Afternoon tea is as British as traditions go. Scones, finger sandwiches and clotted cream are timeless hallmarks of Britishness on your plate. So what does that plate look like if you don’t eat meat and dairy? Well, if you head to the restaurant RAW at La Suite West in Bayswater, pretty darn good.
First impressions first: interiors at La Suite West are elegant yet welcoming. With the airy terrace as a luminous contrast to the sharp, stylish decor of the restaurant, this is a place that immediately makes you want to have a seat, get a coffee and relax.
And as for that coffee, well, it’s a true delight. So masterfully done that I actually had two cappuccinos in a row. The perfect blend of expertly made coffee (as strong as an Italian coffee should be! None of that watered-down, depressing make-believe-coffee that seems to have taken over the entire continent outside of the borders of la bella Italia) and frothy almond milk foam (I went for almond, but coconut and soya are also available) makes it a true treat.
And then there’s the food.
Just looking at the exquisite menu is mouth-watering. Word of warning: arrive hungry. This isn’t a light snack, but quite possibly one of the most decadent meals you’ll ever have. And feel free to bring a non-vegan friend. Their idea of vegan food will change faster than you can say “designer selection of finger sandwiches”.
Which are, incidentally, the first “course”.
With fillings like chili avocado mousse, Portobello mushroom and scrambled tofu, these beautiful sandwiches – they really are pretty! – are as delightful to the eyes as they are to the palate. Everything is garnished with colourful edible flowers, making this elegant meal even more unique.
Scones are the centrepiece of any afternoon tea – and La Suite West’s amazing offering ensures that the plant-based option is as tasty as its dairy counterpart…if not more so! The coconut cream and strawberries are every bit as tasty as they look, and the scones themselves are the crowning glory of the meal.
And of course there was dessert.
The most colourful dessert selection I’ve ever seen consisted of a raw fruit tart, a vegan sponge with blueberries, and a chia and lemon cream cup. Unexpected flavour mixed sweetness with freshness in what was the ultimate ending to the ultimate afternoon tea.
Chic, plentiful and supremely tasty, La Suite West’s afternoon tea is pure delight – and proves just how creative the vegan movement has become. Plus, the restaurant’s staff are very kind and helpful, and the surrounding area is lovely. Definitely worth a visit!
Photos by David Camilli. This post has sponsored content.