Tuesday, 23 February 2016

THE SECRET TO PERFECT VEGAN AFTERNOON TEA

If there is one thing the restaurant at La Suite West is well known for, it's the painfully stylish vegan afternoon tea served every day from 12 pm. I've been at LSW for almost nine months now and have easily made and plated hundreds (yes, hundreds) of these things. I'm talking trays of scones, buckets of coconut cream, and enough sweet desserts to make your dentist shudder.

























Figuring that it would be fun to cross elements of my work with this blog, I have decided to break down the components required to create the perfect vegan afternoon tea. An insider's perspective, if you will. I use the word 'perfect' very loosely here of course because perfection simply doesn't exist. But I'd like to think that we come pretty close at LSW. (Besides, that title would clearly win a trophy in the click-bait awards).

No, I won't be giving away any specific recipes, although in some places I might link you to some of my previous recipes for inspiration (especially the dessert part of the course!) I shall happily feed your senses with a few stunning photographs, but if you really want to experience the whole thing, you'll have to make your way over here! Oh, and if you do plan on coming, then you might as well enter my latest GIVEAWAY because I am offering a lucky person the chance to win vegan afternoon tea for two right here at LSW. Simply watch my latest YouTube video and follow the instructions at the end of the clip. Easy as pie.

Okay, let's get on with exploring the anatomy of perfect vegan afternoon tea ;)

1. Sandwiches
At LSW we kick things off on a savoury note with a selection of finger sandwiches. What makes these sandwiches particularly irresistible is that they are packed with unique and flavourful VEGAN fillings - from mushroom pate to scrambled tofu with mustard cress, to avocado chilli mousse with rocket. The sandwiches look effortlessly chic when you cut the crusts off and divide into three parts (one part per portion). Using a mix of brown and white bread provides contrast on the plate, and then to top the whole thing off, the sandwiches are garnished with delicate edible greens. Try not to eat the screen...


























2. Scones and Coconut Cream
The heart of afternoon tea has got to be the scones and cream - coconut cream, to be exact! Fresh strawberries and a generous dusting of icing sugar seal the deal. Here's a cool vegan hack: in order to achieve wonderfully creamy coconut cream, refrigerate a tin of coconut milk overnight and then scoop out the solid cream from the top. It's really as easy as that.

























3. Desserts
Now comes the fun part. In the pics below, I show you perhaps the most popular combination of desserts we currently serve. From left to right: raw carrot cake with lemon frosting, chilli chocolate fudge cake with a chocolate-caramel sauce, and a moist lemon sponge with lemon curd. We serve raw banoffee pie occasionally too - one of my favourites. On other days, you might also get a lemon tart, sticky toffee pudding or a mini apple pie. If you're feeling inspired and want to have a go at making your own desserts at home, you can start with this vanilla sponge recipe or chocolate fudge cake

























4. Tea
For obvious reasons, you can't have an afternoon tea without actual tea! Coffee and hot chocolate are also acceptable, but the point is to sip copious amounts of a hot beverage as you eat your way through the course. If your beverage requires milk then you're spoilt for choice - there's almond milk, soya milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, rice milk, oat milk... Don't settle for regular black tea either. At LSW, you'll get a generous selection that includes Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Jasmine, and my personal favourite: Hibiscus!


Photo credit: Tomi Makanjuola, 2016

7 comments:

  1. I am trying to gather a group together to go! This looks so good. If worst comes to worse I will go by myself :D

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    1. Noo don't go alone! Go with me! Let me know when you want to visit and we'll plan a meet up! :)

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    2. DEFO!!!!!!!!! That will be awesome!!!!! I will keep you posted :D

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  2. Chai!!!! *eats screen* We that we are not in the UK nko??

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    1. Haha how did the screen taste? ;)
      You know what, Nigeria should have something like this.
      "Perhaps I'll open a place there one day," she dreamt.

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  3. Omg everything looks amazing! I'm definitely going to be seeing this raw carrot cake in my dreams

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