Genteel Marylebone is simply unique, a small, posh village hidden alongside one of the busiest shopping streets in the world.
On a busy Saturday afternoon Mr Kiwi and I visited the recently opened Pantry at 108 Marylebone Lane after a busy crazy week, seeking a few hours of refined respite.
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of 108 Marylebone Lane, but my (many) opinions are only ever my own, and I would never recommend anywhere that I wouldn't happily re-visit.
Offered a table in the bright bay window we settled on a strategy of one gluten free afternoon tea, and one dripping with the full gluten-radicals. Well, they aren't radicals, but you catch my drift.
Presented with a box of the tea selection, it was a delight to be able to see and smell the array, our smiley waitress happy to answer every question we had. And we had a fair few (I told you it had been a long week!)
My gluten free tea is billed as a 'healthy tea', a twist on the usual replacement strategy most hotels and restaurants use.
But first things first, our gorgeous china. Even Mr Kiwi commented the delicate beauty (in an awkwardly manly kind of way of course).
My gluten free sandwiches were spot on, the freshest I've ever had. Nice, traditional fillings on soft bread that almost rivals normal bread. And if you ask any gluten free(-er?) that's a mighty tough ask. The Lentil spoon salad was nice, if a touch random but the bite-size 'super-salad' was a lovely palate cleanser.
The gluten-free scones were good too, passing the knife test (taught to me by grand-tea-master Kelly) and were lovely and light.
The cakes were nice, a lovely looking multi level champagne trifle crowning the tier. A light brownie accompanied a trio of fruity sponges, which were all good if slightly unremarkable.
This is pretty darn good for a gluten-free tea; the sandwiches are often rock hard, the scones heavy or crumbly and the cakes often replaced by fruit. That said, the chefs could have gone a little crazier with flavour.
Mr Kiwi was a little disappointed in his normal tea, it was all just a little dry and they didn't offer refills. This isn't a position I'm used to - normally us allergen suffers look on as the mainstream tea-enjoyers are presented with a bevy of delights.
Highlights of the gluten loaded tea were the light sponge and his fruit tartlet was rather delectable, both enjoyed at high-speed. It was good overall, but was just edged out of being fabulous.
108 Marylebone Lane is a touch of understated class, great with one of the great deals they are offering at the moment (and a touch of window shopping on the high street beforehand), just make sure you try requesting a window seat.
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