Monday, 26 June 2017

Sugar-free afternoon tea at Harvey Nichols

I know what you're thinking: sugar-free afternoon tea?

Afternoon tea, that most sweet of treats? Sans sugar?

Well, yes. Sans refined sugar, anyway.

Created by Sarah Wilson of I Quit Sugar, the sugar-free afternoon tea has just launched at Harvey Nicks. And I went along to try it out.

Sugar is public enemy number one these days, and whilst I doubt I'll ever totally quit it (because hello, sugar makes things delicious), I am trying to cut down a wee bit.

And whilst naturally sweet things - you know, fruit and honey and maple syrup and whatnot - are supposedly better than refined sugar, the general consensus seems to be that they're not saintly enough to give you a free pass to scoff loads.

Still, you can make a lot of delicious things without refined sugar, so I was most looking forward to trying out the tea. It had also been far too long since I'd had afternoon tea too.

The lovely Jenny and I made our way up to the fifth floor of Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge and sat ourself down in the restaurant, tummies rumbling.
There was a little wait for our food to arrive, but fortunately we had pots of tea and champagne in the meantime so all was well in the world really.
Champagne isn't technically part of the sugar-free tea, but let's be real here: what is afternoon tea without it? (OK yes, also good. But not as good.)

I chose pink champagne because I was wearing pink which says a lot about how I make decisions in my life.

And then came out the masterpiece.
Obviously we worked from the bottom up, we're not savages.
So, the savouries: Carrot tahini burgers, which we loved; paleo veggie bread with cream cheese and cucumber - I liked the ribbon, it was a nice twist on a classic; sardine boats (no comment as je ne mange pas fish); spring vegetable pie - warm and delicious; pork and fennel sausage roll, a definite winner; and beef sandwiches, with tasty coleslaw.

It was a LOT of food, but it was great. Very creative and nice to feel a bit healthier than the standard finger sandwiches.

Whilst the sugar-free angle was pretty irrelevant with the savouries, the next level up was where it got interesting.
The strawberry scones were good. They were served with raspberry chia seed jam which was pretty tart - noticeably less sweet than real jam - and a touch lemony for my taste. There was also no cream which was a shame.

Next up was carrot cake with cinnamon frosting. They looked super cute and the flavours were great, but the texture of the cake was not good, I have to say. It was so dry and crumbly it was practically powdery, I'm not sure why. The cream cheese frosting was divine though.

On to the top tier.
The lemon posset topped with a chia seed crumble was lovely - very creamy and a particular hit with Jen. It wasn't noticeably less sweet than a regular one either.

I absolutely loved the cheesecake - it was classic vanilla with a coconut base and utterly delicious. Very sweet too.

The chocolate cherry tart was a bit meh. The base was a bit dry and bitter and the cream was fine but not super exciting. The cherries were delicious and juicy though, which was lovely. And to be fair, we were pretty gosh darn full by this point so the tart may have gone down more favourably before we'd filled our faces.

That said, we saved the best till last by finishing on the chocolate ganache tart. Rich, smooth chocolate with a hint of cardamom on a nutty base with a sprinkle of sea salt - I was so full but it was so good I ate the whole thing.

So all in all it was a slightly mixed afternoon tea, with some real winners and some not so much. To be honest though, I love the concept of a lighter, sugar-free afternoon tea. And if you are watching your sugar intake, it's a rather nice treat.

Jenny and I were guests at Harvey Nichols but all opinions are honest.

1 comment

  1. Ah man the chocolate ganache tart sounds sooo good! I think I'd enjoy this much more for knowing it's low sugar. I find that my sweet tooth has become a little less pronounced over the years and whilst I LOVE desserts and chocolate, I just don't want them to be overbearingly sweet! So basically this sounds ideal :D xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua


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