A couple of years ago I posted about a fantastic vegan afternoon tea I’d had at South Causey Inn. You can read the post here. I was totally blown away at the fact an animal product-free version didn’t in any way feel like a compromise on taste or quality. Having had their non-vegan afternoon tea, I also knew it offered good value for money. So when a colleague said she was having her baby shower there I decided to tag along and give it another try. I felt comfortable that I wasn’t going to be paying over the odds for fruit skewers and bland sandwiches that other places offered in the past.
We gave South Causey a call ahead of our visit to make sure they still accommodated and booked in. I was really excited to share this special day with my colleague and was eagerly anticipating the menu. As most in the dining room were there for afternoon tea it seemed like that staff had everything off to a fine art. We were booked in for a sitting and they knew ahead of time our dietary requirements. We sat down and ordered our refreshments and chatted until the cake stands arrived.
Mine arrived first and looked decent, to be fair. Everyone said it looked like a ‘normal’ afternoon tea. Unfortunately the appearance didn’t match up to the taste. I was hugely disappointed by the dry scones and cake. There was no cream or butter for the scone, and even the jam couldn’t redeem it. It had a strangely synthetic flavour. I don’t really know why making vegan buttercream is so difficult when so many margarines are dairy free by default. The cakes were bereft of anything that elevated them beyond an afterthought. I don’t know why the kitchen thought two slabs of dry cake were acceptable.
The savoury options were a little better, however. The battered mushrooms were a nice touch and the cheese savoury was tasty. I was less keen on the crushed chickpea sandwich. Even my friends grimaced at them. I felt bad about leaving the majority of the meal but I couldn’t force myself to finish something that was an utter waste of calories. The milkshake was bitter and I couldn’t force myself to endure more than a sip.
The staff seemed harassed so there seemed little point in voicing my unhappiness at the decline in standards. I felt disappointed that for such a long time I’ve recommended South Causey to people for a cracking vegan afternoon tea. I will have to revise my ‘Afternoon Tea‘ post accordingly in light of my experience.
Thanks for reading,