It was my Mum’s birthday on Wednesday and I wanted to do something really lovely. Specifically, I wanted to take her for afternoon tea somewhere in London but knew she wouldn’t appreciate a traditional afternoon tea which usually involves salmon, various meats and lots of cake – none of which she is particularly keen on. So a Google search directed to me RAW, a vegan (win for me) and raw food restaurant located inside La Suite West, a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Kensington. I looked at the menu and instantly knew I’d found the right place; healthy, diverse and a huge variety of flavour combinations. You can probably just about make out the menu from my photo (apologies for the iPhone quality – I didn’t want to take my camera and spend the day faffing about with it) but everything on the menu is included in the set price of £21 – extremely reasonable for the crazy volume of food you get served. Everything I photographed was for me, just one portion. And my Mum and brother had exactly the same.
So what did I eat?
Firstly, we were served a selection of 5 finger sandwiches, (mine specially made gluten free upon request). Impressively, every single food item was made that same day, just an hour or two before we arrived. Each sandwich was delicious and totally different, from tofu and cress to mushroom and pesto and aubergine and red pepper – the flavours were simply divine.
Next, and probably my favourite ‘course’, was the warm scones with coconut cream and strawberries. The scones were so dense and heavy, to the point where I almost couldn’t move afterwards – but they were worth every single bite. And don’t even get me started on the coconut cream … if you’ve ever had Booja Booja‘s Coconut Hullabaloo ice cream – think a yoghurt version of that. It was incredible. I only used half of the cream for my scones and just spooned the rest. It’d have been a shame to waste it, right?
The third and final course was a tray of desserts. There was an orange, cranberry & date cheesecake and on my plate, 2 chocolate fudge brownies. My Mum and brother had a citrus sponge but as they didn’t have a gluten free alternative, I had 2 brownies instead and I certainly wasn’t complaining! Both desserts were absolutely exquisite, though I had to leave 5 minutes between the brownies (unheard of for me) so I could sip my green tea and make room for the next one.
To put it simply – the food was perfect. But I do have to admit, this was no afternoon tea and a bite of cake or two. This was a proper 3 course meal, which left us all extremely full and very sleepy. We stayed sipping our tea for a good few hours afterwards to let everything digest!
The hotel itself was beautiful too – minimalistic with dimmed lighting to create a very relaxed and cosy atmosphere. It was relatively quiet which was perfect, we could natter away and not worry about being overheard or crammed too close to the tables next to us. Soft jazz music played in the background and the heating was set to provide a haven from the icy winds outside.
Overall, incredible value for money. Outstanding food, impeccable service and set in a beautiful and peaceful secluded environment. I would highly recommend RAW to anyone, even if you’re not a vegan or even vegetarian – this is an afternoon tea experience like no other. Just a word of advice – maybe skip breakfast in preparation …
Love, Beth xo.