Fingal has a good Scottish heritage, she was originally commissioned in 1963 and built in Glasgow.
Registered in Leith, she was stationed for 30 years in Oban and then for 6 years in Stromness, ferrying lighthouse keepers, essential supplies and maintenance staff to lighthouses, as well as undertaking repairs to navigational aids throughout the West Coast and the North of Scotland. Fingal was retired in 2000 and has undergone a £5m conversion by the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust into a luxury ’boutique’ hotel with bar and restaurant. We visited for their afternoon tea…
Inside is gorgeous and you can see where the money has spent, she feels just as special as the Royal Yacht Britannia, just a short walk away.
The bar and restaurant maintains an intimate feel and looking out you feel you could almost be sailing away.
The Afternoon Tea would certainly fall into the luxury end of the bracket, at £40 it sits nicely alongside the other 5 star hotels in the city, including the Balmoral.
The feasting began with an amuse bouche of Tomato and Red Pepper Soup which awakened the palate for the delights to come. As you’d expect with an afternoon tea at this level, there were several savoury elements in addition to the sandwiches and these always end up being the highlight for me. On this occasion we had – a Classic Prawn Cocktail, a first for me on an afternoon tea, but a good idea and presented in a cute little glass ramekin. Haggis in Oatmeal was served with a smoked garlic mayonnaise and delivered the Scottish touch that those visiting abroad expect. A small but perfectly formed Hoisin Duck Spring Roll left me wanting more (in a good way!). And finally, alongside the spring roll, a delicious and pretty Goats Cheese Cheesecake with Red Onion Marmalade.
Despite it most certainly being a smart venue, I noticed how relaxed I felt throughout the afternoon tea. The service was formal but not in an intimidating way, and we were left to relax and enjoy our surroundings.
The scones (mixed fruit and plain buttermilk) were served warm with traditional clotted cream and a selection of jam, oh and some proper butter from the Edinburgh Butter Co. – a very nice touch.
After four courses we had to be selective about which of the cakes and pastries to eat. On offer were an Oakchurch Farm Raspberry Mousse, a Blueberry Lemon & Almond Teacake which was decorated with a pretty edible flower, a Milk Chocolate Tart with Caramel Pearls, and my favourite, a delicate Vanilla Panna Cotta with Rosewater Jelly.
Despite my best efforts I am yet to finish an afternoon tea and we both found ourselves taking home a gorgeous branded box of goodies to our families – brownie points galore for us. Thank you so much to Fingal for hosting us. I’d highly recommend this as a unique gift or for a special occasion. Afternoon Tea struggles to be unique now, but enjoying it on a stunning yacht certainly made for a fresh experience.
Find out more about Fingal and the afternoon tea here.