Gluten Free London Guide PART 1

My gluten free London guide is here! London is a big ol’ beautiful beast when it comes to gluten free food and free from food in general. There is so much choice and it’s definitely the best place to visit if you’re looking for gluten free options in the UK. However, seeing as it’s so huge, it isn’t always that easy to know where to head to when you first get off the train.

This is part one of my gluten free London posts to help you find loads of gluten free cafes and restaurants in London. There is a whole host more gluten free London destinations that I will get round to shouting about next time. But for now here is part one in my gluten free London guide.

Whole Foods  20 Glasshouse Street W1B 5AR (more locations across London)

Gluten free in London - Whole Foods

There are lots of Whole Foods around London and they are a great place to go to buy pretty much anything free from. If you don’t know what Whole Foods is, it is essentially a supermarket, but a supermarket that I would say is a little higher end. It is more expensive but then that allows for lots of free from products to slink onto the shelves. From gluten free bread, to gluten free cakes, gluten free cereal, gluten free pasta & lots of dairy free & vegan options too. Whole Foods is definitely a place to check out for food on the go whilst in London & also a place to go & wish you had one where you live!! I’d recommend everyone checking a Whole Foods out to discover gluten free & dairy free brands you are unlikely to find in one of the big 4 supermarket chains.

La Polentaria 64 Old Compton Street W1D 4UQ


Based in Soho, La Polentaria is a great little find if you are looking for gluten free in London. La Polentaria is quite simply a gluten free Italian kitchen. Run by Italians who know how to make the best Italian food whilst still making it 100% suitable for us gluten free folk. From gluten free cheesecake to gluten free tiramisu. From homemade gluten free pasta to lots of Italian polenta (hence the name!). It’s near a lot of the West End theatres (& 2 minutes from where I once worked!) I’d highly recommend if you are looking for authentic Italian gluten free in London. Gluten free London at its finest!

Herman Ze German 33 Old Compton Street W1D 5JU (more locations across London)


So Herman Ze German is situated directly opposite La Polentaria in Soho. As the name suggests this is a german sausage place and is great if you are looking for a quick lunch in central. All the sausages are gluten free and they do great chips too. I often only get the chance to have a gluten free german sausage at a Christmas Market (& even then not all of them are) so it is great the Herman Ze German are ensuring we can have our sausages gluten free in London!

Farmstand 42 Drury Lane WC2B 5AJ

Now I only came across Farmstand by chance recently and I am so glad that I did. So much of the menu is gluten free and they have lots of dairy free options available too. You can essentially build your own box of food for breakfast/brunch or lunch. It truly is delicious on the go food. Not that long ago I had the Banana Bread Breakfast from these guys, which is entirely gluten free & dairy free too. Toasted gluten free banana bread with coconut yoghurt and fruit compote – it was great. It’s located very close to Covent Garden so if you are in the area and fancy a healthy, wholesome meal I would recommend Farmstand! A must visit for any gluten free London trip.

Rossopomodoro Seven Dials 50-52 Monmouth Street WC2H 9EP

Gluten free in London - Rossopomodoro

Finding pizza that’s gluten free in London seems to be more troublesome than it should be. Of course I know the chain restaurants all offer gluten free pizza, but when I visit other cities I find there are some amazing central gluten free pizza restaurants, its not as easy in London. HOWEVER… Rossopomodoro stands out for me as being one of the very best gluten free pizzas around. You do need to let them know that you want a GF pizza in advance but it’s worth it as I have experienced some excellent pizzas here. They have quite a few restaurant locations across London so you’re never too far away from one.

Planet Organic 10 Devonshire Square EC2M 4AE (more locations across London)

Gluten free in London - Planet Organic

I guess Planet Organic is another place that’s a little similar to Whole Foods in that it is essentially a supermarket. However, again like Whole Foods it is much better than a regular supermarket for us gluten free folk as there are tons of gluten free options within. Plenty of gluten free pizza, gluten free snacks, gluten free baking ingredients, gluten free soy sauces etc & the dairy free cheese selection and dairy free ice cream is great too. They are dotted around London which is great & also serve some hot food which often has gluten free options for quick lunches on the go. We often go just before we leave London as there is one very close to Liverpool Street Station! Make sure you do the same and take a little bit of gluten free London home with you 🙂

Honest Burgers 4A Meard Street W1F 0EF (more locations across London)

Gluten Free in London - Honest Burgers

gluten-free-london-honest-burgers

My favourite place to eat dinner is London in Honest Burgers. Honest Burgers is certainly not just a place that gluten free folk will claim in to be their favourite… everyone I have ever met loves Honest Burgers. The burger patties are all gluten free and they do the best gluten free burger buns around. They hold together amazingly, they taste great. I can’t say a bad word about them. However the best thing about Honest Burgers for me is their amazing rosemary fries which are also gluten free. Seriously you’ll have the best meal out at Honest Burgers. Definitely in my top 5 recommendations for eating gluten free in London.

Artisan Gluten Free Bakery 167 Upper Street N1 1US

Gluten Free in London - Artisan Gluten Free Bakery

This is certainly my favourite gluten free bakery in London. They have a wide variety of gluten free breads, cakes and bakes served fresh every single day. For me the best thing about Artisan Gluten Free Bakery is the gluten free pastries. The gluten free danish pastries are all out of the world, and the gluten free croissants are perfection. Not only can you take all of these things away to have at home or on the go, they also have a cafe within. The cafe menu for breakfast, brunch and lunch is amazing and features everything you could ask for in gluten free form. If you get the chance to pop over to Islington, this is certainly your #1 place to go for gluten free in London!

Beyond Bread 2 Charlotte Pl W1T 1SB & 267 Upper Street N1 2UQ

Gluten Free in London - Beyond Bread

Beyond Bread is a 100% gluten free bakery with a couple of destinations across London. My favourite location is in Fitzrovia, it’s very central, not far from Oxford Street and Soho, and makes for the perfect lunchtime destination. Beyond Bread bake all types of gluten free bread fresh daily and well as a wide range of gluten free cakes, the gluten free cinnamon rolls and gluten free chocolate twists are delicious. However, my favourite thing to get from Beyond Bread has to be a gluten free toasted sandwich. I always get a gluten free tuna melt toastie and it just makes me smile all day long!

Romeo’s Sugar Free Bakery 178 Upper Street N1 1RG

Gluten Free in London - Romeo's Sugar Free Bakery

Another Islington bakery that offers plenty of gluten free is Romeo’s Sugar Free Bakery! As the name suggests Romeo’s prides itself on being sugar free (which is great for me as I do try to have less sugar in my diet!). Nearly all the cakes on offer are gluten free and many are both dairy free and vegan too. They look beautiful and taste even better, the gluten free mille-feuille is amazing! They also do gluten free crepes at the weekend which I’d highly recommend trying out. You actually can’t go wrong trying out Romeo’s for gluten free in London.

Neal’s Yard Pride Kitchen 2 Neal’s Yard WC2H 9DP

Gluten free in London - Neal's Yard Pride Kitchen

Now, Pride Kitchen is a relatively new discovery for me, but it’s a great place to stop off for lunch at if you are around Covent Garden. Yes they do an amazing range of salads but that’s not all they do! The drinks menu is amazing for starters, the variety of hot drinks, juices and smoothies is heavenly. But then the food menu is even better! Lots of homemade gluten free bread is on offer alongside soups, tapas etc – the menu is always changing. It’s quite a small place, but it’s definitely somewhere I would recommend for gluten free in London! Oh, and Neals Yard is just a really cool place too!

Yorica 130 Wardour Street W1F 8ZN


When Yorica opened Mark and I got a little bit too excited, but it was totally worth it. Yorica is essentially a free from ice cream parlour. It’s gluten free, it’s dairy free, it’s egg free, it’s nut free, it’s vegan and it’s awesome! All their ice cream is suitable for those who eat dairy free which is great and they offer gluten free waffle cones too! The ice cream flavour selection is huge from gooey vanilla brownie to bubblegum there is literally something for everyone. Oh and whats more, Yorica also serves up gluten free crepes and hot gluten free waffles, perfect for a slightly chillier day! There aren’t many places that offer gluten free in London on this scale!

