Every day it becomes easier and easier to eat out as a vegan as more cafes and restaurants are recognising the need for vegan options. Even non-vegan establishments are experimenting the local scene and offering options to cater to the rising vegan population worldwide. I even heard that Brew Lab was offering vegan chocolate cake! One of the things I wasn’t sure of was whether it was possible for vegans to still enjoy afternoon tea. I read in a Facebook group I participate in that there are cafes that offer vegan afternoon tea in other towns/cities, say Bristol.
I didn’t have to look any further when Vegan Edinburgh suggested going to Casa Angelina (you can read their own review of their experience here), to say I was ecstatic I didn’t have to give up this luxury is an understatement.
Located in a basement shop space on London Street at the end and around the corner from the bottom of Broughton Street, Casa Angelina offers you a home away from home. Marie Claire, the owner is a Pastry Chef who has worked at several prestigious restaurants in the UK including Harvey Nichols (London & Edinburgh), Rhubarb at Prestonfield House and The Balmoral.
The offerings at this vintage tea room and patisserie are good quality, seasonal and are made using well sourced local ingredients, free from additives and organic wherever possible, just as her grandma Angelina, the tea room’s namesake, would have done.
Casa Angelina is definitely reminiscent of someone’s home the minute you walk through the bright green coloured door, you feel as if you are leaving the city and stepping into someone’s living room. When you are brought through to the back room, it’s like you enter the receiving room with tables laden with fine china and cutlery set up right in the middle. With a vintage Singer sewing machine to one wall and a bookshelf on the other, my eyes couldn’t stop wandering around the room and trying to spot all the intricate little details dotted around the room.
My favourite decoration in the room is this vintage Singer!
When I’ve had afternoon tea in the past, I’d been told that they couldn’t make the finger sandwiches or cakes vegan, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I imagine it was more to do with a lack of experience with making vegan options and the fact that fillings for finger sandwiches tended to contain dairy margarine or butter with egg mayo or fish. Casa Angelina sets itself apart by offering more exciting options than your regular finger sandwiches. Oh and in case you were wondering, the reason why they can guarantee the food is all vegan is because it’s all homemade!
Our cake stand of vegan afternoon tea with scones the size of a fist!
Chocolate and cherry cupcakes (back), spiced chocolate cookie with peanut butter (front left) and lime and passionfruit drizzle cake
Clockwise from front left: Aubergine and beetroot hummus bagels, Vietnamese summer rolls, pesto, roasted pepper and rocket pretzels, and spanakopita
The savoury bites were delicious and full of flavour. I’m pretty sure our party devoured the food in no time and wasted no breath talking while we inhaled the tasty morsels. The scones came with its own vegan butter and jam – it’s not afternoon tea without some creamy butter or cream and sweet jam! As expected, we got to the top tier and realised we were fill to the brim. On arrival, each table is provided with a drinks menu and you are given a pot of tea (or a cup of coffee) each. The tea helped washed down the food, but probably contributed to our full bellies.
I’ve been told their menu changes regularly depending on seasonal ingredients, so you might find between one visit and the next, it’s like a surprise box to see what other delights you’ll be served! Not to fear if you can’t finish everything though, ask for a takeaway box and they’ll be happy to pack up what’s left so you can continue eating at home at your leisure.
In addition to afternoon tea, you’ll find a selection of tray bakes and salads in the entry area that you can also buy to takeaway or eat along with your tea…if you can!
Salads of the day
Selection of traybakes – ask for the vegan options
At the time of our visit, vegan afternoon tea cost £23.50 per person which was a reasonable price, I felt, for a city centre location and a range of great homemade sweet and savoury items as well as pots of tea. I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Casa Angelina, not only were you not rushed to go out the door as soon as you’ve finished eating, it really felt warm and homey, like being invited to a friend or relative’s house for a spot of tea and some chit-chat. If you’re looking to celebrate a birthday, hen party or other special occasion, this would be the perfect place to be pampered while also feeling right at home.
Casa Angelina is open Monday, Thursday-Saturday 9:30am to 5:00pm and Sunday 11:00am to 5:00pm (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). The cafe is located at 42 London Street, EH3 6LX. Call 0131 558 1002 to book in advance.
Have you been to Casa Angelina? Did you enjoy the vegan afternoon tea experience?