Cockenzie House – Afternoon tea bliss

Cockenzie House

Mr EF is a scone connoisseur. When he’s out bagging a munro and comes down off the hills, a good scone is always on his agenda. So gradually, he’s mapped the best scones across Scotland. At Cockenzie House we  came across a scone that goes straight into the Scone Top Ten.

A mouthwatering selection

A mouthwatering selection

Cockenzie House is just a short drive from Edinburgh, not that far from the power station although our new sat nav decided we needed to go some miles further. Having admired the view over the sea and the beginnings of a sunset we headed back to fins our venue.

Cockenzie House & Gardens is a newly established registered charity which is bringing one of the few remaining unique late 17th century manager’s houses in Scotland back into community ownership.  It has spaces for hire, studio space for artists and holiday accommodation. But most importantly for us a traditional tea room. It is manned almost entirely by volunteers, but now two permanent members of staff have been appointed.

There was a real buzz this Sunday afternoon. People were visiting the Great Tapestry of Scotland which was on view and also enjoying a leisurely afternoon tea. We received a very warm welcome into the conservatory where our table was waiting, set with proper china.

Now, which should I try first?

Now, which should I try first?

The scone in question was delivered on a pretty 3 tier cake stand together with lovely fresh sandwiches and other fancies. Being well trained, we started with the sandwiches. The fillings were generous and tasty on both white and brown bread.

We chose from a selection of teas and plumped for the Cadell blend which proved very refreshing. You may like your scones plain or with a few sultanas, but please wait a moment and imagine apple and cinnamon added to the mixture. Absolutely delicious, especially spread with thick cream and home made strawberry jam. We later discovered that the apples were grown in Cockenzie House’s garden and that they use produce from the garden in their baking and dishes wherever possible.

At that point, I realised I was definitely not going to need any supper. I hadn’t tried the cakes on the top tier yet! Which to try first a “squashed fly cake” (their description not mine!) which had a mincemeat mixture (which I am sure was home made) topped and bottomed with light biscuit-y mixture? Or the similarly shaped apple version which was equally light? Or a sublime impossibly lemon-y lemon drizzle cake? All moist and very more-ish. There were a few macarons dotted around, these had been bought in and although lovely really not necessary.

Now, you’re probably wondering about the prices. In central Edinburgh this could be £16 or more per person, but here this lovely tea was just £7.95 per person.

Cinnamon and apple scone

Cinnamon and apple scone

It’s well worth the drive to pop in and relax and enjoy the warm welcome and friendly service. It’s open each day and everyone’s welcome, you don’t need to be visiting an exhibition. Look out for regular events including evening suppers and coming up on 14th December, a Christmas Fair.

Saturday 14th December 10.00 – 16.00
Cockenzie House’s Annual Yuletide Festival: Christmas Craft Fayre and Enchanted Garden
Celebrate a traditional Christmas here at Cockenzie House – enjoy a warming mulled wine and purchase those unique handcrafted gifts. Children can post their letter to Santa, helped along by our elves and Mrs Claus! FREE ENTRY

Find out more

Cockenzie House & Gardens Ltd, 
22 Edinburgh Road,
Cockenzie & Port Seton,
East Lothian,
Scotland, EH32 0HY

Telephone: 01875 819 456

Cockenzie House on Twitter

Cockenzie House on Facebook 

Great Tapestry of Scotland

This will be on displayed at the parliament again next year, but in the meantime, you might like to read The Great Tapestry of Scotland: The Making of a Masterpiece

Last updated by at .

About Bread Baker Danielle

Danielle founded Edinburgh Foody in 2010. Having qualified as a professional bread baker in France in 2014, she is now on a new adventure in Gloucestershire. Check out Look out for occasional posts for Edinburgh Foody


  1. Or “Fly Cemetery” cakes!

  2. My husband comes from that part of the world and “squashed fly cake” is one of his favourites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.