Cookies and Scream The Market Hall, Camden Lock Place NW1 8AF & 130 Holloway Road N7 8JE

Gluten Free in London -Cookies and Scream

Cookies and Scream is literally the greatest place on earth. If I’ve said this for anywhere else I was lying, honestly Cookies and Scream cannot be beaten. It’s a 100% gluten free and vegan cookie & shake bar based in both Camden and Holloway Road. Seriously, I have been going here for years and you will not find anywhere better if you fancy a sweet treat in London. Cookies and Scream has an amazing style and attitude as well, you won’t forget it once you’ve been… you’ll keep dreaming about it (I still do). My favourite shake has to be the cookie dough and salted caramel shake… the gluten free cookie dough balls are insane. In terms of cakes and bakes, you won’t go wrong, whatever you choose… I always bring a box with me and take loads home! The gluten free peanut butter cookies (Chicos) are amazing, the gluten free donuts are delightful, the gluten free pecan pie is mind blowing. Literally I could just go on forever, but I won’t… I just urge you to head down to Cookies and Scream, it’s the best for gluten free in London!

Bird 42-44 Kingsland Road E2 8DA (more locations across London)


If you are on the lookout for gluten free fried chicken in London then Bird is a great option for you. All of their fried chicken is prepared without gluten so there is definitely something delicious on the menu for you to choose. They also do a wide range of made in house sauces which are the perfect dipping accompaniment to your gluten free fried chicken!

Dishoom 12 Upper St Martin’s Lane WC2H 9FB(more locations across London)

Dishoom is a great option if you are looking for gluten free Indian food across London. There are 4 Dishoom restaurants, all centrally located across the Capital, all with extensive gluten free menus. There is plenty on offer from gluten free curry to even some gluten free Indian desserts. What I like most about Dishoom is that it feels very authentic, authentic gluten free Indian food in the heart of London – perfect!

Joe’s Southern Table & Bar 4 King St WC2E 8JD (more locations across London)


Joe’s Southern Table & Bar has a couple of restaurants in London but for me the convenience of the Covent Garden location is why this place is so great. If you are looking for a very central place for gluten free fried chicken in London then Joe’s is definitely somewhere I would recommend.

Leon Spitalfields Market, 3 Crispin Place E1 6DW (more locations across London)


I LOVE Leon. I’m so glad that Leon has now expanded beyond just London too, but for now let’s talk about Leon in London! Leon is essentially a healthy fast food restaurant. For breakfast they do a great selection of gluten free breakfast pots – the salmon & avocado + the poached egg, ham & truffle gruyère pots are my favourites. Lunch is even better though for gluten free there is so much choice! From gluten free chicken satay and gluten free thai green curry to gluten free chicken meatballs and gluten free sweet potato stew, it’s perfect food on the go. But seriously make room for some a gluten free cake too 🙂 It’s the most convenient place for gluten free in London.

Niche 197-199 Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TJ


Niche is the restaurant that we have all been yearning for. It’s the perfect place to go for dinner in London as it’s a 100% gluten free restaurant! The menu is vast and also offers dairy free options for those who need them too. From sausage and mash to chicken pie, from mac & cheese to gluten free fried chicken – this place has everything. It’s very close to Angel tube station so if you’re in the area it’s a great place to go for gluten free in London, I’d recommend booking as it does get busy in the evenings, as you can imagine!!

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Right, I think that is quite enough for Part 1 of my gluten free London guide. Stay tuned for more coming very soon as I must admit, I haven’t even featured all of my favourite gluten free London destinations just yet… thought I would keep you hanging a little longer! Let me know if you have found any other gems that would be in your gluten free London guide. Just drop a comment below, or on Facebook/Twitter.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Becky xxx

REVIEW: Gluten Free Doughnuts from Borough 22 & Ryan Panchoo

Gluten Free Doughnuts that are also Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soya Free & totally suitable for Coeliacs & Vegans… I am NOT lying! Better still, these Gluten Free Doughnuts taste as good as any regular doughnuts.

gluten free doughnuts

We all love doughnuts but due to one intolerance or another , it is difficult to find doughnuts suitable for everyone. Ryan Panchoo of Borough 22 has been on a mission to change that. Free From in Ryan’s view does not mean missing out on the best.
Borough 22 is based in London, where Ryan will happily deliver Gluten Free Doughnuts to you all day long! Fortunately his recent amazing idea… The Gluten Free Doughnut Rally! On 28th May 2015 the Doughnut Dash hit Manchester & I was there to grab 12 delicious Gluten Free Doughnuts (Vanilla Glazed).

I rushed home with my gluten free doughnuts, so excited to try them. When I got back Mark was over the moon to find they were also dairy free doughnuts! We love foods that are both gluten free & dairy free, it is great to be able to eat the same foods, it makes it a bit more special.

They smelt great, & tasted better. They were soft, moist & incredibly light. I often find Gluten Free baked goods are often incredibly dense, these were anything but. The flavour was amazing I really felt like I was eating doughnuts made specially for me. They really tingled my taste buds, I must admit, I ate quite a few!! 

I would highly recommend the Vanilla Glazed flavour but furthermore they do Nutella, Salted Caramel, Cinnamon Sugared, Raspberry Pistachio & regular monthly specials. If you get a chance, try them all! I cannot wait to get the chance to indulge in ever single flavour!

The Interview with a Free From Baking Genius… Ryan Panchoo!

gluten free doughnuts

Meeting the Gluten Free Baking Genius Ryan Panchoo

I quizzed Ryan Panchoo all about his Gluten Free Doughnut Heaven… & what the future hold. Does he have any new Free From baking ideas?! Find out below!

So, why did you start up Borough 22?

I started Borough 22 in a bid to satisfy my wife and my children’s sweet cravings. My wife is both gluten and dairy intolerant and cannot handle processed sugar. My children, at the time, were both dairy intolerant. I have a massively sweet tooth but a sloth-like metabolism so I was getting a little heavy set trying to eat everything I had baked before it went bad. I developed a couple of great recipes that went down really well with my friends and family and so, after much encouragement and several ultimatums, I decided to investigate selling to the public.

What made you decide to do a Doughnut Dash?

I started to get a lot of interest outside of London so l looked at courier services to deliver our goods but the costs were astronomical. We wanted to send our goods as fresh as possible. The solution was The Gluten Free Doughnut Rally. Admittedly Doughnut Dash is easier to say.

What is your favourite flavour doughnut you create? Any flavours you are excited to try out?!

My personal favourite is the most simple. Sugared. I am a firm believer in the simpler the better when it comes to food. A lot of food is getting pimped these days and it just ain’t right! It just ain’t right! I think you can be too heavy handed That being said raspberry pistachio is our second favourite. The combination is to die for. I am excited to try out a S’More flavoured doughnut… totally disregarding what I JUST SAID!

Who inspired your cooking and baking style? Or were you born super talented?!

I would say that I’m a bit of a sponge. I love food so virtually every TV Chef has inspired me. My favourite baker without a doubt is Bea Vo of Bea‘s of Bloomsbury. If you ever come to London go and find one of her shops. Please. She is the reason we primarily use Italian butter-cream frosting. She is a legend.

gluten free doughnuts

What is the hardest thing about gluten free baking?

The discipline element is hard. Everything has to be carried out meticulously to avoid cross contamination. We are used to it now but at first it was quite exhausting mentally.

What’s your top tip for others trying to bake gluten free?

Read the recipe and prep everything first. Oh and buy an oven thermometer and digital scales. Baking is a science. If you stay as accurate as possible you can’t really go wrong. If it does go wrong, Google the solution. Its out there.

Have you got any other products in the pipeline you would like to create in the future?

All things crumble. I have created a recipe that uses non processed sugar and contains no egg, gluten, soya or dairy that I am SUPER excited about sharing.

Where do you want to see yourself & Borough 22 in 5 years time, what is the ultimate goal?

In 5 years? I hope to see my products in a nice Food Hall 🙂 and have a small stall somewhere centrally in London with outlets in Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and York and loyal fan base and a killer reputation… for producing the best free from goods in the UK of course. And that is the ultimate goal – to sell quality free from goods. I am passionate about the quality of our products and would like that to remain constant.

Three words that describe you?

Creative, Passionate, Personable!

Will you be my personal doughnut baker forever?

I would love to!

gluten free doughnuts

Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich

So, as much as I adored eating these gluten free doughnuts simply as they are… I had to turn the heat up & take these doughnuts to the next level. One of my favourite places to eat Gluten Free & Dairy Free in the whole world is Cookies & Scream. One of my favourite things to enjoy there is a Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich! Sounds crazy, indulgent & epic all in one, right? In truth, no words can describe it.
Using Borough 22’s Gluten Free Doughnuts, Dairy Free Ice Cream & Sweet Freedom Choc Shot, I created my very own Free From Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich. It was insane. I will do this again & again, every single time I get doughnuts from Borough 22.

