Knowing that I was going to be there over lunch time, I thought I should do a bit of gluten free research to see if I could find somewhere to eat that would suit the whole family.
I came across Tea On The Green which, as the name suggests, is located on the green conveniently right next to the Cathedral, so it was already a strong contender due to its location, but how would it fair for gluten free options?
I tweeted them on Sunday and received a tweet back pretty quickly saying that they make their own gluten free bread on site and I could have breakfast, paninis, curry, fresh fish of the day, pasties and cream teas!!Based on that selection Tea on the Green was already a winner, but one of my friends from back home in Penzance (now living in Exeter) tweeted me to recommend them as he goes there quite a lot. This was great as I do love to have personal recommendations for venues!
I arrived in Exeter at about 11ish on Friday and after meeting up with the family, we soon made our way to Tea on the Green for an early lunch / brunch. Its location on the green is perfect and it’s so nice to come off the busy high street into this pretty yet quiet part of the city (except when there are graduates everywhere!) 🙂
As there were 5 of us, plus my niece, we decided to go and sit in their upstairs area where there was more space, as a well as a great view over to the cathedral. Once seated, I asked if it was possible to speak to Ben as he was the one tweeting me, and also the person that my friend recommended I spoke to on arrival (not realising at the time that he’s also the owner).
All the staff appeared to be very knowledgeable about their gluten free options which was great to see, and Ben let me know what I could and couldn’t have.
I was keen to try their gluten free bread so I opted for the Chicken Run panini which was chicken, chutney and brie (although I swapped the Devon Fire chutney for the farmhouse chutney). The rest of my family chose breakfast options (either a full breakfast or an omelette).
It was a tough choice for me to not choose a pasty, but Ben said that they did them as takeaway options too, so that was on the cards for afterwards!
When my food arrived I was astounded by the panini’s size….
The two slices of bread were very thick (each one was probably about an inch thick), possibly too thick as it meant that I only ate half of it, otherwise I would have been on bread overload for the rest of the day. The filling was amazing though, with very generous helpings of chicken and brie, but I think that if I’d have eaten the panini with both the top and bottom layers of bread, the filling may have been lost in it. Smaller slices would have been perfect, but I guess with homemade bread, it’s not as easy to cut thin slices.
As for the taste of the bread itself, I was extremely impressed with its quality and consistency. There’s definitely a fear when you know that items have been made on site that there may be a cross contamination issue during production, but I had no ill effects from the meal, so all seemed good in that respect.
We all had a great time at Tea on the Green with both brilliant food and service, and I know my Dad’s planning a return trip when he’s back in Exeter in a few weeks, and if I’m back there anytime soon, I will be too! I need to really as I forgot to get a pasty!! Gutted! I’m also keen to try their cream teas too, but obviously it would be done the Cornish way! 🙂