Tuesday, 22 May 2012

An island based experiment in gluten free Cream Teas

Well, the diagnosis is not official. The doctors continue to ignore and frustrate so I have gone with self diagnosis and that is 100% I cannot have wheat and therefore can never have a “normal” cream tea again. This is definitely some sort of punishment for what I have done in another life. I was probably Pontius Pilate or something – that seems about fair.
So with my little coeliac head held high I have decided to continue upping my chlosterol even for compromised taste and eat gluten free Cream Teas from now. My boyfriend, in his usual quest to find me food so I won’t get hungry/moody, discovered a place on the Isle of Wight that does coeliac friendly cream teas and it was actually really good.
Just look at that picture. Obviously it wasn’t all for me – that would be obscene. But evidently the portions were amazing.

Appearance – 9/10 The crockery was very sweet and all matched in a strawberry pattern. The use of a fruit and one that is red (red increases the appetite) was a clever ploy to build up my hunger as we waited to be served. The scones came out in little lined baskets which were a nice touch, the only thing letting it down was the pre packaged butter.
Quantity – 10/10 Absolutely no complains on the quantity. I have become a bit of a lightweight recently and I’m not used to carb loading as much as I used to so this rating may not be scientifically correct but everyone around me seemed to struggle to finish theirs so it must have been a lot. The scones were as big as my face, delightful.
Taste – 7/10 Now this is obviously going to be unfair as mine was the wheat free alternative and therefore a blasphemous alternative to the god-like original scone recipe. It still actually tasted quite good and once smothered with lots of cream and jam then was even better. The thing that niggled me was the little parcels of butter put on my plate. I almost quietly took the waitress aside to explain her embarrassing faux pas. *my sweet dear, butter with a cream tea? We are not peasants* But I noticed everyone around me lashing butter all over the scones. I thought obviously they were doing this out of novelty and on that particular half of scone would forgoe on the clotted cream also but no! they lashed that on too. I reprimanded them but they carried on regardless…. Island Folk, least they didn’t burn me on a remote hill.
Price – 8/10 About right. For the quantity – great value.
Ambience – 7/10 The cafĂ© wasn’t the most snuggly of places - although freezing outside so probably better if sun was streaming through the windows. But service was prompt and they said we could keep asking for more cream and jam so that bumps them up in the ratings for me.

How it made me feel - 6/10 Unfortunately afterwards I felt full but not neccessarily "good full". I think the gluten free texture of the scone made it quite powdery and this meant my mouth felt slightly gritty and I had to swill with tea. I also felt ridiculously full - but this was down to pure greed on my part so let's not make the cafe's rating suffer because of my vice. I didn't feel quite as content as I always do after taking on a mammoth scone and therefore it only gets a 6...
Overall score – 47/60


  1. Thanks for this one! Will remember for future reference. Like you, I've tested negative but am unable to tolerate wheat. Have you tried the Free From scones, in the supermarkets? Tescos/Sainos were my fave but I think the recipe may have changed slightly.

  2. I feel for your frustration at unhelpful doctors and being unable to get a diagnosis, but if you haven't had a formal medical diagnosis, please don't use the term "coeliac" to describe yourself. Without tests, it's not possible to differentiate between coeliac and gluten intolerance. Using this term is misleading to others and counters the hard work that many have put in to educating the public about this medical condition.

    1. Dear anon,

      I'm sorry this has offended you and I can fully understand how it could be misleading to others. I eat a completely gluten free diet so often I just substitute writing 'GF' for 'coeliac'. I realise this is misleading and doesn't help when there's so much misinformation out there already. My other blog I have deliberately called 'Gluten free in the South West' and i have outlined i haven't been diagnosed yet. However, i take your point that calling myself a coeliac (i have been doing this for convenience sake) is misleading and confusing to those wanting to understand the disease better.

  3. This review sounds great! Could you tell me the name of the establishment that you went to? My mum is a coeliac and misses cream teas herself! Thank you!

    1. Hi Lawrence,

      So sorry I didn't put an address on this one! It's at The Chessell Pottery Barns, in the Courtyard Cafe.
      Brook Road
      Isle of Wight
      PO41 OUE

      It really was an amazing cream tea and the portions were huge. Let me know how your mum gets on and if she enjoys it :)