I cannot recommend Borough 22 & the Gluten Free Doughnuts they make enough. They are seriously delicious. Ryan is an amazing baker & one of the most genuine, kindhearted people you will ever meet. He just wants the best for everyone who has to live without the likes of gluten, wheat, soya, dairy & egg in the diet. 

So how do you get hold out of the Gluten Free Doughnuts?

Look out for more Gluten Free Doughnut Rally’s near you in the future. & if you in London ever… even just visiting, contact Ryan & I am sure he will be able to sort something out for you. You can order your Gluten Free Doughnuts by emailing them… all the details are on the website. (They currently deliver to all the London Boroughs!) Hopefully in the near future, we will all be able to access these amazing Doughnuts even easier across the whole country. Thank you Mr Gluten Free Doughnut Man, you rock!

Let me know if you have tried Ryan’s Gluten Free Doughnuts before by leaving a comment below, or on Facebook/Twitter!

Thanks for reading,

Becky xxx

The BEST Gluten Free Burgers in London – Honest Burgers

Now you know I am always honest with you guys, well… I think I have found my favourite location for Gluten Free Burgers… Honest Burgers!

In times gone by I have experienced many food destinations where ‘Gluten Free Burger’ is an option on the menu (& many where it is not!), however more often than not this involves being served my burger ‘naked’ without a bun, with my burger placed between 2 slices of gluten free toasted bread or served without chips. None of these options are really ok in this day and age, fortunately Honest Burgers agrees & provides the full experience for a Gluten Intolerant.

honest burgers

Hell yeah, lets dance the gluten free night away!

It feels amazing to walk into a restaurant to be greeted with the ability to have a full meal, not just bits of a meal. The staff at Honest Burgers are amazing too they are really friendly & as soon as I mentioned that I was Gluten Free they explained the menu in detail to me. (The menu is very easy to understand as you can see below!) They explained to me that not only do they provide gluten free burger buns, but they also have gluten free onion rings & gluten free beer on the menu. How exciting! Oh & don’t forget their Rosemary Salted Chips/Fries are Gluten Free too… the best frickin fries ever. Rosemary, salt & potato is a match made in heaven!! Whilst we were in Honest Burgers a huge amount of people came in asking after Gluten Free & were all prepared to wait for a table… it’s that well regarded and delicious!

honest burgers

the delicious, simple menu of Honest Burgers

As I mentioned, the Honest Burgers menu is incredibly straight forward. In my opinion this is what makes it so great. The chefs can really hone their skills to perfection, rather than having a lengthy confusing menu. Whether you fancy chicken or beef their is something for everyone. There is a variety of different toppings you can have within your burger too… & of course each month there is a different Burger Special which can be enjoyed Gluten Free! Everything is incredibly well priced as well. You come away from a central London restaurant feeling like you only paid half the bill!

Right so on with the Gluten Free Grub…..!

honest burgers

what is this heavenly gluten free delight?!

I opted for the classic of all burgers in my opinion. The cheeseburger! You can choose from mature cheddar, red leicester or stilton. After much deliberation I went for the cheddar, however I bet all three taste insane (I love cheese!). The burger came medium pink & was softer, tastier & juicier than any burger I have ever consumed. The gluten free bun was amazing. I have heard such great things about the gluten free buns at Honest Burgers & these really lived up to the hype. They were flavoursome, didn’t crumble & best of all were in no way ‘too bready’. I genuinely haven’t had a better burger in my memory & I will definitely be going back for another asap!

honest burgers

this tastes even better than it looks, & it looks pretty amazing!

Mark opted for the chicken burger in a gluten free bun. The chicken was really moist & flavoursome. A chicken burger can often be such a let down, but this was anything but. It had some delicious mustard mayo smothered on the chicken, which had a perfect subtle mustard taste. Again, Mark absolutely loved the bun & could not believe it was gluten free!

I also mentioned the fries earlier… the Rosemary Salted Fries. I think these deserve their own paragraph, they are insane. I have never thought to add rosemary to my fries before at home (not sure why!), but it seriously is the best combination ever. I am planning to purchase a rosemary plant to I can try and make them myself. The fries come as standard with every meal, and a decent amount too. I would be satisfied with them alone, they were truly sensational!

honest burgers

a very happy gluten free becky!

As you can see this trip to Honest Burgers blew my socks off. Why have I not been before? I used to walk past a hefty queue outside Honest Burgers every single day when I worked in Soho & never ventured inside. I feel like Honest Burgers will be my go to dinner destination in London from now on, I am dreaming gluten free burgers every night at the moment!

Honest Burgers really have expanded over the past few years & offer restaurants in various locations across the capital. So now….. Brixton, Soho, Camden, Portobello, Kings Cross, Oxford Circus, Tooting, Liverpool Street & Clapham all have something amazing in common… they are all home to Honest Burgers. I’m sure that list will just keep growing as well. It is so great to see that the growth of Honest Burgers hasn’t taken anything away from their quality. Each restaurant has great staff, plenty of character & best of all.. delicious Gluten Free food!

I highly recommend this delicious destination for the gluten intolerants, the wheat free eaters, the coeliacs & everyone & everyone whether you can eat gluten or not! I actually cannot wait to go back. Save a seat for me please Honest Burgers!
Have you ever been to Honest Burgers before? What did you think of your visit? Let me know by leaving a comment below or on Facebook/Twitter.

I am now so hungry, & I’m not currently close by an Honest Burgers 🙁

Thanks for reading,

Becky xxx

Gluten Free Birthday Part 2 – 2015

gluten free birthday

Happy 24th Birthday Me!

I recently celebrated my 24th Birthday. My birthday was fortunately on a Friday, so after a day at work, I had a whole weekend to celebrate my gluten free birthday! We spent it in Manchester… find out what we ate.. gluten free style!

So you might have already read my blog post on my early birthday weekend in London earlier this month. Well I thought I would give a little round up of my actual birthday weekend as well in terms of any foodie delights!

As I mentioned… my birthday fell on a Friday this year which meant I was at work on my birthday! This is never the best thing but if I could choose any weekday to have my birthday on I would always choose Friday. For one we finish at 5 instead of half 5 & secondly I had the whole weekend to celebrate!

gluten free birthday

Gluten Free & Dairy Free CALZONE!

So really my birthday began when I arrived home from work. Mark had planned to make me a special gluten free birthday dinner (which for his benefit was also dairy free). Mark always tries incredibly hard to make things that I can’t generally eat as a gluten intolerant. My 24th Birthday was definitely no exception to this rule. It was probably the best thing he has ever made… a gluten free & dairy free CALZONE! When and where can a gluten intolerant and a dairy intolerant sit and enjoy a delicious calzone together?
I had no idea what he was making until it was placed in front of me… I was banished from the kitchen until it was ready.

The calzone was massive, it smelled amazing & it tasted even better. I was really impressed as Mark has never cooked anything similar to this before and it came out great. He used a gluten free pizza dough mix for the dough and then filled it with all sorts of delicious delights. Our calzones were Hawaiian flavoured so they had a tomato pizza sauce, dairy free cheese, herbs, pineapple & prosciutto.

gluten free birthday

Delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Orange Brownie and Dairy Free Ice Cream!

If you were wondering the cheese Mark chose to use this time was brand new to us and I would definitely use it again. It is by the brand Tofutti and was a grated creamy mozzarella style cheese. It tasted amazing all melting and oozing as I sliced into my calzone. I’ve never tried tofu based dairy free cheeses before, but I definitely would again. I can imagine this working great on pizzas and in pasta as well. (We even put some in our mash potato the other night!)

So yeah the calzone was just amazing. I will try and get a recipe on the blog at some stage as I know that we will be making it again. I will demand it on a weekly basis… amazing!

