Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tide Tables Café, Richmond


Today's post steps away from recipes to give a snack-themed review. Richmond, to the south west of London, is one of those leafy, refined areas where we would love to live but probably never will. (The cost!) It has its own Whole Foods, plenty of other shops, parkland, and a particularly scenic stretch of the Thames River. Right next to the river is Tide Tables Café, which we visited a month or so ago in the height of summer.

Outside seating - just beyond is the river.

Tide Tables is fully vegetarian and has lots of vegan options. It is tucked under the arch of a bridge, and most seating is outside, making it summer appropriate but perhaps less ideal in winter. There are some seats inside, but the outlook from the outdoor area is beautiful and one of the highlights of the cafe. There are several large trees providing dappled shade, and beyond is the river, complete with colourful boats. The café welcomes dogs, and even allows you to consume your own food at their tables.

In front of the café

The main menu has some fantastic vegan items, including Moroccan harissa flatbread, a falafel plate, and several vegetable packed soups. They do vegan samosas too. As we were there mid-afternoon, I had read up on their snack options, and was aiming for a vegan chocolate and mandarin slice.

Entrance to the cafe

On the day we visited, the chocolate and mandarin slice wasn't available, so I ordered the vegan almond twist instead, along with a soy cappuccino. Mr Bite had a chocolate muffin, and we both made use of free water given it was quite a warm day.


As pastry treats aren't my favourite thing, I was sorry to see that the almond twist was mostly pastry and not made with almond meal or similar. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable and the icing managed to be sweet but not too sweet - quite a challenge on commercial pastries. The pastry itself was crisp on the outside and chewier within, and there were subtle notes of almond essence to complement the chopped toasted almonds on top.

Vegan almond twist

While the twist may not have been my first choice if presented with an array of vegan baked goods, it was welcomed on a long afternoon out and was a nice addition to a beautiful setting. I would be very keen to return to the café for lunch, and/or to test out that vegan chocolate mandarin slice in the future!


Tide Tables Café is located at 2 The Arches, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1TH. Their website is http://tidetablescafe.com and the café is open daily during daylight hours.


Have you enjoyed any café discoveries lately?

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This post is part of my participation in the 2014 Vegan Month of Food. This week I am focusing on vegan snacks.

Previous 2014 Vegan MoFo posts:
Breakfasts-
#1 - Vegan French toast
#2 - Apple and strawberry muesli
#3 - Mango coconut buckwheat breakfast pudding
#4 - Tips for a vegan breakfast on the go
#5 - Chickpea pancakes with spicy kale and mango

Snacks-
#6 - Chocolate coated banana chips
#7 - Barbecue inspired nori snacks


18 comments:

  1. please say that Mr B enjoyed the chocolate muffin - the cafe looks so lovely I just hope their chocolate muffins were up to scratch - could do with an afternoon just relaxing in a place like that right now. And Richmond also appeals because Virginia Woolf lived there - did you see information about her on your jaunt there?

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    1. Well done on spotting my omission of his review ;) He actually rated it average, but he is so fussy with chocolate muffins, and hates a gooey centre (which I'm sure many people like) that I thought it fairer to skip his remarks. That is quite unfair to him though!

      I didn't notice anything regarding Virginia Woolf, and in fact didn't know she lived there, but I can picture it as a writers sort of town.

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    2. Richmond is where they started the hogarth press (do you know of it - I used to read lots of books by them as a student)

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  2. I absolutely love that last photo with the boats and the bridge.!!

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  3. The pastry looks delicious and I love cafes that allow dogs, I wish they all did. A dog sitting near me always makes me so happy!

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    1. And they always look so happy to be included, so it's a winning outcome all around!

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  4. What a nice view! Coffee and that almond twist plus the view equals refreshing :)

    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

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    1. It really was - very refreshing in fact!

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  5. Sounds like a lovely cafe! Too bad the pastry twist wasn't exactly what you wanted, but at least it was good anyway!

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    1. Exactly - and the cafe was good enough to make up for it :-)

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  6. The photos of the boats are gorgeous. What a beautiful cafe in such an 'English' and pretty setting. I would love to enjoy a meal here - in summer! xx

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    1. Summer would definitely be the better time! We're moving firmly into autumn here now, but I'd love to return next June.

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  7. Beautiful photos Kari. I have been to Richmond once for a music festival with some Australians - and it ended up being a bit of a disaster. However, I did enjoy the shopping in Richmond.

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    1. Oh dear! I'm sorry to hear that, but am glad the shopping was enjoyable at least.

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  8. What lovely views! Glad the almond pastry turned out all right, since it looks delicious.

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    1. Thanks Sara - the views would have helped even with sub-optimal food, but the café managed to deliver on all fronts!

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  9. That place looks simply bliss to eat in :-) Gotta love a cafe with comforting views to accompany good food options!

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