My free from eating experience so far in Bangkok

I was really quite worried before we came to Thailand at the thought of two weeks gluten free, yeast free and onion free as these are used a great deal in Thai food. I really thought I would be very hungry all the time.

My husband was very organised and emailed all the hotels and any restaurants that we had booked from the UK. This turned out to be incredibly helpful. I still needed to go over everything with the waiting staff but they had at least some idea of what I was talking about. I also used my translation sheet to check about gluten free. Which has been helpful often getting thumbs up from the chefs.

We stayed at the Siam Kempinski in Bangkok which I would definitely recommend. Not cheap but staff very helpful and restaurant manager happy to help and keen to make my stay worry free.

I have eaten lots of fish so far, especially sea bass and have had far more spicy dishes than I expected.

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Visit to the Floating Market

We drove for about 1.5hrs on a minibus from Bangkok to a small canal were we boarded our long tail boat which would take us to the market.

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Soon we came upon boats floating up the canal selling various hot food and fruit. Thai silk, hats etc were sold on the banks from wooden stalls.

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We booked an English speaking guide to escort us and teach us about Thai culture. Andy was excellent and I would definitely recommend booking a guide. We were shown some great photo opportunities and we were able to get out of our boat and walk around the covered market too. I wasn’t brave enough to try any food there. But the food did smell delicious.
A must do, if you come to Bangkok. Exceeded my expectations!

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Eating free from in Bangkok

After what seemed like a very quick flight we arrived in Thailand. A minibus was sent by our hotel to pick the 6 of us up. After a bit of head scratching at the amount of luggage we had brought with us, they squashed us into the minibus and we were soon on our way to the Hotel in Bangkok about 40 mins away. Siam Kempinski is set in the very heart of the city. Great if you like shopping!
Our first meal had been booked in advance. An email had also been sent explaining my food intolerances.
What we didn’t know was it had one an award for one of the top 50 in Asia. We soon understood why!

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20130420-170036.jpgThe menu was exciting and a tiny bit scary but an iPad was brought over to show us what everything was. They also went over my food intolerances to make sure they understood. Very reassuring.We decided on the 8 course tasting menu. Always a terrifying thought for me, as there are some many dishes that could go wrong.

20130420-170353.jpg Nibbles followed by 3 spoonfuls of delicious spicy food.

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Followed by tuna tartar with lemon grass, 4 lolly sticks with chicken pork meatball etc.

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20130420-170948.jpg The salad with river prawns was very special and incredibly spicy.
Then came the main course, Fried red mullet with curried peanuts and turmeric cauliflower. Lemon grass tea was offered when it all got a bit too spicy.
Pineapple and ginger sorbet with tiny lemon meringue squares was a perfect way to finish.

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20130420-171403.jpg But the we were surprised by a spoon of frozen sour cream and spearmint ice with popping candy. Crazy! But made us all laugh.

20130420-171544.jpg All in all one of the best meal experiences I have ever had. We chatted, laughed, cried at the spicy surprises and were thoroughly impressed by the imaginative meal. Especially all the extra effort the chef went to for me.
We would certainly make an effort to eat there again if we returned to Bangkok in the future.
Many thanks to the Chef and team at Sra Bua for making it an evening to remember.

Recipe for homemade Granola – gluten free and refined sugar free

100g Almonds

100g Hazelnuts

100g Pecans

150g gluten free oats

100g dessicated coconut

handful of pumpkin seeds

handful of sunflower seeds

handful of chia seeds ( optional )

approx 100ml Honey/Agave or maple syrup

100ml (melted ) virgin coconut oil raw

( or use 180ml of coconut oil and just 20ml of maple syrup. I find this sweet enough )

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Put the nuts and some of the seeds in a food processor and roughly chop, then add to the rest of the seeds, dessicated coconut and oats. Melt the virgin coconut oil into the Honey/Agave. I put it in a jug over hot water.

Pour into dry ingredients and stir, add more melted oil if needed.

Oil two baking trays using more coconut oil and spread the mixture between the two. Pre heat oven to 180oc. Put in the oven for 7 mins then take out and give it a stir so that all mixture goes  golden. Then back in the oven for another 7 mins. Until granola is a golden colour.

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After cooling, put in airtight container. The granola should stay fresh for a month. But it wont last that long!

Delicious for breakfast with berries and thick greek yoghurt, no added sugar. Or makes a great snack anytime.

Enjoy!

Eating free from at Tony Tobin’s The Dining Room in Reigate

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My delicious starter of Mackerel with homemade gluten and yeast free bread

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I chose Hake for my main course with creamy mash and vegetables with a tasty sauce made especially for me. It was delicious!

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The waiter was very helpful when it came to choosing courses he talked everything through with me first and checked with the kitchen which options would be suitable.

The dessert was extra special It was meringue poached I think, with strawberries and chocolate sauce. Pretty special!

My Sons and their girlfriends were blown away by the quality and taste of the food, making the evening all the more perfect.

The Dining room is most certainly a great choice for celebrations or a romantic dinner for two.

