Introducing Finland’s First Vegan Afternoon Tea

Introducing Finland’s First Vegan Afternoon Tea

Vegan travellers can often come across issues when eating out abroad. As Lou highlighted in her tips for vegan travellers post, vegans often have to deal with a lack of choice, and special vegan-friendly treats can be tough to come by. Well hats off to Salutorget is what we say! This Helsinki-based high-end restaurant is the first in Finland to offer a vegan afternoon tea.

Sitting alongside the regular afternoon tea on the menu, the vegan afternoon tea was the brainchild of executive chef Toni Leskinen. A man who loves to experiment with ingredients, he worked tirelessly on vegan-friendly recipes to create an impressive afternoon tea spread without a hint of dairy or meat in sight.

We tried out both the regular and vegan options during our visit, but today I’ll focus on the vegan offering – it if you’re interested in hearing what the ‘classic’ afternoon tea entailed, then check out my full review here!

The savoury tier

Salutorget finland vegan afternoon tea | Ladies What Travel

Savoury dishes included a cucumber and vegan-friendly cream cheese sandwich, mushroom toast, hummus crackers, Jerusalem artichoke confit and Porkkala: a vegan take on a smoked salmon sandwich. It’s made of Tofutti dairy-free cream cheese and carrot, which I believe is marinated and turned into a spread (if I’ve got this wrong Finnish readers, please let me know!). I’m not a huge carrot fan at all, but I can tell you this had a wonderful, unexpected rich flavour and was one of our favourite dishes from across both menus!

Scones of a surprising texture

Next we moved onto the scones, which I believe were gluten free. They had had a very surprising texture for a gluten free baked good, as I usually find them very crumbly. However, at Salutorget the scones are much sturdier than I’m used to. I actually found them quite tough and dense, which was a little disappointing, but this was made up for by the vanilla cream, which was served alongside apple and calvados, and raspberry jams.

Salutorget finland vegan afternoon tea | Ladies What Travel

 

Salutorget finland vegan afternoon tea | Ladies What Travel

Salutorget finland vegan afternoon tea | Ladies What Travel

Vegan biscuits and sweets

As you’d expect, our afternoon tea experience ended with biscuits and sweets. The selection was smaller than those served on the regular afternoon tea, but we were far from disappointed. This was because we were again treated to a variety of exciting tastes and textures in the form of raw cake, rosehip jelly and some kind of weakened meringue. That may not sound appealing to some people, but stay with me guys!

The raw cake sadly began to melt on the stand, but that didn’t stop us from scooping it up! With a strong raspberry flavour it almost felt like it had two halves; a soft cream cheese-esque top with a thicker, more moose-like bottom. It may not have kept its shape well, but it still went down a treat.

The rosehip jelly looked reminiscent of sweets you’d see your granny eat. These gooey squares had a sweet flavour that was oddly moreish. This was the same with the weakened meringue; its crazy texture was like eating sticky, melted marshmallow.

We ended our vegan afternoon tea experience on a high, with one of the most amazing chocolates I’ve ever eaten. This high quality dark chocolate ganache was decadently rich, so much so that although you’d love to have a second you just know it’ll be too much. In my opinion, it’s worth coming to Salutorget for this chocolate alone!

It was a really unique and exciting set of desserts in my opinion, much better than we expected from a vegan selection (food snob alert!). Both the regular and vegan offerings felt innovative and tasted great – the perfect combination I think!

Salutorget finland vegan afternoon tea | Ladies What Travel

Service and prices

Salutorget is a wonderful place to have afternoon tea in Helsinki. The restaurant is well placed in the historic city centre and I found the service was great. Our waiter was funny, friendly and happy to spend time talking us through all the dishes and answering any questions we had.

 Price-wise, I thought that €23.50 for afternoon tea was pretty good value, especially when you know that eating out in any Scandinavian countries usually empties your purse! If you’re heading to Helsinki, I definitely recommend Salutorget as an afternoon tea destination.

 

Afternoon tea is available at Salutorget between 2-6pm Monday to Saturday. At time of writing the price is €23.50 for both the regular and vegan afternoon teas, or €36.40 if you’d also like to include a glass of champagne.

 

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Our afternoon teas were complimentary for the purposes of this review. However, as always, all views are my own.