Our calzone’s were huge and we definitely needed a rest in between eating these and having our extra delicious desserts that Mark had grabbed earlier in the day at the 8th Day Cooperative along Oxford Road in Manchester. He got me an amazing gluten free chocolate orange brownie with some soy ice cream & himself a vegan blueberry caramel crumble style slice. I have been assured his dessert was amazing too. I even got a candle in mine 🙂

 

On the Saturday Mark arranged for us to go out for a gluten free birthday meal at Alberts in Didsbury. It is one of my favourite restaurants.. I love the buzzing atmosphere as well as the great food. They have a delicious gluten free menu that I am very partial too. I struggled to decide what to have but in the end went for fish stew, filled with king prawns, smoked haddock, mussels and a fillet of pan-fried sea bass on top – it even came with some tasty gluten free ciabatta. A perfect evening out for sure. I can’t wait to go back & I highly recommend it for a special occasion if you are in the Manchester area.

gluten free birthday

Gluten Free Fish Stew – Alberts, Didsbury

On Sunday we used one of my birthday presents to make the most amazing smoothies. I got the Nutribullet Pro for my birthday which is something I have been wanting for ages. Mark and I have been making smoothies ever since with the Nutribullet and I am hoping to put up some recipes of our favourite smoothies we have created over the coming year. So far we have been using a mix of different fresh and frozen fruits, coconut water, almond milk, soya yoghurt & even spinach (you can’t taste it but its a good source of so many nutrients). I am so so happy with it!

gluten free birthday

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Katsu Curry to finish off a great Birthday weekend!

For dinner we opted for a Gluten Free Cuppa Tea RECIPE favourite… Gluten & Dairy Free Chicken Katsu curry. It is one of my favourites! If you haven’t already checked out our recipe please click here!

We finished the weekend with a delicious gluten and dairy free cinnamon & pecan apple crumble that I baked with some soya custard and squirty cream. I know that apple crumble is a very simple thing to make gluten free & dairy free or not but I plan to put the recipe on here at some point soon. In my opinion there are apple crumbles… and then there are apple crumbles. Our version is pretty delicious – Mark and I constantly make it and eat it nearly every single day at this time of year!

So there you have it… that was my actual gluten free birthday weekend. I hope you enjoyed my recap of it foodie style! I hope that you all have a great gluten free birthday too whenever they are in 2015!

Thanks for reading,

 

The Allergy and Free From Show North 2014 HIGHLIGHTS!

So hopefully you have already seem my Top NEW Discoveries post from The Allergy and Free From Show North 2014, if not then click here to view it.

However whilst I made many new discoveries, it was great to see some familiar free from faces at the show. Here are some of my highlights; I definitely encourage you to check as many of these guys out as you can. The Free From market is constantly expanding so it will be interesting to see how all these brands react to this… hopefully with more delicious products we can all enjoy!

Amy's Kitchen Crew having fun at The Allergy and Free From Show North!

Amy’s Kitchen Crew having fun!

Amy’s Kitchen – As always put on a great show with plenty of free samples to go round. The Breakfast Sandwich, which we recently reviewed, seemed to be a big hit. I am also a massive Chunky Tomato Soup Fan. Check Amy’s Kitchen out at: http://www.amyskitchen.co.uk

Bfree – Now you all know my love for Bfree Wraps & it was great to see the Bfree Chefs out in force providing us all with tasty Fajita samples! Grabbed a packet of Multi Seeded Bagels as well which I can’t wait to try. Check Bfree out at: http://www.bfreefoods.com

Delicious Alchemy – A slightly less familiar brand to me, nevertheless, equally as tasty! I tried out some of their brownie and sponge cake samples and was very impressed. I can’t wait to try out their cake mixes at home. Check Delicious Alchemy at: http://www.deliciousalchemy.co.uk

DREAM Non Dairy – With Mark’s dairy intolerance, we never turn down trying out dairy free ice cream! They had a more varied choice of flavours from Praline Crunch and Salted Caramel to my favourite Mint Choc Chip. Check DREAM Non Dairy at: http://www.mydairyfreedream.com

DS – DS stood proudly in front of us as soon as we arrived at The Allergy and Free From Show North and provided me with some delicious pizza and quiche samples. I would highly recommend both, a perfect start to the show. Check DS out at: http://www.dsglutenfree.com

Genius – We all know Genius for their breads but I’ve always been a greater fan of their crumpets and more recently their cupcakes! Excitingly, Genius is now expanding their gluten free pies range too. Apple? Yes please! Check Genius out at: http://www.geniusglutenfree.com/en_GB

Glamour Puds – One of my all time favourite discoveries from Allergy Shows gone by. I love them. I absolutely love their Bakewell Tart, which I hope comes on sale to the public soon, it is seriously delicious! All Glamour Puds are glamourously scrummy; you’ve got to try them all. Check Glamour Puds out at: http://www.glamourpuds.com

Kirsty’s – Kirsty’s showed off a couple of new dishes at The Allergy and Free From Show North. I came away with some Chilli Chicken Noodles, which we indulged in last night as part of a homemade Chinese ‘Takeaway’ and they really finished the meal off perfectly. Kirsty’s has such a great choice of different meals to choose from. Check Kirsty’s out at: http://www.kirstys.co.uk

Newburn Bakehouse – Always reliable to give us some tasty breads; however, meeting Howard Middleton from The Great British Bake Off at their stand was the best thing today for sure! Check Newburn Bakehouse out at: http://www.newburnbakehouse.com

The Allergy and Free From Show North

Me & Howard from last years Great British Bake Off at the Newburn Bakehouse Stand!

Perkier – I have always loved Perkier’s branding so much but not even their branding competes with how delicious their Tiffin and Rocky Road Bars are. Never leave your Perkier Tiffin alone for too long or be prepared to lose it! Check Perkier out at: http://www.perkier.co.uk

Sainsbury’s – Sainsburys brought along a huge amount of free samples of my absolute favourite free from item they have created more recently. I think Mark and myself ate more than a few Free From Pecan Pies in sample form. Check Sainburys out at: http://www.sainsburys-live-well-for-less.co.uk/recipes-inspiration/healthier-eating/healthier-diets/allergies-and-intolerances/sainsbury’s-freefrom-range/

Tesco – Tesco’s free from stand was a very busy affair and full of older classics such as the White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies but their was also space to try the new Party Selection Range. I have to say I was pretty impressed… I could devour a few more of their Chicken Goujons and Thai Fish Cakes! Check Tescos Free From out at: http://www.tesco.com/groceries/zones/default.aspx?name=freefrom

Udis – Mark and myself have been a big fan of Udis Dairy and Gluten Free ‘Oreos’ for a while now. I also tried the Gluten Free Toffee Muffins – very nice! We have an American Style Pancake Mix we are going to be trying out soon so watch out for that. Check Udis out at: http://udisglutenfree.co.uk

Venice Bakery UK – Ending on a massive positive note with Venice Bakery! We came away with a good few pizza bases from here. All gluten and dairy free of course. Samples were delicious on the day for me, it was a shame they were using DAIRY cheese on the samples though. At past shows they have used dairy free cheese. Nevertheless, homemade pizza is on the cards this week now! Check Venice Bakery UK out at: http://shop.venicebakery.co.uk

So there you have it, my highlights from The The Allergy and Free From Show North 2014. I had such a great time and cannot wait to return to the London and Liverpool Shows in 2015. Hope you can join me!

Don’t forget to check out our TOP NEW DISCOVERIES from The Allergy & Free From Show 2014 too, they were highlights for sure!

Thanks for reading,

Love Becky xxx

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Bill’s, Hoxton Square, London – Gluten and Dairy Free?

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So Mark and myself, as you might know, stayed over in London last weekend and of course had a great time. Whenever we go away, finding delicious yet safe places to eat is always part of the exciting mission. We had a few places that we were definitely going to be enjoying food wise over the weekend. Having worked in London in the past I have got to know many gluten and dairy free places that we can enjoy; however, London is a big place and there are always more delights to discover.

We decided on Friday night we were going to go somewhere we haven’t been before and so embarked on a wander from our hotel near Liverpool Street through Spitalfields Market and onwards towards Shoreditch and Hoxton. I know that Shoreditch is a mecca for lots of great eateries but I didn’t exactly know where they all were, and on foot with hungry stomachs we were getting pretty ‘hangry.’ This made our decision to try somewhere new not so important. We decided to walk towards Hoxton Square as we know the area quite well having stayed in The Hoxton Hotel a few times before.

When we arrived at Hoxton Square we decided in the end to opt for somewhere completely new for us… Bill’s! Now I have always wanted to go to Bill’s having walked past the Brighton, Soho and Norwich branches on endless occasions over the past year. The restaurant always looks great, just my cuppa tea… but the menu doesn’t necessarily always look my gluten free cuppa tea. I have tried to make myself go in the past but couldn’t justify going when the menu looks fairly limited.

However, I decided to overcome this and wander inside. I immediately asked if they had a gluten free menu and they brought across an allergy menu, explaining to me how it worked. It looked great and really well thought out. It was very clear and covered gluten, dairy, soya, nuts and other various possible allergies. They also explained to me that I could change parts of the dishes to make them suitable; they also had gluten free bread.

