My California adventure part 2

After dropping off our hire car in San Francisco after driving from San Diego to Monterey we picked up our home for the next 9 days. An RV from Cruise America was to be our transport and home on wheels . I have to be honest our van had seen better days ! Grubby and stained comes to mind with an engine which heated my footwell to crazy levels after only about an hour into a journey.

The first destination was Yosemite national park . Staying at Yosemite pines a beautiful quiet sight on the edge of the park . After picking up provisions and cheap barbeque from Trader Joe’s and Walmart  we made the tough 150 mile trip in our cumbersome van.


Yosemite national park is a must do , stunning scenery . A place I’d love to return to one day.  11 days into our adventure I really was feeling shattered. I did wonder before taking on this holiday how I would cope , sadly my fears were starting to become reality . For most healthy people of my age this trip would be a walk in the park, but for me this was an enormous undertaking.

The drive into the park itself takes quite some time about 1.5 hours its such a huge place. We chose to take a free coach in , most campsites are a similar distance away.

Gorgeous weather greeted us,  31 degrees which I’m sure helped the old bones !

El Capitan was as awesome as you would expect as was the lower and upper Yosemite falls. We stood in awe watching climbers heading towards the summit.


On the second day we took the RV up to Sentinel point dome at Yosemite park. Hiked for 3hrs through the glorious park, visiting Glacial point and taking in the views of the two waterfalls and the valley floor. My husband acted as my personal sherpa and carried everything. There is absolutely no way I could have made the trip otherwise.


At this point I’d not eaten in 24hrs due to Crohn’s flare , which makes the 3hr hike even more unbelievable. I just drank a huge amount . I find for me, a fast helps my body to heal.


A 4.5hr drive followed the next day through old gold mining towns , passing through Angel a sweet old style town.  Another Walmart stock up for essentials before arriving at Lake Tahoe .


Sugar Pine camp site Lake Tahoe was unlike anywhere I’d ever stayed before. Basically just in a National park , so exciting !  Greeted by a sign warning of Bear sightings and food theft the day before . In fact 14 bear sightings that week.

Lovely to stay somewhere so away from it all , just us and a bear proof food box next to our pitch. I would love to tell you that night I saw a bear , I stayed up for ages with a mug of tea in the dark listening to shouts of bear! and car horns warning of a bear visit . but sadly they avoided our van. Our neighbours, a group of school children on a field trip with their teachers had an entire family of bears consume 100’s of cereal bars left in an unlocked bear box the night before, while they were on a night hike.


The joy of staying somewhere like this is eating is easy , Fish taco’s with black beans by the log fire, whats not to love. A fridge and cooker in the van , BBQ in the back and fire pits or barbecues at every camp site . A treat after eating very simply in restaurants for the first 10 days .

Lake Tahoe was truly stunning , crystal clear and ice cold . It was good to explore the beach areas and historic houses. Watching families enjoying the sunshine and chipmunks amongst the trees.


An early start the following day provided our first bear spot , the large bear was crossing the road, in the distance but a thrilling experience.

After 5 long hot hours in the RV driving through Reno Nevada to Lassen Volcanic park 

We arrived in a thunderstorm to Shingletown KOA Just an overnight stop . We definitely hadn’t quite appreciated the amount of time that would be spent on the road. It was taking its toll on me.

A snow fall that night,  rather spoilt our plans to visit the geothermal area at Lassen national park. Instead a vertical hike through the forest.


The journey to come was to challenge us both, 6 hrs in all . 3 of which, thanks to the sat nav on unmade roads and tracks in a huge RV over a mountainous area with no way of turning round. I did have visions of staying the night half way up a mountain! Fortunately this didn’t happen .

This was just after spotting our second bear. This time up close at the side of the road a young bear cub was happily relaxing in the grass. Sadly not keen on being photographed he quickly ran away. Something I will always remember and a saving grace at such a stressful part of our adventure.

A detour then followed to what can only be described as a truck stop , where a new plan was made to cut out a couple of campsites and visits . Before bedding down for the night after a much needed gin and tonic.

