This post was written as GoodEggFoodie.com. Please excuse any wonky formatting. Visit the homepage SHE-EATS.com for the latest, shiny new content.
You probably don’t think of Wigan as being a centre for Vegan or gluten free cuisine, but tucked away in a corner of the town centre, there is a small cafe looking to change that perception.
The Coven is run by Sue and her daughter Eleanor. Sue strongly believes that if your health or beliefs lead to you be gluten free then you should be able to enjoy eating out knowing that the food you are being served is safe. So everything bar one Eton mess is gf. Similarly with her vegan offerings, if it says vegan you can rest assured it is. I heard a story recently of a veggie in a pub in Wigan being told that the server was ‘pretty sure’ the meal in front of her was meat free and then bit into a chunk of beef. The server ‘wasn’t surprised’ when she complained. There’s none of that happening at The Coven.
I am neither gf or vegan but having met Sue (and sampled her cake!) through my work on Wigan Food and Drink Festival, I booked us onto her gluten free afternoon tea last month (where does the time go?).
It’s a tiny cafe and it was packed to the rafters and slightly chaotic! We shared a table with two lovely older ladies who were more than happy to chat the afternoon away with us. The teas were proper loose leaf jobs from Suki Tea – my chai was very tasty and the ladies we were sat with were very complimentary about the peppermint. All served in mis-matched cups and saucers and teapots.
The first course of afternoon tea was the savouries. Sandwiches and wraps with unusual fillings such as nutty pesto. There was the obligatory cucumber sarnie on there too!
Of course, we all know that really afternoon tea is all about the sweet stuff, and The Coven didn’t disappoint!
First up was a damp and moreish almond cake with apple. Yeah it had a soggy bottom, but we’re talking sweet and comforting so what of it! A good brownie came with cashew cream which is new to me but was quite delicate and cut through the brownie nicely.
A tangy, bite sized fruit tart had pastry which was unmistakably gluten free and was the only slight hitch. I can only imagine how hard gf pastry is to make and it was by no means a deal breaker.
My favourite came out last. A light-as-air vanilla sponge, seriously it nearly flew off the plate! It was topped with vegan buttercream (I’ve no idea) and lime. Oh that lime! What a difference a few shreds of lime can make – it lifted this up to the heavens!
I’m now going to disappoint you by telling you that afternoon tea isn’t on the menu at The Coven all of the time. But they do have cakes which change daily and there are special events running throughout the year if you check out their Facebook page for info.
Even with no dietary problems, I’d have no problem popping into The Coven for lunch. With food this good and the sound ethics of the owners, the whole experience leaves a very nice taste indeed!
The Coven. 43 Hallgate, Wigan.