Believe it or not, the classic afternoon tea emerged in Britain as early as the 1840s, and was seen as a mini meal to stave off hunger until dinner – which was, at the time, not usually served until 8pm. Since then, it’s become hugely popular with restaurants and cafes, with many even choosing to specialise in it! Providing a wonderful array of vegan afternoon tea delights is an essential part of that menu when demand for delicious plant-based offerings has never been higher.
So, why is it an absolute must for eateries to provide vegan options nowadays? Around one third of the population is either cutting down or cutting out meat from their diet. It’s therefore more inclusive to have plant-based options and allows your business to reach a wider audience; which is just good business sense! Veganism is here to stay, as is a focus on sustainability, and restaurants and cafes must adapt to the changing needs of their customer base if they’re to survive in this competitive industry.
There are no hard and fast rules about what to provide for your afternoon tea, but we have some lovely recipe suggestions for inspiration! The classic options – easily adapted with plant-based ingredients – consist of tiers of finger sandwiches, cakes and scones, but establishments are becoming increasingly creative so we’d encourage businesses to have fun with it and consider offering more imaginative alternatives such as vegan quiches, macarons, mini cheesecakes, meringues, mousses and even candy floss – the possibilities are endless! Along with the traditional selection of teas with plant milks, you could also consider adding a bit of sparkle to the event by offering vegan-friendly champagne, prosecco, cocktails, mocktails, gin or even a shot of Baileys Almande!
- Most of our recipes can be made into cute individual portions (just remember to reduce the cooking time!) or cooked as tray-bakes and cut into smaller portions.
- Buy in miniature cake tins/loaf tins.
- Quiches, cakes, biscuits and scones can be frozen ahead of time.
- Colourful and artisan breads have become very popular for an alternative take on the classic white bread sandwich.
The major food wholesalers and of course supermarkets now offer an incredible selection of fresh and frozen vegan options including cakes, dairy alternatives and all the creams you could possibly want. For wholesale fresh and frozen vegan cakes and sandwiches, creams, butter, cheese, chocolate, dried goods, specialist items and lots more:
For vegan macarons
Our top vegan creams
Elmlea Plant Double
Oatly Whippable Creamy Oat
Flora Professional Plant Double Cream
Oatly Creamy Oat Fraiche
Alpro Single Cream
Soyatoo Soy Whip
For lots more vegan creams
Our top vegan whipping cream recipe
Our top cake/slices recipes
Our favourite cheesecake recipes
Our favourite cupcake/small cakes recipes
Our favourite afternoon tea desserts
Our favourite sandwich recipes
Our favourite quiche recipes
To get some great inspiration and to see what other eateries are doing, have a look at some of the top rated places around the country!