I’ve always been a big fan of SIX at the Baltic. There are so many reasons to love it. The views of Newcastle Quayside are stunning – if you happen to secure a table on that side of the restaurant – and the food has always been spot on. I wasn’t sure how good they were at accommodating dietary requirements, however. I’d heard on the vegan grapevine that they served an afternoon tea geared towards those who are dairy-free, and selflessly offered to try it out!
Visiting with my friend, SIX was the perfect place for a catch up. We also had a very cute addition to our dining party. She was just as welcome, and a high chair was provided for her.
I was happy to see that the menus for the vegan and ‘standard’ afternoon teas weren’t too dissimilar, and there was a pleasing mention of the word cake. I have found with some dairy-free versions of this British institution chefs substitute these treats with fruit skewers. Not my definition of a substantial feast, that’s for sure!
We started off with some refreshing fruit teas, avoiding the usual English Breakfast for something a bit different. I was tempted to have a glass of something fizzy, but with Dinky present it had to remain a sober affair! I was told by their lovely staff I could even have a soy Hot Chocolate if I wished, which will be lovely once the weather gets chilly.
When our stands arrived I was told there’d been a sandwich substitution as one of the fillings hadn’t worked as well as hoped. Clearly the kitchen were putting a lot of thought into what was produced and it showed.
Apart from a slight visual difference in the scones, the dairy-free afternoon tea looked every bit as appealing as the meat/dairy version. Sandwiches included Provencal (Peppers & Olives), Dairy-free Cream Cheese and Cucumber and Tomato Relish.
I was surprised by the Raspberry and Chocolate Glass, which was absolutely delicious. Due to my recent experience at Marco Pierre White where I was served gelatin although I’d specified my dietary requirements on a number of occasions (see post here), I had to double check it was definitely suitable for a vegan!
The egg-free Red Velvet and Chocolate Cakes were also good, with a centre crafted from coconut cream. Very impressive. I wanted to eat 5 of them, as a downside! The Strawberry Biscuit was every bit as sweet and buttery as shortcake should be.
Of course, my friend enjoyed her tea as well. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, who kept our teapots topped up and were knowledgeable and chatty.
The only thing I was slightly disappointed by was the lack of cream to accompany my scone. Spread is not the same as thick clotted cream, which obviously wouldn’t be served on a vegan tea. We’d had coconut cream with scones at The Great British Cupcakery though, so it can be done.
Unlike with other afternoon teas, there was no doggy bag to take home as everything was polished off there and then. I felt £16.95 per person was good value for money (*UPDATE* the price is now £19.95 per person 21/05/2018), especially with the effort that had clearly gone into crafting my alternative version. Gluten-free is also available on request. In fact, it seems any allergies or dietary requirements can be accommodated by this super helpful kitchen.
I had a look round the gallery afterwards, which is highly recommended if visiting SIX through the day.
I’m looking forward to returning in the future. I assumed his role for the visit as I’ve found sourcing a vegetarian version for me an easier endeavour. After writing a post about all of the afternoon tea options in the area (which you can read here) for those who are dairy-free or vegan, it is great to see so many places accommodating. Bring on the cake!
Thanks for reading,