Afternoon tea is one of my most favorite things in the whole world. However, just about every item included is a hotbed of gluten. I thought I would never have another one that I didn’t make myself. Until now! The White Linen Tea House in Wheatfield, NY serves a gluten free afternoon tea. Not only do they serve one, but it was spectacular.
We made reservations, although there were some free tables, so it might not be 100% necessary. The tea house is situated next to a huge antique barn and another shop, so you can not only have tea, but you can shop. The tea house itself sells a few gift items as well.
I went with a friend on a recent Saturday. They open at 11 and we arrived at 11:30. The tea house is a
former farmhouse with several small rooms with tables. The decor is beautiful. The room we were in had a mantel that was decorated, a bench made out of an old iron bed head board, a wall of antique portraits, and a glass case filled with antique porcelain hands. Elegant, fun, and girly.
I ordered the gluten free tea for $29.99 which includes a salad, 4 crustless sandwiches, 2 scones with clotted cream and 4 little desserts as well as a pot of tea of your choice (and there are pages and pages of choices). My friend had the regular tea for $25.99 which came with the regular versions of everything I had. Her scones were a tad bigger, as were her desserts, but I have no complaints. Our server was kind enough to point out to me the description on the menu of exactly what would be included in my tea and told me to let her know if there were any other food items in it that I could not eat. She also asked me if I was celiac or intolerant, so it is clear there is a lot of thought and care put into this.
The tables have timers on them so you know when your tea is properly steeped. We were served with a rose patterned china. Our pots of tea came first and we enjoyed sipping our tea. Next up was salad. Mine was a lovely mixed green salad with sliced strawberries and dried cranberries and fruity vinaigrette.
I nearly fell off my chair when my three-tiered main course arrived. I started with the crust-less sandwiches. The gluten-free bread was excellent – not any store bought brand I know. It was fluffy and appeared homemade. My sandwiches were egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad and cucumber-dill with cream cheese. The sandwiches were all fresh and delicious. The egg salad had pickles in it which I loved. The tray also contained some small pieces of melon, pineapple, and grapes for color, but I ate those as well.
Next I enjoyed my scones. One was cinnamon and I think the other was cranberry. Both were flaky and tender and the clotted cream was fabulous. My desserts included a lemon bar, cheesecake bar, chocolate chip cookie and chocolate mousse bar. I ended up taking home about half of what was on my tiered platter and it was my lunch the next day, so that makes the price much more palatable.
Our server was friendly and attentive and also did not hurry us when it was clear were intended to take our time nibbling and chatting. It was very relaxed and comfortable.
This was the PERFECT gluten-free outing and made me feel wonderful – cared for, well-fed, and understood. I had no gluten fear. I highly recommend this. I am going to make this a regular yearly event with my friend, who also enjoyed her regular version of the afternoon tea.