One of the foodie success stories in Newcastle recently has been Camber Coffee. Located above Start Fitness on Market Street, this cafe has been stealthy serving a predominantly vegan menu to its customers during in 4 months its been open and has gone from strength to strength. One of the reasons I liked Camber – vegan food aside – was the fact that local producers were sourced where possible for the ingredients used. The coffee used is from Holy Island-based Pilgrims, and tea is from Benton’s Love Leaf.
Expanding its menu further to include vegan hot chocolates topped with dairy free cream, afternoon teas and burgers, I decided I needed to pop back to Camber to see what else had changed since our last visit.
It is great to see an independent accommodating those with dietary requirements such as my own so well. Many people are currently raving about the festive lines of drinks from the likes of Starbucks and Costa being SFV – without the cream and with a soya milk substitute – but I’d much prefer to support somewhere like Camber that has gone the extra mile to give us the whole shebang. I was told they are currently working on a range of flavoured chocolates and coffees so it will be interesting to see what they concoct.
Dinky always seems to like Camber, especially on account of the Donald Duck cartoons they had on while we were there. We ordered a two person afternoon tea, which comes with tea or coffee. There’s no dainty china here at Camber and our green tea was served in a proper mug. There’s no mention on the menu that advance notice is needed for the afternoon tea as all of the items were already available from what I could see.
The stand was pretty impressive and it reminded me of Running Fox’s ‘rustic’ approach to presentation. Thankfully the vegan cake offering was more aesthetically appealing at Camber , and consisted of more than just lumps of brownie!
With a choice of doorstop sandwich and salad for the savoury selection we certainly weren’t going to leave hungry. I opted for a Mama’s Boy (sundried tomato, pesto & cashew cheese) and the Wellness Salad while my sister was keen to try the Rainbow Pad Thai that I’d enjoyed on my previous trip.
Both were incredibly filling and probably would have been sufficient for us, but as we had four dessert items to also try out we had to soldier on. One of the reassuring things about Camber’s selection was the fact that it was healthier than the usual sugar laden treats you would find on an afternoon tea, so some of the guilt about indulging was allayed.
My sister enjoyed the Hemp & Chocolate Brownie, while the Flapjack was my particular favourite. There was also a selection of cakes, with a Chocolate Torte winning out for us over a Strawberry Cheesecake.
Camber offered jam and vegan cream alongside its fruit scone, which my sister said was lovely. I much prefer the plain variety, although I did give this a try in the interests of a comprehensive review. It was lighter than other vegan ones we’ve tried of late, like at Seaham Hall, which was good.
At £20 for two people (or £11 for one), Camber Coffee’s afternoon tea represents good value for money for those wishing to try out a vegan afternoon tea. Vegetarian substitutes are available, according to the menu, for those who don’t want to try out the homemade cashew cheese or plant milk on offer here. It is fantastic to see somewhere offering healthier alternatives doing so well, especially when many independents have been struggling in the city centre of late.
Thanks for reading,
Fancy an afternoon tea? Check out our comprehensive guide to who offers a vegan option in the North East here.