The Redwoods and Avenue of giants were our next must do’s so we headed straight there. The gigantic wonders of nature certainly wowed us.


Another 5 hrs and we arrived in Fort Bragg . Here we were able to book a night at a local camp site . The entire journey had been up to now booked in advance of our trip so we had to cancel a few places and re arrange the next few days.

Glass beach was worth a visit , originally a Victorian tip of mainly glass bottles , now a beach of beautiful sea glass . A big whale spotting area and due to the changing climate and ocean temperatures there were still Whales to be spotted surfacing , tail flapping and spurting water from their blow holes.

This part of our trip has been very chilly, jeans and jumper was essential in June . While in Southern California  I had not suffered with aches and pains since moving up north pains and stiffness returned.

After Fort Bragg we travelled to Manchester via Mendocino very reminiscent of a New England coastal town.


Again here it was 14 degrees with a sea fret definitely helping to keep the temperature down. Such a pretty place and a restaurant serving gluten free Fish and chips. A first on this holiday.


Rock cod and chips at Flow, well worth checking out if you visit. Followed by gluten free muffin and coffee and the local coffee shop.

I’d been unwell over the few days previous , I think due to the stress and anxiety of the journey over the last few days so it was extra lovely to be eating again.


Our next campsite was Manchester , during my trip I had been keeping a daily journal but due to exhaustion and fatigue and now tears I started to lose memory of what was happening . Just surviving was all I could manage.

We finally dropped the RV back to San Francisco , I can honestly say I was not sorry to see the back of it. Such a shame as I really love camping and camper vans . I think due the the length of the trip it was just all too much. Ideally the trip would have been better split into two holidays . San Diego – Monterey  and San Francisco round trip via Yosemite etc and back to San Fran.

Our final 5 days were to be spent in San Francisco, I think the sight of a hotel bed a good nights sleep and hot bath just gave me enough of a lift to give me a second wind. I had done a great deal of research before going away about restaurants and gluten free options in San Francisco bay area. I had never been more relieved that all was booked in advanced . My initial thoughts on the area we were staying was that it was very touristy. The Argonaut is very close to the piers and the busy area for tourists .


We ate out at The Chart house we had eaten at their sister restaurant in Monterey earlier on in our trip.

We of course did the sea lion watching at Pier 39


Friday evening we had dinner at Fog harbour fish restaurant, even though I had researched before hand, they really did struggled to fed me. Everything it seemed had been marinated or cooked in garlic. Salmon and green beans or broccoli was my go to dish or often the only choice. No starter or dessert again no surprise .

For breakfasts I can thoroughly recommend The Beach street grill,  , this modest family cafe was what I had been searching for all trip. gluten free 1/2 stack and maple syrup with extra bacon was exactly what I needed. Lunches looked great too, plenty of omelettes etc.


Travelling by Cable car, trolley bus and street car, Uber and on foot we covered many on the must do sights of San Francisco in a very short time .


The sun shone and we had lovely blue skies.


Missing out on desserts and treats during our trip it was so exciting to finally visit Mariposa bakery in the Ferry building. Such a choice of gluten free sweet and savoury bakes. Lots of other Artisan stalls too worth checking out.


Waterfront restaurant an upmarket restaurant with lovely views was a perfect end to the day. grilled prawns in prosciutto followed by whole crab and broccoli . simple but delicious.

We hired a car the following day to explore further afield . Golden gate bridge and the National park Point Reyes a couple of hours away. We were pleased to find Elk, Elephant seals noisily barking on the beach and a coyote crossing our path.


What better place for a picnic using the goodies from Mariposa bakery than the sea side . Artisan cheeses and cheese crackers followed by the most sensational cherry pie.


Home as the sun set over the golden gate bridge then another visit to Chart house for my husbands birthday meal .

A day at the races followed , my husband and I are both fans of Formula one and motor racing in general so we took the opportunity to visit NASCAR at Sonoma a 2hr drive away. It was well worth the trip . We sensibly had booked seats in the shade.


Dinner once again was at The Waterfront in San Fransisco another lovely meal.

