Christmas Countdown | 19 | Gluten Free Afternoon Tea

Gluten free afternoon tea at Brown's Hotel, London
My Aunt, Mum and Sister enjoying afternoon tea at Brown’s Hotel in London.

Earlier this month, I said I would report back on the gluten free afternoon tea at Brown’s Hotel in London. My Mum, Sister and Aunt like to meet up in London now and then for a day out and a catch up.

I’ve never suggested afternoon tea before, although I’ve been with friends several times, as my Mum is gluten free and I’ve always assumed that it wouldn’t be worth it for her. After all, the main part of afternoon tea is sandwiches, cake and scones!

I was convinced to give it a go after chatting to the maître d’ at the English Tea Room and I’m so glad I did. The bread used for the gluten free tea was indistinguishable from the normal bread. I have no idea how that’s even possible!

The gluten free scones were excellent too. And as far as I could see, the only difference between the gluten free cakes and the normal cakes was the lack of choux, which is totally understandable.

On top of all of that, you get charming service and a live pianist. We’ll definitely be back.

This month, I’m again attempting to blog every day to turn this corner of the internet into a sort of advent calendar. Posts will be tagged ChristmasCountdown2015 or you can look at the calendar in the sidebar ⇒


A day trip to Burnham-on-Sea

Burnham-on-Sea blue sky 2This weekend I had the feeling it was time to see the sea. It was a beautiful clear and sunny day and pretty mild too. So we drove out to Burnham-on-Sea.

Unfortunately the sea was out for the afternoon – somewhere out there, beyond a very wide, silty beach and a channel and a sandbar!

Burnham-on-SeaWe took loads of photos of the wave patterns instead of the waves.

Burnham-on-Sea silhouetteSilhouettes and shadows.

Burnham-on-Sea diptychThe beach wasn’t as empty as it may appear. There were a lot of dog walkers and families about. We even saw two girls with rolled up trouser legs, paddling in the tide pools. In February! The enthusiasm of youth, eh?

Burnham-on-Sea fogAs we turned back and back onto the esplanade, the sea mist rolled in and everything got very atmospheric. In Scotland, they call the sea mist the ‘haar’; I wonder what the old Somerset word would be?

Burnham-on-Sea is an easy 45-minute drive from Bristol – perfect for summer day trips I think.

December Second – Bath Christmas Market

Stalls at the Bath Christmas Market 2014One unmissable event that December brings to Bath is the Christmas Market. Love it or hate it there’s no getting away from it!

I love it actually and all the more so because it’s home grown. As the local paper says:

Unlike many German-themed markets around the country, the Bath Christmas Market is all about local products from local businesses, and the focus is on high-quality products with a real provenance and connection with the region.

That means the money local businesses make stays in the local economy.

My top tip for the market is to come first thing in the morning and to visit the main square by the Abbey first – that’s the square with the double rows of chalets where it can get so packed it’s hard to move! Also, check out the map on the Market website to see which stalls you want to visit first.

The market is on until 14 December 2014.