Gluten Free Afternoon Tea at Brown’s Hotel, London

Last weekend I went to the fabulous Brown’s Hotel with my two partners in crime. Usually this would involve large quantities of something sparkling (and sometimes a bit of karaoke!) but as I’m not drinking alcohol at the moment, we decided to try out Afternoon Tea.

Initially I’d tried to book a table at Claridges after such a fantastic gluten free Afternoon Tea there last year. You can read my post here. Sadly, even though I called 6 weeks in advance for a Saturday in January, there were no tables. Nevermind, Claridges’ loss was our gain!

Browns Hotel offers Afternoon Tea with champagne if you wish (I wish!) and either regular or gluten free. Interestingly, they also offer a ‘Tea Tox’ for guests looking for a healthy version of Afternoon Tea. This is not gluten free but some items are.

Browns offer 17 different varieties of tea and even have two tea sommeliers to assist in choosing, should you require it. I went for a peppermint tea (yep, caffeine’s off the agenda at the moment too) but it was lovely and refreshing.

So what do Browns serve for gluten free Afternoon Tea?:

The bottom layer contained sandwiches made on different types of gluten free bread. My favourites were the ham and piccalilli, salt beef and the egg mayonnaise. Gluten free version of Afternoon Tea is on the right of this photo.The bread was soft and seemed to be made in house because it had a home-made texture to it, and tasted unlike commercially produced bread. It did dry out a little as the afternoon went on but I’m reliably informed that this was no more so than the regular sandwiches.

The middle layer of the stand contained gorgeous fruited scones. These were taken by the waitress back to the kitchen to be kept warm until we were ready to eat them with cream and delicious home made strawberry jam. A nice touch.

And the top layer? All these treats were sugar free. Yes, you read that right, sugar free! I am at a total loss as to how the following delicious treats could possibly be made without sugar (how do you make chocolate without sugar?) but I asked several times and they were…

So how did the gluten free Afternoon Tea compare with the regular? The stand on the left is the regular afternoon tea, and on the right is the gluten free version. Looks pretty good, right?

As the afternoon progresses, empty plates can be replenished if you wish and at no cost. In addition a cake trolley does the rounds. Sadly no, there were no gluten free options on the trolley but I can honestly say I had more than enough gorgeous gluten free treats of my own!

I thoroughly enjoyed gluten free Afternoon Tea at Browns Hotel and can’t wait to go back for a catch up with good friends and ponder just exactly how did those fabulous cakes and pastries get made without gluten or sugar.

Gluten free Afternoon Tea at Browns Hotel costs £38. Should you require gluten free, nut free or other allergy friendly Afternoon Tea, 48 hours advance notice should be provided.

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13 Comments

  1. March 19, 2011 / 9:13 am

    My husband and I were given a “high tea” voucher for the Langham hotel (we live in New Zealand) for Christmas from my step daughter (who lives in South Shields UK). I was a bit surprised that she gave us this as she knows I am gluten free, although newly diagnosed so maybe she forgot in the panic to choose a Christmas gift to get to NZ on time.
    I haven’t yet phoned Langham hotel to see if they do a gluten free high tea as I was sure they didn’t. Your post has made me think that they possibly could do?
    Your blog is lovely. I found it via Lois’s Bring Back the Bliss blog, which I also love.

    • Gluten Free Mrs D
      March 20, 2011 / 11:41 am

      What a lovely present from your step daughter! I think Afternoon Tea is such a treat – and one that we’d rarely buy by ourselves. I wasn’t sure if the Langham Hotel did gluten free Afternoon Tea or not so I’ve done some checking and I’m happy to tell you they do! Here’s a link with all the speciality Afternoon Teas the Langham offers http://palm-court.co.uk/pdf/PC_Speciality_Afternon_Tea.pdf It looks really nice, and it’s good they also do vegan, no nut and diabetic Afternoon Tea for those who need it.

      I hope you have a lovely time – both on a trip to the UK and at the Langham for gluten free Afternoon Tea. Please let me know how you get on!

  2. March 19, 2011 / 9:19 am

    We visit the UK regularly as my son lives in London and has done now for almost 5 years and my husband’s daughter lives in South Shields where my husband comes from. (I am a Kiwi.)
    I haven’t been to the UK since being diagnosed with Coeliac. I was diagnosed in October last year and I had just returned from a trip to the UK in September.
    This blog will help me next time I come over. Also my son seems to be a Coeliac as well. He has had his gastroscopy and has an appointment with the hospital to “discuss the results” in March so this blog with London gluten free eating places will help him as well.

    • Gluten Free Mrs D
      March 20, 2011 / 11:48 am

      Many thanks for stopping by on my blog and leaving such nice comments. I loved New Zealand very much when we visited in 2009 and hope to go back soon. I will have to check with you on some recommendations for the next trip we make!

      I wish your son well in his hospital follow up. I think receiving a Coeliac diagnosis is incredibly tough, if it turns out that way. On the other hand, at least it means you “know” and can move forward to make informed food choices. Plus there are plenty of good quality gluten free products and information available these days to make life a little easier.

  3. steve marshall
    August 1, 2011 / 10:39 am

    Gluten free afternoon tea in London

    To celebrate our wedding anniversary my wife and I, joined by our three children, took afternoon tea, with the gluten free option, at the Court Restaurant in the British Museum on Saturday 30.07.11. The whole experience was quite superb, the best bit being that the gluten free option was barely discernible as being any different from the others. Exactly as a gluten free option should be! Taken with a bottle of the house prosecco and coming in at around half the price of afternoon tea of similar quality elsewhere, I would heartily recommend the Court Restaurant at the British Museum for a gluten free afternoon tea whilst in London.

    • August 1, 2011 / 3:50 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know about great gluten free afternoon tea you enjoyed at the British Museum, I wasn’t aware that they offered it. I shall definitely give it a try soon, there are a couple of exhibitions on there at the moment I’d like to see.

      Many thanks again for the information and happy wedding anniversary!

  4. Thomas
    September 15, 2011 / 9:04 am

    Having tea at browns hotel the other week was definitely an ideal way to enjoy a quintessential English experience. Nothing was too much trouble for the wonderful team of staff who ensured that every guest left feeling that they were the most important person. From having 17 teas to choose from, my friend and I decided to go for the hotels own blend. The delicious finger sandwiches, variety of pastries, fruit and plain scones, as well as freshly baked cakes from the trolley were all lovely, from your pictures it looks like we had all the same treats. We wish to go back soon when next down in London. London Plumber

  5. Pingback: A Gluten Free Guide To London: Eating Out
  6. Betsy
    April 19, 2013 / 1:42 am

    We are traveling to London for our first visit with our teenage daughter this summer and would love to take her to afternoon tea as a special treat.
    Are there any places that offer a nut-free afternoon tea?
    Many thanks!

    • April 21, 2013 / 10:56 am

      Afternoon tea is such a treat! I would email the places you’re interested in and see what they can do. Good places to try are Browns Hotel, Claridges, Fortnum and Mason.

      Just a heads up, afternoon tea is extremely popular so I recommend you book at least month in advance or you may not be able to get a table.

      Have a wonderful trip to London!

  7. Eric
    February 21, 2017 / 11:57 am

    Can you please relink the photos? None are showing up and I am curious to see the gf afternoon tea! Thanks

    • February 24, 2017 / 2:13 pm

      Thanks so much for highlighting this as I hadn’t realised they photos weren’t displayed. I’ve been there a few times since and am in fact going for afternoon tea at Brown’s in a few weeks time. I think it’s my favourite in London along with Claridges.

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