I was invited to the new gluten free tea at Claridge's, using the delicious fresh baked Genius gluten free bread.
It couldn't have been more different than the truly dire Ritz situation.
Delicious, lovingly prepared sandwiches that were beautifully presented - chicken with lemon remoulade, smoked salmon with horseradish and dill, Dorrington ham, egg and watercress. Light and fluffy bread, with high end, well prepared and tasty fillings. Gluten-free delights.
Genius, the breadmakers who make the gluten free bread that Claridge's uses, have the motto "yummy.... hooray!" - the idea being that your first thought when eating something should be that it is scrumptious. The hooray bit comes because it's also gluten free. But the yum should always come first. I entirely agree with this principle.
Oh and boy was it a "yummy... hooray" situation with the gluten free scones. Scones! Pour moi? Oh, Claridge's, wiz all ze's gluten free treats you are really spoiling us (note to the Ritz: this is how you should feel). I haven't had a scone in 14 years. It was delightful. With strawberry jam and a delicate cornell of Devon's finest clotted cream. I very nearly melted at the taste.
The raspberry and rosewater macaroon was, ah, heavenly! Light, a deep raspberry flavour, with some sort of custard cream in the middle, and fresh raspberries around the edges. Weep. I finished my feast with a delicate fruit tart, and some devilish chocolate cake concoction.
Most of all I just felt delighted. And like it was really special. Everything was beautiful to look at, and beautiful to eat. You could tell it had been lovingly prepared. Someone cared.
When it comes to an occasion like Afternoon Tea, I want to be made to feel really special, and to have something any non-celiac would be jealous of.
Mission accomplished Claridge's.
Next time it's my sister's birthday I know exactly where I'm going to go to rub her gluten-eating face in it.