Unfortunately, they then explained that although they had gluten free bread, all the burgers (beef) contained gluten, which I found very disappointing. As well as this both chips and sweet potato fries were not suitable. The gluten free bread would have worked well with a burger, which I really fancied but it was not meant to be.

The menu is really delicious for those without any intolerances or allergies. For example they had an epic sounding fish pie (one of my favourites), a chunky fish finger sarnie (another one of my favourites!) & of course a huge array of amazing desserts such as pecan pie (my ultimate favourite!).

I had a great time at Bill's

I had a great time at Bill’s

However for those with intolerances I found the menu incredibly limited. I eventually opted for a half a chicken, which was nicely marinated. I asked if I could swap the sweet potato fries for jasmine rice, which they were happy to do. However within five minutes they returned to inform me that as of that week they no longer did rice and would I liked a salad or some veg with it instead. This is a fairly problematic situation (and was very disappointing) for me as an IBS sufferer. My IBS issues have resulted in basically the entire removal of green vegetables from my diet. The effect of green vegetables can actually have a worse effect on me than gluten can so I was a little stuck. The amount of chicken I had was great and possibly the best chicken I have ever had so I was very happy, and being in such a good mood, I quickly forgot about the accompaniment issue and looked forward to indulging in a dessert!

Mark opted for the fish finger sandwich with sweet potato fries, this looked amazing. The fish fingers were huge and very homemade in appearance. The tartare sauce within the sandwich was said to be delicious too, however maybe a little more tartare sauce on the side would have been better too.
Nevertheless the food that we both had for our main courses was delicious and I can’t complain about what I did have. It definitely allowed for a dessert for once!

We were given the allergy dessert menu too, which was a little more promising for the gluten intolerant. With a Peach Melba Sundae, Eton Mess and a selection of ice creams and sorbets. For the dairy intolerant sorbet was the only option which I always find disappointing. Therefore Mark opted for the Blood Orange Sorbet and I opted for 3 scoops of ice cream. I went for Honeycomb, Vanilla and Milk ice cream. They were all delicious, so delicious that I almost forgot the girl on the table next to me was just ordering Pecan Pie!

Overall our trip to Bill’s was a really enjoyable one. I really love the environment in Bill’s, the interior is perfect and there is a buzzing atmosphere, which really makes the evening feel special and social.
The food we did eat was delicious and perfectly cooked and it is great that the staff seem to be so aware of the options for gluten intolerants. However, the staff should be aware of the options for gluten intolerants really because in my opinion there are so few! Although it is great to have an allergy menu, in this day and age having one where so much is out of bounds for us intolerants is just quite depressing. This is especially so when so many of the items that are out of bounds on the menu can actually be ordered gluten free naturally elsewhere.

Mark had a great time too :)

Mark had a great time too 🙂

With that in mind although I had a great time, I don’t think I will be heading back there in a massive hurry. I would love for Bill’s to consider us intolerants a little better, the cuisine of restaurant that they are gives a great amount of opportunity to cater for us… so Mr Bill please think of us some more! Basically I really, really want to visit more but you are preventing me!

I would love to know of any other gluten intolerants or those with other intolerances and food allergies who have visited Bill’s. It would be great to share experiences, so drop me a line if you’ve been.

For now I will be more content eating Mum’s Fish Pie rather than Bill’s. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect gluten free Pecan Pie. I lived on them in America many years ago when gluten was a friend of mine, I’d like to be friends again one day.

Anyway thanks for reading, and I hope to visit Bill’s again one day for a more extensive gluten free menu!

Love Becky x

RESTAURANT REVIEW – TGI Fridays – Gluten Free & Lactose/Dairy Free

So if you read Gluten Free Cuppa Tea regularly you will have seen that last week Mark and I visited Norwich, one of our favourite cities in the UK for a relaxing early birthday day out.

We had a great day and visited a favourite café of ours for lunch, which you can check the review out for by clicking here. When it came to dinnertime however, we were fairly undecided as to what we fancied. Basically, we were hungry and fancied everything and anything, which made the decision even harder. Further still, the fact that I can’t eat gluten, Mark can’t eat dairy and we both have various other food issues relating to our IBS, always makes our decision fairly important and thus not by any means, an easy one.

We both eventually decided on the one and only TGI Fridays, a place we have both always loved for the food and especially, especially… the cocktails! However, things

Birthday Boy with his definitely Lactose Free dinner!

Birthday Boy with his definitely Lactose Free dinner!

have certainly changed since our first trips to TGI Fridays many years ago… plenty of the menu is now out of bounds and neither of us have stomachs that agree wholly with alcohol, so I guess we weren’t getting our hopes up too much.

We arrived, and immediately in terms of setting I felt like TGI Fridays was the perfect place for a fun evening. I love the TGI Fridays style; I love watching the bar staff make cocktails and I love watching an embarrassed birthday girl/boy being loudly sang to by the whole restaurant.
As we were being seated I mentioned to the waiter that I was gluten intolerant and did they have a menu. I have never asked this before and usually just play it safe or suffer for a week afterwards by eating something I thought I could, but couldn’t. However, I am so glad I asked, as the waiter was incredibly helpful and rushed off to get a special menu. He returned with a properly printed menu that had a page for gluten free options, a page for lactose free options and even a page for kids gluten and lactose free choices. We were amazed and also felt silly to have never asked before. For once in our lives Mark and I could absolutely guarantee that our meal at TGI Fridays was not going to damage us in any way!

Gluten Free Menu!

Gluten Free Menu!

Lactose Free Menu!

Lactose Free Menu!

The gluten intolerant choices were fairly extensive including steaks, burgers with a gluten free bun and even an amazing sounding ‘Popcorn Sundae’ dessert. Lactose intolerant choices were also extensive and looked very inviting.

I chose the BBQ Salmon, which came with cheesy mash and seasoned veg. I also added a Cajun-spiced king prawn skewer to my meal. Mark went for the Jack Daniels Chicken with fries and seasoned veg. I can tell you straight off we made epic choices.

The BBQ sauce coating my salmon was delicious; there are actually quite a few BBQ sauces, which I often can’t eat, so this was quite a treat. Of course the cheesy mash was off the chain, I have always adored TGI Fridays mash and that will never change; Mark was incredibly jealous! The Cajun-spiced king prawn skewer was a great addition to my meal; they were really plump prawns with a strong smoky flavour. Basically I will definitely have this again! Mark’s Jack Daniels Chicken looked delicious too and he reports it was epically tasty. The fries are also gluten free in TGI Friday’s and were perfectly crisp; I couldn’t help but steal a few!

Gluten Free BBQ Salmon, Cheesy Mash, Seasoned Veg & a Cajun-Spiced King Prawn Skewer!

Gluten Free BBQ Salmon, Cheesy Mash, Seasoned Veg & a Cajun-Spiced King Prawn Skewer!

I always knew I wouldn’t be able to fit a dessert in but one day that Popcorn Sundae will be mine! Although I must say our drinks were so refreshing they felt almost dessert like! We both went for a slush! I opted for pineapple and Mark went for green apple. I would definitely recommend a slush if you are choosing against alcohol (though if you fancy alcohol, you must try out the cocktails. From too much past experience I have the authority to tell you they are some of the best!)

Overall our experience at TGI Fridays in Norwich was absolutely perfect. We had great service and great food. The staff were highly knowledgeable on gluten and lactose free, which isn’t always the case in similar chain restaurants. I will definitely be visiting TGI Fridays again and I would definitely recommend that if you want a fun, safe and tasty meal out you choose TGI Fridays too! It certainly doesn’t have to be a Friday to have a good time here!

Thanks for reading,

Love Becky x

REVIEW: Henleys Fish & Chip Shop, Wivenhoe – Gluten Free Fish and Chips

In Essex & want Gluten Free Fish and Chips? Wivenhoe, the village I grew up in is home to the BEST Fish & Chip Shop for Gluten Free. All day everyday, Gluten Free Fish and Chips are available! Henleys is definitely the one for Gluten Free!

gluten free fish and chips

I was sitting last week pondering over when I last had a safe and delicious fish & chips dinner from a fish & chip shop. The answer I came up with was never. I haven’t eaten fish & chips from a takeaway safely since before I found out I was intolerant to gluten.

Back in the day my family used to have fish & chips every Saturday night and I used to love it. It brings back such happy memories of the past when I could sit and feel normal, eating identical food to everyone else.

Strangely for some reason the other day I was on my local fish & chip shop’s website (Henleys of Wivenhoe), a place I thought was completely out of bounds to me and noticed the line: ‘Gluten Free ALWAYS available!’ What?!?! Have I been missing out for so long for no reason I wondered!

