Contini Edinburgh // Cannonball Restaurant & Bar // Best Afternoon Tea in Edinburgh
Best Afternoon Tea in Edinburgh at Cannonball Royal Mile

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Edinburgh’s finest traditional afternoon tea


Nestled at the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Cannonball House offers an iconic setting with stunning views to enjoy Edinburgh’s finest traditional afternoon tea.

About Cannonball

Cannonball House is set over three floors and our traditional afternoon tea is served on the top floor showcasing a stunning high ceiling and views of Edinburgh Castle. Our top floor is accessed via our staircase and lift.

Tea with 400 years of Edinburgh History

Each level is linked by the old school staircase which gives a hint to one of its many lives over its 400-year-old history.

Cannonball House is truly steeped in history and offers all the character you would expect from an Edinburgh Old Town building that dates back to the 17thC.  Cannonball House captures all the mystery and history of the Royal Mile. You’ll be drinking tea in the shadows of the first Duke Gordon, the first key keeper of Edinburgh Castle who originally owned Cannonball House.

The building is now owned by The Edinburgh Military Tattoo and is run by married Edinburgh restaurateurs, Victor and Carina Contini.

Whether you join us post sightseeing, after a visit to Edinburgh Castle, a day out with friends and family or simply want to enjoy an afternoon treat; relax, sit back and let us look after you.

When visiting Edinburgh you really must sample this most British of traditions with freshly made sandwiches packed with seasonal fillings, the finest Scottish salmon and haggis and plenty of sweets.

In addition, you can enjoy some of the finest food and drink in Scotland too. We are partnered with Glengoyne whisky as well as Edinburgh gin and our whisky bar serves over 120 Scottish Whiskies and gins.

Cannonball House Afternoon Tea for Two

Cannonball House Afternoon Tea for Two

An abundance of savoury and sweet items, all homemade in house by our dedicated pastry chefs. Mouthwatering finger sandwiches with seasonal fillings, delicate scones with Scottish smoked salmon and delicious petit fours, served with loose leaf Brodies tea.

Seasonal soup – Sample – Scottish Kitchen Garden wild garlic and courgette

Ramsays of Carluke ham and grain mustard sandwich

Free range egg finger sandwich

Isle of Mull cheese scone with Dickson’s of Cockenzie smoked salmon and Katy Rodger’s creme fraiche

Findlays of Portobello haggis cannonball



Sweet Treats

Sweet Treats

Our skilled pastry team is led by chef Adrian and they work hard to bring you a mixture of traditional classics and creative inventions. Our heavenly homemade cakes and sweets are sure to satisfy even the most sweet-toothed guests.

Fresh from the oven fruit scone with homemade berry jam and chantilly cream

Amalfi lemon posset

Scottish strawberry jelly cubes

Traditional fruit cake flavoured with Brodies Earl Grey

Glengoyne 10yo whisky truffle

French Macaron with white chocolate ganache

Selection of Brodies Tea for you to choose from

Brodies Tea

Brodies Tea

Choose your own loose leaf tea at the table from our beautiful Scottish selection. The perfect afternoon treat.

Brodies have been importing and blending tea since the time of the great tea clippers which docked at the bustling Port of Leith, laden with precious cargoes from the farthest corners of the earth.

Peppermint | Chamomile

Earl Grey | Scottish Breakfast

 Cherry blossom | Berry tea

Green | Darjeeling

Glengoyne Teapot Dram

Edinburgh Fringe Special 2019 

For the first time ever we are able to share Glengoyne Distillery’s famous Teapot Dram Batch No. 6, paired with a truly delicious afternoon tea and served in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.

Bottled in tribute to an old Glengoyne Distillery tradition, the Teapot Dram series pays tribute to the dramming days gone by: until the 1970s, workers at the Highland distillery would be given three fingers of whisky, three times each day, uniquely drawn from first-fill Oloroso sherry casks.

To save face, the less seasoned stillman would discreetly pour some of their untouched drams into a copper teapot which sat on the canteen windowsill, ready for their colleagues to enjoy.

Relax, recharge and indulge with a wee dram at Cannonball Restaurant, served with delicate finger sandwiches, Scottish smoked salmon, freshly baked warm scones with cream and homemade jam, and a selection of hand-made sweet treats with refreshing tea.

