5 Best Vegan Afternoon Teas In The UK
Finger sandwiches, cute cakes, and a selection of scones all displayed like a work of art, afternoon tea is a British institution. Given that here at Libre London, we are fans of plant-based eating and stock a wide range of vegan beauty products, we’ve rounded up the best vegan afternoon teas in the UK.
The Langham was the very first hotel to serve afternoon tea, back in 1885. Its plant-based menu is traditional with inventive touches such as Coronation jackfruit finger sandwiches with lamb’s lettuce on garam masala bread, classic raisin scones served with lemon curd, and there’s a ‘Ninety 9 ice’ strawberry ice cream. Indeed, sweets are inspired by the nation’s favourite treats – think chocolate fudge cake and a strawberries and cream sponge. We have our eye on the ‘Copy n Paste’, a caramelised white chocolate shell with Madagascan vanilla cream and crunch. Inspired!
The Midland is one of the oldest hotels in Manchester, opening its doors in 1903. It takes afternoon tea seriously, with a splendid setting called The Tea Room to indulge this quintessentially British pastime. A selection of sandwiches include roasted red pepper with vegan feta and rocket on malt bread, along with crushed pea and marjoram cream cheese on rye bread. The sultana scones are sweetened with soya milk and Mrs Darlington’s jams. Stand-out cakes are caramelised pear and almond sponge and Earl Grey tea polenta cake with orange curd. The Midland also has three private loose leaf tea blends to try.
The Dome was once The Old Physician's Hall (1775) and oozes grandeur. The afternoon tea is served in The Georgian Tea Room on 3 tiers with silver tea pots. On the menu, there’s a vegan sausage roll and selection of sandwiches with a Mediterranean twist including sundried tomato and basil, roasted vegetable and hummus – along with walnut pesto scones with cream. Cakes are traditional with lemon tart, mille-feuille, and strawberry sponge in the mix.
Terre a Terre is something of an institution in Brighton when it comes to plant-based eating – and the restaurant’s afternoon tea is a must-try. You won’t find traditional sandwiches here. Instead there is Kentucky fried cauliflower, sweet tapioca cracker with pickled vegetables, and ‘hushpuppy plumpkin’, this savoury ball of corn marries with flavours including miso pesto, apple shrub relish, crispy sage and onions. Sweet highlights include chocolate hazelnut truffle cake, and tea soaked sultana scones served with vanilla and strawberry jam and coconut and lime yoghurt.
This West Country city has a buzzing vegan scene, so it only seems right to mention the afternoon tea at plant-based eatery Eden Cafe Clifton. Savoury options include ‘king prawn’ Marie Rose cocktail, and two sandwiches of the week, such as coronation chickpea, cream ‘cheese’ and cucumber or vegan feta and pesto. Cake options rotate seasonally and include extra dark brownie, passion fruit curd tartlets and carrot cake - not to forget clotted cream and jam scones. If drinking tea isn’t your thing, there’s a selection of fancy coffees, hot chocolate and ice cream milkshakes, all vegan.
Did you know?
We have Queen Victoria’s lady-in-waiting, Anna Maria Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, to thank for inventing afternoon tea, around 1840. The story is, Queen Victoria often got peckish in the afternoon, so the Duchess would bring her tea, cake and slices of bread. Eventually, this snack transformed into full-on afternoon tea, which soon became trendy in high society.