La Suite West
La Suite West is a boutique hotel in Hyde Park and just a short walk from Notting Hill, Portobello Market and Marble Arch; set within a terrace of converted period buildings, you can expect a subtle blend of modern amenities and period features that create the perfect choice for business or leaisure travellers alike. The staff were super friendly and efficient at check in, meaning that within moments we were heading to our ‘Inverness Terrace Suite’ complete via the private entrance.
On the ground floor at La Suite West you will find Cafe Forty One which is “a unique plant based dining experience showcasing delicious and inspired plantbased cuisine that defies the stereotypes surrounding plantbased food”. We couldn’t have wished for any more as our suite opened out directly onto the terrace, perfect eh? In addition to the ‘al fresco’ terrace there is a bright dining room where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea which are all 100% vegan of course!
The Vegan Food
We dined on a Wednesday afternoon and it was great to see the Cafe Forty One terrace packed full of happy customers, sat under the natural shade from the trees, enjoying the plant based delights created by Chef Yumiko. We shared an afternoon tea and a couple of dishes from the lunch menu; all were presented beautifully and served by our waitress Mary, who was nothing short of excellent. Her enthusiasm for the menu (and the cakes) nearly matched own which was great to see.
We started with a refreshing ‘Organic Rasberry Lemonade Kombucha’ from Remedy Drinks and a ‘Ruby Latte Vanilla Rose’ with beetroot, coconut blossom flower and a choice of plant based milks (we selected coconut). Our latte was like relaxing in a warm flowery bubble bath with a hint of rose, warm frothy coconut milk and pretty pink hues to complete the picture. Our first choice from the lunch menu was ‘English Heritage Tomato’ which comprised tomato topped crostini with cashew cheese, strawberry and raspberry vinegar, basil oil and micro herbs. The finest flavour packed tomatoes created a true taste of English summer time and when paired with a strong and punchy cashew cheese on fresh and crispy crostini delivered a super start to our plant based lunch in W2.
The next dish to be served was ‘Porcini Risotto’ with seasonal vegetables, wild garlic oil, sprouts and cashew parmesan. The risotto was full of earthy mushroom flavours but creamy too with the roasted broccoli on top giving an excellent hit of brassica; this was a very good risotto cooked with love. Luckily, we saved room for a dessert as oh boy it was insanely good! A Millefeuille like no other millefeuille, it looked remarkable and tasted sooo good. It had everything you want from this classic dessert, light and flaky and sweet pastry layers with a duo of creamy custards, vanilla and pistachio custard too, topped with a lone edible flower and a seasonal rasberry it was a winning combination for sure. Bravo Chef.
Later that day we were back for Vegan Afternoon Tea which brought more wonderful aromas with wafts of baked scones taking us back to moments of childhood. A happy collection of summery flavours awaited us after our glass of non alcoholic fizz. Four delicate finger sandwiches (with no crusts, of course) were where we started; ‘Pesto Tomato’ with juicy tomatoes and just enough pesto, ‘Tofu & Cress’ tasted just like a fine egg and cress sandwich should do, ‘Cashew Cheese & Pickle’ with soft pillowy bread, tangy and sweet pickle and a creamy nut cheese and finally ‘Pea & Mint Hummus’ where the freshness of the pea and mint was the star. Our only complaint is that they all disappeared so quickly as they were so delicious. It’s was a finger food fiesta.
Sat proudly atop our afternoon tea stand were the vegan scones, one plain and one raisin, served with coconut cream and a seasonal fruit compote. The wholsome scones were crunchy on the outside with a slight moisture to the interior and with that perfect creamy and jammy combination that speaks of British summer time.
Finally we were on to the four fine plant based creations from a Chef with obvious talent. A ‘Raspberry Financier’ with gooseberry jam that was not overly sweet, shredded coconut and a powerful sour hit from the gooseberry. Put this all together and you have a masterpiece. The ‘Raw Lemon Cheesecake’ had a creamy topping on a soft base with immense lemon sourness. Pretty petals scattered on top, a tart lemon gel like jewels of mouth puckering sourness balanced by the creamy cheesecake filling. Next up, a ‘White Chocolate & Pistachio Cookie’ with sweet white chocolate, a hint of salt and a zing from a sprinkle of freeze dried raspberries. Moist, a little chewy and crunchy all at the same time. Last but by no means least was a ‘Strawberry Tartlet’ which was a perfect short pastry casing, filled with a cloud like strawberry cream and topped with a single, strawberry slice. This really was next level Vegan Afternoon Tea business and we loved every last morcel.
The Vegan Essentials
During our short stay we spent nearly all of our time eating (for research purposes of course) but there were a couple of things about our room that made us happy. Firstly, there was soya milk available in the fridge for your tea and coffee, it’s simple things like this that we want to find in a vegan friendly hotel and secondly, the bathroom amenities were from White Company who do not test their products on animals.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict
We were impressed by the friendly service, the convenient location and our well apointed room but let’s be honest about the main reason we were staying at La Suite West Hotel; they are the only London hotel with their very own vegan restaurant and that makes us very excited indeed. We would highly recommend this vegan friendly hotel in West London and we would also strongly suggest a visit to Cafe Forty One for anyone who enjoys creative and delicious plant based cuisine.
We were guests of La Suite West but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
La Suite West
41-51 Inverness Terrace
Telephone: +44 20 7313 8484
Cost From: £149 / $189 (July 2019)