It feels like an age since I’ve written a gluten free afternoon review so I thought I better rattle my dags and show you a little afternoon feast from a few months ago. Rachel and I headed into London to try the gluten free Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley…now this wasn’t my first visit (you can read my other review here from 2013…and I had visited again after this review but never blogged about it) but thought I would share my findings with you all as obviously opinions can change.
Gluten Free Sandwiches
The sandwiches were okay…I would say that the gluten free bread was a tad thick for my liking BUT they were better than the pastry selection. We were asked if we wanted more sarnies however we declined as Rachel and I are both sugar monsters.
Gluten Free Scones
No scones…now this was never an issue before when I’ve visited the Berkeley Hotel for Afternoon Tea however I think there is a problem now.
Gluten Free Pastries
Now the pastries…if you offer no scones then I expect you to blow my cotton socks off when it comes to the pastry selection and The Berkeley failed…the mini cakes were very dry to the point that Rachel and I thought they might be stale…yes stale…you can put a glaze on it however if you wanted us to like it then you shouldn’t have overcooked it!
To quote my dad – even the birds would leave those cake alone for fear of having to walk home!
While in the past, the pastries were free flowing and constantly replenished…this is now not the case so don’t expect to try one of each pastry which is disappointing considering the lack of scones and the dad affair of the stale cakes.
However on a happier note, it was good to see that the hotel have made more of an effort when it comes to the gluten free pastry selection and trying to align it to the regular afternoon tea…this change I am rather pleased about.
To be fair, I really was disappointed with the pastries overall especially when you couldn’t eat the mini cakes as they were so rough…we did ask if there were any additional gluten free pastries and we were provided with a couple of mini macarons which were tasty (a saving grace to the pastry selection of the afternoon tea).
I had a lovely cup of tea however I was disappointed that they didn’t replinish with hot water during our visit…for the price of the afternoon tea, I don’t expect to be drinking luke warm tea.
The tea room looks like it has had a little revamp and now can only be described as instagram worthy…while it’s very pretty, I just found it lacked a bit of soul and could be interchangeable with a few other hotel lounges in London.
The service was okay, it’s definitely not up to the standards that you receive at Claridge’s Hotel which is a shame as they are part of the same group and some consistency would be fabulous…it wasn’t horrendous but I don’t expect to refill my own cup of tea. For the price point that The Berkeley has targeted, I would expect my tea to be refreshed during the afternoon tea experience.
Would I recommend the Gluten Free Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley – if you have cash to burn and are really wanting to try the Pret-A-Portea afternoon tea then definitely go…don’t let my review change your mind but do be weary if you’re gluten free.
For me personally, while I have recommended The Berkeley as a fun place for a gluten free afternoon tea in the past, I would no longer recommend as I thought it was overpriced for the quality that we received on the day.
G and I are off the Brown’s Hotel this coming weekend so it will be interesting to see if I still rate them as one of the best in London for gluten free afternoon teas along with Claridge’s Hotel, The Lanesborough, The Langham and the Intercontinental Park Lane.
The afternoon tea at The Berkeley starts at £52 per person plus 12.5% service charge. You can learn more about the afternoon tea here on their website…FYI, the new Spring / Summer afternoon tea menu is out now.