You’re going to start seeing a lot of afternoon tea on the blog – I’ll tell you about my current project in detail soon –  and I’m going to kick it off with one that’s a little bit out of character for me – the guilt free vegan afternoon tea at RAW in Bayswater.

raw vegan afternoon tea la suite west

Don’t be put off by the name, or selling point, of the afternoon tea at RAW – it may be guilt free and vegan but it’s delicious and satisfying nonetheless.

Located inside boutique hotel La Suite West (just over the road from Bayswater tube station) visitors are greeted at the front desk with a complimentary smoothie of the day – on the day I went it was pear, apple and lemon, and was lovely. Service excels from the moment you walk in.

raw vegan afternoon tea la suite west

You can choose whether to take your tea inside the restaurant or outside on the terrace. Despite its location, the outside seating area is peaceful and relaxing, as it faces onto an attractive residential area rather than the main road.

raw vegan afternoon tea la suite west

The afternoon tea itself is priced at £27 per person. For that you get a glass of non -alcoholic fizz (RAW doesn’t serve alcohol) which I thought tasted a bit like apple juice, and as much loose leaf tea (in varying flavours) and coffee as you like, as well as, of course, the nibbles. Oh and the yummy smoothies!

raw vegan afternoon tea la suite west

The selection of finger sandwiches have interesting fillings; my favourites were avocado chilli mousse with rocket and roast tomato with sunflower seed pesto.

Of the canapes, the hummus on gluten free bread were surprisingly moreish with a nice bite to them.

raw vegan afternoon tea la suite west

And I would never have guessed that the cheese in the filo pastry bites with asparagus was actually made of almonds!

raw vegan afternoon tea la suite west

It was unanimously agreed amongst my group that the highlight were the scones – homemade and served with strawberries and whipped coconut ‘cream’, they were light and not too filling.

raw vegan afternoon tea la suite west

The desserts were also surprisingly good – the sticky toffee and chocolate fudge cake bites were decadent and as good as any dairy version I can think of.

raw vegan afternoon tea la suite west

And the mini squares of lemon cake topped with cacao cream, coconut and pomegranate… I’m convinced the cacao cream was Nutella!

raw vegan afternoon tea la suite west

For an unhealthy eating, heavy meat eater, I was really surprised how impressed I was by RAW. They certainly challenged the misconception that vegan food has to be boring! I will definitely be going back for dinner sometime.

Thank you so much for having me La Suite West!

Next up for afternoon tea I have the Anarch-Tea at the W London Leicester Square – I’m off to the launch event tonight. Should be an interesting one!

I’d love any suggestions for good, unusual teas that anyone might have – I’m putting together my afternoon tea bucket list as we speak!

L xx

All photos my own.

Disclaimer: I was invited along for a complimentary afternoon tea with no obligation to blog about it. This is a genuine, honest review.

RAW - La Suite West Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yes, I know, I skipped a week! But it’s been a bit of a busy fortnight so I’ve been a bit slack on my blogging – I’ve had my birthday, a trip to Paris, Christmas… But the main reason I’ve been a bit quiet is that I’ve focused on a few job interviews I’ve had (and yes, they went well!). So here are a few things I got up to over the last fortnight…

Le Bun Brunch at The Zetter

To be honest, it’s a small miracle that I haven’t yet posted about Le Bun since, in my humble opinion, they’re the most exciting thing on the London food scene (okay, I may have given them a little mention in my post about National Burger Day, but trust me, they deserve a post all of their own!).

I make a point of visiting Le Bun at their every venture, and I was extra specially excited to visit their residency at The Zetter in Clerkenwell for brunch, to try their Bloody Mary with cheeseburger garnish after I saw pictures of it on social media. So on Sunday 13th myself and a date went for an early brunch (followed by some drinks at the new Brewdog nearby). It did not disappoint.

bloodymary

I ate so much – after starting with the Bloody Mary, I had their delicious Truffles & Waffles (I’ve eaten a mini version of this before, it’s one of my favourite street food dishes – so I couldn’t resist a full sized version!). I also ‘shared’ (by shared I mean I ordered it ‘to share’ but ate it myself) an avocado benedict.

lebunwaffles

If you get a chance to try Le Bun do it! They currently have a burger van at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park until January 4th.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and The Bronx at Brooklyn Bowl

This is actually the first gig I’ve been to at Brooklyn Bowl (inside the O2 in Greenwich) and it’s now one of my favourite venues! We had a meal in their diner pre-gig, which was a bit of a waste of time as they also catered the VIP area for the show, so I really had my fill of their (delicious) French bread pizza.

