase.

If you like the sound of an afternoon tea with a new lease of life, the girls have plenty more vintage fun in store after the summer, with Alice in Wonderland, Brunch and Crafternoon themes all pencilled in for future events. Tickets are £10 advanced purchase, with a suggested £5 donation on the day. The verdict for Tealicious has to be an unmitigated ‘tres bien’. Bienvenue Tealicious – we’re very glad you joined us.

Jane Sommerville is a foodie, blogger and marketing executive from Edinburgh. She loves eating out, cooking, fashion and design, and is always on the hunt for new and exciting things to see and do in Scotland.