Over the summer we were lucky enough to eat out in some fantastic gluten-friendly places so I thought it was about time I told you about them!
Using our Tesco Clubcard points (every little bit helps as they say!!!) we decided to give Bella Italia another go, having got to the bottom of our lo’s ongoing symptoms since her coeliac diagnosis. If you missed my daughters first review of it before please click here. We were hopeful that the reaction she had had when we ate there before was due to consuming dairy and not gluten. After all, their children’s menu (and puzzlingly, not their main menu) clearly shows you what food is gluten-free and the staff were reassuring that cross contamination would not be a problem. Alas, this was not the case and she reacted again having eaten a dairy-free and gluten-free meal there. I contacted Bella Italia once again to make them aware of the problem and was promised that the Exeter restaurant would be in contact. That was about three months ago and I still haven’t heard a squeak…despite offering to provide them with free, tailored advice on how to avoid coeliacs getting ill when dining there.
We also thought we would try Pizza Express since they are now producing gluten-free food. This time we did not take our daughter and instead thought we would check out the situation first (our excuse for a quiet meal for two!!).
Both my husband and I ordered gluten-free pizza’s and were very pleasantly surprised about how lovely they were. No tiny, hard base that makes you feel like you are missing out! Oh no…these bases are crispy and thin and pretty much the same size as the ‘normal’ pizza bases. I can’t comment on the cross-contamination risk. Of course, eating in any restaurant that handles gluten products is a risk, but Pizza Express have worked with Coeliac UK and even use gluten-free flour to roll out all their pizza bases! You can see what they say about their gluten-free food by clicking here. We found it all very reassuring and once we can pursuade our daughter to eat pizza will be heading straight back! As you can see, we had eaten rather a lot of pizza before thinking about photographing them for you!
Shortly after that, my husband was away for work and decided to try a gluten-free pizza at Prezzo…purely for scientific comparison of course! His view was that it was lagging behind the Pizza Express pizza and they didn’t provide the reassurance of having worked with Coeliac UK either…
So, on to non-chain eateries that we found on our travels this summer!
Firstly, the glorious Tea on the Green in Westward Ho, Devon! OH MY GOODNESS! This is a good one! My daughter had a sandwich on gluten-free bread and topped that off with the most ENORMOUS piece of chocolate cake. Most of their cakes are gluten-free, some are dairy-free too…but they don’t advertise this fact. Like many cafes, they have found that if they advertise cakes as being gluten-free it puts people off eating them! The lady who owns the cafe was fantastically friendly and helpful to us and we just HAD to visit two days running to sample more beautiful cake! To show you how amazing it was I have broken one of my internet ‘rules’ and shared a photo of said little girl enjoying her gluten-free cake (not dairy-free but the occational consumption of dairy doesn’t seem to bother her too much!).
Now, on to Cornwall and a visit to St Austell took us to a fabulous pub in Charlestown called the Rashleigh Arms. Here they serve local produce and lots of gluten-free options! Our daughter had sausage and chips and they guaranteed that they fried the chips in their own separate oil. The food was a little pricey and they didn’t really have any ‘proper’ gluten-free puddings, but our daughter didn’t have any bad reaction and we all enjoyed a very pleasant meal out! So much so that we didn’t get any photos of that visit I’m afraid!
Finally, whilst still in Cornwall, we thought it would be rude not to visit Rick Steins fish and chip shop in Padstow for a very rare gluten-free battered fish and chips. Having been before, we knew we had to factor another trip there, so to make us feel better about eating bucket-loads of lard, we hired bikes and rode down the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow. OK, it isn’t far, but it made us justify the grease!
Mr Stein doesn’t advertise that he can do gluten-free fish and chips in the shop. I wrote about this in a previous post that you can read if you click here. However, I have just noticed that he does now say that gluten-free batter is available on his website which is great news!
Once again, we were far too hungry and pre-occupied with blowing on food (impatient small children!) to take any photos. One day I will master the art of actually photographing everything like good bloggers do! Until then you will just have to take my word on the fact that Mr Stein does mighty fine gluten-free fish and chips!!
So there you have it, my round-up of gluten-free eateries found this summer!!! I hope you can enjoy eating at some of them.
Let me know where your favourite gluten-free eatery is! One day we might just plan a camping trip somewhere near by..!