Thankfully, plenty of places across the capital have got creative with their afternoon offerings, dreaming up menus that cater to the nation’s increasing appetite for animal product-free eating.
From traditional tea rooms offering a plant-based twist to vegan vanguards heeding the cry for high tea, these are the best places to find vegan afternoon teas in London.
Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason has been selling tea since 1720, but it's not afraid to get with the 2019 programme. The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at the world famous, Royal Warrant-stamped grocery store offers a vegan afternoon tea, as well as gluten- and dairy-free options too. The plant-based offering includes finger sandwiches filled with pulled jackfruit and cos lettuce, grilled courgette and artichoke pesto, and crushed avocado and chilli. Desserts include grapefruit and coconut yoghurt on a citrus meringue, and a dairy-free vanilla cheesecake with rhubarb jelly.
181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER, fortnumandmason.com
While health-conscious nourishment is the name of the game at Farmacy – its motto is “let food be thy medicine” – that doesn’t mean the restaurant doesn’t indulge in a treat or two. The high tea at the all-vegan restaurant kicks off with CBD oil-infused truffles, before savoury snacks include a pulled jackfruit taco and a raw quiche with spinach “cream” and pickled fig. Scones are served with clotted coconut cream, and sweet dishes include a layered strawberry and cashew mousse and the “Farmacy Apple” made with apple mousse and a matcha glazing.
74-76 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH, farmacylondon.com
There are few spots as dazzling to take tea in London as the Thames Foyer at the Savoy – and now vegans can get in on the act too. Under the glass dome of the world famous hotel, The Savoy now offers a vegan afternoon tea, with a creative array of finger sandwiches as the focus. The traditional cucumber sandwiches are sassed up with tomato jam and basil, while other inventive fillings include truffle tofu with mustard cress, pepperonata with houmous and roasted courgettes with babaganoush.
The Strand, WC2R 0EZ, thesavoylondon.com
Stateside vegan sensation By Chloe arrived in London serving up plant-based versions of American fast food favourites – but it’s now turned its attention to our very British tradition. Its afternoon tea offers a “tuna” salad sandwich (the “fish” made with chickpeas, onion, lemon, parsley and capers) and an egg salad made with tofu. The sweet courses include rainbow star scones with jam and coconut cream and a red velvet cupcake with “cream cheese” frosting and sprinkles.
Drury House, 34-43 Russell Street, WC2B 5HA, eatbychloe.com
It’s a topsy turvy world at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and Sanderson is turning afternoon tea on its head. The Fitzrovia hotel offers a vegan version of its tea based on the Alice In Wonderland scene, where a Mad March Hare battenberg is made with beetroot and almond, a Blue Caterpillar is made with chocolate and pistachio and warm scones are served alongside a “Drink Me” potion of exotic fruits.
50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG, morganshotelgroup.com
Dukes may be best known for its legendary martinis, but the Mayfair hotel isn’t averse to making a pot of tea. The afternoon tea offering here features a fully-fledged vegan version. Fillings on the sandwich plate include cucumber with cress and guacamole with black onion seeds, while the dessert selection boasts a vegan chocolate and walnut brownie, a coconut milk and almond cakes, and an apple compote with seasonal fruit gel.
35 St James's Place, SW1A 1NY, dukeshotel.com
Café Forty One
If you’re going to trust anywhere in the capital to know its cremeux from its coconuts, its Cafe Forty One, London’s first vegan French patisserie. Afternoon tea here is entirely plant-based, just like every creation in the store. Sandwiches currently include a BLT made with aubergine “bacon” and a brioche roll filled with cream “cheese” and a smoked “salmon” made with carrot. Desserts depend on what the patisseries of the week are, but feature the likes of chocolate and praline millefeuille and a fig, almond and honey rice pudding.
41-51 Inverness Terrace, W2 3JN, lasuitewest.com
Cutter & Squidge
If you’re under the spell of the vegan way of life, all-natural bakery Cutter & Squidge have conjured up just the meal for you. The Potion Room afternoon tea experience here is one Harry Potter fans will love, vegans included. The plant-based version includes a Hubble Bubble cauldron containing a lemon and coconut potion, and sandwiches filled with a vegan roast dinner, and avocado with roasted vegetables. Sweet snacks include a fudgy vegan chocolate cauldron cake, rock cakes with vegan cream and a dairy-free Knickerbocker Bite.
20 Brewer Street, W1F 0SJ, cutterandsquidge.com