I love this time of year; there are so many glorious Bank Holidays to take advantage of! Last Monday was no exception of course, so my chum Caroline and I trotted on down to the newly opened Pantry at 108 at the Marylebone Hotel for afternoon tea.
As with any tried-and-tested classic, it’s hard to reinvent the concept of ‘afternoon tea’, but Pantry at 108 has successfully developed a dairy and gluten free version that is simply divine! Perfect for the lactose-intolerant and coeliacs among us, as well as those who just want to be a little more healthy. Don’t worry, they do still have a classic version too if you’re feeling traditional.
I opted for the gluten-free vegetarian and it was the best I’ve ever had. I had the veggie sarnie selection while my friend went for the non-veggie. Both were delish and super fresh – (sometimes GF bread is a bit ‘sponge cake’ in texture and really needs toasting to make it palatable, this was perfect) they were even made with seasonal ingredients! We started off with juice and the tea selection was brought over, explained, and then we were offered the tins of fresh tea to have a good sniff. We must have looked very strange, but all the smells were amazing! Caroline chose ‘lemon verbona’ and after a bit of umming and ahhing, I decided on the ‘mixed berries’. Yum!
The tasty sandwich selection came and went, and then it was time for scones with jam and cream which were just fab. Three small sponge cakes plus a flapjack were on the top layer, which we had to take away with us as we were so stuffed! All the cakes in the restaurant are laid out in such a way that you can’t help walking around them and staring, we felt just like kids in a sweet shop.
This chic restaurant is light, sophisticated and airy and you get a great sense of spaciousness as you’re spread out from the other people dining. The service was great and they couldn’t do enough for us. We could definitely have stayed all afternoon, and in fact – we kind of did!