DOES GATEAU HAVE PRIVATE ROOMS or OFFER PRIVATE RESERVATIONS?
We have a single dining room, used for Afternoon Tea reservations, with seating up to 22 guests.
We can accommodate a single group of up to 6 guests at one table during regular business hours.
For a group larger than 6, up to 22 guests, private reservations are available, currently Saturdays from 4 - 6 pm with use of the entire dining room.
Reservations are up to 1.5 hours long during regular business hours, and private parties are scheduled for 2 hour events.
**During the week, Wednesdays and Thursdays, we offer large party seatings, 12 to 22 guests, with no rental fee.
Prepayment is required for all tea services.
There are no refunds, changes or rescheduling permitted within 24 hours of any reservation.
Private events have use of the entire dining room, with space for gifts and time for games and gift opening. There is a $300 non-refundable rental fee for private reservations and a minimum food order of $475, which can include cake and cocktails. No outside food or drink is permitted. You can select a menu from any of our tea menus, priced per person.
The rental fee reserves your date, and is non-refundable. 50% of the food order total is due 14 days prior to the event, and the balance is due 4 days prior to the event along with final head count confirmation. We email the payment invoices with links for secure online payment.
There areno refunds for private events cancelled within 4 days of the event. Private events cancelled within 14 days of the event are refunded 75% of the 50% food order amount paid. 20% gratuity is added to the food and beverage total.
The rental fee cannot be applied to rescheduled events, nor to alternate events.
You are welcome to bring in your own decor for private events, however no decor can be affixed to the walls or placed on the floor.
Cocktail additions can also be made and paid for at the event.
DO YOU HOST PARTIES?
During regular business hours, we do not host parties per se. Afternoon Tea is more of a dining experience, as we do not have additional space to place gifts or allow for games or activities, you are limited to the space at your reserved table. Reservations are up to one and a half (1.5) hours long, giving us ample time to clear and reset the table for the subsequent reservation.
IS THERE A DRESS CODE FOR AFTERNOON TEA?
We do not have a required dress code for Afternoon Tea service, we suggest dressy-casual at a minimum. We love to see your tea hats!
IS THERE PARKING AVAILABLE?
We are located on a one-way street, with street parking on the opposite side of the bakery. Parking on the main roads (Main St, Lee St, Culpeper St) is limited to 2 hours, and there are public parking lots located in close proximity to the bakery.
WHAT ARE YOUR CAKES LIKE?
All of our cakes, fillings and frostings are made from scratch, with real butter (no shortening), unbleached and unbromated flour, aluminum free leaveners, no artificial dyes, with non-GMO, soy free and select organic ingredients.
Our cakes are slightly dense, not quite as dense as pound cake. We do not use sugar syrups to moisten our cakes, they are moist on their own and stay fresh and moist for at least 4-7 days depending on the flavor.
Please serve your cake at room temperature. We use only butter in our cakes and buttercreams, and they are best enjoyed when creamy and soft, at room temperature. It may take several hours for a cake to come to room temperature once it is taken out of the fridge, 3 – 6 hours. Consider your room temperature and time of the year, it may take less time in summer and more time in winter.
WHAT IS YOUR CAKE PRICING?
Pricing of custom cakes is based on several factors - number of tiers, whether buttercream or fondant finish, as well as the intricacy of the design. Custom cake pricing starts at $8 per serving with a $300 minimum. If you have an idea of the design you are interested in, as well as the number of servings needed, please email us the details and we can provide you with a cost estimate. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another option is our non-custom cake designs, Simply Sweet, for those that would like a more streamlined ordering process, that is more cost effective than a custom cake design.
Here is the link to view our current Simply Sweet designs, sizes and pricing:
One cake flavor for the entire cake is standard for non-custom cake designs, however different flavors for each tier on a multi-tiered cake are available at $20 per additional flavor.
Different cake flavors for each cake tier are included in the cost of custom cake designs, if desired.
Non-refundable deposit amounts cannot be transferred to alternate events, and are only valid towards the initial event booked.
DO YOU MAKE SHEET CAKES?
