England’s Dreaming–High Tea and Tourist Attractions
We are in London for many reasons. One of them is as tourists, another, for me, is as a vegan travel blogger. These two purposes would make up day one of our stay. Though jet-lagged and robbed of hours to sleep by the time difference, we joined the masses on London’s busiest streets, finding familiar New York parallels.
Firstly, a reservation for vegan afternoon tea at La Suite West across from the Central Park-like Hyde Park. It was a tremendous feast, unrivaled by any match I’ve experienced. High Tea is a English thing, though it has been replicated in The States (Chicago’s posh Penisula Hotel‘s vegan High Tea has made it to my to-do list several times though I’m not sure they still do it.) I was pleased to learn that there were many places in England that offer elaborate food spreads of the all-vegan kind. In fact, Peta has a slightly out-dated post about 13 options. But even though the exchange rate is the best it’s been in decades, more than one afternoon tea sitting would be a pretty penny. I reserved La Suite West because of price and the fact that you did not have to first make a phone call to inquire and obtain a vegan menu; you could simply reserve your table for all-vegan afternoon tea.
The experience starts with finger sandwiches on soft breads. They were able to be gobbled up so easily. My favorite was the Scrambled Tofu ǀ Mustard Cress, so thankfully The Electrician gave me his. We both shied away from the Portobello Mushroom Pate ǀ Cashew Nut Butter. It was so mushroom-earthy, which I like when it is balanced with other flavors. This was all mushroom. The Lemon & Thyme Tahini ǀ Cucumber was pleasant. It had that pleasing crunch and look of the cucumber. My other favorite was the Roast Tomato ǀ Sunflower Seed Pesto–very flavorful few bites. I gave away my Avocado Chilli Mousse ǀ Rocket (which I learned meant arugula) because I knew much more food was coming.
Next course was the warm house-made scones with coconut whip and the most delicious strawberries. They were subtly flavored and were not too dense. We took several of these back to the room as take-away. It’s just a lot of food.
Next and last, dessert. Can you believe how much food this is? Today’s chef selection of goodies were carrot cake balls, little lemon cakes piled high with beautiful icing and garnish, and brownie parfaits that were so decadent. I was so stuffed! We dug in a little and took the rest take-away.
We walked ten miles through the bustling streets of London on no sleep. We saw some pretty sites, fogged by the strong odor of cologne and cigarettes, before finally getting some sleep. Here are some pictures:
Regent street is the world’s first shopping street. It even has its own website. I just like the buildings.
The iconic 4-facing clock “Big Ben,” part of the Palace of Westminster, is breath-taking and well-worth the tourist mob.
London Eye on the Thames river
And, to conclude these tourist offerings, a red phone booth.