Being a blogger can have its high’s and its low’s. I could write a very, very long list of lows believe me, we don’t all lead lavish lifestyles and make a packet of money whilst attending highbrow launch parties and events. That said, I felt like I was somebody really special this week when I attended Georgian House in Pimlico, London for an Afternoon Tea with a difference. This was a Vegan and Gluten Free Cheese Afternoon Tea, that’s right readers dairy free cheese – CHEESE!
disclaimer: this post was written to say thank you to Georgian House for their hospitality, I was not obliged to write a review. In return for the free dining experience I agreed to share my images and feedback on social media. However, credit where credit is due and I wrote a review anyway without Georgian House’s knowledge – surprise! I hope you like it.
I specifically asked for my tea to be gluten free too. My regular readers will know that I myself am not gluten free, it’s my daughter Bethany who’s Coeliac. However, I wanted to make sure that this too good to be true sounding afternoon tea could also cater for those on a gluten free diet as well as a dairy free and vegan diet too.
Oh boy can they cater for me, you, EVERYBODY! (that’s a bold statement, I’ll come back to this later)
The only downside to my wonderful experience was that this took place in the evening. Not a problem for many, but, if you plan to take photographs of said afternoon tea then artificial lighting is poopy-pants so I’ll just apologise now for the poor quality images and I’m sure you’ll forgive me just this once.
I was joined by my dear friend Emma Amoscato aka Free From Farmhouse and on arrival we were greeted by the Hotel Manager who showed us downstairs to Pimlico Pantry and through to an inviting room set all ready for us and our fellow lucky guests. Once all guests had arrived we were introduced to a very nervous Head Chef (us bloggers have been known to bite). As the afternoon tea came out and was placed before each guest, Chef talked us through each tier from bottom upwards. After our gasps of delight and eyes widening to the size of saucers, as we took in the food before us, Chef’s nerves abated; and rightly so. Local vegan cheese makers to London featured in the tea and Chef spoke about her creations with such passion for her work, she really, really wants all guests to feel able to enjoy what Georgian House has to offer in terms of cuisine. Nobody need miss out.
To accompany each tier we were treated to a wine flight; each wine is chosen carefully to compliment the corresponding plate of food even down to a sparkling dessert wine to sip whilst enjoying not one, or two but four different cheese inspired mini desserts.
The Vegan and Gluten Free Cheese Afternoon Tea Menu
The image below says it all really, this is where you sit down (if not already sitting) because after reading the menu you’re going to feel giddy with excitement. I’ll let you read, I’m off to make a cuppa….
….what did I tell you. How amazing does that sound?
So then Rebecca, what did your Vegan and Gluten Free Cheese Afternoon Tea taste like?
Oh I thought you’d never ask. Firstly, forget worrying about it being gluten free. I didn’t notice this was a gluten free afternoon tea at all. Emma tried a few bits too and couldn’t tell they were suitable for coeliac diets either.
It’s difficult to choose what elements were my favourites but on the first tier the Camembert Cheese, Vegan Nduja & roasted red pepper open sandwich was my favourite, followed by the Parmesan Cheese with spicy caramelized onion on crispy bread. The Camembert open sandwich packed a mini punch thanks to the vegan Nduja paste and the glass of red that accompanied it worked perfectly with the warmth of the paste in my mouth.
Is it just me or am I sounding like Nigella Lawson, actually, from here on read this in Nigella’s accent, far sexier than mine.
Once again it was the spice that won me over in the caramelized onion when I bit into the Parmesan Cheese crispy bread; swiftly followed by another sip of red. Not that it was too hot to handle, goodness no, I’m no wine connoisseur yet, for the first time, I was appreciating how wine needs to be thoughtfully paired to each dish.
The second tier comprised of two scones; a Cheddar & Thyme scone and a Blue Cheese scone. I ate the Cheddar scone first and was immediately thrilled with the fact that the scone, well, tasted like a scone. It felt like a scone, broke into two the traditional way (without the use of a knife) and had an excellent texture. The cheese and chutney with thin apple slices were the perfect accompaniment and I sipped at dry cider to wash it down. But hang onto your hats ladies and gents and everyone inbetween. The Blue Cheese scone was out of this world. Oh how I miss blue cheese (wipes a tear from my cheek).
I didn’t want the savoury and scone tiers to end, but my tummy was starting to feel full and I feared for my mini desserts, not being able to do them justice that is.
It was at this point that I pointed out to my fellow guests that this was the perfect portion size for an Afternoon Tea. We were all merrily munching away between polite conversation and the odd squeals of delight and I was starting to feel stuffed (have you stopped using the Nigella voice yet? I doubt she would use the word ‘stuffed’ in a sentence). But as I told the group, an Afternoon Tea is often a treat between friends or loved ones, it’s a chance to meet up and catch up, to gossip and put the world to rights. Therefore, the portions were perfect. Perfect to nibble, talk, giggle and reminisce whilst sipping wine, cider, prosecco or a comforting pot of tea.
I have a sweet tooth Rebecca; tell me about the Afternoon Tea third tier already!
Panic ye not, we’ve made it to the final tier. I can’t actually remember which order I ate them in now. I’d like to think, looking back, that I ate each of the four desserts in a calm and ladylike manner. Sadly I’m having flashbacks and think I looked more like the cookie monster; God I hope not!
By now I’d had a prosecco on arrival, a red wine, a dry cider and I was now sipping a sparkling dessert wine. I was not sozzled, but I’d relaxed into my surroundings.
Each dessert was very different from the last. The Raspberry and Mascarpone Cone was a delicious combination of creamy, sweet and slightly sour. The ‘Cocopops’ Cheesecake was, despite its appearance light and delicate in flavour and didn’t take itself too seriously. The caramelized banana pancakes were deliciously sweet but the stand out winner, not just for me, but unanimously around the table was the Black forest cheesecake shot with pretzel crumble. In fact, we all agreed we wanted the recipe. No such luck thus far, but you can’t blame us for asking.
I haven’t forgotten by the way, I said earlier that nobody need miss out. Well, a little birdie told me that the lovely Alive Wiggins aka Gluten Free Alice was also due to enjoy an Afternoon Tea later that week and she was to be joined by a friend with multiple allergies. Not that it surprised me, by now I was totally convinced that Head Chef could climb any mountain, but we were reassured that Chef had planned and prepared an almost identical teatime experience that safely catered for Alice and her friend. As I said before, no body need miss out, you just need to call ahead and wishes can and will be granted.
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Cheese Afternoon Tea at Pimlico Pantry at Georgian House, London ♡ 15% OFF booking ♡ Code VCAT15 ♡ (T&C’s – available on any Cheese Afternoon Tea booking [inc weekends] made through Georgian House website or Instagram reserve button. Offer must be applied at checkout. Bookings must be made before 11.05.19 and dining can be any time in 2019)
Please note that a Cheese Afternoon Tea costs £80 for two weekdays and £90 for two weekends, tea is included but an extra cost is incurred if you wish to get a little sozzled and have the wine flight or bottomless Prosecco options.
If you’ve only just happened across my blog Glutarama, then you may also be interested to know this is not the main topic I write about, the majority of my posts relate to free from recipes and food reviews, as our family are affected by Coeliac Disease, egg, dairy other intolerances it keeps me busy in the kitchen, but boy do I have fun experimenting for my family and followers.