I immediately emailed Henleys asking if this was true and for some further details regarding what ‘Gluten Free’ meant to them. I received an incredibly friendly reply soon after stating that they used an approved gluten free batter, a separate fryer and keep all serving tongs sterile, in a separate labelled container. They said that they could offer any fish on the menu with a gluten free batter. I was really happy with this reply, they told me to just give them a ring prior to coming to get my fish & chips, as it would take about 20 minutes… fine by me! They even offered to show me the whole gluten free cooking process if I wished.

gluten free fish and chips

Gluten Free Heaven!

So yesterday evening I decided it was time to finally give gluten free fish and chips a go again. I called up Henleys and ordered some Scampi & chips for Mum, Haddock & chips for Dad and then…. I ordered a GLUTEN FREE Hake & chips for me! So not only did I get gluten free but they serve up one of my favourite fish, Hake! Hake has such a subtle sweet flavour, you should definitely give it a try over cod sometime if you haven’t before.

About 20 minutes later I drove up to Henleys (a 30 second drive from home!) and my fish & chips were ready and waiting. They had placed the gluten free in a separate box and bag from the other fish and chips and seemed to be very aware of the importance of keeping the gluten free separate from the rest. Their attitude towards gluten free was incredibly reassuring and I was a very happy girl before I even got to see or taste my dinner!

Upon arriving home I got all the fish and chips out of the boxes and paper ready to eat. My hake and chips looked amazing. The hake was a really good size and the batter was golden – identical in colour and texture to the regular fish and chips the others were having. The huge portion of chips looked great too. At this point I was incredibly excited and had the tartar, ketchup, salt & vinegar at the ready… ready to destroy that gluten free hake!

gluten free fish and chips

Now of course I guess I should tell you what my taste buds thought! Well let me tell you they were, and still are incredibly happy. The fish was delicious, it was soft and flakey and incredibly sweet just as hake should be. It was perfectly cooked. The batter was the perfect level of crispness and was the perfect amount for my fish, their was not an unnecessary amount of excess crunch which can so often be the case with battered fish. It really was delightful, if I could have had another one an hour later I definitely would have! Similarly the chips were really tasty, nice and chunky, and full of flavour. They also lacked the greasiness that so many portions of chips often have.

For the first time ever I think I completely finished my entire plate of fish and chips. I couldn’t even fit all the chips on my plate first time round but went back and refilled my plate with a second helping, a definite good decision.

gluten free fish and chips

Basically I am an incredibly happy girl after last night and cannot wait to have another portion of gluten free fish and chips again… next week! It was such a lovely surprise to find out that Henleys offer a gluten free option. Furthermore, beyond just offering a gluten free option they showed me that they really do care about their intolerant and coeliac customers.

So if you are ever in the area head down to Henleys in Wivenhoe and grab yourself a delicious portion of gluten free fish and chips, you certainly won’t regret it.

If you know of any other local restaurants or cafes that offer up gluten free treats in the Wivenhoe/Colchester area be sure to let me know!

Thanks for reading,

Becky xx

http://www.henleysfishandchips.co.uk/index.html

COOKIES AND SCREAM, Camden, London. Gluten Free & Vegan Bakery

Cookies and Scream in Camden, London is the ultimate bakery & cookie bar. It is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan & DELICIOUS! Whether you fancy a shake, a brownie, a cookie or a donut, they have something that will suit everyone. It really is the best place for food in London whether you have food intolerances or not. You won’t find anything better, trust me!

I love this place so much that I have done an updated post on Cookies and Scream, you can get to that by clicking here 🙂

cookies and scream

Gluten Free, Vegan (Dairy Free) Donut anyone?

Now I haven’t been down to Camden in many years; I used to go there occasionally when I was at school with my friends, but not since. So when a friend messaged me the other day suggesting we meet up in Camden, I jumped at the chance!
Last time I went to Camden I was able to eat pretty much everything. Back then, instead of being overwhelmed by the delicious food stalls I remember just dropping into KFC and getting a bucket of fried chicken! How times have changed!

On Saturday my friend and I (we both cannot eat gluten, she can’t eat dairy too) wandered around the food stalls, drooling continuously at all the wonders of the market. There was a huge amount of variety in terms of global cuisines from freshly made sushi and huge paellas to Peruvian and Ethiopian delights. Of course there is going to be a reasonable percentage of food that us gluten intolerants should steer clear of, but many of the stalls were run by extremely friendly, helpful people and I would always suggest asking whether there is gluten in some of the food. Much of the food was being made in an incredibly authentic way and so if the ingredients are as authentic then you might just be in luck! It definitely doesn’t hurt to ask!

For us however, we had already had an amazing lunch and dessert in inSpiral Lounge and so weren’t looking for more savoury food. We weren’t even debating or searching aimlessly, we knew exactly where we were going…. COOKIES AND SCREAM!

In recent weeks I have become really obsessed with Cookies and Scream, yet I have never been or eaten anything from there; I haven’t even spoken to anyone who has been there. But their Instagram and all other forms of social media have been enough to engulf my ghrelin into a trance of excitement. We arrived at Cookies and Scream (based within the Dingwalls gallery area of the market) and I didn’t know what to expect in terms of looks. Basically it is a bakery bar with four high stools at the bar where you can sit and enjoy your treats, or if not you can take most of them away with you.

cookies and scream

Epic gluten free donuts from Cookies and Scream!

I’ve just realised for all of you who have no idea what Cookies and Scream is, it is a gluten free and vegan bakery! Every product is dairy, egg, wheat and gluten free and all bakes are low fat, low cholesterol and made with unrefined sugars. Simply, it is foodie heaven for vegans, for intolerants and for literally everyone is the whole world. What I experienced at Cookies and Scream the other day I never ever experienced when I could eat gluten; the bakes are beyond divine. Seriously I mean it.

Cookies and Scream do a wide range of different bakes, cakes & shakes. The variety is so vast and ever changing that whilst we sat there, different tasty treats were being made; when I sneaked back later on, completely different delights were at the bar. This might be something to do with the fact that they constantly have to bake new treats, as they are constantly selling out!
The girls working behind the bar on the day we visited were incredibly friendly as well, they described Cookies and Scream as an almost punk bakery and I definitely get that vibe even in the tiny space it takes up. We spoke for ages, which meant that I just had to keep buying and tasting! Sadly the girls were a little camera shy otherwise their faces would be plastered all over this blog post. I guess giving you a few photos of the tasty treats they baked will have to do!!

cookies and scream

Cookie time!

Firstly, I started off by ordering one of the largest cookies I’ve had in a long time, I went for the choc chip cookie. It was amazing, super super soft, as if it had just come out of the oven. It was exactly how I always try and make gluten free cookies but sadly they never come out like this. Cookies and Scream cookies are filled with fruit purees and flaxseed that means that they are not only incredibly moist and fresh in taste, but they are somewhat nutritious as well. How can the best cookie I have ever tasted not be the worst cookie for me?! I actually ended up sneaking back later on and purchasing another cookies for the train journey home. It was a delicious, with an almost jammy centre to it. Sadly I forgot to take a picture as I was wolfing it down on the underground! I am unsure whether this was the greatest cookie ever or the chocolate chip one. Both were insane.

Whilst I ordered the cookie my friend ordered… a donut! Yes that’s right Cookies and Scream do fresh delicious gluten and dairy free donuts! On this occasion she opted for the completely chocolate dipped one. It was amazing, so soft and just basically… tasted like a donut! I couldn’t stop trying it! They also do a range of other donuts too, cinnamon sugar, jam, hazelnut… you name it they do it. So if like me as a gluten intolerant you have missed having donuts, this is so far my absolute favourite place to get one.

cookies and scream

The perfect gluten free & vegan Banoffee Pie!

I couldn’t resist a chocolate brownie for my dinner back home whilst I was there also, so I got one to takeaway. The ‘Gosh! Brownies’ that Cookies and Scream create have actually won the ‘great taste GOLD’ award so I knew I was in for more of a treat than many other gluten free brownies I have previously tried. I was definitely not disappointed; again, this was the best chocolate brownie I had ever eaten. It was moist and rich, I ate half cold, and then went mental and had the other half warm with some soy ice cream. It is crazy that all the delights of Cookies and Scream are vegan and thus contain no dairy or eggs… how do they do this?! Well, we won’t be able to find out from them… there is a sign on the bar saying they won’t give away any of their recipes! Big shame, I can’t get to Camden every day sadly, next time I do though I can’t wait to have another brownie or blondie… they do so many flavours!