Our bakery/sheet cakes are 4" tall with 4 layers of cake and 3 filled layers, the same construction as each tier on a tiered cake. Sheet cake is available as needed to supplement a tiered cake at $4 per serving for either custom or non-custom cake designs. Sheet cake has a simple buttercream finish, is undecorated and is not customizable.
The number of sheet cake servings needed can be adjusted up to 3 weeks before the event so no need to worry that you have ordered too much or too little cake at the time of booking.
There are no changes to cake size, cake design or cake flavor within 3 weeks of an event.
DO YOU OFFER CAKE TASTINGS?
Yes, we do offer cake tastings and consultations, as well as pick-up cake tasting boxes.
Cake tastings and consultations are scheduled directly on our website, and the process is described here:
Pick-up tasting boxes, with three (3) cake flavor samples each for two (2) tasters, are $16 per box. Multiple boxes can be ordered. Orders can be placed through the same link as for tasting and consultation appointments.
WHAT ARE YOUR CAKE FLAVORS?
We offer several cake flavors, many award winning, here is the link to the list with flavor descriptions:
Please note we do not deliver to DC, Maryland, Arlington or Alexandria. Please confirm we deliver to your venue before booking a consultation or pick-up tasting box.
WHAT IS THE LEAD TIME FOR A CAKE ORDER?
We need at least 7 days notice for bakery cakes and Simply Sweet cakes with a cake flavor of your choice, and custom cakes require at least 3 weeks notice with availability.
We suggest placing an order well in advance of your date, as we take a limited number of custom cakes per week to ensure we give the time and attention needed for each order.
We also have 8” round bakery cakes available daily in the bakery for quick purchase, flavors vary.
Call to inquire about our daily selections available.
DO YOU SHIP CAKES?
We are unable to ship our layered cakes as they have fillings and buttercream frosting, which do not travel well.
DO YOU MAKE GLUTEN FREE, VEGAN, DAIRY FREE OR NUT FREE PRODUCTS?
Yes, all of our cake flavors can be made as gluten free. For dairy free products, we use dairy free butters and milks. We do not offer vegan cakes. Gluten free and dairy free cakes and cupcakes are ordered online:
Please note that all of our products are produced on shared equipment, we do not have separate designated equipment for gluten free or nut free products. While we are very careful, cross contamination is always a possibility. Gluten can be transferred air-borne for example.
Although we have several products that do not contain nuts, we are not a nut-free bakery.
Please consider this when ordering for someone with a severe allergy or sensitivity.
NO ARTIFICIAL DYES
We do not use artificial dyes in our cakes, fillings or buttercream frostings. Although the FDA claims they are safe, I strongly disagree. Artificial dyes are toxic, and while they may not seem to affect you, they have been linked to ADHD, Autism and a number of other neurological and behavioral issues. Artificial dyes are banned in other countries because of their serious negative health effects. Check all your foods for the unnecessary addition of artificial dyes and avoid them.
The natural dyes that we use result in pastel shades. The deep fondant colors are made with artificial dyes. Fondant is placed over buttercream frosting which acts as a glue for the fondant covering, and can be removed from your cake slice before eating. Still, we will soon be eliminating artificially colored fondant from our cake design offerings.
NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
We do not use artificial sweeteners in any of our products, nor use supposed natural sweeteners. We do not offer artificial sweeteners for our tea and coffee beverages.
WHERE ARE YOUR CAKES AND DESSERTS MADE?
All of our cakes and desserts are made from scratch, onsite at the bakery, including our breads and café menu items. The kitchen is on the second floor of the bakery, above the dining room and take-out area. We have a dumbwaiter to transport food and cakes for dine-in and pick-up orders.
HOW DO WE STORE OUR CAKE?
Cakes can be refrigerated in their box until the day to be served.
Please serve your cakes at room temperature. We use only butter in our cakes and buttercreams, and they are best enjoyed when creamy and soft, at room temperature. It may take several hours for a cake to come to room temperature once it is taken out of the fridge, 3 – 8 hours. Consider your room temperature, time of the year, as well as the size of the cake. It may take less time in summer and more time in winter.
