PLEASE NOTE THIS GREAT LITTLE TEA SHOP MAY NOW HAVE CLOSED. PLEASE ENSURE YOU CHECK BEFORE VISITING, MORE EXCELLENT GLUTEN FREE CORNISH RECOMMENDATIONS APPEAR IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
This weekend Mr D and I headed to fantastic Cornwall to celebrate his special birthday.
In the weeks before our trip I spent a lot of time searching the internet for gluten free Cornish pasties. I even sent out a couple of requests on Twitter but to no avail. Eventually I happened upon the website for The Mad Hatters tea shop in Launceston.
Can you see what the sign says…?
We entered the very friendly tea shop which was filled with tea pots of every possibly type imaginable. The place was packed and lucky for us the only available table was in the window. This photo was taken just after a group left and in the only 2 minutes the tables were empty!
After a long drive from London (and the prospect of another 2 hours to go), opening the menu to see such a long list of gluten free options made me very happy!
Of course, I went for a gluten free Cornish pasty. It came served with either baked beans or salad. I went for baked beans – they were Heinz and gluten free.
How did it taste? Delicious and definitely worth driving 3 hours for! The gluten free pastry was very flavoursome and had herbs (maybe rosemary?) in it. The pasty filling was the traditional beef, potato, swede and onion combo.
The other thing I found really interesting about The Mad Hatters was the other patrons in the tea shop. Many people think eating gluten free is a lifestyle choice, and not a medical requirement or a necessity for a healthy life. A number of the other clients in the tea shop were in the more mature age range and I could hear at least one person on each table ordering a gluten free item. I’m fairly certain for my fellow diners, the need to eat gluten free was not a lifestyle choice. I’m amazed that gluten free pasties weren’t more easily available in Cornwall. Based on how busy The Mad Hatters tea shop was, there is clearly a demand.
Launceston is located just off the main A30 going straight into Cornwall. If you’re travelling down to Cornwall for a holiday, it really is an easy stop off. Why waste your time in motorway service stations when you can visit somewhere as fabulous as this? If you’re en route to a self catering holiday cottage The Mad Hatters can also provide gluten free items to stock up on for your holiday to either freeze or eat straight away. Just pre order and then stop off to collect! No need to miss out on a Cornish pasty or scone just because you can’t eat gluten.