Our final day in San Fran was a windy cool day . One final visit to the very special Beach street cafe was a must.


What better way to finish our stay , a final ride on the cable car this time hanging on the outside . Something I’d always imagined doing if I ever had a chance to visit this iconic place.

Our California road trip adventure was finally at an end. I had made it and really enjoyed seeing most especially the stunning scenery and natural world that California had to offer. I’d most definitely been pushed to my limits physically, but I’m so glad that I achieved this big adventure.





Gluten free treats from Manna Dew

On Saturday I found myself in Battersea park for the Formula E racing . The extra bonus to a day out watching racing cars was that I remembered the Mann Dew was close by.

Manna Dew is a 100% gluten free Patisserie and Bakery Cafe serving breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas situated on a classic London cobblestone street in Battersea. The Patisserie does not use refined sugar instead opting for sugars such as agave and coconut sugar. ( Macaron the only exception )


I walked from the park following the directions on Google maps which took about 12 mins. Manna Dew was a smaller shop than I expected but once inside I was impressed with the quality of the interior, and the cleanliness.   A real little gem. The array of patisserie delights was mind blowing along with the aroma of freshly baked bakery goods and the smell of fresh coffee. The choice was a little overwhelming for me. I rarely find a shop where I can safely induldge in such amazing gluten free treats .


The bakery goods looked great, the French baguettes, yes baguettes! looked Amazing , seeded buns and focaccia looked and smelt so tempting hard to believe they didn’t contain gluten.


Due to having Crohn’s disease as well as being intolerant to gluten means gluten free grains are only for treat days. I find that too many gluten free grains affect me if eaten regularly. But for a Coeliac or someone who is gluten intolerant this place is a dream come true you !

I could see that the staff were very busy, a young family with three children were enjoying a pre booked afternoon tea, another group of people were sitting outside in the sunshine while a delivery for Deliveroo was being sorted and sent on its way.


As I was short for time and needed to get back for the Formula E big race I made an order to take away. I chose a chocolate brownie, a mini carrot cake and a toasted Italian focaccia for my husband. I am intolerant to yeast otherwise I would have chosen the chicken focaccia which looked amazing.


I had a short chat with Muhammed who kindly gave me a raspberry passion fruit tart to try as he said it was one of their signature patisserie tarts and I he wanted me to try it. A very generous gift.


I dashed back to the Park to enjoy my picnic. My husband was very impressed with the toasted focaccia saying he couldn’t tell that it was gluten free. In fact he thought it was nicer than most regular gluten focaccia sandwiches. We shared the decadent chocolate brownie, an intensely chocolatey slice, gooey and very rich . A big hit and something I would order again. I enjoyed the carrot cake all to myself, again really delicious and light.


The special patisserie raspberry and passionfruit tart was saved until we were home. Amazingly it survived intact.


The raspberry passionfruit tart was indeed a triumph, a biscuity pastry with a tangy filling and fresh fruit. So glad I was able to try this. I enjoyed it and would order again. My husband said he would of preferred a more simple pastry case.

I would love to see added to the range some grain free treats too I think they would be very popular, I for one would be back in a flash to try them .

Do pay Manna Dew a visit if you live in London or are visiting London in the near future. Locals can also have delicious gluten free treats delivered to their door with Deliveroo and JINN . Places like this will not survive unless we show our support to indie shops like this delightful one.

Why not book a trip soon , there is currently a special offer on afternoon tea, check the website for details.

You can follow Manna Dew on Twitter @mannadew


Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm

Sat & Sun 10.30am – 6pm

169 Battersea high street SW11 3JS







Côte Brasserie gluten free update

Today I treated myself to lunch out with a friend. Now Côte Brasserie has come to my local town I have a safe choice to eat out gluten free. Click here to see Côte Brasserie locations 

Taking inspiration from the brasseries of Paris, Côte offers authentic french classics with many options available which are free from gluten.

I chose Steak frites from the gluten free menu. The gluten free menu is large and has plenty to choose from. Click here to see the full GF menu 


Due to my extra food intolerances steak is a good option for me.

