Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa is one of my favourite hotels in Northamptonshire, whether I’ve been for a spa day or for lunch, it’s always a pleasant experience. So when I was invited to have Afternoon Tea with them as part of National Afternoon Tea week, ofcourse, I said yes!
On this occasion, I was asked whether I would consider reviewing their Vegan Afternoon Tea for the purpose of this review. At first, I was hesitant as I’m in no way vegan and do consider myself a meat and dairy lover. However, I am always open to trying new things and comparing them to non-vegan foods, so I accepted and was happy to have an open-mind going forward to see what my thoughts would be afterwards.
I am always looking to make small changes to my diet, whether that means having a few non-meat days, or cutting down on my dairy, so I knew this would be an interesting experiment to see if I would notice any different.
If you’re unfamiliar with Fawsley Hall and how to get there, it can be quite a bumpy journey and slightly confusing directions. However, once you reach the sign for the Granary at Fawsley Hall and head your way up, you’ll be heading in the right direction.
Once you’re there, there is always plenty of parking, unless there’s an event on, but luckily for us, we were able to find a spot. We headed to the reception which always feels so grand as we opened the big steel door where we were greeted by a lady at reception who took us into the Tudor Hall, where we would be dining for our Afternoon Tea.
We were sat in a very prime position; right on the big, cushy sofa with a whole table and view of the tudor room all to ourselves. Instantly, we felt like royalty but relaxed and zen at the same time.
Our waitress came over and offered us menu’s; they had obviously made note that we were having a vegan option, so they were able to offer us any of the Afternoon Tea’s on the menu which they could accordingly adjust - so it’s ideal for those who do have dietary requirements, as you won’t feel like you’re missing out or having less of an experience.
Our waitress was kind enough to ask whether we wanted our hot drinks served after our prosecco which meant we could enjoy the prosecco first without letting the hot drinks go cold - always good to know!
We didn’t have to wait long until we spotted our waitress bring two trays of three tiered Afternoon Tea’s, one vegan option and one non-vegan. Our waitress was kind enough to talk through the different tiers and what each tray included. Everything looked bright and colourful, as well as big and full of flavour - we just hoped it would all taste as good as it looked!
We started with the bottom tier of sandwiches; the non-vegan tray included cheese and pickle, which you can’t go too wrong with and I was very satisfied by the amount of filling, the texture of the fresh bread and the taste of the cheese and pickle combo (I’m a big fan!)
The Ham and Mustard, personally, for me lacked in filling, but was smade up in being really flavoursome and the ham being really crumbly and thick. I wasn’t overly happy with the other sandwiches in the non-vegan tea as I felt they lacked in filling, but I always appreciate homemade sandwiches with homemade bread - so this would be my only criticism.
In the Vegan Afternoon Tea, was a selection of Iceberg lettuce and tomatoes and Courgette and Pepper sandwiches. Personally, I actually prefered the filling of the vegan sandwiches compared to the non-vegan one’s as they contained much more filling and consistency, plus I didn’t tell much difference with the bread - so a big thumbs up from me.
The next tier consisted of our scones, which were classic fruit sultana scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. It took me a while to work out what the vegan afternoon tea replacement was for clotted cream, but after a few taste tests, we worked out that this was in fact, margarine, which obviously was not so nice to scoop up on my knife to taste by itself but was open to trying this on a vegan scone.
Both me and my friend, Becky, split one each so we could fully compare the two. From appearance, I saw no difference and if you were an outsider looking in, I doubt you would notice much difference too. Taste wise? Hardly any difference at all! The vegan scones still held the same crumbliness, sweetness and texture as the non-vegan one.
Although the vegan scone clearly had margarine instead of clotted cream, upon putting it in my mouth and tasting it, it was still just as sweet as the non-vegan one. Both scones I rated very highly!
At this point, both me and my friend were getting full but we still had a little bit of room to nibble on the few treats we had on the sweet tier. On the non-vegan one was a selection of small cakes and pastries, whilst on the vegan one, consisted of a pot of fresh fruit and some fruit loafs.
I rather liked having the pot of fruit on the vegan one, as it was a very refreshing end to the whole experience - especially the juicy, fresh pineapple! I also really enjoyed the loaf as it was incredibly sugary and sweet, plus the loaf was cooked to perfection.
I didn’t eat the cakes on the non-vegan tray during our time there, but our waitress was more than happy to give us a box to take home with us to enjoy - they made for very nice treats in the evening!
After this experience, not only was it a lovely occasion to spend time with my best friend, but it has also opened my mind to vegan food and the options veganism brings to a meal with a few small changes. In my eyes and through my taste buds, there was hardly any difference between the two
Fawsley Hall effortlessly put on a beautifully laid out Afternoon Tea that everyone can enjoy - there’s nothing that is too much trouble for them to accomodate you and the settings are absolutely magnificent for the occasion. We felt very relaxed the whole time and you will walk away feeling as though you’ve had a mini break from reality, as everything inside feels like a fairytale.
Fawsley Hall serve their Afternoon Tea from Monday to Friday 12:30pm - 5:30pm and weekends from 1:30pm - 5:30pm. Booking is essential.
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