High Tea on the Royal Mile

High Tea on the Royal Mile

High Tea for Two £35

Battered sustainable white fish with mushy peas, chips, lemon, homemade tartar sauce and country bread. Served with a selection of teas.

May to June
Available Tuesday to Saturday
3pm to 4.30pm

July & August
Available Monday to Sunday
3pm to 4.30pm

September to April
Available Tuesday to Saturday
3pm to 4.30pm

Reviews for our Afternoon Tea

The Perfect Afternoon Tea - Tasty Food and Great Views

"Hailing from a family of bakers, I would like to think I know what make good baked goods, and these scones were top notch, accompanied by a fluffy cream and a delicious strawberry jam.

The scones were crumbly, but held their shape too until bitten into – that is the mark of a good scone. And they were obviously freshly baked, as they still had some heat."

Excellent Afternoon Tea

"My husband and I have had the pleasure of dining at Cannonball on a previous occasion and noted that the high standards have been maintained.

We enjoyed a drink in the cosy bar before the friendly barman escorted us upstairs to the restaurant.

We were celebrating my birthday with Afternoon Tea and it was a bonus to get the best table, overlooking the Castle. Delighted to note that Scottish produce is to the fore. We were offered several choices of tea. The food was delicious and well presented. Service was very attentive.

As the restaurant was not busy we had a nice chat with a very personable young Polish waiter (Matti?). We shall definitely return..."

The food was amazing

"My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon tea at Cannonball House - the food was amazing, the staff were very attentive and we were impressed with the ambience of the restaurant. The fact that there is so much history to the building made it seem unique."

Stunning view down the Royal Mile

"A delightful Afternoon Tea with the excellent quality of food and service we always experience at Contini.

This was our first visit to Cannonball, it was enhanced by the stunning view down the Royal Mile from the 3rd-floor Restaurant.

All three Contini Restaurants are well worth a visit and have become our GO TO on our trips to Edinburgh even if it is just for a cappuccino with that special little bit of chocolate!"

Excellent value for money

"I treated my parents to Afternoon Tea. They have had the most wonderful experience from start to finish and they couldn't recommend it enough. Excellent value for money, a wonderful setting and the service was just brilliant - Thank You! "

Afternoon Tea recipes at Cannonball

Here we share some of our recipes for the delicious fare we serve with afternoon tea in the heart of Edinburgh.

Isle of Mull Cheese Scones

Isle of Mull Cheese Scones

We always serve cheese scones with our Afternoon tea but cut them in half, butter them and serve with our favourite smoked salmon, a little creme fraiche and a tiny leaf of fresh dill.

Makes 10–12

150g unsalted butter, chilled, plus extra, softened, for greasing
300g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
100g Isle of Mull or similar mature cheddar, finely grated
1 egg
15g chives, finely chopped
200ml natural yoghurt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Egg wash made from 1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas 7 and grease a baking tray.

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and coarsely grate the remaining chilled butter on top. Dip the butter into the flour to stop it sticking, then add the grated cheddar and rub the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg, chives, yoghurt and cayenne pepper.

Mix until the ingredients come away from the sides of the bowl.

Transfer to a floured surface and knead lightly. The mixture should be soft enough to handle. The yoghurt can make the mixture sticky so don’t be shy to add more flour if it is too sticky to handle.

Roll out to about 2.5cm thick, then use a small scone or biscuit cutter to cut out the scones.

Place on the greased baking tray, brush with the egg wash.

Bake for 10–12 minutes until risen and golden.



125g ground almonds
125g icing sugar
90g Scottish organic egg whites
110g  caster sugar
Food colouring (optional)
150ml double cream whipped or creme patisserie
2 tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 170/C/325F/Gas 3 and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Put the icing sugar, ground almonds and 40g egg whites together in a large bowl and mix to a paste.

Put the water and caster sugar in a small pan and heat gently to melt the sugar, then turn up the heat and boil until the mixture starts to go syrupy and thickens – I don’t use a thermometer but if you prefer to use one, it should read 115C at this stage.

Whisk the remaining 50g egg whites in a small bowl until medium-stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl, then pour in the sugar syrup, whisking until the mixture becomes stiff and shiny.

For coloured macarons, add a few drops of food colouring. Tip this meringue mixture into the almond paste mixture and stir gently until the becomes stiff and shiny again.

Spoon into the piping bag. Pipe a little mixture under each corner of the baking paper to stop it sliding around. With the bag held vertically, pipe 1½in flat circles onto the lined tray, about ¾in apart, twisting the bag after each one. The mixture should be quite loose to give a smooth finish.

