A Vegan Afternoon Tea – Oxo Tower London

If you know anything about me, you would know that the words Kerry and afternoon tea are linked by a long history. We have a long and fulfilling relationship. It reaches back to the time as a child that the lovely lady that lived in the house next door to my childhood home, used to invite for me for tea and truffles.

The wonderfully eccentric Eileen would set places at her little bistro table, with beautiful table linen and delicate fine china. Sugar lumps complete with tiny silver sugar tongs were in a china bowl, and a matching milk jug completed the look. She would pour me tea, and a little plate of posh truffles would be shared between us. Eileen would regale me with her trips to the ballet, and describe the graciousness of the ballerina’s over our tea party for two. I loved those afternoons spent with her. My love of high tea is well documented on this little ole blog of mine, in fact, there is a whole category dedicated to it, which you can browse in this section, Afternoon Tea Diaries.

vegan afternoon tea
Photo courtesy of free stock photos

Thats why, when I made the commitment to do Veganuary for January (vegan for January) I was having a little panic over the thought of no afternoon tea. I mean yes, I was willing to forfeight it for the cause, of course, but you can imagine how happy I was when I discovered that actually, I wouldnt need to! The Oxo Tower at London was launching a completley Vegan afternoon tea for January. They must have heard about my panic……….

My usual partner in crime for my afternoon tea is my Mum, but on this occassion, Nik expressed that he quite fancied it. I think to be fair, it had more to do with the fact that he fancied a day out in London but I went with it as I thought it would be good to get his view on it too, being as he is a meat eater and loves a bit of dairy! I have been non meat eater for 30 years, so it wasn’t as much as a change for me as it would be for Nik, so I took him along.

The Oxo Tower restaurant for anyone not sure, is located on the South Bank of the Thames, (near the Tate Modern) so looks across the river towards St Paul’s. The restaurant is located on the 8th floor, so your views across the river are uninterrupted and spectacular. I love views from above in London, and drinks up the Oxo Tower are definitely on my list to do in the summer.

Vegan Afternoon tea

With an outside terrace, I think it would be amazing. Judging by the beautiful cocktail that I had in the bar before we were sat at our table, I think many a happy drink could be sipped on floor 8… Still, lets get back to the afternoon tea!

vegan afternoon tea

I had read the menu before we went, so knew what The Oxo Tower was offering in its Vegan afternoon tea, but Nik had no idea what to expect. He was thinking there would be a lot of lentils and quinoa involved…..Oh foolish man! He was so surprised when we were talked through the menu and offerings of the day.

We had all that the traditional afternoon tea would treat you with. Finger sandwiches, savoury pastries, warm scones and sweet puddings and cakes. The sandwiches were also made on various breads, with variations such as onion bread, rye bread and beetroot bread. The delicious filling included lemon tofu with a sage and onion stuffing, cashew nut “cheese” with pickles and wild mushrooms on warm, oil drizzled bread. All were delicious and incredibly tasty.

Vegan afternoon tea

The savouries were a chestnut and mushroom sausage roll, bite sized bhaji’s made from parsnip and shallot and the most delicious quinoa bon-bon. You also had a shot glass of avocado and apple smoothie which was so refreshing after the savoury offerings. The only thing that Nik didnt like was the mushroom toast, but that is because he has never liked the taste of mushroom and wont even try them at home. I was shocked he gave it a go at all, but he said it looked so temtping!

vegan afternoon tea
vegan afternoon tea

We were given a good bit of time to enjoy our cups of tea, and let the savoury courses go down, before the sweets were presented to us. Again, the choice of tea blends was pretty extensive. I chose an Earl Grey, while Nik went with a Chocolate Ginger blend, (which he said was amazing). I do love when a restrant lets you breath between courses. No rushing and no feeling that you have to move. It was lovely to just sit and take in the views, as the sun made its slow descent down, while casting a pinkish hue over the buildings. I was glad we got to see the views during the day, then with all the lights on over London in the night. Might be worth remembering that if you decide to go for this afternoon tea. We had a 3 o clock table.

vegan afternoon tea

Lets talk about the sweet treats. Of course, no afternoon tea is complete without warm scones, clotted “cream’ (made from cashew nuts) and rich strawberry jam. You were given two each and they were delicious. The cream was gorgeous! Then there were lemon meringue tarts, beautifully tasty pineapple and coconut sponge, and apple mouse to finish that was just so refreshing and light. We absolutely loved all of them. Nik did have to finish a couple of mine as I was full, but there was not a single thing that I didn’t enjoy. Nik said the same. It really was delicious.

vegan afternoon tea
vegan afternoon tea

I absolutely loved this afternoon tea, and thought it was amazing how the chef’s produced what they did totally vegan. It must be quite a challenge! Nik even loved it, and said that he would never have known that some of it was vegan. It was good to take him along and get his perspective, being a big meat eater. Prices for the Vegan afternoon tea start at £35 pp, and you can see the full details just here. This Vegan option runs throughout January, but they can cater for dietry requirements all year.

