Tea and Cake anyone? Yes please! When an invitation to taste a Vegan Afternoon Tea at La Suite West arrived in my inbox, I jumped at the chance to sample it. I love the gloriously British tradition of afternoon tea and all that it encompasses. What’s not to enjoy about whiling away an indulgent couple of hours sipping tea and eating cake after all?
A favourite of health food devotees, RAW Restaurant at La Suite West has a strictly vegan and raw foods menu, and in keeping with the restaurant’s commitment to ‘no meat and no dairy’, Chef Nik Heartland has created a contemporary vegan afternoon tea.
The offering includes a selection of finger sandwiches, home-made scones served with whipped coconut cream and fresh strawberries, and a delectable selection of raw desserts in the form of miniature raw chocolate cake, orange cheesecake with a sticky coconut-flake base, carrot cake with cashew cream and passion fruit mousse.
I found the sandwich fillings creative and refreshingly different. The scrambled tofu with mustard cress was delicious, I was less keen on the portobello mushroom pate with cashew nut butter, finding it quite dry, but the lemon and thyme tahini with cucumber and the avocado chilli mousse with rocket were really tasty and full of flavour.
The scones, made with coconut butter and served with coconut whipped cream and fresh strawberries were light and a deliciously healthy alternative to the more traditional clotted cream and jam, which I find can be quite sickly.
I’m a huge fan of carrot cake, but I have to say the raw version offered here, was not to my taste, however the raw chocolate cake is divine, as is the orange cheesecake with a sticky coconut-flake base. What’s particularly noticeable about this carefully thought out menu, is the absence of a post afternoon tea slump. The emphasis on all-natural ingredients, and the deliberate exclusion of dairy and refined sugar leave you feeling really nourished, rather than giddy on sugar and ready for a nap!
A selection of loose leaf teas, fresh roasted Italian coffee and a glass of alcohol-free fizz are also included in the experience. That’s right, no chance of a glass of champagne at this establishment. Staying true to its healthy roots, the hotel is strictly alcohol-free.
Designed by Anouska Hempel, La Suite West is a minimalist boutique hotel, located on a quiet street in Bayswater. The vine-covered garden terrace, adorned with large hurricane lamps, provides a serene al-fresco alternative for dining throughout the summer months. It’s location, moments from Hyde Park, provides the perfect opportunity to finish your tea with an energising stroll around one of London’s most beautiful green spaces.
Who’s it for: Menu is Dairy Free, Vegan. Gluten free options are available if requested at the time of booking
How much: £27pp including a glass of non-alcoholic fizz
Where is it: La Suite West, 41-51 Inverness Terrace, London W2
More information: www.lasuitewest.com