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Keri

By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)

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24 Comments

  1. Ania
    December 11, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    Definitely something I’d try if I go to Helsinki. Even though I’m not a vegan, it would be good to taste some of the innovative treats! It’s definitely easier to have a restricted diet now than a few years ago.

    • Keri
      Author
      December 12, 2017 / 6:10 pm

      Well as a non-veggie I found it really interesting and tasty myself, very clever use of flavours etc…

  2. December 13, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    This is so unusual to find, and just shows what you can get with a little thought, creativity and inspiration. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping and sharing

    • Keri
      Author
      December 21, 2017 / 10:42 am

      I know, right? It was very creative actually, really impressed!

  3. December 13, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    It is always intruiging what someone will get served when ordering something vegan. we have a great vegan restaurant down the street from where we live and they are very creative and the food is yummie ( hence I am able to convince my meat loving other half to take me there for date night). Sounds like you had a great afternoon tea. #citytripping

    • Keri
      Author
      December 21, 2017 / 10:43 am

      I guess when cooking vegan creativity is key! Maybe I should look out for more vegan restaurants to see what quirky dishes they have!

  4. December 13, 2017 / 7:40 pm

    This is yummy! I’m not vegan, but I am veggie and love to eat vegan foods too – and this is a great alternative to the usual afternoon teas! 😀

    • Keri
      Author
      December 21, 2017 / 10:43 am

      Yep, it was definitely on par with the ‘traditional’ version, I have to say!

  5. December 13, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    Ahh I always love your afternoon tea posts! I actually ended up eating vegan last month for two weeks, on accident lol. But it really opened my eyes and I’m going to try to eat more plant-based in 2018, so this vegan afternoon tea is great to know about!

    • Keri
      Author
      December 21, 2017 / 10:44 am

      Aww thanks Sarah, that’s lovely to hear! 😀 I have to ask, how did you accidentally become vegan for two months?!

  6. December 14, 2017 / 8:51 am

    I’ve never actually tried a proper afternoon tea but this one seems perfect and I’m headed to Helsinki next month anyway, so I hope I can fit it in!!

    • Keri
      Author
      December 21, 2017 / 10:44 am

      Ooh do let me know if you make it there Van! x

  7. December 14, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    While I’m not a vegan, these treats do look delicious! I love scones so that part is too bad, but sounds like a fun afternoon! #farawayfiles

    • Keri
      Author
      December 21, 2017 / 10:45 am

      Yeah the scones were a bit sad, but overall I did enjoy this a lot!

  8. December 14, 2017 / 11:19 pm

    So great to see there’s more variety getting out there for vegans and those who like to go diary free too. I wouldn’t mind sampling this afternoon tea and at that price – in Scandinavia – it’s not bad at all. #citytripping

    • Keri
      Author
      December 21, 2017 / 10:46 am

      I know, it’s a steal isn’t it Elizabeth! 😀

  9. December 18, 2017 / 7:39 pm

    I always think you can tell a good chef when they enjoy the challenge veganism presents and really get stuck in. Good to hear you enjoyed this so much!

    • Keri
      Author
      December 21, 2017 / 10:46 am

      Yes I thought he was excellent – really passionate about his work!

  10. December 20, 2017 / 7:00 am

    This sounds like a really interesting afternoon tea! Also a beautiful setting! #farawayfiles

    • Keri
      Author
      December 21, 2017 / 10:50 am

      Ah it was lovely there Vicky – I adored the stained glass window!

  11. Thank god Champagne is vegan! Just kidding. Kind of. Love that more and more places are making green and healthy options available in creative ways. I’m not vegan, but try to incorporate more plant-based food into my family’s diet, so am always interested in innovative ways to do that! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    • Keri
      Author
      January 5, 2018 / 4:42 pm

      Ha ha! Yes I totally agree it’s good to have more options – and healthy ones at that (well, sometimes! ;))

  12. January 7, 2018 / 11:39 pm

    Now this sounds delightful! I’m not vegan (just a veggie), but knowing 100% that I could eat everything in front of me would be a dream come true!

    • Keri
      Author
      January 10, 2018 / 5:24 pm

      Yay! I bet that must be a nice treat!

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