*PLEASE NOTE: GREAT BRITISH PIZZA HAS UNFORTUNATELY CLOSED*
Gluten Free Gathering – definition: Coeliacs and assorted GF dieters get together. Eat good food. Drink good booze. Chat to other lovely GF people, have a fun and worry-free night out. Sound good?
Last week I attended the first ever GF Gathering at the Great British Pizza Company in Exmouth Market. It was an absolute treat. The event was organised by Kim McGowan of Naturally Gluten Free, and this is what she has to say:
‘Each unique event, aims to be a truly positive, dynamic and rich gluten free experience. Come and eat amazing GF food together at independent venues, run by passionate people. Absorb knowledge from inspiring speakers from across the food world. Take part in guided tastings, see cooking demos, get health advice, taste new products, do tours, meet GF authors… and so much more. Chat and share your favourite products with others, your favourite restaurant and blogs. It’s about inspiring each other.’ – GF Gathering blog
The tickets cost £20 and included:
– A drink (glass of wine for me!)
– A share in the delicious meat platters and as much home-baked gluten free baguettes as you could eat (a lot, in my case)
– A pizza of your choice (I chose the roasted peppers and goats curd, but I actually found the veal & sage salami one even more delicious).
– A portion of Annie’s gluten free tiramisu (my first ever tiramisu – I am not a coffee-drinker but surprisingly enjoyed it)
– A gluten free goody bag and go in the lucky dip bag of freebies (I got a big pack of Italian pasta, a brownie, crackerbread, a Rude Health bar and a neighbour gave me her Ilumi meal.)
It’s hard to pick a highlight of the evening as all of the food was excellent (and I don’t say that lightly), but I was really impressed with Gluten Free Baking and Living’s baguettes; it is very telling that people kept asking if we were sure that they were gluten free, because they looked and tasted so good! The Cannon & Cannon charcuterie was delicious, and Annie’s pizza base was wonderfully light and stretchy, a world away from the ‘cardboard-esque’ texture of the gluten free bases of old.
I liked Great British Pizza too. The pizzas were yummy, and the restaurant had a nice, buzzy atmosphere. I would be happy to go back there with friends. My only concern would be cross-contamination, as they do also produce wheatflour pizzas, and may not have always cleaned their equipment as they did for us on the night. Exmouth Market is turning into a bit of a gluten free haven; Hummus Bros is practically next door, and Romeo’s Bakery is just a walk away.
A big part of the enjoyment for me was getting to chat to other coeliacs and gluten free people. I think it’s fantastic that the internet allows us to meet and correspond with each other so easily. When I was growing up, I was the only coeliac I knew; now there is a supportive community at the click of a mouse.
I definitely recommend that London-based coeliacs and gluten free people come and check out the next event. Kim has some great ideas for future meetups including gluten free brunch and gluten free beer tasting and it is a lovely way to meet and chat with like-minded people. All in all, the evening was good value and fun, and I wouldn’t hesitate to book again.