We get virtuous in Pantry at 108, The Marylebone Hotel

108 Marylebone Lane

108 Marylebone Lane

Melissa and I always leave it way too long to have our catch-ups. She is fascinating and brilliant company, as a fellow expat blogger usually is – plus, she’s Canadian and Canadians always have a unique bond with us Kiwis given that they also frequently get mistaken for their louder neighbours. Anyway, we had planned to meet up over the bank holiday weekend – that one where it rained non-stop.

Thankfully, I’d been invited to do a High Tea Society review at the Marylebone Hotel meaning the only rain that cursed us was the short walk there and getting drenched while struggling against the crowds on Oxford Street after (but that was my fault for suddenly deciding that I had to buy a yellow bag~).

It really was the perfect day to head inside for several hours. The friendly staff and the daylight that they’d managed to naturally build into the hotel actually made it seem like it was nicer outside than it was.

Nothing like a good magazine on a rainy day!

Nothing like a good magazine on a rainy day!

I arrived early and thankfully was sat in ridiculously comfy furniture with a convenient magazine rack beside me. I enjoyed a healthy juice while reading Red. Then lovely Melissa turned up and we enjoyed Pantry at 108’s fantastic gluten free afternoon tea which they’d asked me to review. Below is an amended version of what I wrote for the High Tea Society.

Selection of all sorts of delicious looking cakes

Selection of all sorts of delicious looking cakes

Interior

Interior

“High Tea Society had a lovely afternoon enjoying afternoon tea at Pantry at 108 in the Marylebone Hotel. This is a friendly establishment not far from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street and the perfect anecdote from a day’s shopping.

We were there to sample Pantry 108’s latest gluten free and healthy afternoon tea. Recently created by Executive Chef, Russell Ford, this is a healthy menu which begins with a selection of sandwiches and salads served on light and fluffy gluten free bread, some of the softest and freshest bread of its type that we have tried in London.

Afternoon tea spread

Afternoon tea spread

Along with sandwiches that included cucumber with cream cheese, smoked salmon, egg, and ham, we were also served buffalo mozzarella with spiced lentils and rocket salad along with a delicious quinoa salad. These went well with the Rare Tea Company Darjeeling and fragrant Earl Grey teas which were refilled when needed.

Savouries

Savouries

Feeling virtuous, we moved onto the gluten free scones with clotted cream and fresh home-made strawberry jam. For us, these were the highlights of the afternoon tea – their lightness made them indistinguishable from normal scones, a rare feat. The jam, delicious.

Scones

Scones

For our final course, we were treated to a selection of gluten free cakes which included coconut and date, pomegranate and banana along with blueberry and coco, a flapjack and a delicious elderflower trifle. These were also served with seasonal berries which went down nicely.

To complement what was a relatively healthy afternoon tea, we were able to choose from a selection of juices and smoothies from The Juicery, many made with superfoods and well needed given London’s recent daily forecasts of four-seasons-in-one-day.

Cake stand

Cake stand

Taking design inspiration from the Edwardian history of The Marylebone Hotel, the light-filled interiors at Pantry at 108 convey a welcoming and sophisticated feel through the use of 19th century inspired furnishings, contemporary fabrics in vibrant colours and traditional materials such as painted panels, timber flooring and marble. One of our party arrived early and enjoyed a selection of magazines in comfortable surroundings sipping on a juice made with rose water and berries.

Pantry at 108’s service was fantastic. Our waiter friendly and knowledgeable. We appreciated his enthusiasm for the menu and stories behind each of the teas we were served.

Juice

Juice

All in all, we had a great time at Pantry at 108 and will definitely return. We liked the enthusiasm of the staff for their menus, the light and airy décor and the effort that they have put into their gluten free offerings – the scones to go back for more of. We would recommend this venue for gatherings of the girls (perfect for a classy hen party or baby shower) or just a quiet break after a shopping spree in nearby Oxford Street.”

Not much more to say really! I enjoyed this afternoon tea a lot but I must admit, I will likely go for the non-gluten-free option next time as I do like my pastries and did miss them a bit. However, if I was gluten free, I would have been delighted with this as the sandwiches and scones rocked my world. Also, I think Pantry at 108 would be a great place just to pop in for a pot of tea and slice of cake – they had a great range of cakes and slices and Marylebone is such a great area to have a stroll then something to eat.

Pantry at 108 can be found 108 Marylebone Lane London W1U 2QE. Nearest tubes are Bond and Baker Street stations.  We were guests of the Marylebone Hotel. 

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14 Comments

Filed under Afternoon tea, Afternoon tea London, Cake, Eating, Experiences, Food, London, London cafes, Tea, The West End

14 responses to “We get virtuous in Pantry at 108, The Marylebone Hotel

  1. I’ll have to add this to my (growing) afternoon tea list !

  2. That all looks very impressive for gluten free food! I think I’m out of WordPress purgatory, so this is a test….

  3. Kat

    Any advice on where to find a normal cafe in East or Central London that sells gluten free scones and tea? All I can find on the net is 20 pounds and up high tea options.
    And just gluten free please, not vegan too. It’s one thing to be denied gluten, I’m not willing to give up real cream voluntarily.

    • Hi Kat. That’s a tough one as I’m not usually gluten free. However, I remember that the London Review Cake Shop had a good range of gluten (and not dairy!) free cakes. It’s not a cafe as such but Leon do the most incredible gluten free brownies – if you go at night they serve them warm with vanilla icecream… Check out Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes as she’s super strict on gluten free but loves her cream. Sorry not to be more helpful!!!

      • Kat

        Thanks for the tip re the review cafe. I’ve been to Leon and love their food but if I ever eat another gluten free brownie it’ll be too soon. They’re like the vegetarian pasta option of the gluten free world; if they’ve only got one gf thing available, odds are it’s a brownie.

      • Oh dear! It must drive you crazy trying to find a decent full fat cake. Thankfully London seems to be waking up to the gluten free options – my friend lives in Brussels and has no choice but to be gluten free and it drives her crazy trying to find any baked goods that she can eat.

      • Kat

        That’s true, I shouldn’t complain. I’ve found Italy and France to be the hardest. So much amazing food but so much of it is sandwiches, baguettes, pastries, pasta, etc

      • Ooh! I just heard today that Bea’s of Bloomsbury have introduced two new gluten free cupcakes – if cupcakes are your thing? Italy and France would be a nightmare for gluten free – best baked goods on earth but I can’t imagine there are many other options baring gelato…

  4. You are so sweet! It was such a good afternoon tea and great catch up and we must not leave it too long again. Thanks for the invite.

  5. I waited until writing my own review before reading yours as I didn’t want to get muddled up! I did enjoy my tea but it seems like you had completely different scones and sweets to me!! Very interesting.

    • Interesting! I loved my scones – I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between them and normal ones with gluten in them. How odd. Consistency is important (tsk tsk~).

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