Gluten Free Afternoon Tea, is still one of those elusive menu items that rarely features in a town or city, never mind a hotel! Afternoon Tea is a treat that I never craved in my younger years so I’d never actually experienced one before my coeliac years. I guess they’ve become more quirky and acceptable and not so high brow in recent years, or maybe that’s just my perception.
I was on Twitter one afternoon, when I saw the ‘Alternative Afternoon tea’ from The Atrium in the Westin Hotel, Dublin. I asked if they did a gluten free tea and was pleasantly surprised to hear that they did. So, upon that basis, I decided that I’d like to organise an afternoon tea for my mother in law for her birthday this year.
The Westin Hotel is located on College Green, opposite Trinity College. A perfectly central location if you want to squeeze in a bit of retail therapy or window shopping before or after your tea. The Westin is a five star hotel and it’s like a little piece of tranquility in the middle of the city. It’s so quiet when you walk in, very relaxing. The afternoon teas are served in the Atrium, upstairs. It’s well signed when you go in as to where you should go. The Atrium itself is like a Georgian Courtyard with the large glass roof. It’s a really pretty setting and small enough that there’s no hustle or bustle!
The Menus were on the table for the ‘Most Peculiar’ Afternoon Tea and the ‘Traditional Afternoon Tea’. There was no separate menu for gluten free, which I suppose is a bit strange when they serve one. However, after enquiring, the gluten free afternoon tea is based upon the Traditional one.
The sandwiches come on gluten free bread and came with two fillings. Firstly, turkey, basil pesto, tomato and onion; secondly, tuna mayonnaise. Then there was a gluten free fruit scone and gluten free chocolate brownie cake. The top layer of the serving platter had an array of petit four gluten free desserts.
The drinks choice is from their extensive selection of coffees and indeed teas, or you can opt for a Victorian Mojito from the Most Peculiar Afternoon Tea menu. As I was out with the ladies for an afternoon, it felt only right to sample the Mojito! It’s made with Gin, mint, lime and fresh apple juice and comes in a delightful teapot and served in a teacup with its own strainer. Quaint and fresh!
The afternoon tea shown above was between two of us and even then we struggled to sample everything, there was so much to eat. The Scones weren’t crumbly, like so many different gluten free ranges available in the shops.
The Petit Four desserts on the top tray really were luscious! Tasty, rich treats that you wouldn’t take the time to prepare at home.
The little chocolate cups at the front were filled with Irish Whiskey Cream and topped with praline. There was a salted caramel flourless chocolate cake, Peach Melba Mousse topped with Raspberry Coulis, White chocolate mouse with Salted Caramel and Popcorn and then tiny little Marsmallows with Popping Candy! A real delight for an afternoon tea.
My other dinning companions sampled both the Most Peculiar Afternoon Tea and the Traditional Option. Overall, everybody was really pleased with the selection and amount of food. In fact, between two of us and our gluten free tea, we couldn’t finish it and the staff were happy to wrap the rest for us to bring home.
The cost of the afternoon tea, including the Mojito was €26. I thought that this was incredibly good value, given the amount of food there was. It was a pleasant surprise being able to enjoy an afternoon tea in good company with gluten free options being no big deal to the hotel. In fact, we didn’t even need to pre-order the second gluten free tea, they can cater for it at short notice. Obviously, I would advise no matter where you go, to let the restaurant or hotel know of your coeliac status at the time of booking. The Gluten Free Afternoon Tea in the Atrium Lounge in The Westin Hotel comes highly recommended.
Have you had a gluten free afternoon tea anywhere?
Other Hotels that I know offer Gluten Free Afternoon Tea are:-
Let us know if we can add to this list.
If you’re in Dublin and don’t want to go to a hotel for afternoon tea, you could always visit Antoinette’s Gluten Free Bakery in Kevin Street and make your own tea to enjoy as a picnic or at home.