Is This London's Healthiest Afternoon Tea? |

Is This London's Healthiest Afternoon Tea?

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If you’re after the decadence and ritual of an afternoon tea, but don’t want to indulge all your daily calories in one go (or have a more restricted diet than most), we’ve found just the place to book. La Suite West’s afternoon tea is just as spoiling but without the guilt (although we rarely feel guilty about a slice or two of cake). SL contributor Sarah Rodrigues paid a visit to try a healthier take on the British classic…

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The concept: Wellness is at the heart of London’s La Suite West hotel, where designer Anouska Hempel has created a minimalist, monochromatic interior and a Zen vibe, which extends to the virtuous, alcohol-free, vegan afternoon tea. A rare treat for those who crave finger sandwiches and scones but whose dietary choices limit their options, this is the way to have your cake and eat it, too.

The setting: A short stroll from Bayswater Tube, La Suite West occupies a corner in a neighbourhood of Victorian townhouses. The private terrace provides a leafy contrast to the stark but stylish interior, with hurricane lamp-topped communal tables, solid benches and huge planters, all shaded by a canopy of trees. Weather permitting, this is absolutely the place to sit; otherwise, head inside to the recently refurbished restaurant.

What to eat: We went for the vegan afternoon tea, which was beautifully presented on rectangular black slate slabs. The sandwiches, containing scrambled tofu with mustard cress, and cashew nut cream cheese with sundried tomato and basil, were delicious, but it’s worth asking staff to go a bit heavier on the filling if you’ve got gluten free bread to stop things being too dry. Also, be sure to ask for extra whipped coconut cream and fresh strawberries with the scones. Expect decadent brownie, chocolate truffles and carrot cake to finish.

What to drink: Since the hotel doesn’t serve alcohol, we washed down our sin-free treats with a glass of non-alcoholic fizz before moving on to a selection of teas. We recommend spending extra for a mocktail or two, the passion fruit and almond vanilla lychee was particularly good.

Who goes: The resolutely clean-living –  there was a mix of well-heeled shoppers and couples as well as radiant-looking women in athleisure. Despite the hotel’s central location, it’s something of an under-the-radar secret so head here to escape the throng of tourists.

We’ll go back for: The brand-new menu in collaboration with Nosh Detox, which confirms La Suite West’s status as one of London’s hottest wellness destinations. Nosh Detox can claim celebrity clients including Gwyneth Paltrow and Poppy Delevingne, and after spotting a trio of courgette rolls on a plate nearby alongside a black and white quinoa salad and a black bean and mushroom burger, we can see why.

41-51 Inverness Terrace, London W2 3JN; 0207 313 8484



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