Welcome back to another guest post from Tea With Me and Friends. As it's dietary requirement month on the blog we are joined by Stephanie Dreyer from VeegMama to share her vegan afternoon tea recommendations and tips.....
I love afternoon tea. It used to be a decadent indulgence with my girlfriends when I was in my twenties, something special to feel grown up and worldly. As I moved into my early thirties and became a mother to three small babes, it became an afternoon escape with my fellow mom friends where we could feel like ladies, not just moms. Now, as I bask in my late thirties with 8 and 10 year-old daughters, afternoon tea is one of my favourite mother-daughter activities.
My afternoon tea adventures have been changed since I went vegan four and a half years ago. As a vegan, I do not consume any animal or animal derived products, including meat, fish, poultry, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, or butter. As you might imagine, that presents some challenges in the way of traditional afternoon tea menus with their egg salad, salmon, and chicken sandwiches. Baked goods are traditionally laden with milk, butter, and eggs, and then there are the spreads.
Fortunately, a vegan afternoon tea is not too hard to come by these days. All it takes is a little planning and a willingness to ask for what you need. The creative and mouthwatering vegan tea menus available today continuously amaze me. The beautiful presentations alone make vegan teas stand out next to their carnivorous counterparts.
To make the most of afternoon tea if you are vegan, here are some tips to get you started:
1. Call ahead.
Let the restaurant know ahead of time when you will be visiting and see if the chef can prepare something special for you or adapt some dishes to your needs.
2. Look up the menu beforehand.
Most restaurants are happy to accommodate you if you ask. Check out the menu online before your visit to get an idea of what could easily be veganized or adapted. For example, could they leave off the cheese in the caprese sandwich, or use hummus instead of cream cheese on the cucumber sandwich?
3. Bring your essentials.
You certainly do not want to bring your whole meal with you (What is the point of dining out then?), but if you know you must have almond milk or agave mixed in to your tea, there is no harm in bringing a small container with you. The same goes for margarine or another vegan spread that you enjoy on your scones. When you call ahead, ask if the restaurant will be able to provide these things.
I recently had the great fortune to visit London at the end of last year, and of course, had to make afternoon tea part of my itinerary! (You can read about my vegan London trip here.) I only had time for tea during one of the four afternoons I was visiting, but during my trip planning research, I discovered that there are an abundance of options available for Londoners. Here are just a few:
TimeOut London put out this comprehensive list of afternoon tea spots in London.
You can read more about my vegan tea adventures in the U.S. here and visit me at VeegMama to learn about my new approaches to healthy living through food, wellness, and personal fulfillment.
A big thank you to Stephanie for joining us for dietary requirement month on the blog. Have you got any vegan afternoon tea recommendations that you'd like to share? If so please get in touch with us!
Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel and Lorna