LELE’S VEGAN AFTERNOON TEA

I don’t really know when we got so into afternoon tea. I started going after heavy nights out, as there is something incredibly amusing about stuffing yourself with cake and trying to remember to lift your pinkie as you drink tea, when deeply and darkly hungover. Despite this tradition, I wasn’t even slightly hungover when I went to Lele’s monthly special of afternoon tea (although, having avoided alcohol recently, half a glass of bubbles went straight to my head).

As aforementioned, Lele’s vegan afternoon tea isn’t an everyday thing. Instead, sittings are run on a monthly basis, which means you have to book well in advance by sending them an email and arranging a deposit. This makes it all the more niche, and perfect for celebrating events (a late birthday treat for myself), planned in advance with plenty of time to look forward to. From 4pm – 6.15pm, Lele’s venue in Dalston is emptied of everyday diners, to offer swift service to a select few afternoon tea attendees.

I really wish that I was the sort of person and blogger who took the time to selectively photograph each cake and sandwich, to savour and rate it, but unfortunately you would’ve thought I’d never been fed after the way I was let loose and devoured the cake. Between my friend and I, we cleared all the sweets and savouries in record timing. I saw most of the other tables leaving with their leftover, unfinished treats boxed to go – which I personally can’t fathom. Nonetheless, everything on offer was pretty memorable, so I can at least remember what was consumed, even if there’s no picture evidence.

I’m not normally a sandwich person, but both the vegan cheese or faux smoked salmon/carrot sandwiches were really good. I don’t think you’d have been able to tell the scones from vegan scones (are normal scones even vegan?). The pastry selection consisted of a Victoria sponge, carrot cake that was supposed to be a brownie without cacao (tasted like carrot cake if I’m honest, but good carrot cake at that), and a chocolate tart. The latter was the only let down in my opinion, as the chocolate filling wasn’t quite right. 

Overall, Lele’s had a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, and the once-a-month sitting makes it all the more exclusive. All the food was delicious (vegan cakes have come a long way), so it’s definitely one to put on the bucket list for vegan fine diners and afternoon tea enthusiasts in London. Priced at £25 per person, it’s also a steal when compared to other venues charging over double the price.

Lele’s 

Dalston Square

London

E8 3BQ

Next afternoon tea; 8th September

EAT YOUR GREENS

Bristol being crowned vegan capital of the world is of little surprise; there’s a vegan falafel bar or vegetable based dinery on every corner. I was a little surprised to find out that Chef’s Pencil, bestowed Bristol with this title based on the number of google searches for vegan eateries in a particular area. I do love scouring the web for places to eat when I’m at home in Bristol, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I slightly managed to skewer the data whilst searching for the best vegan pancakes online.

Somewhere that I’ve had my eye on for a while is Eat your Greens. Living in London, I’m so accustomed to having the tube right on my doorstep, and the lack thereof in Bristol means that I’m fairly confined to a walking radius of my house (yes I do know buses exist, but after being shouted at for trying to use contactless on a bus in Bath, I’m a little bit wary of public transport in the South West). The trek to Totterdown, where Eat your Greens is based, has therefore been put off for a while – but is wholly worth the time.

Eat your Greens is just the archetype of an independent business that you want to be supporting. The infamous ‘Babs’ works in the kitchen, cooking your food on her own (I only got a brief glimpse when I popped to the loo, duly covered in Star Trek paraphernalia), and the food service is incredibly attentive. The décor is quaint and arty, with paintings and collectables adorning the shelves, and bits of ivy curling down to the tables. Eat your Greens serves breakfast and brunch daily, offering an array of plant-based alternatives to fry ups and smoked salmon (smoked carrot, that is), and relaxed dining by night. The personalised table reservation was a very appreciated addition. 

The evening menu consisted of choice between 3 starters and 3 mains, with more complex dishes such as vegan cheese stuffed courgette flowers, or a ciabatta burger and chips for perhaps the meat eaters less inclined to adventurous plant-based options. The gluten free tempura was potentially a highlight. Although I left pretty full and very satisfied, I did also treat myself to a brownie to go – as a selection of freshly baked vegan goods are on offer throughout the day. 

All in all, Eat your Greens is the perfect option for a lazy plant-based brunch, or a relaxed dinner (I hear they also offer a prime Sunday roast), if you’re looking for exceptional home cooked food from ethical sources.

156 Wells Road

Bristol

BS42AG

Weds – Saturday: 10am – 10.30pm 

Sunday: 11am-5.30pm