Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More London Leftovers: Vegan Tea, English Breakfast, & Manna

A few more moments in London...when we returned from our trip we were thrust into a flurry of packing and moving and settling, but here are a few notable eats:

We called in advance for a vegan high tea at the Langham Hotel, where we were assured that all was vegan, although I spied what appeared to be brioche on the tea sandwich plate so we picked around those. The sweets were fun, but as you can imagine, we skipped the little glass full of colored sugar. The scones were buttery and soft, I prefer them crumbly, and served with a vegan butter spread instead of curd.

The tea itself was the best part and while I don't think we'd do tea again, namely because it's expensive, it was something I had always wanted to do. I know it's not exactly easy to prepare several vegan items for a table of 3 when you are preparing batches of dozens for the regular folks, so I do appreciate the effort. I thought it was important to share this because when I searched for a place to have vegan high tea in London, I had a difficult time finding any blog posts on the subject.  

Beyond the brioche-gate, I'm not entirely sure that everything else was vegan. It was hard to tell and I asked as many questions as I could. I was told that our pudding was made with coconut milk, and the sandwich fillings were hummus, pesto avocado, and other veggies. 

Dinner at Manna, one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in London, was one of the more romantic restaurants that we dined at, in Primrose Hill. We ordered 75% of the menu between the four of us. 

I was ravenous and over-ordered, then quickly realized I could have died happy after my appetizers:

Greek Salad with Cashew Feta!!! and quinoa: My favorite foods all on one plate? Plus Savoy Cabbage Spring Rolls with tempeh. Pure pleasure...

Our table also took on the Basil & Cashew Cheese Croquettes and Jerk Tofu Kebabs:

For mains, the Organic Bangers & Mash, my Mushroom & Walnut Pate Ravioli, the Spring Thali Plate, and a Lasagna special:

The portions were generous and the flavors reminded me of Blossom or Candle 79 in NYC, though I wished that they were a bit more refined. We didn't love everything, but were mostly satisfied. I would easily come back for the salad and spring rolls.

I was curious enough to order dessert. The Chocolate Tahini Pot de Creme was unlike any other pot de creme I'd had, but interesting enough. The Coconut Cheesecake was so-so, but it was the Banoffee Trifle that most tickled my fancy and drove me immediately into the I-ate-too-much zone.

Now I get why trifle is so special: layers of rich chocolate cake, sliced bananas, custard & toffee sauce topped with whipped cream & toasted almonds.

I'll leave you with some full vegan English breakfast at Inspiral Lounge near Camden Market.

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