I was really, really put off by this experience. I gave 3 instead of 2 on Yelp because they get points for at least trying to accommodate me, but I’m giving 2 here bc from one celiac to another, effort doesn’t count as much. Lol
We went for the Christmas tea and I received a variety of gluten free versions of the dainty glutinous options my dining partners received. They got meatballs with mashed potatoes and sauce, I got mashed potatoes with sauce due to the meatballs having gluten. They got several dainty sandwiches, and I received three very large (huge for high tea!) and hearty sandwiches with lots of filling that was fresh and tasted ok, if not lacking in seasoning and strong flavor (common theme of the afternoon-- the people I was with also said their food was somewhat bland). The avocado toast was a hefty portion of avocado.
Now all this sounds great in theory, but the gf bread was dense and still cold from the freezer, one piece frozen still in the middle-- yes, not thawed all the way. They kept saying to me "this is how gluten free bread is" and "that's just how gluten free bread is supposed to taste". I said to the waitress, this bread is half frozen still, and that makes it gluey. Perhaps you could pop it in the microwave or something? She told me "um actually, gluten free bread is SUPPOSED to be kept in the freezer. So it's supposed to be like that". Regardless, they took it away and brought it back-- I thought that meant they would warm it up or something, but the bread was still cold and gluey. The waitress' response made me feel kind of upset-- to speak down to a celiac customer about how gluten free items are SUPPOSED to be... we all know gf bread is stored in the freezer. It spoils fast! The celiacs get it! But nobody's eating frozen or cold bread. That's not how it works. You thaw frozen things before eating.
The sweets tier was ok-- my macaron came a little mangled but tasted fine. The cake had frosting on it that tasted canned, like preservatives. Like maybe that pillsbury premade kind.
The tea was great-- lots of offerings, tasted nice, no upcharge for refills. However, with three lactose intolerant people at the table, we were disappointed with the lack of dairy free milk offerings. It's the bay for goodness sake! You can see from my past reviews that I've been to many a high tea in the bay, so believe me when I say this lack of dairy free milk is unusual at a high tea location in NorCal.
The ambiance was nice as well. Back when this tea shop was a different tea shop, The English Rose, I liked it for the vibes most of all. It's very froufy and fluffy and pastel. This new business certainly maintained a similar vibe, which is cute.
— Below Average