I’m always going to be an afternoon tea lover and I’m rather happy to go back to a hotel that I know serves up a great gluten free afternoon tea more than once. On Monday, Rachel and I headed into London to visit a Free From Fair and then to check out the new gluten free Royal Afternoon Tea at the Intercontinental Hotel in Park Lane, London.
I’m a big fan of the Intercontinental branded hotel chain and stay with them as often as I can as I know that I will be well looked after as a Platinum Ambassador member and that I will never go hungry as they look after their gluten free guests really well…actually all the various IHG branded hotels do! <coughs loudly…remember that time that gluten free scones magically appeared at my breakfast table in Porto…seriously spoiled!>
Rachel and I started the afternoon tea proceedings with a Pimms cocktail…I sipped mine very slowly as I’m not a huge drinker these days and it did look rather too pretty to drink…well almost…
…we took the necessary photos; chin, chin folks, quite literally…
…and then we said cheers for the camera…and then a proper cheers without the camera!
^^I love this photo of Rachel, she’s also one of the nicest bloggers I know and I will link up her review when she posts it as we all have different taste buds and expectations!
The sandwiches which are part of the gluten free Royal Afternoon Tea included the following fillings – Salmon, Prawn Cocktail, Ham and Mustard, Coronation Chicken with Mango and Egg and Mayo.
I liked all the fillings especially the prawn cocktail however the only let down for me was the bread used for the ham and mustard sandwich; it was a tad too thick and dry.
I love open sandwiches as I find gluten free bread to be rather heavy and you end up filling up on savoury things instead of all the sugary treats that you’ve been dreaming about.
Gluten free scones are tricky little devils for any pastry chef and these scones passed my scone test with flying colours – they were easy to cut into, they didn’t break any teeth and they were yummy to eat.
The scones were quite small however I liked this idea as normally I can only eat one scone as I find them rather filling so smaller scones were gratefully received and eaten.
If I had any complaint it was over the jam…I didn’t find it sweet enough. Only strawberry jam and clotted cream is served with the scones and to be honest this is the only way I think they should be served…I’m a traditionalist! Rachel on the other hand loved the jam…everyone has different taste buds.
Last by not least are the gluten free pastries and thankfully Rachel spotted no panna cotta – it’s become a staple on the gluten free pastry stand lately along with macaroons. There was a really great variety on offer including a white chocolate cheesecake, carrot cake, flourless chocolate cake and gooseberry jelly with meringue.
I thought the quality of the gluten free pastries were fantastic however I would have loved to have seen a little Royal twist in the pastries…like a little chocolate crown sitting on top of the cheesecake like they had on the afternoon tea pastries for the gluten eating monsters. Picky I know…the quality of the gluten free pastries were outstanding though.
Now I don’t know if you remember Luigi from my last visit to the Intercontinental Hotel Park Lane when I tried out their Scents of Summer Afternoon Tea…
^^That’s Luigi just in case you needed reminding….well Luigi is still there and he’s a total tea making ninja! If you’re lucky to see him, take all his suggestions on board…even the one when you think he might be going crazy talking about olive leaves…the tea works perfectly with your sarnies…infact all his recommendations worked perfectly with each course of the afternoon tea.
G and I experienced something similar when we had Afternoon Tea at the Intercontinental Amstel in Amsterdam a few years back and it adds a different dimension to the afternoon tea….see I told you that I love the Intercontinental brand!
Oh and don’t pass up the Iced Tea…oh my goodness, Rachel and I were in tea heaven with that baby.
The Royal Afternoon Tea is served in the Wellington Lounge and it’s one of the most relaxing spots to have afternoon tea – comfy chairs, check – pillows, check – your own personal space, check – great natural light for instagram photos, check! It’s got all the important things going for it.
We had Luigi pamper us during our 4 hour afternoon tea experience (we may have stayed a tad longer than normal folks!)…we felt like princesses…Luigi fluffed up our pillows…I was totally prepared to kidnap Luigi. But in all seriousness, the staff were all fantastic and in fabulous spirits and I love that you can have a laugh with the staff. What I love about this hotel is that you don’t feel out of your depth, you feel welcomed the moment you step in the door, right through to the moment you leave.
Would I recommend the Gluten Free Royal Afternoon Tea at the Intercontinental Hotel Park Lane – definitely, at £36 pp which includes the service charge, I don’t think you can go wrong. The quality of the food is fantastic and even on my third visit…or is it my fourth visit to the hotel now, I’ve yet to be disappointed with their afternoon tea. You can read more or book your visit right here at the Intercontinental Hotel Park Lane website.
Disclaimer: I was invited for a complimentary afternoon tea to try the new Royal Afternoon Tea at the Intercontinental Hotel Park Lane for review purposes however I paid for my afternoon tea so that I can offer a truly independent review for my readers – I like to put my money where my mouth is!
Let me know if you try out the Royal Afternoon Tea as I would love to hear your thoughts.
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