Helen, our Scottish guide from Afternoon Tea Tours, really prides herself in showing her travelers the best of Scotland. She frequents places where people smile and treat their guests with respect and kindness and Dave and I certainly grew to trust her judgement and advice.
Our first day of traveling with Helen was to the Scottish Borders. A stunning day of rolling green hills dotted with sheep and dramatic stone ruins, ended with a visit to an intimate country house hotel called Cringletie House. Just 15 miles south of Edinburgh, it’s a traditional Scottish Baronial Mansion turned into a small hotel.
Our afternoon tea was in the Maguire Room, a warm and comfortable sitting room with many wingback chairs, a fireplace and a lovely view. This room certainly feels and looks like the traditional timeless elegance you would expect in a house like this. It was really lovely and I was very excited to be having afternoon tea here.
The staff was warm and welcoming and I felt at ease immediately. We sat in front of the large windows facing out the front of the house and it was a nice opportunity to sit and chat with Helen as we were still getting to know each other better. Our tea arrived and each course created a warmer and more comforting atmosphere, even with the rain, then sleet outside our window.
Just as the rain was easing, the sun came out and we all noticed a large, stunning rainbow rolling across the sky in front of us. All day I felt my sister, who passed away last year at this time, was with us and this was just the last sign she was. She KNEW I wanted to have a wonderful afternoon tea in Scotland and this was it, so I think she had a hand in the wonderful weather we had throughout the day and was just letting me know she was happy and had helped. I got emotional, but it was comforting and spiritual as well.
This was more than just a tea. It was an experience. One I’ll never forget. I hope I get to go back to Cringletie again some day…perhaps for more than just tea!