After posting a quick “Heads-Up” article I decided I HAD to try the Belmond Mount Nelson vegan afternoon tea – for research purposes, of course!
Address: 76 Orange St, Gardens
Hours: 9:30am-11:30am, 1pm-3pm, 3:30pm-5:30pm, 6pm-8:30pm Mon-Sun
The concept of a traditional high tea might be a tad intimidating for some (me!), but I mustered all the courage I had, bought a new jacket (!), and set off to experience an afternoon of sheer indulgence!
Upon arrival, the waitrons/staff/floor managers/etc. were all incredibly welcoming with such an air of sincerity about them that one immediately felt at ease. You can’t help but be taken aback by the gorgeous setting in the tea room itself, the patio as well as the gardens all of which add to the splendour of this age-old tradition.
My other half (who didn’t need to be bribed to come with) ordered a tea, and I went against the grain (as always) and ordered a hot chocolate. Up until this point (in the history of the hotel), no one had ever ordered a vegan hot chocolate. Trust me to come along and throw a serious spanner in the works. But within minutes my hot chocolate was delivered, hot and steamy, and just what the doctor ordered (even though it’s an afternoon TEA).
I posted the menu previously (click HERE), so I don’t need to go too much into detail into exactly what was on offer. What I will say it that I was in foodie HEAVEN.
There were, however, a few stand-out items on the tiered stand that have to be mentioned, such as the
- Cucumber and Cashew Creme Sandwich – I could have just eaten a thousand of these
- Chickpea Mayo and Sago Cracker
- Carrot, Baby Marrow, and Chickpea Quiche
… not to mention the sweets that were all insanely good.
I had a moment to chat to one of South Africa’s top chefs, Rudi Liebenberg, the Executive Chef at the Nellie as well as his Chef de partie, Kirstin Hellemann who are both clearly determined to make sure that all vegan diners leave the afternoon tea feeling every bit as satisfied as their omnivore counterparts. You’ll battle to find more passionate and driven individuals – all aiming to make sure that we vegans are blown away by both a feast on the eyes as well as the taste buds.
While the vegan afternoon tea is always available (for R365pp), it does help the kitchen to know 24hrs in advance so that they can prepare your feast. In speaking to Chef Rudi, he mentioned that they have days where they don’t have any vegan diners and other days where 20 will show up at once. As with any dietary preference a little forewarning can help make the lives of others a little easier. Unfortunately, they can’t do two dietary requirements (e.g. vegan AND gluten-free, or vegan and nut-free), so bear this in mind before booking.
The vegan afternoon tea at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is a truly traditional treat. Indulge a bit, listen to the pianist tinkling away in the background and prepare to be blown away by the feast that awaits you!