The piping will leave a small ‘tip’ on each circle so, when they’re all piped, give the tray 2–3 taps on a flat surface to flatten them.

Leave to stand for 30 minutes to form a skin then bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes with the door slightly ajar until firm. Remove from the oven, lift the paper off the baking tray and leave the macaroons to cool on the paper.

When cool, sandwich the macarons together with whipped cream or flavoured creme patisserie

Earl Grey Fruit Loaf (Dairy Free)

Earl Grey Fruit Loaf (Dairy Free)

There are times when all that is needed is a little cup of tea and a delicious slice of old fashioned fruit cake. The perfect way to spend an afternoon. This cake always tastes better a day later and lasts very well if wrapped in greaseproof paper and stored in a cake tin.

225g sultanas
100g raisins
100g currants
175g dark brown sugar
150ml earl grey tea
Grated zest of one orange
1 egg
225g self-raising flour

Soak the dried fruit in the hot tea overnight with the orange zest.

Beat the egg until light and fluffy and then add a spoonful of flour and a spoonful of fruit until all the mixture is incorporated.

Transfer to a 1 kilo lined loaf tin. Bake at Gas mark 3 for 1 hour 30 minutes until cooked.

I always cover the cake halfway through with a sheet of baking paper to stop it getting too dark

Fruit Scones

Fruit Scones

Makes approx 10

You will be slightly surprised by just how much butter is in our scones but that’s what makes them so delicious. With homemade jam and a little cream makes them even more irresistible!

600g self-raising flour
125g caster sugar
200g cold butter
2 eggs
100g sultanas
150ml natural yoghurt

Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and add in the cubes of cold butter, work with your fingers until you have a breadcrumb texture.

Add the sugar and sultanas and then mix in the eggs and yoghurt, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead a couple of times just to bring together, roll out into a rectangle 2cm deep and cut out as many rounds as possible.

Brush with beaten egg and bake for 10 mins at 180 or until risen and golden.

Afternoon tea and cake on our blog

Whisky Afternoon Tea at Cannonball House

The perfect afternoon treat to sample Scotland’s national dish and tipple together with our favourite sweet treat and a refreshing cup of freshly brewed tea served with milk, lemon or Victor’s honey. Whisky Afternoon tea for one Findlay’s haggis balls with pickled spiced turnip and Katy Roger’s mustard crème fraîche Dram of GLENGOYNE 10yo [43%]…

5000 Scones

  We’ve all heard and love the Proclaimers song and we absolutely love dearest Olivia Giles’s 500 Miles Charity to help people with mobility difficulties to give them a chance to live independent lives.  But my 5000 has a whole other meaning.  It’s the number of scones I’ve probably eaten since we opened The Scottish…

Coffee & Coconut Cake

This delicious alternative to coffee and walnut cake is a long-standing favourite on the Scottish Cafe’s afternoon tea menu, which can be enjoyed daily, in the heart of Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens.   Ingredients Serves 6 For the cake 225g unsalted butter at room temperature 225g light brown sugar 2 large eggs 200g self-raising flour,…

Award winning

When we say award winning restaurant, we really mean it

We are very proud of our restaurants and delighted when they are noticed and praised! We are always trying to improve your dining experience. Here are some of the awards for Cannonball Restaurant…

  • Taste Our Best Accredited for Contini George Street, The Scottish Cafe & Cannonball 2017
  • GTBA – Gold
  • SRA 3 Star Award
  • Chefs Alliance Member
  • Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) member
  • CIS – Winner 2013 sustainable restaurant of the year
  • Slow Food Member
  • Where Chefs Eat – recommended
  • Trip Advisor Excellence Award
  • The List, Hit listed 2011 – 2013
  • Scottish Chefs Association

Our awards in detail

Find Us

Cannonball House

356 Castlehill

Phone: 0131 225 1550

Opening Times

Open especially for Mothering Sunday 31st March, Easter Sunday & Father’s Day

LUNCH (now served in the restaurant)
Tuesday to Saturday 12 noon to 3pm

Tuesday to Saturday 5.30pm to 10pm

Drinks and bar bites served in the bar from noon until 11pm

Private Dining and Exclusive Events available 363 days of the year. Call 0131 225 1550 option 4 or email to enquire now.

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