Anyway, it was a really great evening – I’m a big fan of Frank Carter and his various ventures (except Pure Love, they really weren’t my thing) and this was my first time seeing him with The Rattlesnakes.

brooklynbowl1

And The Bronx are one of my favourite live acts. It was also great to catch up with a couple of old friends.

brooklynbowl2

Winter Wonderland

Every year I visit Winter Wonderland on the Friday afternoon before Christmas, it’s been a tradition for as long as I can remember.

ww

I was actually really pleased to see that Winter Wonderland was a little less commercial than the past couple of years – it started to get a lot of stands for larger brands to just give out non Christmassy samples and promotions. This year it seemed to have a bit more of a German Christmas market feel again, although there were still a lot of fairground rides.

Look how pretty Hyde Park looks…

wwtrees

The Bavarian Village is predictably my favourite bit – I’m not sure why there was a giant with a bird there this year? Given my heritage, if it’s a Bavarian thing I really should know, so if anyone can enlighten me…?

wwgiant

I actually popped back to Winter Wonderland on the Saturday too, with Luisa (Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat) where she purchased (without me knowing at the time) some beautiful red rose lights for my Christmas gift. We ate pretzels and drank cider before heading back to hers to exchange gifts with the other (non-blogger) member of our friendship trio, Georgia.

luisaww

Yelp’s Festive Afternoon Tea at Ma’ Plucker

Before meeting Luisa to go to Winter Wonderland on Saturday 19th, I went along to Ma’Plucker in Soho to have a festive afternoon tea with the guys from Yelp. I’ve really got into Yelping lately – it’s so much more than just a review site. I strongly recommend checking out their events, as they have some really cool stuff on – like this afternoon tea, which was complimentary.

mapluckertea

I had such a great time and will be giving a full review shortly, but you can have a little preview on the Yelp site if you’re interested! If you’re on Yelp, or want to join, feel free to add me as a friend – you can find my profile here.

The Glam Clam

It was a busy Saturday! In the evening I was fortunate to have been a guest of Design My Night for an evening at The Glam Clam – a pop up jazz club and drag cabaret in Tufnell Park, with a dinner menu by Gizzi Erskine. It was pretty special and you can read more about it here.glamclam

Birthday Lunch at BoxPark

Sunday 20th December was my 28th birthday. As it’s so close to Christmas I never do anything for my birthday – this year I just had a quiet lunch at BoxPark in Shoreditch. We had a couple of vegetarians/vegans with us, so the layout of BoxPark made it really easy to keep everyone happy!

I had a festive pizza from Voodoo Rays,  with pigs in blankets on!

pizza

Paris

Obviously, I’ll post about my three day mini holiday to Paris seperately, but for now just know I went, okay!

How awesome is this Disney toy tree at St Pancras…?

disneytree

Christmas

Christmas is a tricky time of year for me, as I have pretty much no family, and this year I’m single at Christmas. But, for the second year in a row, I volunteered on Christmas Day for the Rotary Club, serving Christmas dinner to the elderly at Battersea Evolution.

You won’t see any haul posts from me – I don’t really have anyone to give me gifts, although, as I mentioned above, myself, Luisa and Georgia did exchange them this year. It’s cool though, believe it or not I’m not a very materialistic person, and I find volunteering at Christmas really rewarding.

So that’s my life lately, sorry it was such a long post, but it was a fortnights worth! I’m sorry I haven’t updated the blog much recently – I mentioned earlier that I had a couple of job interviews. Well, I was successful in both, and have been offered a new opportunity by my current employer, so I’ve been focusing my thoughts on making the correct career choice. I think I’m finally almost at a decision!

I hope my readers have had a lovely festive period (yes, I know, it isn’t quite over yet!) and I will be making more of an effort to blog regularly for 2016, I promise! I already have some cool things lined up, including a January trip to San Diego so watch this space!

L xx

All photos my own.