Patisserie Valerie

Patisserie Valerie - Chester, Cheshire

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31 Bridge St, Chester, Cheshire West and Chester , CH1 1NG
01244 343286
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Only a month ago Patisserie Valerie released their own gluten free range, we all got excited at the prospect of delicious eclairs, mousse slices and tarts being available for us to devour. Unfortunately that was far from what we did get offered.

I don't really get chance to go to Patisserie Valerie and if I am honest I have only ever been to their subsidiary company, Druckers, who also sell the new gluten free range, and it has been a very long time since I have been there too. So while out in Chester I thought I'd give the gluten free range ago in their Patisserie Valerie, after nosying around online at what they actually had on offer.

Gluten Free marble cake
Gluten Free marble cake
Unfortunately my nosying didn't particularly hit my very sweet spot, I wanted a nice eclair, not just a bog standard selection of cake I could probably buy so much cheaper or make myself, however not one to turn my nose up at any gluten free cake I though I should give them a go, they are a renowned patisserie after all, I expected the cakes to be fantastic.

Online browsing showed I should have the choice of marble cake, brownie, chocolate muffin, ginger biscuit or flapjack, definitely a drab selection considering what they are known for. However after a long wait to get a table on a busy day and an even longer wait to actually get a waiter to notice we needed serving I asked what they had gluten free.

"Gluten free? Umm, I'm not sure. I will go and look what we have." Very reassuring Mr Waiter. Five minutes later after watching him at the main counter he returned with three plastic containers. "Only ones we have in are marble cake, brownie and ginger biscuit." Settling them in front of me so I could see them probably, I hesitantly decided on the marble cake. I was debating between the biscuit and the marble cake, so decided if the cake was good then I'd go and get a ginger biccie to take out and eat later.

Gluten Free marble cake and smoothie
Gluten Free marble cake and smoothie
The waiter took the cakes, including my chosen one back and then returned to take drinks orders. I like giving people the run around, if he had asked to start with when I told him I was Coeliac he wouldn't have had to go running back and forth but apparently common sense wasn't his forte, so instead he got sent back to the counter a third time to check my drink option was safe (it was).

After a good 10 minutes just to order we waited another good 25 minutes to get our food. My marble cake came in the same plastic container the waiter brought it in earlier but on a plate, glad to see they knew about cross contamination and didn't take it out the pack to serve.

The marble cake was a few inches square and maybe 1/2 inch in height, obviously this was a cake cooked as a tray bake and wasn't particularly appealing to the eye compared to some of the tarts and slices being served to other people. For £2.10 the slice of cake wasn't really worth the money when some of the massive slices were £2.95

The taste of the marble cake was also what can only be described as drab too, it lacked in flavour and it was very thick in texture not light as I have come to expect sponge to be.

After paying nearly 25 for three cakes and three drinks none of us thought it was worth the money and the other two had proper gluten filled cakes, it was just to expensive for the quality of the products, including the drinks (I had a smoothie, and if I am honest I have had nicer from Costa).

Overall we decided that it would be a place we'd go only if we desperately needed something. The cost was the main thing that put me off, the marble cake wasn't the best but was ok, however other products may be different and I would be up for trying some of the other gluten free on offer just to see how they compare.

Your Comments

I can't honestly say I'm surprised. It bothered me from the beginning that, despite their status as a popular French patisserie, the only gluten free options were boring run-of-the-mill foods you can get absolutely anywhere. It's a French patisserie and you would expect the same quality to be provided, otherwise you might as well not bother. It feels like a very half-arsed effort to get more customers through the door, with the typical air of 'they're gluten free so they're used to things tasting a bit bland'. So many places seem to subscribe to that.

Anyway, I hope they read your review and make the necessary improvements to their offering. We have an auto-immune condition - we still deserve the best, same as all their other customers.

Vikki Cook - 11th March 2016

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