The Best Gluten Free Afternoon Tea in London

The Best Gluten Free Afternoon Tea in London

There is just something about afternoon tea that feels so sophisticated and quintessentially British to an American in London. It is so much fun to get dressed up and enjoy a relaxing afternoon of tea, scones and sandwiches with your girlfriends. For two years now, I’ve been on the hunt for the best gluten free afternoon tea in London. Luckily, there are many gluten-free afternoon teas in London and many of the best afternoon tea spots offer gluten-free options!

Last updated: 4 December 2018

For anyone seeking a gluten-free afternoon tea experience in London, my top tip is to book your tea in advance and to make sure the venue knows you require a gluten-free tea in advance. Some of the tea rooms do not keep gluten-free items on hand and so it is essential to let the kitchen know ahead of time that you require gluten-free. This will help ensure that they have enough gluten-free items for your tea. I have booked several teas online through Bookatable, OpenTable or and noted gluten-free in the comments and they have been able to accommodate my allergy each time. I recommend calling to confirm the day before.

I will update this list as I attend more teas in pursuit of the best gluten-free afternoon tea in London. On my list to visit next are the Ritz, Claridge’s and Harvey Nichols!

The 10 Best Gluten Free Afternoon Teas in London

  1. The Goring Hotel
  2. Hotel Café Royal
  3. Sketch
  4. The Library Lounge at The London Marriott County Hall
  5. Park Room at Grosvenor House 
  6. GONG at The Shard
  7. DUKES Hotel
  8. The Dorchester
  9. Fortnum & Mason
  10. Jean-Georges at The Connaught
  11. The Orangery at Kensington Palace
  12. B Bakery Covent Garden

There are so many fabulous gluten-free afternoon teas in London and many of the ones I have visited have been exceptional. This ranking is misleading because truly the first 10 teas were all fantastic. It’s only past 10 that the teas enter into mediocre territory.

I’ve listed them here for skimming purposes. Continue to scroll or click on the links below for my full review of these London-based gluten-free afternoon teas!

1. The Goring Hotel

15 Beeston Place
London, SW1W 0JW
Afternoon tea – £49 per person

More information coming soon…!

2. Hotel Café Royal

10 Air Street
Soho, London,W1B 4DY
Afternoon tea – £45 per person

This tea was enchanting. I cannot believe I had never heard of it until I booked it, and now I’m not sure I want to have tea anywhere else! The gluten-free afternoon tea at Hotel Café Royal was impressive on every level.

Gluten free afternoon tea in London at Hotel Café Royal

Scroll back at up and look again at this room! It was a stunning backdrop to what turned out to be a fabulous afternoon tea.

First, of course, came the sandwiches. The gluten-free sandwich menu was almost identical to the glutenous sandwiches and were served on two different types of gluten-free bread.  There was one substitution, I forget what for, but was happy to have a delicious hummus sandwich on my plate instead. The bread was fantastic – I don’t think I’ve had rye bread since I went gluten-free 12 years ago! Such a treat.

Sandwiches during gluten-free afternoon tea in London at Hotel Cafe Royal

The sandwiches were followed by trays of desserts. At this tea, they had us choose a tea to accompany our sandwiches and then another to accompany our desserts, if we fancied. I appreciated this and got to try two delicious teas. There’s a great variety of caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties as well.

Gluten free afternoon tea at Hotel Café Royal, London

Though the gluten-free afternoon tea was different from the regular tea, Hotel Café Royal has taken the trouble to recreate the regular tea in gluten-free form. Not only did I get a gluten-free fruit scone, but also a plain one! And each of the colorful desserts was recreated without gluten. The scones were delicious and the little desserts fabulous.

For a tea in a beautiful setting with classic British sophistication, excellent gluten-free options and great service, Hotel Café Royal is perfect. I can see why has awarded them Best Traditional Afternoon Tea!

3. Sketch

9 Conduit Place
Mayfair, London, W1S 2XG
Afternoon tea – £58 per person

More information coming soon…!

3. The Library Lounge at The London Marriott County Hall

London County Hall
Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB
Tea and free-flowing champagne – £41 per person

I had really high hopes for the gluten-free afternoon tea at The Library Lounge and, dare I say, it exceeded expectations. We had tried to visit The Library Lounge in the spring on a whim for a drink with a view, but it was fully booked. When my best friend visited, it was time to try again.

