After our recent successful excursion to Nostalgia for high tea, my daughters have decided we should do this as a regular event.So today, we went off to the Cornwall Park Restaurant, long known as a place where one could find exceptional scones, jam and cream. They also offer gluten-free high teas.
The wait staff were excellent, and took the time to lead us through every item on the plates for both gluten-free and gluten offerings, which was great. Always good to know what you’re eating. One of my high tea companions commented that I had less food than they did but was having to pay more, but the amounts were comparable, and certainly plentiful. The food looked lovely.
What was the good? It was very reasonably priced at $29.50 for the gluten-free high tea and $27.50 for the normal high tea. This included a pot of tea, cup of coffee or iced tea. The tea selection was reasonable. One thing that I REALLY liked is something that I talk about again and again and again when it comes to restaurants. Rather than making a whole set of different things just for the gluten-intolerant, a couple of their cakes (chocolate brownie and an orange and almond cake) were gluten-free and included on both platters. Vive la revolution! The sweet things on my plate were very nice, and even though one of them is a fruit salad, the presentation of it in a shot glass and everything chopped up so teeny tiny made it just a bit special.
Now for the bad. The worst of it was the sandwiches. The gluten-free bread used was truly horrible. Dry, tasteless, crumbly and a bit like yucky cardboard. If they’re going to continue to use this bread, they would be better to toast it. But honestly? I’d ditch it and start again. It’s possible to make or buy much better bread. I recommend that they sit down some of their wait staff and get them to try a selection of commercial gluten-free bread until they find one which is nice enough to serve to paying customers. This bread really wasn’t. The scone was OK, but it was a date scone where the other high tea had plain scones, and I don’t much like date scones. It was a bit crumbly, but not too bad. The verdict on the normal scones was that they were OK, but not awesome.
So it was a bit hit and miss, but that was true for the normal high tea as well as the gluten-free one. The service was certainly good and the setting very pleasant. The food looked like the food on the brochure and the website. We gave it a solid 6 out of 10, but would probably only go back if someone else wanted to try it.