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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh announces launch of vegan and gluten-free afternoon teas

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) has announced the launch of a new afternoon tea menu, that for the first time includes completely vegan and gluten-free experiences.

Published: March 5, 2020
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Described as the "perfect way to enhance a fantastic day at the Gardens", the new offering is created by Sodexo, the foodie team behind the restaurant and cafés at the Botanics.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh afternoon tea

Launching in time for Mother’s Day (from the 6th March), the new afternoon tea service costs £24.95 per person with unlimited tea and coffee, or £29.95 per person with a glass of fizz, with the gluten-free and vegan options needing to be ordered 24 hours in advance.

Served on individually decorated stands afternoon tea can be enjoyed in their Gateway Restaurant, which overlooks the gardens that inspired the new tea service - bringing the outdoors "in and onto the plate" - or al fresco on the terrace.

Served from 2.30pm each day, the Botanical Afternoon Tea features an edible plant pot and mini cone topped with candy floss along with a selection of seasonal sandwiches and sweet treats guaranteed to "tantalise the taste buds".

New menu highlights for the new dietary options include a vegan sausage roll made with locally sourced wild mushrooms and gluten-free savoury quiche. The chocolate trough, inspired by a window box features on all three menus as does the quintessential scone.

Commenting on the new afternoon tea, Susan Holligan, catering general manager at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, said: “This new immersive afternoon tea provides guests with a complete Botanics experience.

"The menu has been designed to showcase the best of the garden and reflect how it changes during the year. It will feature seasonal dishes that illustrate the changing flora and fauna surrounding our restaurant.

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“We want to ensure everyone can enjoy the decadent afternoon tea experience regardless of dietary requirements, so with an estimated 600,000 vegans in the UK and 8.5 million people on gluten-free diets, we have worked hard to create the perfect alternatives.

Adding that they don't believe in simply substituting certain items to fulfil allergy requirements, Susan stated that they worked just as hard on their full vegan and gluten-free stands so that everyone has the perfect Botanical Afternoon Tea experience, she said:  “Afternoon tea is always a popular occasion, but it certainly peaks around Mother’s Day when families come together to spoil their mum or grandma. And with this literally just around the corner, we’d advise early booking to avoid disappointment.”


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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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