The meals arrived promptly and my steak looked really delicious, I was impressed, great flavour and perfectly cooked. The frites as always were very good.

New breakfast gluten free menu


Côte Brasserie have always been good for gluten free but now they have the added bonus of being accredited by Coeliac UK joining other chains including  Carluccio’s , La Tasca , Frankie and Benny’s , find complete list here Coeliac UK accredited eateries 


A recent visit to Côte Brasserie in London

Updated gluten free menu click here

follow Côte on Instagram Cote_brasserie

Norwich’s very own gluten free cafe and shop

Today we drove over to Norwich to visit The gluten free cafe and shop on Timber hill. We parked at the John Lewis car park but there are numerous places to park near the shop and cafe. The setting is perfect on a pretty street, one of the oldest recorded city streets in Norwich. Home to quirky shops , boutiques and beauty salons. Since January home to this exciting new enterprise from the Norfolk gluten free company. 


I was blown away by the smartness and quality of the exterior and interior of the cafe and shop. Stepping into the busy cosy cafe I felt like a child in a sweet shop. To know that you can eat from the entire menu on the large black board was the most exciting thing ever. If  like me you have Coeliac disease or gluten intolerant  you will totally understand the wave of relief and calm you feel when you know you are safe to eat somewhere that is 100% gluten free with no worries of cross contamination. It offers a huge range of tasty savoury and sweet options for all the family including delicious looking soups and pies, quiches and ploughman’s. An enormous array of sweet treats from chocolate eclairs and muffins to beautiful cup cakes and flapjacks . You could have the biggest sugar high ! We all need a treat sometimes


The staff were busy with lots of happy customers. Today Families , young couples and older people were sat around at tables drinking coffee and eating lunch. It was lovely to see the place so busy. We found a little table near the window where we could watch the world go by. I decided on hot cheesy balls with butter for lunch and Mr S choose a chicken pie with ploughman lunch, with coffee.


After ordering at the counter I couldn’t resist a quick look upstairs at the gluten free shop where I was greeted by the lovely Louisa founder of the Norfolk gluten free company . I scanned the shelves full of everything you could possibly imagine, it really is like an Aladdin’s cave. I was beyond excited , far superior to a free from section in a supermarket. From an incredible selection of freshly baked bread goods from Wheat free bakery ( the best bread in my family’s opinion ) to pies and quiches and dry mixes , pasta’s, taco and wraps. Every gluten free flour, dough ball mix  I could go on.



After doing a quick grab of goodies and paying upstairs I was down just in time for my Latte and hot yummy cheesy dough balls. These can be served with a selection of dips but I went for butter with mine. they were so scummy.


With so many extra food intolerances I often find it difficult to order anything when I am out shopping. These were just what I needed. My husband was pleased with his flaky chicken pie packed with hearty pieces of chicken inside with a side salad, bread roll and cheese plus chutney, a feast.



My coffee was so good I ordered a second and couldn’t resist a sweet treat.


IMG_9904 Its not often I can go out and order a pudding . After much thought I decided on the caramel choux bun and Mr S had a fruit and chocolate flap jack.


I spotted some very pretty looking cup cakes made by the talented Imogen from Sugar buttons cakes so it would of been rude not to take one home for later . A toffee popcorn cupcake was popped into a little cake bag for me to enjoy later.


Imogen made my son and daughter in law’s wedding cupcakes in August 2014 so I know just how good they are. As well as cup cakes Imogen makes the most stunning large gluten free Wedding cakes too, do check out her website Sugar buttons creative.


Before I left I had one more quick look upstairs in the shop, It is a surprisingly good size space. So if you are in for a coffee don’t forget to take a look yourself. I choose some freshly baked bread to take home and some extra special chocolate hearts from Montezuma.


The prices in the cafe and shop I thought were very fair and we will definitely return next time we are in Norwich armed with extra bags and more room in the freezer to take home lots of gluten free bread for the family.



