There is always something so decadent about an afternoon tea. I always feel like a true Lady when I go to one, and it makes me feel all posh and regal: Like I am in my very own Bridgerton episode. Since going vegan though I have only been able to find one other vegan afternoon tea, and this was at Fortnum and Mason’s in London. So really a bit too posh for me! It was very lovely but it was also very expensive – but it was to celebrate me completing (and passing!) my masters degree. So I guess it was justified.
I found out about The Enchanted Tearoom while searching for a venue for my friend’s hen party. But because it all looked so good and I am impatient, I took my mum here for her birthday. For a little afternoon tea to celebrate and catch up after a year of very limited outings. They are based in Redbourn, Hertfordshire and this is the most English town ever: there were many a thatch cottage and lots of tiny winding roads. It really did look like a postcard. Now I am not a country strong type of girl: I need to be in the centre of a city and any town I live in must have a population of more than 10,000. Otherwise I feel I am stuck in the outback somewhere with no sign of civilisation. But every now and again a break to the countryside is a really nice change of pace.
I don’t think it’s possible to do a bad afternoon tea. The principle is so simple that it should be b very easy to follow, right? The Enchanted Tearoom absolutely nailed it. Now while it may not be the most extravagent of teas, it had everything you would have wanted and did a lovely and simple afternoon tea. I did have a fully vegan option, so the standard version did include clotted cream for your scones (scone as in gone – not scone as in cone) and a macaroon.
Side note: I would literally give my kidney if it meant I could have a vegan macaroon. They were my absolute favourite thing before going vegan and I have never seen vegan ones on offer. If anyone can hook a girl up, I may cry with delight! I will also owe you a life debt.
The sandwiches were your standard cucumber sandwiches, but even then they were still very yummy and refreshing. There is also something so extravagant about having a sandwich, with the crusts cut off and cut into little finger strips, that just make a sandwich feel elevated. Isn’t it odd that I would never ever make myself a cucumber sandwich at home, but put tiny versions on a china plate and I am all for it!
The scones (again – scone as in gone. A debate for the ages I’m sure) were delicious. They melted in your mouth and had that wonderful crumble to them that you want with a good scone. The jam was also lovely – a nice, smooth strawberry – and you had some vegan butter. There was no vegan cream but honestly I have never been a fan of mixing jam and cream together. The Queen may do so but I cannot live by such anarchy. You were given two and I always forget how filling scones are. Two was definitely enough – I would have loved more but then my stomach would have literally exploded.
The cakes were also very nice. The types of cake that go perfectly with a cup of tea, so it was a lovely way to end the meal. I had a walnut and raisin slice and I believe the little cupcake was carrot cake. I think their cakes change depending on what they have made, so there is a chance you get a different cake each time you go. Which is a good excuse to go back multiple times just to see what other cakes they have on offer. The walnut cake was delicious, although slightly stodgier than you would expect. The carrot cake was also lovely: The icing was very rich (but I personally am not a fan of icing anyway so I may be a little biased) but the cake itself was light and fluffy and was a lovely end to a lovely meal.
They also had a huge selection of loose leaf tea and it is bizarre how much a difference loose leaf tea makes. I stuck with a standard English breakfast tea but even that tasted lighter and fresher than it usually does from your PG Tips teabag. I would love to have been able to sit all day and go through every type of tea they had on offer, but alas time was not on my side. The decorations are that charming shabby chic aesthetic, with lots of vintage style pictures and paintings decorated throughout. The building is adorable – I believe it is an old Tudor building as you can still see all of the supporting beams across the ceilings and the walls and the ceilings are slightly lower than modern buildings.
Price wise, I believe the afternoon teas were £22.95 per person. Which while it sounds expensive, that is actually not a bad price at all for an afternoon tea. I also argue that it is 100000% worth the price as it was genuinely the cutest little meal I have had. It is a lovely place to visit and the staff were all helpful, polite, professional and just overall made the whole day really enjoyable. While afternoon tea may feel a bit ‘extra’ for a weekly event, I stand by the idea that if you enjoy something then do it. Instead of going for coffee and cake, why not go for a cream tea with your friends as a catch up?