Did you know that West London is home to London’s first vegan patisserie? No, neither did I until I received an invite from Café Forty One for the launch of their festive vegan menu.
Located on a quintessential London terrace of grand white stucco houses on the edge of Hyde Park, it’s part of the minimalist boutique La Suite West Hotel. French Head Chef Clarisse Flon offers a contemporary alternative to French pastries and sweet treats at this bijou café.
Take note all vegans and those who love dipping into healthy lifestyle choices – it’s not just about the baked goodies. Café Forty One offers vegan breakfasts, lunches, all-day desserts (the dream!) and afternoon teas.
With the Christmas season almost upon on, this December sees the launch of their unique range of festive vegan menus. The British and French inspired dishes are made from only fresh, seasonal and plant-based ingredients. Clarisse works with London-based small producers and artisans, as ethical and sustainable sourcing is paramount.
The festive vegan lunch brings you some delectable Christmas treats from vegan smoked salmon with cream cheese on rye. Honestly I was dubious, as I took my first bite. The thin carrot slice, marinated for 48 hours in seaweed and miso oil, liquid smoke and herbs was a revelation and unbelievably good.
They’ve also kept some existing favourites like the alpine ravioles with a crunchy slaw, sun-dried tomatoes and a smoky glaze. The potato and vegan cheese beignet a speciality from the Chef’s hometown in the French alps.
In the evenings you can experience the exclusive pop-up dinners with a live jazz band. And enjoy a welcome glass of non-alcoholic fizz or mocktails. From blood orange, lemon and elderflower to my personal favourite pear, ginger and chai…
…Followed by dishes like the faux gras on brioche with caramelized onion chutney. Yes, you can indulge in all the taste without the suffering and cruelty. Rich, earthy and creamy in texture the faux gras is made from chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms, cashews, truffle and walnut oil. Or how about a warming plate of creamy truffle polenta with wild mushrooms and miso grilled Bramley apples with spinach and vegan cheese. There are so many tasty options even non vegans will salivate at the choices.
Of course the sweet endings don’t disappoint either from chestnut and caramel apple yule log, praline and chocolate entremet to a fruity passionfruit, mango and coconut pastry treat to name a few. And if you have a sweet tooth the festive afternoon tea is one not to miss either.
The festive three course vegan lunch and afternoon tea menu for £33 is available from the 1st December all season long until the 24th December. Whereas the festive dinner menu for £45 is exclusively available on the 13th, 14th, 15th, 20th, 21st and 22nd December.
Clarisse Flon’s unique vegan twists certainly defies some of the negative stereotypes associated with plant-based cuisine. Tis the season to indulge in some mouth-watering vegan seasonal delights!
For more information and to make a booking visit Café Forty One
Where has been the best vegan menu you’ve tasted? Love to know in the comments below