I do hope if you are in the Norwich area or visiting Norfolk this year you will make time to visit this fabulous cafe and shop. If we don’t support these brave enterprises they won’t survive . I would like to wish Louisa and her team all the very best for the future. I’m sure you have a real success on your hands. I could see just how much work must have gone into the last few months do get this venture off the ground in the centre of this beautiful city.



You can find the Cafe and shop at the top Timber hill number 21 on the left hand side as you look down the hill.


Website – Norfolk gluten free company

Twitter – @nklkglutenfree


Review of Niche gluten free restaurant in London

Last thursday four of us went to Niche to celebrate my Son’s birthday. It was our very first visit .

Niche is a gluten free restaurant in Islington providing British comfort food which is all gluten free.


The restaurant has a very relaxed atmosphere, more cafe style than restaurant. A modern clean airy space in a prime spot on the corner of a Rosebury avenue , just down the road from Sadlers Wells theatre.



I thought ordering would be relatively straight forward against other regular restaurants, but this turned out to not be the case. Firstly I went through my intolerances and that I had coeliac disease and gave the waiter my card. He then went through the starters with me, and popping back to talk to the chef re yeast onion and garlic and paprika. Unfortunately this ruled all the delicious looking starters except a plate of smoked salmon or a goats cheese salad.

I was excited to try the gluten free burger for my main but this contained onion so I had to rule it out , secondly I chose a steak, my go to meal at every restaurant. Unbelievable for me the steaks at Niche are marinated making them of limits to me. I plumped for sea bass in the end with potatoes and no sauce instead I asked for some green vegetables. I was pleased the family could order all the gluten free starters that I wanted to try, the deep fried parmesan and cheddar doughnuts and the fried chicken. For main courses they went for beef and chorizo pie and mash, sausage and mash and a goats cheese and Portobello mushroom burger on a gluten free bun with fries.

Our starters arrived promptly and the fried chicken strips and parmesan and cheddar doughnuts looked amazing. I was very disappointed that I couldn’t have either. Maybe something for Niche to look at? Many Coeliacs and those with intolerances can’t tolerate yeast, dairy, onions or sometimes garlic etc.  Just one simple treat starter would be appreciated. My smoked salmon was really delicious and I was given a huge portion.

The fried chicken strips cost £7.75 and were a hit and the parmesan and cheddar doughnuts cost £6.50 were liked but not raved about. My husband had the goats cheese salad which he enjoyed.




Our main courses arrived next my sea bass was nicely presented but I asked for some butter to just cheer it up a little. The butter came individually wrapped portions very sweet 8/10  cost £15.25


The sausage and mash meal was enjoyed. Delicious gluten free sausages but the mash and gravy were not overly warm 6.5/10  cost £12.25


Beef and chorizo pie and mash was well presented there was a lot of pastry which was nice and crisp but just rather too much of it with a small amount of filling with only two slices of chorizo inside. It was given 7/10   cost £12.75


The goats cheese and portobello mushroom burger looked amazing but was difficult and messy to eat and on a very small plate so no room to get into it.  The chips never arrived, which we only spotted at the end. 8.5/10   cost £12.25


A lady came to take our dessert order and we mentioned about the lack of chips she apologised and offered a free pudding. I asked for information about the treacle tart which I had been really looking forward too. But after talking to the chef I was told it was made from gluten free bread that contained yeast. I was really disappointed but chose the chocolate brownie. My meal was turning in to the classic meal I have every where in all regular restaurants.

The family chose the treacle tart which scored a 6.5/10 as the pastry was too thick and the filling dry. They were underwhelmed   cost £5.75


St Clements cheese cake scored a 8/10   cost £6.25

and my brownie was delicious and very moist 9/10 ( but not a very original pudding for a gluten free restaurant ) My warm brownie arrived with ice cream but I had ordered cream they once again apologised . cost £4.75



Over all it is a pleasant restaurant for those who are gluten intolerant or have Coeliac disease as there is Zero risk of cross contamination but I think they are missing a trick by not finding out more about those with intolerances and designing a menu taking this into consideration. Niche is a reasonably priced restaurant well worth a visit.

