Take two things as on-trend as high tea and veganism, and it will only be a matter of time before someone in Cape Town combines the two.
Thankfully, instead of a bearded veldskoen-clad person on Bree Street, the task was taken up by none other than The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa.
Now, I’m not vegan or even vegetarian, but I have close friends who are, and my vegan friend remarked a few months ago that she has never had a high tea before because there is never anything for her to eat. Traditional high teas are a riot of dairy at best.
So obviously I had to take her along for her to test drive the new Vegan High Tea offering. I took along a vegetarian and a nutritionist for good measure, too. It wasn’t on purpose, but a happy coincidence that helped with this review.
Well, if you’ve ever been to the 12 Apostles, this needs no explanation. And if you haven’t been there, then you really should. Soon.
Tea is served in the Leopard Lounge, and the day we chose couldn’t have been better. There were a couple of whales playing off-shore and there was a dog having lunch next to us (the hotel is dog-friendly, so that’s another feather in their cap from me).
I’m a regular visitor to the hotel, and the service has always been nothing short of exceptional. Nothing is every a hassle, and the staff do everything to make you feel at home. This may seem like an obvious point, but it sadly not always the case in 5 star hotels. You sometimes find that the staff are doing you a favour by gracing you with their presence, but that is definitely not the case at the 12 A’s.
Both the regular and vegan high tea options come with bottomless loose leaf teas or specialty coffees (the list is seemingly endless), but the hotel has an extensive wine and MCC menu that will keep even the most die-hard wine snobs happy.
The vegan offering consists of 5 savoury and 6 sweet treats; some more successful than others.
The savoury options were not as well thought out as we had hoped.
The mini vegetable crudités were put in a glass with hummus, which then separated because of the vegetable juice that had seeped down. Not great, but easily fixed with a better serving solution.
The other 4 were made up of vegetable sandwiches and a wrap that, although delicious, did fall apart as soon as you handled it.
They redeemed themselves on the sweet tiers, though (and let’s be honest, that’s what high tea is all about). The banana and walnut loaf, vegan scones, vegan chocolate and peanut bonbons, banana and oat cookie and chocolate and hazelnut cake were all a delight. It was a hung jury on the coconut pana cotta, but the vegan loved it, so that’s all that matters.
The Vegan High Tea is a little steeper than the regular one at R375 per person, because of the cost of the ingredients. It’s for this reason, too that you’ll need to book 24 hours in advance.
The vegan and vegetarian said: While on the pricey side, it is most definitely worth it for vegans who want to treat themselves and be able to partake in high tea. They won’t be left wanting or feeling left out. It was delicious and the selection was varied enough that we felt like we were getting the full experience.
As for the meat eaters? Well, we’re glad we tried it, and we’re happy we can take our vegan friends to high tea, but we’ll be ordering the traditional one next time.
Book you high tea at The 12 Apostles here.