Vegan options in Cafe's and restaurants are increasing all the time and I am pleased to say they are certainly in full swing in 'sunny' Southend-on-Sea. This weekend I went to try vegan afternoon tea at The Temple Cafe, I hadn't even been to this Cafe before but I had heard on my local vegan Facebook group that they did a lot of vegan options (as well as non-vegan ones) for hot drinks and milkshakes, and most importantly - CAKE! The Temple Cafe were offering a Groupon deal so I decided to take full advantage and I'm so glad I did!
We were so lucky with the weather, when we got to the Cafe it was blazing sun so we could sit outside which was really nice. The staff were really polite (always a good start) and served us instantly with a smile. They brought over a big tea pot of tea, with a small jug of Almond milk for me and Soya for Dan, it's really nice to have the two options available and I really prefer Almond milk. All the crockery looked like it had just leaped out of a Jane Austin novel, including the cutest small spoons I have ever seen. It's nice to have unique china like this at an afternoon tea - adds a lovely vintage touch. The three tiered collection of scrumptious vegan goodies was brought over, first up was the sandwiches. There were three lots of three types, these included Hummus and Pepper, vegan Cheese and Salad complete with Avocado. These were really tasty and my favourite was the Hummus and Pepper - you really can't go wrong with hummus. As this was afternoon tea (and not lunch) these weren't huge sandwiches but too be honest - you really don't need it because you're going to fill up on the rest of the levels.
Next up was the two large vegan scones, filled with lovely juicy currants. These had a really nice home baked feel to them, they didn't look like the typical ones you get in the shops, which is good thing and they tasted delicious! There was a small kilner jar filled with Strawberry jam on the table and a small pot of liquid cream to go with. I perhaps would have preferred some whipped Coconut Cream or even SoyaToo squirty cream, I think the coconut would have gone really well with the Scones - but none the less they were still REALLY delicious with the jam and cream that was there. On the side of these were also two chocolate cups filled with cream, chocolate powder dusting and a Raspberry. A really delicious combination and lovely to have as a follow on from the scone.
The final level was the cakes, a mini Banoffee Pie is the best way to describe it. A small pastry with banana and toffee lathered on top, complete with shavings of dark chocolate. This was so scrumptious and I could have easily eaten another one (or two....or three) because they were so delicious! Some people have the idea that vegan cake just tastes like a dry sponge, let me assure you - it doesn't. Like baking non-vegan cakes, you have to have someone who knows what they're doing and when they do know what they're doing - well masterpieces are created. The presentation of everything was perfect, this top level was particularly eye catching - strawberries and chocolate, the perfect combination.
I am so glad I tried this afternoon tea at The Temple Cafe, the staff were really nice, the Cafe itself was clean, tidy and had such a nice relaxing feel to it. They do a lot of vegan cake and drinks so I will definitely be going back to try these out. It was such a nice afternoon that after the tea we went for a lovely stroll in Chalkwell Park (pictured below) to enjoy the sun and to work off some cake! I recommend this afternoon tea to anyone - not just vegans.