I have been on a bit of a campaign of late. Hearing about more establishments offering vegan afternoon teas here in the North East, it became my mission to try them all. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it! Seaham Hall’s version was of particular interest to me around my birthday, and I was able to squeeze in a visit to their impressive spa while in the vicinity 🙂
It wasn’t my first time at the Serenity Spa. I had visited two years previously, which also happened to be a birthday treat! You can read more about that trip here. I personally feel this award winning spa is in my Top 5. The facilities are well maintained and there’s plenty of different areas to be pampered in. We spent time in the Salt Sauna, powerful hydrotherapy pool, the Hammam and the outdoor hot tubs before being called for our treatments.
I was booked in for a 45 minute Serenity Signature Massage, which was bliss for my knotty muscles. Every Mum should set aside time to get all of their stresses massaged away and I will not leave it so long between treatments in future.
Our afternoon tea booking was in the Ozone restaurant, located within the spa centre. It felt a bit strange sitting down to afternoon tea in my robe and slippers, considering how refined an experience it usually is. I was too relaxed after my massage to be going to change into my clothes and hoped after food there may be time to go for a dip before returning to reality.
The weather was glorious so we asked if we could take our tea on the terrace. We had contacted in advance regarding my dietary requirements and were told that they would be accommodated.
Having experienced vegan versions that included fruit skewers and sorbets I wasn’t expecting much, so was pleasantly surprised when the stand arrived with actual cakes on.
The finger sandwiches included Pickled Nasturtium, Apple and Kohlrabi and Heritage Beetroot. No hummus here, for a change.
I usually have an order for working my way around an afternoon tea – sandwiches first, scones and then finally the cakes. I was so keen to try out the Chocolate Brownie, which was made with apricots, that I skipped the scone ‘course’.
The brownie had a jammy texture, probably on account of the fruit used in its production. I was very impressed and wouldn’t have guessed it was egg free. The Carrot and Walnut Cake was also enjoyable. I was less keen on the Fruit Compote and Granola Bars that were also present, feeling they were too healthy to feature on what is supposed to be a decadent offering.
Finally I backtracked to the fruit scones, which I found dry and heavy. They were served with soya ‘butter’ and jam. I was quite disappointed and couldn’t finish them. As they are often made with margarine – which is usually dairy free – I couldn’t understand how these could be so ‘off’. I wonder if those who partake in a standard afternoon tea have also had cause to grumble about them too?
We managed to finish the whole lot off while drinking copious amounts of tea in the sunshine. It was an enjoyable experience, some of the dud notes of the food aside. I don’t know how willing I’d be to spend £24 per person on it again unless I was taking the tea in the grandeur of the Hall itself, which I still haven’t visited. That aside, it is fantastic to see another classic veganised and I would highly recommend it to those with a special occasion coming up. You can find out more about the special offers Seaham Hall has on their website.
Thanks for reading,
Want an impressive afternoon tea recommendation for a special occasion? See our Best Of compilation here.