Whilst we were munching down our donuts and cookies the girls behind the bar started assembling a perfect masterpiece for the eyes in the form of a banoffee pie. Being one of my favourite desserts in the world I felt a little faint at the sight of such a beauty – mine doesn’t ever look that good! If I hadn’t got myself already so so full I would have definitely managed a full slice… or the whole pie come to think of it. It quickly sold out as later when I went back it was completely gone and an entire second cake was just having it’s final slice sold!

One final purchase for me from Cookies and Scream on Saturday I think was called the ‘Chewy Wookee’. It is a chocolate feast: a cookie bar with hazelnuts, raisins and topped with double chocolate. I bought one because I found out that they have a ‘Chewy Wookee Challenge’! You have to see how quickly you can eat the Chewy Wookee. Whilst I was there, a girl decided to take up this challenge and had to eat the entire thing in 2 minutes. Unfortunately she was unable to get on the leaderboard; I wasn’t even going to try, instead I spent my Sunday enjoying this tasty delight. I am not the worlds biggest double chocolate fan but this was immense. Again, I ask you… how is this vegan?!

cookies and scream

Whose up for the Chewy Wookee challenge?!

Not only is their range of cakes, cookies, pies, brownies etc never-ending (I haven’t even mentioned 5% of the potential treats you might come across at Cookies and Scream on any random day), but they also do a huge range of milkshakes! These milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard & damn right they’re… low fat & sweetened with agave (according to Cookies & Scream, and whose to argue with these genius’). Now I had already had a banana milkshake/smoothie in inSpiral Lounge earlier so I felt I couldn’t have another, but I watched so many people having them made and they looked amazing. I can guarantee from just looking at the shakes and reading the menu that these shakes would be better than any dairy or gluten filled one. Anyone up for a Cookie Dough Ball Shake? Salted Caramel Shake? Brownie Shake? Toffee or Peanut Butter Shake?! ME to all of these & probably ‘me me me’ to many of you too! Well get down to Cookies and Scream pronto and you can have one!

cookies and scream

Fancy a shake thats dairy & gluten free, here you go!

As you might be able to already tell I am highly suggesting you head to Cookies and Scream if you are venturing down to Camden on a sunny London day out. Of course I highly recommend the whole of Camden market for a great foodie experience, but if you don’t go to Cookies and Scream I warn you now, you have made a huge mistake.

I recommend it to those who can’t eat gluten, to those who can’t eat dairy, to all the vegans out there, and I highly recommend it to every other individual on this planet, because you certainly won’t taste anything better with a load of gluten, eggs or cows milk included in your baked goods and shakes! This place is simply amazing.

It is open 7 days a week from 10am till 6pm and they are always replenishing their delicious bakes throughout the day. If you are in a rush happily grab a dozen cookies and brownies for the road, if not take a seat at the bar and have a chat over a shake and a slice of pie, it’s a great place to hang out.

If all this is completely beyond you still, then until you can make the trip to Cookies and Scream I urge you to follow ‘CookiesandScreamBakery’ on Instagram and ‘cookiesscream’ on Twitter. Don’t blame me if this makes you get on a train, plane or automobile very quickly and end up at Cookies and Scream before you’ve even got yourself dressed in the morning.

Well that’s all from me for today, basically I love Cookies and Scream & I hope that at least one of you might decide to go now, it is so so worth it.

Thanks for reading,

Becky xxx

The Rebel Bakery review – gluten & dairy free cupcakes – Leaving & Thank You Present – Intern in London!

Screen Shot 2013-08-31 at 18.37.41So yesterday was my final day of a three month internship at a central London based PR firm. The firm specialises in food & drink, wellbeing, health, lifestyle & beauty.

Luckily enough my position was firmly in the food & drink team, a huge bonus for a foodie like me!

I had very little idea of what to expect from this internship having never really considered PR as a career path till fairly recently, but it was an amazing experience and I learnt so much.

My working life the past three months!

My working life the past three months!

Not only did I learn so much but the area in which the firm is based is Soho. Soho is now definitely one of my favourite areas of London. It is close to everything, has a vast array of restaurants and cafes plus best of all… there are tons of gluten free and other free from choices left right and centre! I will definitely be making numerous trips back up to Soho to eat out and shop for free from goodies!

Of course my internship wouldn’t have been half as enjoyable without the people at the firm who helped me out so much. CCD PR is a relatively small firm with less than twenty workers, so it was nice to get to know everyone who worked there. Consequently, when my final week arrived I started to think how much I would miss everybody I had got to know and felt it was only right to provide them with a gift to show my appreciation!

I initially considered just baking some of my white chocolate & cranberry cookies or a lovely cake but the long hours I have with my commute to London just didn’t make it feasible. So instead I went in search of a friendly bakery to do the work for me!
Funnily enough another member of the team at CCD has a gluten intolerance as well as a dairy intolerance so I decided for her sake and my own (I wanted cake too!) that I would search for a London based free from bakery.

I decided after much deliberation to opt for The Rebel Bakery! The Rebel Bakery is a small company that I have known about for quite a while now yet never consumed any of their baked goods. Their website is incredibly eye catching, definitely head over there if you haven’t already it will completely draw you in!

All cakes at The Rebel Bakery are gluten free and actually all seem to contain a veggie as one of the ingredients in them, often courgette or carrot. The selection of flavours is vast (click here to see the range), from strawberries & cream to apple pie, chocolate orange to blueberry. You really should check them out, they even do a gluten free

fancy a gluten free cake and burger at the same time?! Now you can.

fancy a gluten free cake and burger at the same time?! Now you can!

cupcakes that look like burger and flake 99 ice creams!

On this occasion I just wanted a nice selection of different flavoured cupcakes that were not only gluten free but dairy free too. Not all cake flavours at The Rebel Bakery are dairy free but the vast majority are. The dairy free cupcakes come with a different type of icing which doesn’t contain butter, instead the icing is made with egg whites this is actually an amazing idea and makes the icing much, much lighter than the heaviness of butter cream. It almost has a sticky, soft marshmallow consistency!

So with the help of the amazing Lucy at The Rebel Bakery I arranged to get delivered the following day x6 Lemon Burst, x6 Strawberries and Cream & x6 Chocolate Kisses cupcakes. Not only was Lucy incredibly helpful when I was making my selection, The Rebel Bakery deliver direct to you door across the entirety of London – this was perfect for me on this occasion!

My delivery!

My delivery!

So yesterday at about 11am 3 beautifully presented boxes turned up with 18 amazing cupcakes inside! I almost forgot to say I asked The Rebel Bakery to write on the cupcakes “Thank You CCD”, this was such a lovely personal touch that was totally appreciated. It really felt that no job was too big or too small for the folk at The Rebel Bakery!

The whole office were really chuffed with the delivery and a overwhelming ‘tea and cake’ vibe flooded the office. Obviously 99% of the office can eat both gluten and dairy and this made absolutely no difference. The only word I could hear amongst the munching of cake & the slurping of tea was…DELICIOUS!

The strawberries & cream cake was a massive hit with the strawberry jam centre oozing out, similarly the raspberry filling in the chocolate kisses cupcake was a huge hit. Of course the lemon cake was a certain winner too, who doesn’t like a bit of lemon cake?! The cakes all had a wonderfully soft and fresh texture and the smell of fresh baking was apparent as soon as the boxes arrived. We were going out for a leaving lunch a couple of hours later but this certainly didn’t deter the cake consumption!

As I have said already, what I found the nicest about these cakes really was the icing. I have to say I am a huge fan of butter icing, (having had a free from red velvet cupcake earlier in the week courtesy of the Hummingbird Bakery which blew my mind) but butter icing is incredibly rich and often is a bit too sickly I find. Also just as a side note, when I say butter icing I mean ‘margarine icing’, I never use actual butter and instead using a dairy free alternative spread.
But as I was saying, the icing on these cakes is incredibly light and doesn’t fill you up in any way… it just tastes really delicious! So delicious in fact that I am tempted to try and make the icing myself for when I next bake at home!

Strawberries and Cream Gluten and Dairy Free Cupcakes!

Strawberries and Cream Gluten and Dairy Free Cupcakes!

So in conclusion I guess, the cakes went down amazingly! They were thoroughly enjoyed by all and I was thoroughly pleased with the service The Rebel Bakery gave me too.
It is great to hear that they are now being stocked in Harrods so if you are ever in that area of London you can pop down and try one. Or if your not in that area of London, I suggest making a special trip over there anyway!
As I mentioned, The Rebel Bakery deliver all across London however you can contact that directly for other delivery options beyond this.

