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Here comes the rising tide

The weather in London at the moment is not suited to dining by the river. Winds are getting chilly as temperatures sink. We were even gifted with an ever so light dusting of snow a few days ago.

Being forced indoors has prompted me to recall my last meal by the Thames prior to the sad weather descending on the capital. Even more depressingly, the meal was just as dull as the current weather situation.

The Tide Tables Café has so many things going for it… except a decent range of vegan dishes. This vegetarian eatery enjoys one of the top locations in London. It is nestled under a bridge arch with seating scattered amongst trees alongside the river in Richmond.

It is a gorgeous space that truly comes into its own on a sunny day. I’ve rarely eaten in a superior people-watching cafe. Bikes, boats and bodies glide past constantly.

Tide Tables of Richmond

Tide Tables of Richmond

They must be doing something right. So busy!

They must be doing something right. So busy!

That is the praise out of the way. Let’s move onto the vegan food critiquing.

Most of the vegan food I ate at Tide Tables was subpar. It was a rocky start when the server didn’t know if the bread used for toast was vegan. I will never understand how a vegetarian eatery can get it so wrong with vegan options.

Sure there was a menu section for vegan choices, but overpriced and uninspiring would be kind adjectives.

The vegan menu

The vegan menu

I ate a sloppy and tepid Moroccan harissa  flat bread that set me back just over 5 pounds. Josh ordered a samosa that was not nice but his bowl of gazpacho was slightly more positive.

My sad harissa

My sad harissa

The samosa didn't kill us

The samosa didn’t thrill us

The gazpacho was tasty & came with a killer view

The gazpacho was tasty & came with a killer view

It would take a lot of convincing to get me back to Tide Tables but of course you are encouraged to try. Please post your comments below if you enjoy any of the vegan dishes on offer at this West London location.

Visit Tide Tables Café online



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Written by fatgayvegan

  1. We found the same thing and tend to just go for the coffee/tea/smoothies. It’s really the atmosphere that keeps drawing us back…

    • I need to report a little improvement at Tide Tables, they now do have a mandarin and choc chip cake which is vegan and very nice (though a little overpriced possibly). I drop in there to meet a small group of other veggies and vegans on the 3rd Monday of the month every month at lunchtime so would be glad to meet any more local veggies and vegans who would like to join us.

  2. Fraid I entirely agree … fabs location but vegan food very, very disappointing (and over priced).

  3. I like the moroccan flatbread and sometimes have the vegan chilli and rice but your review is not wrong about there not being enough very good vegan choices, for instance they do not even do a vegan cake, only an almond twist and any self-respecting veggie place these days should have one vegan cake!
    We go there to meet up with local veggies and vegans most months on a Monday lunchtime, but there is not a lot of choice at this far flung end of London.. do you think they might listen to suggestions from us as we are regulars?

  4. As an occasional visitor to Tide Tables (joining Lesley, above, and other TWandKTveg members), I agree that they can clearly do better when it comes to catering for vegans. That said, I’d rather the veg*n community tries to work with them, to improve the situation, than lose one of the few veggie meeting/eating places in the area through negativity. I’ll send them a link to this page Sean, in the hope that we can get some feedback…

    • My feeling precisely, Richard, about working to improve things and not losing what little we do have for vegans in the area (and as I said I love the flatbread and the vegan chilli have had no complaints about them).
      Personally I wasn’t going to share this link with Tide Tables, worried that it is too negative, but you could be right Richard about sharing it, so do it if you think it is for the best – and if anyone from TT reads this, please could we suggest as an improvement, a vegan cake (I know ppl who can advise on that or even someone I know well MIGHT be able to make and supply to you occasionally with excellent vegan cake, I will ask if you like, and she is one of our regulars) and some vegan margarine please (butter and Flora as the choices means neither choice is vegan).

  5. Your review is spot on. I’ve visited Tide Tables a couple of times – once as a vegan, and once in 2011 when I was a vegetarian – and I left unimpressed both times.

    It’s a shame really, as it’s so nice to go for a walk in Richmond Park, and it would be great knowing there was somewhere to eat afterwards, but right now Tide Tables doesn’t do it. (Their reluctance to clearly state their opening hours doesn’t help, either!)

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