Always a good idea to inform the restaurant of any food intolerances or allergies. when booking a table.

A big thanks to Tony Tobin and his team for a very memorable evening.

Free from Fine dining on the Norfolk coast

On Saturday we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with my parents up in Norfolk. We chose to eat at Titchwell Manor as we really wanted an extra special meal to remember. I contacted the head chef  Eric Snaith and explained my many food intolerances gluten,onion, yeast including things like wine, vinegar, stock cubes. As always Eric was happy to cater for me and said he loved a challenge!

It was going to be particularly challenging as we chose to have the conversation menu an  8 course menu with canapes.

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We arrived at Titchwell Manor at 6.30pm and started the evening with a glass of bubbly and canapes. Mine served on a separate plate on a bed of pebbles.

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Sitting by the roaring fire sipping champagne was the perfect start to the evening.

Later we moved through to the beautiful conservatory for our tasting menu. Our waitress was very knowledgeable about the different courses and aware of my intolerances. She even spoke to me about cross contamination, which was very reassuring.

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The flat bread gluten free and yeast free was delicious with the creamy lincolnshire butter. I’m excited by the simplest things, as normally have to watch while the family dig into the homemade rolls and butter in a restaurant.

I remembered to take my butter first, to avoid cross contamination from my gluten eating family.

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Delicious tender lamb course.

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Rhubarb sorbet followed by a special gluten free chocolate cake for me.

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My special carrot cake with tonka bean ice cream, very impressive .

Just some of the many courses. I was enjoying myself so much I forgot to take any more pictures.

I think we counted 11 in total, served over a long leisurely evening. It was nice to leave, not feeling completely stuffed. The meal was a real experience, with time to chat about the courses in between, hence Conversation menu. The dishes were beautifully presented and were little taste sensations.

Having food intolerances did not take anything away from my eating pleasure. I would recommend this menu to anyone wanting an extra special evening out.

Many thanks again to Eric and his team at Titchwell Manor, Norfolk.

We will return very soon.

Gluten Free delights and free from goodies at Creake Abbey farmers market

Every 1st Saturday of the month Creake Abbey plays host to an award winning Farmers market. Usually about 50 market stalls with some top quality local produce from homemade granola and jam to the very best quality meat and vegetables.

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Now as someone with a selection of food intolerances it is sometimes quite frustrating when all the tasty things seem to contain gluten etc. Fortunately for me, things are a changing!

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At the north Norfolk farmers market we now have two homemade cake, savoury’s and muffin stalls.

Glu-10-3 which sells a large selection of gluten and dairy muffins,cakes, sweet and savoury pies chocolate brownies and now even childrens homemade gluten free play dough.

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Michelle is the owner and is coming up with new ideas all the time. I’m always excited to try new products. This time my family and I tried the large slices of pecan pie. warmed and served with cream . They were perfection, and rated 10/10 by the family. Michelle’s chocolate brownies seem to be one of her best sellers, certainly loved by me and my gluten eating family!

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The other stall is new to Creak Abbey WoWmuffins run by Karen who I met for the first time on saturday. Her stall had an array of gluten free and some dairy free large and tiny muffins with flavours including cappuccino, blueberry, lime coconut ,chocolate and a special lemon meringue.

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I took a selection home to try with the help of my parents and husband we devoured them with a cup of tea when we got home. The muffins were lovely and light in texture and not overly sweet. I had chosen the muffinettes which are a great option if you are trying to cut down on too much sugar, as they are just a tiny treat as long as you only have one! I think the muffins had quite subtle flavours, I would particularly like the chocolate muffin to be a stronger flavour but that is just my opinion. But would definitely buy them again.Image

No farmers market in Norfolk would be complete without a good free range pork stall. Now the special thing about The FruitPig company is the products are gluten free and lactose free which is clearly marked on the packaging.

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On saturday I choose the black pudding some bacon and a pork loin wrapped in pancetta and stuffed with sausage all gluten free. We certainly ate well for the next few days. I have never tasted better bacon and it was a real treat to have black pudding. The loin was enjoyed for sunday lunch. Only taking 1/2 hour to cook it makes a great option. The meat was very tender and was awarded a 10/10 by the entire family.Image

Matt is the owner and is on hand to give advice on cooking times etc You can usually find his stall in the barn. well worth seeking him out.

The market has many other stalls. There is a good butcher called Sam Papworth. I have bought some very good beef and lamb from him, naturally gluten free.

There is a traditional vinegar and fruit vinegar stall whose products are labeled gluten free too.

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This farmers market is well worth a visit for the gluten eaters amongst you too. Delicious looking breads, Pork pies fromBrays cottage which I hear are the best ever, homemade baked goods, and curry stall to name but a few.

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The market opens at 9.30 and closes at 1pm so its well worth getting there early as it is very popular with both locals and holiday makers.

It will continue to be one of our must do’s on the north Norfolk coast at the weekend.

Hope you will enjoy it too, just save me some gluten free cake!