I am now on the hunt for recipes that tell me how I can make all the vegan cake………

What do you think? Did the food look tempting to you? Would it be something that you would try? I would love to hear your thoughts x

I was invited as a guest to try this afternoon tea complimentry in exchange for an honest review.

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  1. Jean
    January 6, 2019 / 6:38 pm

    Well, even if you’re not a vegan or vegetarian this afternoon looks well worth trying as the food looks yummy. Always good to try something different and get out of your comfort zone. The setting looks amazing, always good to visit London, I have always wanted to go to the Oxo Tower

    • kerrylifeandloves
      January 6, 2019 / 8:09 pm

      It really was gorgeous Jean. The fact that vegans and non vegans alike can enjoy it I think makes it a winner. I would fully recommend the Oxo Tower for a visit, the views are just fabulous across the river x

  2. January 6, 2019 / 7:48 pm

    Great post Kerry! The food looks amazing – and I’ve been drooling over those desserts! I can’t believe the affordability of it too – who would have known?!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      January 6, 2019 / 8:11 pm

      I know! Afternoon tea in London is usually £50 minimum pp. It is such a fantastic setting too. Worth a visit for sure! Thanks for reading xxxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      January 7, 2019 / 6:16 pm

      Ah thank you. I suppose we are lucky that London has so many of them! No problem, I will pop across x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      January 7, 2019 / 6:17 pm

      Hi, thank you for visiting! The food was so creative and genius. How they make all these things in the non conventional way amazed me. Delicious too! Glad you enjoyed the review, thank you xx

  3. January 7, 2019 / 2:01 pm

    This to me sounds like a delicious afternoon, especially as I am really keen on plant-based foods. I quite like teh sounds of that mushroom toast and the scones look so inviting.The tea is well priced and has such beautiful views too.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      January 7, 2019 / 6:20 pm

      It was delicious Bejal, and so reasonable for London. It was our first visit to the Oxo Tower, and the uninterrupted views across the water were just gorgeous. A wonderful afternoon for sure x

  4. January 7, 2019 / 5:59 pm

    Happy New Year, Kerry! Every time we go to the South Bank I think that we must treat ourselves at the Oxo Tower – this is why!! Looks fabulous, so thanks for sharing. I have nominated you for the Versatile blogger award and shared one of your posts on my regular “Monday Magic” feature – find details for the award here: https://painpalsblog.com/2019/01/06/old-year-new-year-and-being-a-versatile-blogger/. It would be lovely if you join in, but don’t feel you have to – either is cool! Claire x (BTW we go to the Mermaid in Rye this weekend – hubby has no idea!)

    • kerrylifeandloves
      January 7, 2019 / 6:23 pm

      Ahhhh Claire thank you so much. I will of course pop across. As long as its nothing complicated I am sure I can join in (im rubbish at anything remotely technical haha) Ohhhhhh I am so envious! The Mermaid Inn, as you know, is my spiritual home. I literally felt like I lived there! I cannot wait to hear about it! Oh and you must treat yourselves at the Oxo Tower, even if just for drinks. Its stunning Enjoy Rye! xxx

  5. January 8, 2019 / 10:56 am

    I can’t believe all of that was only £35! That’s amazing value especially for the venue! It all looks very yummy. I’m a Devon girl so am quite selective over Clotted cream – I’m intrigued to know what the cashew nut version tastes like x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      January 12, 2019 / 11:52 am

      Alex it was so reasonable. London prices tend to be much higher usually. It was a lovely treat to start the new year with xx I am going to attempt to make the cream at some point lol

  6. January 10, 2019 / 4:04 pm

    I’m so glad you liked their vegan afternoont tea. Since cutting out animal product from my diet, I’ve constantly been told that vegan food is not as nice or the substitutes are disgusting. And most of my friends wouldn’t agree to going to a vegan restaurant. So it’s great that places like the Oxo Tower are catering. It all looks delicious. I’m a huge fan of vegan cake. x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      January 12, 2019 / 11:54 am

      It was so delicious. I am going to try to learn to make some vegan banana bread, as I do miss having a sweet treat since going vegan. Its strange as people assume it would be easy for me to switch, having been a vegetarian for 30 years, but its the hidden milk etc I too am a lover of vegan cake, yummy!

  7. January 13, 2019 / 12:00 pm

    As you know Kerry, this is right up my street! Or tower I should say. The food looks amazing and I’m glad that Nik got brave with the mushrooms xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      January 13, 2019 / 8:14 pm

      Yes you would love it Laurie. The views are such an amazing bonus too! maybe a coffee date for us up there!

  8. January 14, 2019 / 6:42 pm

    It intrigues me how the chef is able to put together such interesting vegan food & flavour combinations in a beautifully presented way! It’s good to try something new new and I can see that you’ve certainly embraced Veganuary in style, Kerry! The Oxo Tower looks like a fab venue…that view at sundown is stunning! Thank you for sharing your lovely experience. Angharad x


    • kerrylifeandloves
      January 14, 2019 / 6:53 pm

      Thank you so much for popping by Angharad. I was exactly the same as you, I was so curious how they made such beautiful food with the limitations. Im sure it tested them. It really is a wonderful view up there and I can see me going back for cocktails in the summer….. Thank you for reading xxx

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