Afternoon tea is my favourite of all the meals, because who can argue with tea and cake?
Life has been hectic, but at the weekend I met up with some new friends for a vegan afternoon tea at Casa Angelina. Nothing says chilled Sundays like dainty finger foods, sipping tea from vintage teacups, and good conversation.
I’ve been a vegetarian since the beginning of this year, and an “accidental” vegan since the summer. I’m didn’t stop eating meat entirely for moral reasons, so I’ll admit that as a group, I find vegans a little intimidating. I have friends who are coming at this from all different perspectives, who stopped eating animal products for ethical, health, environmental, or random reasons. I’m not exactly the strictest of vegans, so when I’m sat at a table full of people who are so sure of their own vegan-ness, I feel like the odd one out. So let’s just say it was such a relief to spend the afternoon in the company of a group of lovely lassies who were so completely nonjudgemental of the rookie!
I started off with the prettiest rose Darjeeling. My obsession with every kind of tea (except the Greys, but I’ll leave that rant for some other time) knows no bounds.
Everything was delicious, though my favourites were the savouries! I’ve found since becoming veganish that there are plenty of cake and dessert options for vegans, and of course the controversial fake meats and mock-cheeses, but so few places make the effort to do interesting things with real ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, I’m partial to the odd faux-chicken burger (more than I ever enjoyed real chicken) and Tofutti cream cheese, but it gets boring when it’s all that’s on offer!
Casa Angelina does finger foods so well, with delicious aubergine toasts, avocado in flatbread, fresh Vietnamese summer rolls wrapped in delicate rice paper, and my favourite bite of the day, a chicory falafel and watermelon “boat”. Not only was everything tasty, but it was all beautifully presented.
I don’t have a massive sweet tooth, but the cakes were lovely. An apple, fig and sultana slice, brownie topped with ridiculously pretty sparkling cherries, a blackcurrant rice pudding served in a shot glass, and of course the requisite fruit scones!
I didn’t realise that Casa Angelina wasn’t a dedicated vegan cafe until we were leaving, which I’d consider to be a compliment to the chef!
I’m so used to the vegan option in most places in Edinburgh to be an afterthought that it’s nice to see somewhere that manages to cater to everyone do it so well. I hope more places in the Burgh take note! I’ll definitely be back to stuff my face with their awesome vegan goodies!