(London) Quinoa scones, chia jam and skinny champagne: Afternoon Tea health hacks with Hemsley + Hemsley

It's no secret that the Hemsley sisters are two of my biggest girl crushes: Melissa and Jasmine are walking adverts for what eating well can do for your health, looks and energy levels.

The super chef sisters don't do deprivation. They DO do sociable, sexy, soulful eating and their latest offering is a nice not naughty Afternoon Tea at their Selfridges Cafe, already a smash hit with London's clean-eating crew.

The grain, gluten and refined sugar-free tea includes mini truffled egg flaxseed rolls and avocado & smoked salmon on carrot & quinoa crispbread, as well as sweet treats like cinnamon banana bread and chocbeet fudge cake and scones (made with quinoa of course) a pot of tea and champagne (optional).

I spent a very happy International Happiness Day testing out the tea this week with Melissa and a group of health and fitness hotties. The spread looked beautiful and still felt decadent but with a lot less calories and lot more goodness than your average afternoon tea.

It also gave me a bit of inspiration for some easy health hacks to transform tea time at home... 

 The Hemsley+Hemsley Afternoon Tea at Selfridges: Proof that you can treat yourself without ruining yourself  pic: hemsleyandhemsley.com

The Hemsley+Hemsley Afternoon Tea at Selfridges: Proof that you can treat yourself without ruining yourself

pic: hemsleyandhemsley.com

How to do Afternoon Tea Hemsley + Hemsley style

1. Put quinoa in your scones and chia in your jam (making them instant protein powerhouses).

2. Swap sliced white for gluten-free bread/bread alternatives like flaxseed or crisp breads.

3. Choose dairy wisely: coconut yoghurt can be whipped into a light and lovely mousse (served here with mango, passion fruit and mint) and a small bit of clotted cream goes a long way.

4. Make friends with low sugar champagne: the zero-dosage Ayala champagne from Bollinger served at the Hemsley Cafe is known as the diet champagne as it's still 12% abv but with no extra sugar added. Get yours for under £30 from drinksdirect.co.uk.

5. Swap sugary cakes for banana bread made with coconut flour and oil (get the recipe on the Hemsley blog HERE).

6. Swap builders tea with milk for herbal brews and/or zingy pep-up tea made with ginger, turmeric and cayenne.

7. Go mini: Lots of bite-sized pieces look great and keep the calories down while still giving you the opportunity to try lots of flavours.

 Pep-up tea...

Pep-up tea...

 Melissa and me...

Melissa and me...


The tea is served from 3pm onwards at the Hemsley Selfridges Cafe and guests can choose from:

1. ‘The Cream Tea’ (£12.50): freshly baked quinoa scones with raspberry chia jam, lashings of clotted cream and a pot of tea from London-based Rare Tea Company.

2. ‘The Afternoon Tea’ (£29.50): a three-tier offering of mini sandwiches followed by a selection of sweet treats. Also includes quinoa scones and a pot of tea. And both options can be made that extra bit special with a glass of zero-dosage champagne.