I had previously had an excellent tea at the Grosvenor House, which is also a Marriott-owned hotel. I figured that The Library Lounge may just have the same gluten free scone distributor. The scones are a very important part of tea in my eyes, ha!

From start to finish, the experience was fantastic. The energy in the room was high as we were surrounded by big groups celebrating birthdays or just coming together over a spot of tea. To start, our waiter brought out a sample of their teas for us to smell, to help us choose the right brew.

teas at the library lounge gluten free afternoon tea in london

Once we chose our teas, the champagne flutes were filled and the teapots came out with a cute little custard to start.

This was followed by the delivery of a towering tray of gluten-free delights. This tea offered the most variety of any of the gluten-free teas I have tried in London so far. Multiple types of gluten-free bread were served, as well as a mini gluten-free quiche. It was delicious.

THE Best gluten-free afternoon tea in London at the Library Lounge

The scones did not disappoint! They were indeed as delicious as those at the Park Room. Honestly, can you believe this is gluten-free?

The best gluten-free scone in London: Library Lounge Afternoon Tea

The beautifully presented desserts were also quite varied and lovely.

Gluten free afternoon tea in London at the Library Lounge

The room is warm and inviting, the views of Big Ben cannot be beat and the gluten-free options available are as yet unrivalled in my gluten-free afternoon tea search. I highly recommend an afternoon at The Library Lounge in the beautiful Old County Hall.

Gluten free afternoon tea at The Library Lounge, London

Excuse the picture quality… enjoy the view.

3. Park Room at Grosvenor House

Park Lane, London, W1K 7TN
Tea and free-flowing champagne – £49 per person

When my dear friend Sarah visited, I booked us a tea at The Park Room. Somehow I knew they offered a gluten-free afternoon tea in London, and the location and the deal I found were too good to pass up. Mayfair sophistication and a view of Hyde Park would be the perfect setting for tea with Sarah.

Park Room Gluten Free Afternoon Tea London

Note: you do not need to raise your pinky like I did…

I booked the afternoon tea on Bookatable, which got us a great deal and free-flowing champagne (why not!). When we arrived, the waitress told me that she had heard that the Park Room has the best gluten-free scones in all of London. Her personality did not seem presumptuous or boastful, so I had faith in her word. When the scones were served – wow! They were so, so good and the reason this tea gets #2 on this list. Go and be amazed.

Park Room Gluten Free Afternoon Tea London

The Park Room is so beautiful and the servers working that day were so friendly and helpful. We barely finished something when they were right there offering us more food or more champagne – they demanded we take more cake home with us. We were happy to oblige, and they offer a gluten-free chocolate cake.

Oh my gosh, they are truly the best gluten-free scones I’ve found in London. Unlike some of the more touristy spots on this list, the room wasn’t full and the service was impeccable. I highly, highly recommend this tea.

4. GONG at The Shard

London Bridge
31 St. Thomas Street, London, SE1 9QU
GONG Afternoon Tea – £56 per person

Wow. Talk about ambiance! This gluten-free afternoon tea is high drama from the moment you step off the elevators onto the 52nd floor. The views are stunning.

Gluten Free Afternoon Tea in London at The Shard

I booked afternoon tea at GONG at The Shard when my cousin Casey came to visit. I figured afternoon tea with a view might be a treat. We got a table overlooking Tower Bridge and it was simply stunning.

Gluten Free Afternoon Tea in London at Gong At the Shard

The tea was delicious! I liked GONG’s actual tea menu the best of the menus I have seen. I chose the Welcome Tea, which was a white tea with apricots. There is definitely a Chinese influence on the tea menu that I really enjoyed.

Gluten Free Afternoon Tea at The Shard in London

The gluten-free scones were fabulous as were the treats they made gluten-free. I had some of the same ones as the regular tea, but also an incredible chocolate mousse cake and a carrot cake topped with strawberries. They did not give me all of the finger sandwiches included in the regular tea, but I enjoyed my selection nevertheless. I appreciated that their selection had less mayo focused sandwiches!

Gluten free afternoon tea in London at GONG at The Shard

Gluten free afternoon tea in London at GONG at The Shard

My cousin enjoyed her regular tea and the posh atmosphere really made this tea feel special! It was a beautiful setting for a fabulous tea. I have one pro-tip/warning: if you are thinking about booking a gluten free afternoon tea at Gong at The Shard, check the weather! If it is foggy, you may not get the same stunning view.

