Brown’s Hotel Vegan Afternoon Tea — How Good Is It?

Nothing screams “posh” more than traditional British afternoon tea. Whether it’s your first time to London or you’re a regular visitor, a classic afternoon tea experience should be on everybody’s UK itinerary. But finding plant-based high tea can get a bit tricky (butter-laden scones with clotted cream aren’t exactly vegan-friendly). Fortunately, one of London’s classiest tea rooms offers a 100% vegan menu!

Enter: The Drawing Room at Brown’s Hotel.

In this article, I cover reasons to visit The Drawing Room at Brown’s, what to expect, and an honest review of the vegan afternoon tea. Let’s dive in!

More vegan travel content: Must-Visit Vegan Dessert Spots in Tokyo

The Rich History of Brown’s Hotel Afternoon Tea

You might be asking yourself why you should go to Brown’s for vegan afternoon tea in the first place. After all, London is brimming with innovative new restaurants that specialize on exclusively plant-based cuisine.

The secret behind Brown’s Hotel afternoon tea? It’s quintessentially English and carries historic laurels.

Impressive history: Brown’s Hotel is the oldest hotel in London (dating back to 1837). Synonymous with old-school British luxury, this landmark 5* hotel already housed legendary guests including Napoleon III, Theodore Roosevelt (who spent his wedding night there), and the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell (who made the very first British phone call at Brown’s).

Attesting the hotel’s eminence, Brown’s afternoon tea was even a royal favorite—Queen Victoria frequently took her tea in The Drawing Room, Brown’s in-house English tea room.

Reviewing Brown’s Hotel Vegan Afternoon Tea

Brown’s offers an entirely plant-based version of its award-winning afternoon tea. Before I went vegan a few years ago, I tried Brown’s traditional afternoon tea and loved it—but that also meant that the vegan version had high standards to live up to. So here’s an honest review:

A quick note: The components of the afternoon tea are served separately, not all at once. You’ll get the sandwiches first, the scones second, and then the sweets.

You can check out Brown’s current afternoon tea menu here.

The sandwiches: Hands-down the best part. Even my non-vegan company thought the vegan sandwiches were better than the non-vegan versions. On the menu:

  • Coronation curried vegetables & apricot on seeded multigrain bread (my favorite!)
  • Beetroot salmorejo (kind of like a chutney) & pumpkin seed pesto on spelt bread
  • Roasted Jersualem artichokes with apple & vanilla chutney on spelt bread
  • Cucumber, vegan cream cheese, & lemon mint on white bread
  • Black truffle, chestnut, & pickled mushrooms with tarragon on a quinoa cracker

The sweets: Calling the dessert part of Brown’s vegan afternoon tea “indulgent” would be an understatement. Everything tasted so rich and creamy, you’d never guess it was completely plant-based.

  • Dark chocolate & coconut praline
  • Mini apple crumble
  • Lemon & vanilla macaron
  • Orange pound cake with vegan buttercream

The tea: Brown’s Hotel has a huge tea menu for its afternoon tea. With options ranging from classic English black teas all the way to Japanese green teas, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

There’s even a good amount of caffeine-free teas on the menu (including herbal and fruit teas).

if you can’t decide which tea to go for, you can always switch to a different option. An infinite refill of tea is included in the afternoon tea menu.

If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can also order champagne or rosé to accompany your tea.

Things to Know Before Going

Brown’s Hotel vegan afternoon is unique in some ways. Here are things you should know before going:

  • There’s an infinite refill. You can order as many sandwiches and desserts as you wish (so come hungry!).
  • The vegan afternoon tea does not come with scones. (The scones on the pictures were for my non-vegan company.)
  • Book early! Especially during festive season, Brown’s can get pretty full. Be sure to book your table a few weeks in advance.

Is Brown’s Hotel Vegan Afternoon Tea Worth It?

Brown’s vegan afternoon tea isn’t cheap—the price for one person is £75. But it’s worth the splurge.

If you’re craving high-quality afternoon tea in a posh, and historic setting, The Drawing Room at Brown’s Hotel is hard to beat. The atmosphere is incredibly cozy (there’s a fireplace and usually always a pianist playing live music) and the food is simply delicious.

The only downside of Brown’s Hotel vegan afternoon tea is that it doesn’t come with scones. If you’re going with a group of people and you’re not strictly vegan, I recommend having at least one person ordering the traditional afternoon tea simply for the scones—they are to die for.

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