All posts filed under: Gluten Free City Guides

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Bath Gluten Free Fair: 5 Ace Brands

I love food fairs in general, but I love gluten free fair’s most of all. They are THE place to discover new products, catch up with the latest in the coeliac and gluten free community, and perhaps most importantly, sample delicious 100% gluten free foods. Here are the brands that most excited me at Bath & West Wiltshire Coeliac Society’s recent gluten free fair. 1. Gingerella Gingerella are a fledgling gluten free company, only a few months old. They are based in Manchester and sell freshly baked gluten free cookies. Their gluten free cookies are properly big and squidgy. Not weirdly hard, not crumbling into dust, not ‘cookie’ with a side of sawdust. Yum. The flavour combinations are amazing – it’s like they’ve peeked inside my head and seen all my favourite things. Chocolate and orange. Pistachio and white chocolate. CHOCOLATE and chocolate. Refreshingly, they don’t claim that their gluten free products are healthy, ‘clean’ or better for you, they are simply good quality indulgent products made by a coeliac. Essentially, I want to throw my …

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Cote Brasserie’s Gluten Free Christmas Menu *

*This meal was free for review purposes from Côte Brasserie. I have dined at Côte on my own dime plenty of times, and would not write about it unless I was happy to recommend to fellow coeliacs. In many restaurants, the ‘gluten free options’ are meals with an element missing; a burger without a bun, a salad without croutons or a roast without gravy. The same cannot be said for UK chain Côte Brasserie. Their gluten free meals are as good as anything ‘regular’ on the menu, probably due to the fact that there is not a lot of difference between the two. There are always plenty of gluten free options and you don’t feel like you are having a ‘lesser’ meal than anyone else. I was therefore very happy when Côte invited me to come and review their gluten free Christmas menu. I visited the Bath branch with my friend Sian, and we enthusiastically got to work. For those that don’t know, I have had some previous involvement with Côte Brasserie. Last year, I …

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Gluten Free in Lisbon: Portuguese custard tarts, McDonald’s & piri piri chicken

I’ve been in Lisbon for the past week; hiking up hills, hurtling up and down cobbled streets on the 28 tram, and admiring the view from 16th century palaces and castles. Oh, and eating as many gluten free portuguese custard tarts (‘natas’) as possible. I was holidaying with my boyfriend, David. We stayed in a cute little Airbnb in the up and coming former sailor’s playground of Cais do Sodre. Think bars that used to be brothels mixed with pavement pastelarias, stout old ladies peeking out from their balconies watching the young hipsters move in. We fell in love with Lisbon. It has a brilliant mix of old and new; centuries-old monuments and fortresses but also a bang up to the minute food scene, and more nightlife than you can shake a nata at. I’ll be honest, I found eating gluten free in Lisbon quite a bit harder than eating gluten free in London. Coeliac disease and the gluten free diet do not seem to be all that well known in Portugal, and it is not common for restaurants …

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Gluten Free in Manchester: Sad News about Tea 42

UPDATE 10/08/2016: IT’S BACK! Check them out here: www.tea42restaurants.com/ I was having an idle Google of gluten free restaurants when I saw this. Tea 42, Manchester’s own 100% gluten free restaurant has closed down. It actually stopped trading in December 2015. It was somewhere I looked forward to visiting when seeing friends and family in Manchester. They did a lovely gluten free afternoon tea, and as a coeliac there’s nothing quite like eating somewhere safe, with no worry about cross-contamination. I’ve no idea of the circumstances around the closure, apart from it seemingly going into liquidation. There are dodgy comments at the end of this article about not being able to get in touch with the owners to get refunds for vouchers, so re-opening doesn’t look likely. Whatever the circumstances (does anyone know?) it’s a shame to see one of the few 100% gluten free restaurants in the UK close. Even with the current popularity of the gluten free diet, setting up a 100% gluten free business is still a gamble. I hope it doesn’t put others off trying! …

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Gluten Free in Oxford: White Rabbit Pizza, Organic Deli & Greens Cafe

Last weekend I spent 48 hours in beautiful Oxford with my boyfriend, David. After the amazingness of London for gluten free, it can feel like there’s not as much choice for eating out in smaller cities. Oxford, Bath (and Leeds a few weekends ago) prove this wrong. In-between celebrating Valentine’s Day and exploring the city, we found some delicious places to eat gluten free in Oxford, and saw many more options around the city (particularly for pizza) that I’d love to try next time. Here are the places I would recommend. The White Rabbit The White Rabbit is a cosy and cool pub in central Oxford. Not only do they have cosy nooks, boardgames, great music AND decent cider on tap, but they serve some of the best gluten free pizza I’ve had since last summer’s trip to Sicily. They have a separate oven for gluten free pizzas and take care to minimise any cross-contamination, if you say that you are coeliac. They also serve Celia gluten free lager. We tried the Primavera Bianca and the Spagnola. YUM. Thin, crispy base, …