For fondant decorated cakes, it is best to pick them up the day of the event as we do not know what environment it will be stored at if picked up earlier. Fondant is prone to “sweating” (forms a wet sheen over the cake) as a result of humidity. We box our cakes in an attempt to prevent sweating, but many times it cannot be prevented, especially during hot, humid summer days. The moisture will eventually evaporate when the cake is removed from the box and set out at room temperature in a climate-controlled, low humidity environment.
Fondant cakes are also prone to “air bubbles”, air trapped between the cake and the fondant covering. If this happens to your cake after you pick it up, you can use a clean, sanitized pin to carefully puncture the air bubble. Then gently press out the air through the pin hole using your clean fingers or gloved hand.
Leftover cake can be stored in the fridge - cover the cut cake face with cling wrap to prevent drying, and place the cake back in the box or in a covered container. Our cakes will stay fresh for several days in the fridge. Always bring the cake to room temperature before serving for a soft and creamy texture.
CAN WE FREEZE OUR CAKE?
Yes, leftover cake can be frozen. Make sure the cake is cold, refrigerate it if necessary (to make sure the buttercream does not smear when you cover it with cling wrap). Cover the cold cake completely with cling wrap, pressing it against the cut side of the cake. Place the wrapped cake in a box or plastic container, and wrap the box with cling wrap. You are trying to keep air away from the cake to prevent freezer burn. Individual slices can be frozen for easier portion control when thawing.
To thaw, place wrapped cake from the freezer into the refrigerator overnight, then the next day let the cake sit out on a counter until it comes to room temperature.
WHEN ARE PAYMENTS DUE?
Payments for online orders are due in full at the time of order. Multi-tiered Simply Sweet cake designs and custom cake orders require 25% of the total order amount to book your date, final payment is due by 18 days before the scheduled pick-up or delivery date.
HOW DO WE PAY FOR AN ORDER?
Bakery cakes, desserts and some Simply Sweet cake orders can be placed and paid for online.
For custom cakes, you are emailed an estimate when we have all your necessary information. Once you approve the estimate we email you an invoice for the non-refundable deposit, with a link for secure online payment. Final invoices are emailed about 3 weeks prior to the event date.
CAN ORDERS BE MODIFIED?
Online orders are assessed a change fee if changes are made once an order is placed, and no changes are permitted within 3 weeks of the scheduled pick-up or delivery date. Please review your order carefully before you place an order.
A guaranteed minimum number of servings for a tiered cake is required when an order is placed. Sheet cake numbers can be adjusted, up or down, up to 3 weeks before the event date.
No changes to cake flavor or design within 3 weeks of the event date.
REFUND POLICY & ONLINE CAKE ORDER PROCEDURE
All online orders are prepaid and are non-refundable within 18 days of the scheduled pick up or delivery. We begin planning, scheduling and ordering once an order is placed. We understand that emergencies and unexpected events arise. However, we are not responsible for event cancellations for any reason, including but not limited to, inclement weather, family emergencies, and illness.
25% of your online order total is non-refundable if you cancel your order more than 18 days before a scheduled pick up or delivery. This non-refundable deposit amount is not a penalty, it covers initial time, materials and reservation of your event date, and cannot be applied to a future order.
Non-refundable deposit amounts cannot be transferred to alternate events, and are only valid towards the initial event booked.
Please review your online order carefully before finalizing the purchase, both the order details and the pick-up or delivery details. We are not responsible for errors on your part. Any changes once an order is placed will incur a change fee, $5 minimum.
There are no changes permitted within 3 weeks of a scheduled pick-up or delivery.
We are not responsible for orders not picked-up as scheduled.
We are currently closed Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Cake orders picked-up on Saturdays for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday events will still be moist and fresh.
Please read and agree to our full Terms of Agreement before placing your order.
IS WIFI AVAILABLE AT THE BAKERY CAFE
We love to have our customers come in and enjoy the atmosphere and food, either alone or with friends and family, without the distraction of computers or hand held devices. For this reason, we do not offer WIFI.