Thursday 10 December 2015

Vegan Afternoon Tea At The Savoy

This week I celebrated my birthday and my lovely husband whisked me off to London for the day to  enjoy some shopping and a special afternoon tea at The Savoy. I had heard a while ago that The Savoy caters well for vegans (and other dietary requirements) with their afternoon teas which got me excited to see what they could come up with. A traditional afternoon tea is, as you well know, renowned for being an over indulgent treat normally laden with cakes, pastries, scones and clotted cream. I am always therefore really intrigued to try vegan variations of this typically English custom.

Having a birthday in December can at times be a little annoying as it can feel slightly overshadowed by Christmas and all the festivities that come with that. On the plus side though I always enjoy going out on my birthday as everywhere has that special December time buzz about it and places are normally decorated really nicely for the season. When we walked into The Savoy it felt so amazingly sparkly and special, we really felt as though we had arrived somewhere grand!

When enjoying an afternoon tea at The Savoy you are seated within The Thames Foyer which is at the heart of the hotel. At this time of year the indoor winter garden gazebo is illuminated with festive fairy lights making the room feel all the more lavish. Once we were seated for our tea we began to be serenaded by a pianist which really made the experience even more special and memorable. 

From the moment we entered The Savoy the service we received from the staff was simply first class and exactly what you would expect from a hotel of this quality. We pretty much felt like royalty the whole time we were there! They had kindly remembered our request for a vegetarian and a vegan afternoon tea and explained every single item which was bought out to us in great detail, confirming what was vegan friendly. Absolutely nothing felt like an inconvenience here which really made a pleasant change. 

When our finger sandwiches were presented to us I didn't feel as though I was missing out on anything being vegan. I was able to enjoy a really diverse range of sandwiches including red pepper & hummus, tofu, artichoke and of course cucumber. I enjoyed all of sandwiches apart from the tofu one. I am not massively into tofu anyway and I just didn't feel as though it worked particularly well within a sandwich. I could appreciate how much inventiveness The Savoy has put into preparing vegan friendly sandwiches and it was far from anything I was expecting. But at the same time I couldn't help but feel as though it would have been nice to see some vegan favourites included such as avocado and maybe some falafel.

I think my favourite part of the whole tea were the scones which, to my surprise, were accompanied by some dairy free cream and jam. I really expected to dislike the cream which looked like the squirty kind you get from a tin, but it was so good! Eating these scones really did feel like a special treat and I didn't miss the heavy clotted cream at all. 

There is a huge selection of different teas available at The Savoy and, as per our waiters recommendation, we decided to go for The Savoy's own blend of afternoon tea. I'm so happy that we chose this tea as it was divine! Since being vegan I prefer to drink black or green tea anyway but I was nevertheless impressed to be presented with some almond milk to accompany my tea. 

Following a couple round of sandwiches and the scones I was already feeling really full up and then  I was presented with this delightful plate of delicate vegan pastries and desserts. This really was the icing on the cake (in more ways than one)! And despite feeling full up I just had to try a bit of each. How could I not!? They all tasted very rich, chocolatey and heavenly apart from the sponge cake which didn't quite hit the spot and may need a little improving on. I think maybe they need some advice from Ms Cupcake on how to make some good vegan chocolate cake!

As if that wasn't all enough already, I was then presented with this pretty little birthday cake and sung "Happy Birthday" to by our waiter and the pianist. I blushed a lot but it did make the birthday experience all the more enjoyable! Again this happened to be the vegan sponge cake which I wasn't that keen on but by this point I really wasn't eating anymore. 

I couldn't help but feel as a vegan I was really missing out on the stunning plate of Christmas pastries which my husband was able to enjoy. I think we must have just stared at this plate for a good few minutes before he decided to dig his fork in and ruin the incredible display. It is a shame that if you have any dietary requirements then you're likely to miss out on this but with the level of effort that is put into the vegan afternoon tea you really don't feel in a position to grumble! 

Our overall experience at The Savoy is definitely one that we thoroughly enjoyed and one that I shall always remember. If you're a vegan or a vegetarian looking for something that little bit special to mark an occasion then I really can't recommend The Savoy enough. And if you're fortunate enough to visit in December then prepare yourselves, you're in for a real treat!

1 comment

  1. Wow! That looks so great! I definitely need to get myself to The Savoy next time I'm in London.


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