So whether it’s cupcakes, a birthday cake or even a wedding cake The Rebel Bakery is a great place to consider. I really cannot wait to order my next batch of cupcakes… this time maybe all for me! Whether you are intolerant to gluten or dairy or not intolerant to anything at all these cakes really will delight!
Massive thank you to The Rebel Bakery for making my last day at CCD PR even better!

Thanks for reading,

Becky xx

The Allergy and Free From Show 2013 (Product and Brand Review)

Allergy-free-show-2013So last Sunday myself and Mark embarked on a mini adventure to London (only 45 minutes on the train, but an adventure none the less!). Our reason for this London adventure was that we were going to be making our first trip to The Allergy and Free From Show at Olympia on the Sunday.
Having seen the hype across the social media sites and from looking at who would be exhibiting, I have to say I was incredibly excited!
I attended the Vitality Show at Earls Court earlier this year and so had a slight idea of what to expect, but The Allergy and Free From Show was definitely a more exciting prospect with a larger, and more diverse array of delicious brands showing off their tasty products.

We arrived around lunch time and so of course the show was pretty busy, this didn’t faze us however as we were just excited to get going and explore!
I thought I would use this post as a central HQ for all my other Allergy and Free From Show based posts. So please feel free to click on any of the brands below to get my view on them from the day itself. There were so many more brands that really caught our eyes but these are some of our favourites!

Click on the brands below for a further link to a review of them!

The Free From Bakehouse
Food Heaven
Knead Bakery
Sweet Cheeks
Glamour Puds
Pudology
BFree
Venice Bakery
Ilumi
Freedom Deli
Other Favourite Brands (DS, Heck Sausages, Secret Sausages, Fria, Clives Pies, Byron Bay Cookies, Yes You Can)

Of course we made some purchases too and so in the near future there will be lots of posts up about more specific products.
I hope that if you got to The Allergy and Free From Show last weekend that you had a great time and made some amazing discoveries as well. Please let me know if there are any other products that you think I might have missed that I would enjoy! I would love to hear from you all

Roll on 2014 and roll on many more gluten free discoveries over the coming year!
Thanks for reading,

Becky xx

The Best The Allergy and Free From Show 2013

So here is an assortment of other great picks from The Allergy and Free From Show 2013. To see even more of our favourites from the day click here!

quicheThe Dietary Specials (DS) brand had a big stand at The Allergy and Free From Show and I have to say I fell a little too much in love with their Quiche Lorraine, a relatively new product DS were showing off. It really did taste just like a regular quiche which is something I have really missed over the past few years. It is both gluten and wheat free filled with delicious smoky bacon and cheese. The DS Quiche Lorraine is available now in both Tesco and Asda and is definitely worth a try.

Heck Sausages are a brand that I have recently walked past in Tesco but failed to purchase heck sausages The Allergy and Free From Showeven though I am a massive fan of their packaging. I now have some heck sausages in my freezer as their stand at The Allergy and Free From Show delivered amazing free samples. When I arrived the sausages were scorching hot and ready for tasting. I tried the Plump Pork & Apple and the Pork & Proud flavours, both were really tasty. When I fancy some gluten free sausages I will definitely be heading to Heck. They have a wide range of other flavours too, from Chicken Italia to French Black Pudding. If you fancy some (which you should) then they can be purchased at both Tesco and Ocado.com. Their website states, “We do damn good sausages!” … I must say, I’ve got to agree!

secret sausages The Allergy and Free From ShowSecret Sausages was another big discovery for me at The Allergy and Free From Show. Rather than being big meaty sausages these are 100% veggie. Their motto? “Vegetables in Disguise”! Secret Sausages contain no meat, and three quarters of each one is simply fresh vegetables and rice. The rest is made up of the following; water – to make them succulent, herbs & spices to make them tasty, and some vitamin C to keep them fresh. On top of this Secret Sausages are gluten free, what could be better! It was very busy when I got to the stand and sadly the sausages were sold out, however I did get to try a sample of their rosemary and garlic sausage which was delicious. I have since looked on their website and found they do a wide range of different sausages from Honeybee (sweetcorn) to Chilli and Coriander. I definitely need to get my hands on some of these in the future! Currently the best place to find and buy Secret Sausages is on their own website http://www.secret-sausages.com/Buy.asp where you can find further details of the ingredients within each sausage. Secret Sausages are something different and fresh for us gluten intolerants who so often fail to find gluten free veggie sausages. Just writing this has made me hungry!

Gluten Free Cinnamon Whirls The Allergy and Free From ShowI have never tried any Fria products before. The most I know about then is that they are a Scandinavian Gluten Free brand! I didn’t even know what specific products they produced until The Allergy and Free From Show. However, the show told me all I need to know in the two samples I was fortunate enough to try out! I tried out two of their sweet products the Kanelbulle (cinnamon bun) and the Kladdkaka (a Swedish style chocolate brownie cake). Both were delightful, I really cannot remember the last time I had a cinnamon bun and so this was a real treat for me at The Allergy and Free From Show. I am a huge fan of cinnamon and the rich flavour that ran through the bun made it a joy to eat. Fria produce a huge range of other sweet products as well from Äppelmuffins (apple sauce and cinnamon filled muffins) to Slät bulle (a sweet cardamom flavoured bun) all of which I cannot wait to get my teeth into when I get the chance. Additionally Fria also produce a huge range of savoury products from breads to hot dog rolls which I would love to have the opportunity to try in the future. Fria products are sold in a wide range of different independent stores across the UK as well as at Goodness Direct. Click here to check if you can grab a cinnamon bun near you! From what I tasted you should definitely consider doing so.yes you can The Allergy and Free From Show

Big shout outs go to the folk at Clives Pies, Byron Bay Cookies and the Yes You Can Bread, which tasted incredibly like regular bread and had a great texture. All three of these brands I can’t wait to try again in the near future. It is definitely a rarity to indulge in a pie as a gluten intolerant and Clive really does make epic ones! Thanks to The Allergy and Free From Show for another great year!

Thanks for reading,

Becky xxx

REVIEW: Knead Bakery – Gluten and Dairy Free Cookies and Breads

At The Allergy and Free From Show Knead Bakery were one of the very first stands we came across. (Update: As of 2015, Knead Bakery is no longer in operation)

I have heard of Knead Bakery before and have always been really impressed with their branding; I am a huge fan of how simplistic their website initially looks to be. However, beyond the simplicity is lots of easy to understand information on food related allergies and intolerances which is really informative.

knead bakery cookies

Cookies!

Beyond the website however are the amazing products that Knead Bakery have produced for us to enjoy. All their products are free from gluten, dairy, yeast and cane sugar & trust me, you would definitely not realise this upon tasting them!
At the stand I was immediately drawn towards the cookie samples (being one of the first stalls we visited I was still super hungry at this point!); they had samples of both their ginger cookies and their classic American style cookies out for the world to try. They were both delicious, as you would expect of American style cookies the texture was soft and chewy. I haven’t tasted gluten free cookies with such a great texture in a very long time. Flavour wise both cookies were amazing! I am a huge huge fan of a good ol’ ginger biscuit and Knead Bakery did not fail to please me! What makes the brilliant flavours of these cookies all the better is that they don’t use cane sugar; instead, they use natural sources of sweetness to enhance the cookies flavour. For instance they use agave nectar and xylitol.

Not only was Knead Bakery sampling their cookies, they were also sampling their white and seeded loaves which I must say tasted delicious. If you are looking for a new gluten free bread that has a decent crust on it but is soft within, then the Knead Bakery loaves are definitely worth a try. There is a definite lack of ‘gluten free flavour’ coming through from their bread which is always a double positive!

loaf knead bakery

Seeded Loaf!

From looking on the Knead Bakery website (link now removed) I see that they are going to be offering some new products very soon including carrot cake, mini lemon & poppy seed muffins and mini blueberry muffins. With the exceptional quality in terms of taste and texture that their current products already have, I am really excited to give these new products a try!

So if you ‘Knead to Buy’ (sorry, stolen from their website!) some Knead Bakery goods you can head on down to any Whole Foods Market stores in London and also very very soon Ocado.com will be stocking them as well. Additionally, click here (link now removed) for further stockists of Knead Bakery products. It was a complete pleasure to sample their goods this weekend and I encourage others to do the same. The cookies are to die for!

Thanks for reading,

Becky xxx