Afternoon Tea is one of my favourite things; not only because of all the delicious foods it involves, but the whole ambience and concept of it too. It’s not just a meal, but a way of everyone coming together to spend an afternoon. When I changed my diet, this was one of the hardest things to give up. In fact, I didn’t really give it up. Afternoon tea is a special occasion that I felt I could make an exception for when necessary. It’s a social event, and not eating anything means missing out on more than just the food, I feel. Of course, I’d rather the sandwiches, scones and cakes were the nutritional alternatives that I’ve been discovering, but this set-up didn’t really exist… until now!
Each month, Olivia from Livia’s Kitchen hosts her ‘Cream-Free Cream Tea’ at Paradise by way of Kensal Green in West London. As far as I’m aware, it’s the only event that gets lots of people together in a pretty venue to enjoy a delicious adaptation of traditional afternoon tea. It really is a fabulous idea, and I had such a wonderful time when my friend and I went along to the May event last Saturday. We’d booked it back in March, so had been looking forward to it for a long time. From all the videos and photographs, I knew this was something I just had to experience. Everything looked so perfect and yummy – and the real thing did not damage expectations!
Upon arrival, we were greeted by Livia herself who made us feel instantly welcome. The interiors of Paradise are stunning, and the whole scene looks as if we’d walked into a fairytale. The table was all set-up, with coconut water and a selection of teas for each guest, as well as the famous goody bag on the back of our seats. The main event – all the delicious food – looked so very tempting, and we were eager to try it all!
On the menu…
Quinoa Bread Sandwiches – guacamole or tahini and cucumber
No afternoon tea can begin without a selection of finger sandwiches. You would have thought this may have been particularly difficult for this event, but Livia had some inspired ideas to provide an alternative. I was really intrigued to try the quinoa bread, as well as having tahini in a sandwich which I had never thought of before; I discovered that I love them both! Although, with my love for avocados, I think the guacamole ones were my favourite.
Sun-dried Tomato Hummus – served with raw veggie crudités
I always find homemade hummus much nicer than bought hummus, not only because of the flavour, but the texture too. This sun-dried tomato version was a winner, and the various veggie crudités provided the perfect accompaniment.
Vanilla Scones – topped with almond butter and chia raspberry jam
A delicious scone with jam and clotted cream used to be my favourite thing ever. Now I’ve changed my diet, I’m so happy that I can still enjoy this treat and I think this version is even more delicious. I made Livia’s Hot Cross Scones over Easter, which are a take on the classic flavour served this afternoon, so I knew to look forward to these. Topped with almond butter and chia raspberry jam, they were beyond amazing!
Maca and Raisin cookies
This might have been my favourite thing on the afternoon tea menu. They’re similar to a HobNob biscuit, but even better. They had the ideal crunch, and with the addition of maca, that extra-special flavour was provided. I couldn’t have only one of these…
Chocolate Cupcakes with raw chocolate frosting
Definitely one for all the chocolate fans, as this healthier alternative makes the cupcakes so rich and gooey. The icing only added to the indulgence, making them certainly the most filling part of the Cream Tea.
Livia’s Kitchen Raw Millionaire Bites
Of course, there had to be the famous Raw Millionaire Bites at this Cream-Tea! I’m a huge fan of them and have tried all three flavours already. For me, it’s a good thing that Livia is launching the grab n’ go versions because when I buy a whole tub, I can’t trust myself not to eat them all! They were certainly very popular this afternoon too, especially the chocolate orange flavour. Luckily, my favourite flavour is the salted date caramel!
The tea spread over a few hours, so we could take our time getting through all of this delicious food. Livia came round and chatted to the guests, and it was clear how much she cares about this business and growing it even further – which I can’t wait to see what she has planned. We had a truly wonderful afternoon and left feeling so glad we came, if slightly full! Going to another of Livia’s Cream-Free Cream Teas in the upcoming months is definitely on the cards.
As I mentioned in My Foodie Influences post, Livia recently launched her first book which is full of recipes just like the ones served this afternoon. I love that a whole book has been dedicated to nutritious sweet things, rather than just the last section at back. It’s been split into different chapters: from breakfasts to puddings, and cakes to sweet bites. So basically, it has everything you could want for any occasion, be that entertaining or an on-the-go snack. I was lucky enough to get my copy signed by Livia herself during the afternoon tea.
For more photos of the Afternoon Tea, along with other sweet-treat photos, take a look at Livia’s Instagram: @livias_kitchen