As you descend the few steps into Casa Angelina, the atmosphere is one of stepping back in time.
This Edinburgh building has been around for a long, long time and it makes for a great atmosphere. The area at the front is for waiting on a table or buying or collecting cakes, and a tempting array of baking greets you as soon as you walk in. As well as the beautiful (and as I was to discover later, scrumptious) cakes and scones on display, they will bake to order and they even do wedding cakes. Although not exclusively vegan, their vegan options are numerous enough to give you plenty of choice. I booked our afternoon tea the day before.
As we were shown through to the rear, the decor only became more quirky and charming. Painted on the wall were attractive slogans and, perhaps appropriately for a vegan, an image of birds escaping their cages.
A little plaque on the fireplace explained that Casa Angelina is a tribute to the owner’s Italian grandmother, who was always baking and often invited the locals in for tea. The place certainly has that homely feel, being not only quite small (there were about six or seven tables) but also using deliberately mismatched crockery and cutlery to very pleasing effect. I could imagine a rather grown up birthday party taking place in here, as they do hire the venue out for exclusive use.
We ordered tea, with me choosing the simple, but very lovely Scottish Breakfast Pot, while my partner was a bit more adventurous, going for the Bollywood Dreams Chai Pot, which smelled deliciously of cinnamon. They were both very nice and we sipped them as we waited excitedly for our treats to arrive. When they did we were not disappointed.
Obviously lovingly put together, we had yummy samosas and gorgeous avocado wraps, mushroom toast with a tangy twist, scones still warm from the oven served with two types of jam and a beautifully sweet vegan cream, dense fruit cakes and indulgent chocolate ones. I must admit that I can’t recall all the wonderful flavour combinations that were described to us as we were served but suffice it to say that they were numerous, unusual and all worked well together.
We took our time munching through it all, ordering another pot of tea each in the process. I’d gone in hungry having missed lunch deliberately. By the end I was absolutely stuffed, but pleasantly so!
As a vegan one is always so used to being slightly sidelined by restaurants, especially on the desserts front, so I really appreciate it when places like this put indulgence for vegans front and centre. The staff were lovely and seemed to know when to pop in to see if we needed anything. Largely we were left alone to chat, admire the surroundings and enjoy our beautiful food. Casa Angeline is a delight for the senses.
Vegan Afternoon Tea is currently priced at £21 per person, but everything is of the highest quality and they certainly won’t palm you off with limp sandwiches!