5. DUKES Hotel

St. James
35 St. James, London, SW1A 1NY 
DUKES Afternoon Tea – £32.50 per person

This girl can’t turn down a good deal! When I found a Travelzoo deal for afternoon tea at DUKES Hotel, I jumped at the chance to enjoy an afternoon of tea and sandwiches with my new London friends on a budget. Sadly, the deal is no longer valid.

DUKES is adorable. Hidden away down a side street in St. James, DUKES Hotel has beautiful dark wood features and the tea room is just darling. We were lucky to have a little alcove all to ourselves. I called in advance to see if they could accommodate my gluten allergy and they were happy to provide me with a gluten-free afternoon tea on just a day’s notice.

DUKES Hotel Gluten Free Afternoon Tea London

The gluten-free pastries were great, as were the sandwiches, which were served open-faced when gluten free. It was very relaxing, the service was good and they did not rush us – I think we were there for five hours!

DUKES Hotel Gluten Free Afternoon Tea London

It was lovely, but what I didn’t know then was that the bar at DUKES Hotel is said to have been the hangout for the author of James Bond and the location that inspired “shaken not stirred.” I will definitely need to go back to get one of their famous martinis but have yet to find a time when there isn’t a huge queue!

6. The Dorchester

53 Park Lane, London, W1K 1QA 
Traditional Afternoon Tea – £55

The gluten-free afternoon tea at The Dorchester is the ultimate in British sophistication. It is simply stunning. Located right across the street from Hyde Park, there is just something about this hotel that feels special.

We chose The Dorchester especially for an Easter Day afternoon tea with Andrew’s family. It did not disappoint. Afternoon tea at is served in the Promenade, which is beautifully draped in gorgeous fabrics that add to the feeling of luxury.

Gluten Free Afternoon Tea in London at The Dorchester

The service was fabulous and much friendlier than I may have expected from such a nice hotel. We started off with the finger sandwiches which were so lovely. They were all too happy to offer you more!

Gluten free afternoon tea at The Dorchester in London

The desserts they provided were absolutely beautiful and delicious. The regular teas came with Easter-themed treats that were almost too cute to eat!

Gluten Free Afternoon Tea in London at the Dorchester

The Dorchester falls at #5 on the gluten-free scale because the gluten-free scones were the stereotypical gluten-free substitute – small, bland, crumbly. They were similar to old school gluten-free rolls from which most restaurants have since upgraded. I admit it, I’m being tough on the Dorchester because everything else was excellent.

More to come…

I will continue to update this post as I attend more teas! Do you have a favourite that is one of the best gluten free afternoon tea in London? Please let me know which ones I should check out!

The definitive ranking of the best gluten free afternoon teas in London! Just because you're gluten free doesn't mean you can't have a lovely tea and scones 😍

Jenn is an American expat living in London, spending her time freelancing, traveling and writing on this here blog. Thank you for reading. Are you planning a trip here? Tell me your plans in the comments!

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  1. S
    March 13, 2018 / 9:04 am

    You have to try the Goring hotel, their afternoon tea (and service) was fantastic!

    • Jenn
      March 13, 2018 / 9:29 am

      Thank you for sharing! The Goring has been at the top of my list for months and I almost booked a Christmas tea there. Can’t wait to try – thanks for reading and letting us know!!

  2. July 29, 2018 / 8:22 am

    Jenn, love your list and have linked to it from my review of an Afternoon Tea I humbly submit that you simply must try. I reckon it will comfortably secure a top 5 spot.

    Because, when something is called Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea it should be special, right? It is. Try it!

    I went with a friend to The Library Lounge mostly thanks to your review. In fact I did not even know they offered gluten free tea until you wrote about it, thank you! I reviewed it too and agree with the praise. What a wonderful setting it is 🙂

    • Jenn
      July 29, 2018 / 8:15 pm

      Hi Benjamin! Thank you so much for the recommendation, that tea looks incredible! So glad you enjoyed The Library Lounge. I need to update my post with my thoughts on sketch – they also offer a lovely gluten-free tea! Thank you for reading!

  3. March 4, 2019 / 6:40 pm

    Omygosh, this is amazing. It’s sometimes really tough to travel GF and it feels especially stressful if you feel like you might miss out on something as iconic as tea time in London 🙂

    • Jenn
      March 6, 2019 / 9:17 pm

      Thank you so much, Deborah! Can’t miss tea in London and luckily there are tons of wonderful GF options.

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