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Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!

A refreshing GLUTEN FREE Festive Afternoon Tea, up the Shard (in November 2015)…

Afternoon Tea is a quintessentially British delight, and when it’s GLUTEN FREE, It’s even better! On my blog, I have indulged at Fortnums & Masons as well as the Pantry @108 which were both beautiful with dainty sandwiches, soft buttered scones and exceptional cakes washed down with a grand cup of tea but now that it’s the most wonderful time of the year, a festive GLUTEN FREE Afternoon Tea is being offered by the Shangri-la Hotel, sitting inside The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building, with views across the great city of London…

A Festive GLUTEN FREE Afternoon Tea

A Festive GLUTEN FREE Afternoon Tea

Sat in the Ting Restaurant, at the present time, three Afternoon Tea options are available for selection. A regular Afternoon Tea(£54), a Chinese-inspired Dim Sum Afternoon Tea(£54) and the Festive Afternoon Tea (£54). The later, being made available for GLUTEN FREE. On the menus, a good listing of all allergens gives you comfort that they know what’s in their dishes. So after a few telephone calls, just to make sure my GLUTEN FREE options had been ordered and would arrive, I was reassured it was going to be a festive delight!

After a quick security check, you are taken in the lift up to the main Shangri-La reception, overlooking the River Thames with a view across of the City of London and into the Ting restaurant. Large Christmas Trees and tasteful decoration help settle you into the luxurious setting whilst many of the tables have a direct view out across the city. There are a mixture of soft sofas as well as the formal tables so you are able to decided how formal you’re going to be. And of course, being Afternoon Tea, there is the small selection of over 30 different teas.

The Menu for Tea

And before we started with our Afternoon Tea, we were brought a Mushroom Veloute (flavoured with Truffle Oil) and it was beautiful. A really light creamy mouthful of delight with strong earthy aroma of truffles. Definitely a great start to our GLUTEN FREE afternoon…

Afternoon Tea (with the GF option on left) and Asian Afternoon Tea on right (WITH GLUTEN).

Afternoon Tea (with the GF option on left) and Asian Afternoon Tea on right (WITH GLUTEN).

It is delivered with some panache and style as they look beautiful! (Mine is the one in front of me) with two Asian Afternoon Teas on the stand in front.

GF Festive Sandwiches

GF Festive Sandwiches

The GF Sandwiches were pretty good. Now, the GLUTEN FREE bread was tasty and firm, and yet not too bready (which makes a change) and a selection of festive fillings:

  • London smoked salmon, yuzu crème fraiche
  • Roasted turkey with cranberry compote
  • Jamon Iberico with egg mayonnaise and mustard cress

Whilst these were very dainty: there was plenty of filling inside, that they felt like a good sandwich. Of course, you are offered more, so I did have a second plate of sandwiches and my favourite was so the Smoked Salmon which had a light refreshing bite.

GF Fruity Scones

GF Fruity Scones

Not one for Scones but these were larger (than the regular Scones) with fruit which added to the texture. These were a delight as served with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam, I opted to enjoy these “Cornwall” method: with jam first before coating in Clotted Cream as a topping. (The alternative method is the Devon Method).

The Cornwall Method of eating my Scones

The Cornwall Method of eating my Scones

Again, the offer to have a refill was made but I turned it down as I was rather excited to be starting on my cakes and patisserie selection:

Beautiful GF Cakes

Beautiful GF Cakes

  • Chocolate Yule Log
    Chocolate sponge with cinnamon chocolate cream and mandarin marmalade. This was a delightful little cake which had a light airy filling.
  • Christmas Macaron
    Christmas pudding ganache which had a beautiful icing star on it. Also had a rich filling and yet it was light and tasty.
  • Vanilla and Coffee Snowball
    This was my favourite and it was a Vanilla cream with a coffee mousse and white chocolate and strangely, looked like it had been dropped on my beautiful plate.
  • Festive Tea Snowman
    A cute GF Choux pastry snowman with edible silver leaf and a festive blend of infused cream and chestnut velouté. Not the greatest tasty snowman but a great looker.
  • Red Berry Pot
    Red Berry tea infused cream, fruit compote with a sliver of Dark Chocolate. This was refreshing and shared across the Asian Afternoon Teas as well as the specifically ordered GLUTEN FREE Festive Tea.

These little cakes were a beautiful finish to this GLUTEN FREE Afternoon Tea. They were exceptional with strong flavours in little bite-sized portions, and after lots of sandwiches, fruity scones and lots of tea,  this was a grand finish to the meal.

And of course, it wasn’t quite over, as when you pay,  they bring over a small handmade box of delightful chocolates, Turkish Delight and other sweet treats (which are all GLUTEN FREE). and of course, this is a final au revoir before you depart the luxurious surroundings of the Shangri-La hotel, once again, taking in the bird’s eye view of London.

And just a quick visit to the Gentleman’s to confirm that there is a view there as well…

Conveniences with a view...

Conveniences with a view…

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18 comments on “A refreshing GLUTEN FREE Festive Afternoon Tea, up the Shard (in November 2015)…

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