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Gluten Free in Leeds: 2 Oxford Place & A Nation of Shopkeepers

When Gluten Free in London became gluten free in Leeds. I am just back from a whirlwind trip up North, reliving uni days and soaking up the city with my friend Louisa. In-between bottles of Elephant wine, dancing to Massive Attack and discovering what awful people we are in games of Cards Against Humanity, we managed to squeeze in a visit to a 100% gluten free restaurant, 2 Oxford Place.  Read on for my review, as well as my other favourite discoveries in Leeds (one of which serves gluten free beer!). 2 Oxford Place What is it? 2 Oxford Place is a cosy 100% gluten free restaurant in the heart of Leeds. The food is traditional(ish) British food, done well. Simple, tasty, not faddy. A safe haven for coeliac diners. The Food Louisa and I visited for an eat-until-you-can’t-move dinner and a reviving post-night-of-drinking brunch. We tried a mish mash of things and enjoyed every one of them. The fried chicken, the chips and the sticky toffee pudding were particular highlights. Clockwise from top left: Venison sausages with mash and gravy, cute business cards, …

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Gluten Free at Thermae Bath Spa

Relaxing in the spa is one of my very favourite things, so I was over the moon when David (my boyfriend) bought a Twilight Spa experience for my birthday. The package includes a meal and drink at the spa restaurant, so when I booked I realised I had to check if there was something gluten free to eat. Doh! The last thing you want to do is worry about food when you’re going for a relaxing experience, but unfortunately as a coeliac finding safe food is always a concern. I thought I would do a quick rundown of my experience to help out any other gluten free folk who are doing what I was, and frantically Googling what is safe to eat! —————————————————————————————————————— My meal I was a little apprehensive about the gluten free options before my visit but the staff at the restaurant put me at ease. Both waiters we came into contact with knew the menu very well, and were able to tell me what was gluten free, and what could be made gluten free. …

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Gluten Free in Sicily – Coeliac heaven in Marina di Ragusa

You might imagine that pizza and pasta-loving Italy wouldn’t be very coeliac-friendly, but Sicily was the easiest gluten free holiday I’ve ever had. Back in June, my boyfriend David and I set off for Marina di Ragusa, Sicily, armed with my coeliac restaurant cards, emergency snacks and a list of gluten free restaurants. We needn’t have worried. In Sicily, I didn’t once have to explain what gluten was. I didn’t feel like I had to apologise for ‘bothering’ staff about gluten, or explain that I wasn’t a fad dieter when asking about cross-contamination. Even though my Italian is rudimentary at best, I barely needed to use my Coeliac translation card. 99% of the time, all I had to do was mention that I was ‘senza glutine’ or ‘lo sono celiaco’, and staff would nod in recognition, and point me to exactly the things that I could eat. It seems that the ‘gluten free fad diet’ hasn’t made it to Sicily; when you ask for gluten free, the assumption is that you have a medical need for it. It was awesome. David …

Oxford: A gluten free daytrip

A few weekends ago my boyfriend D and I took a trip to Oxford. At around an hour on the fast train from central London, Oxford is a convenient and pretty getaway, and there is no shortage of gluten free options. When we arrived, we did the usual touristy wander around and gawp at the university (*wish I’d studied harder, wish I’d studied harder*) and soon needed sustenance. For lunch, we ate at the Organic Deli Cafe. I was very impressed with their knowledge of gluten free and coeliac needs; I didn’t have to explain anything to them and they immediately reassured me that they would wipe down the surfaces and equipment before making up my food to avoid contamination. There was a lot of choice for people eating gluten free in the cafe, including homemade gluten free bread (made using Dove’s Farm flour) and a long list of gluten free sandwiches, cakes, salads, etc. Their hot breakfasts also sounded yummy. It was a treat to order a proper toasted gluten-free sandwich and salad. You could …

The Green Rocket : GF AND Veggie in Bath

I am a big fan of vegetarian food done well. I have little truck with people who insist that a meal is not a meal without meat. I love when vegetarian eateries go above and beyond to prove the naysayers wrong, and The Green Rocket truly banishes every bland, tofu-laden preconception. I have been spending my Easter holidays nestled in the family home in Bath, and yesterday Mum, Sister and I paid a visit. Following in the footsteps of Bath’s beloved Demuth’s restaurant (sadly no longer around, now reincarnated as a vegetarian cooking school), The Green Rocket serves quality, inventive and above all tasty vegetarian food. Happily they have also made the menu very coeliac-friendly, with most of the menu either gluten-free or with a gluten-free option available. (Vegan-friendly too, for those interested). They even serve gluten-free bread and beer! This is how restaurants should be. I was impressed with their awareness of what exactly gluten free meant. As the coeliacs amongst you will know, some restaurants are all mouth and no trousers where gluten free options are …