The First Vegan French Pâtisserie Has Arrived in London
London; a bustling, cosmopolitan city with a myriad of trendy restaurants, pubs, bars and cafés. But if visitors of one of the most affluent cities in the world were to venture five minutes outside of Hyde Park, they might just stumble upon Café Forty One, London’s first and only vegan French pâtisserie. Explore the unique café with us below and discover just how exquisite vegan food really can be.
Location & Concept
The petite Pâtisserie, Café Forty One, is tucked away just off of Bayswater Road in the contemporary La Suite West Hotel and is easily accessible after a meander in Hyde Park. Bayswater Underground station is a five minute stroll away on a bustling high street, and with the café situated on a quieter road, it is the ideal destination to have an intimate lunch with friends and family. The all-vegan concept is the brainchild of Head Chef, Clarisse Flon, whose revolutionary culinary dishes have earned her countless accolades, the opportunity to work in prominent hotels around the globe and to now open Café Forty One in the heart of one the world’s most affluent cities, London. Flon wanted to, in her own words, “defy the stereotypes surrounding plant-based food” and apply her signature twist on French classics such as millefeuille and Poire Belle Helene. Using her café as an empty canvas, Flon has high hopes for Café Forty One and aims to make “amazing food, not amazing vegan food”.
The café is located in La Suite West, a boutique hotel featuring interiors by Anouska Hempel, the designer behind iconic locations such as Blakes Hotel and Louis Vuitton retail stores. The setting is a divine blend of intimate, café-style seating with a delicate menu and well-heeled clientele, tying in the luxury element apparent upon entering. Chic black seating adds to the clean lines of the decor while classic lime Parsons chairs affords the café a cosy, relaxed ambiance. Tall white Japanese Shoji dividers feature at the windows and allow plenty of natural light to stream into the café.
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Café Forty One is the first and only vegan French pâtisserie in London and as a pioneer in its niche, standards at the café are high. Guests have many options to choose from on the seasonal menu, with the vegan Afternoon Tea the stand-out offering. Head Chef at Café Forty One, Clarisse Flon, venerates her passion for pastry-making and the first pâtisserie of its kind, “I grew up in France, raised by two amazing cooks and surrounded by the most delicious food and it quickly became my passion. I realised no one was doing vegan French pâtisserie and if I craved something delicate and more sophisticated, surely other people did as well”. Flon’s classic twist on a quintessentially English custom features delicate, handmade, fully vegan weekly-changing petit fours, dainty sandwiches consisting of BLT with aubergine ‘bacon’, a mini brioche roll with smoked carrot ‘salmon’ and chipotle ‘cheese’ with caramelised onion. Traditional scones come with a beautiful homemade berry compote, vegan honey and coconut clotted cream. Among other options at Café Forty One popular among guests are the full English breakfast with flavoursome vegan sausages, a mushroom bourguignon pie and mash, and the sweet potato dauphinois with crispy pulled aubergine.
The service is exceptional at Café Forty One: attentive waitresses are always at the ready to take orders, ask how guests are enjoying their meal or provide their own expertise on menu options should it be required. Order the Afternoon Tea and a knowledgeable waitress will detail the various petits fours available along with the cakes, scones and jams accompanying the Tea. The ethos at Café Forty One is “Passionately Vegan” and one that is encapsulated by the world-class food, service and the upbeat ambiance so tangible at the café.
The Afternoon Tea at Café Forty One is £35.00 per person and comes with a glass of non-alcoholic fizz and a choice of freshly roasted Italian coffee or a luxury loose-leaf tea selection. For information, please visit www.lasuitewest.com/cafe-forty-one.