I’m not sure about the reasoning behind the venture and whether anyone in the team is coeliac or gluten intolerant but It almost seems that Niche is jumping on the gluten free band wagon?  I may be entirely wrong but I didn’t have the opportunity to speak to anyone in charge. Maybe next time I will have the opportunity to ask.



We had a lovely evening out together and would visit the restaurant again if we were in the area. I’m not sure we would make a special journey just to eat there though.

I look forward to hearing your reviews, especially if you have no added intolerances. I’m sure you will have a great time.

website –

Niche restaurant

Twitter –


Menu here

closed Mondays

My first visit to Honest Burger , Soho

The majority of people can eat out without any worries, but when you have a multitude of food intolerances and Coeliac disease, eating out is quite a different thing!

We were treating ourselves to a matinee in London which meant being in London for lunch. Twitter is a great source of information on free from and gluten free friendly restaurants and I had lots of good ideas. Hummus Bros being one of them, this will definitely be the next place to try as they can accommodate gluten free and other intolerances and dietary requirements.



Matilda the musical  10/10 


Honest Burger has been on my list of must tries for a while and after tweeting Tom@honestburgers and checking about whether onion or garlic were used in the burgers, I was happy to give it a go. Being intolerant to onion and garlic is hugely annoying as it is hidden in most meals.



As we were in Seven dials we chose to go to Honest Burger in Soho 4a Meard street. A little restaurant in a quiet street with outside seating for the hardy.

The waitress was very welcoming and found us a table for two, we were quickly given our drinks and had time to check over the menu and black board.



I gave the waitress my card explaining all my food intolerances and highlighted the gluten intolerance. This card has become invaluable and also has my blog and twitter details on it.

The Waitress was most helpful and I chose a plain burger with cheddar cheese on salad instead of a bun. Gluten free burgers are available at a £1 extra charge sadly I am yeast intolerant and avoiding all grains so I gave this a miss. My husband chose a honest burger with the delicious looking brioche style bun ( not jealous at all ) both came with an order of rosemary chips.

The great thing about a small restaurant with a limited but amazing menu is that the food arrives very quickly. Served in white enamel plates, a cool touch I thought. The burger is served medium unless you request otherwise and My burger sat on a bed of shredded lettuce and a good size piece of cheddar cheese melted on top topped off with a good size portion of rosemary chips which are also gluten free. When my meal arrived the waitress said “now this is one we’ve been super careful with!” Its very reassuring when staff take you seriously about intolerances both ladies that served us were very keen to make my visit a relaxed one. A lovely touch



Now, the burger! its probably no surprise to discover that it tasted incredible, no exaggeration . Good quality beef cooked well and not messed with, perfect! A good amount of salad and very delicious chips. Tough as it was, I only ate a few as I am trying to avoid white potatoes. They were some of the best I’ve tasted, crispy small and with a lovely flavour.

My husband loved his burger and bun as was thrilled that Honest burger could now be added to our small ‘can eat‘ list of restaurants . Honest burger is already a big favourite with my grown up boys now we will be able to eat there together.

Our meal came to approximately £23  including water and a Honest pale ale

Thrilled to have a new safe restaurant to eat at, thank you Honest Burgers!

Restaurant locations –





Kings Cross

Oxford circus


Liverpool street


Follow on Twitter here > Tom  @honestburgers

I have returned to Honest Burger many times since writing this post and always had a delicious safe meal.


Pure Taste a new Paleo and gluten free restaurant in London

  • Unfortunately this restaurant has now closed 

Yesterday marked the beginning of an exciting new restaurant in London. A Paleolithic restaurant that is 100 % gluten free . The brain child of this exciting project is Holly Redman a nutritional therapist and chef  who started her dream with a pop up restaurant in Sussex . Due to its success Holly decided to take the brave step of searching for a property in London near good transport links where she could bring this paleo fine dining experience to more people. Many of us have been watching with great interest and excitement about this venture, so much so that we invested in her Kickstarter appeal and as part of that we were offered a launch meal for two when the restaurant opened.



Well that day finally came yesterday when the doors of Pure Taste opened to the Kickstarter backers for the very first time. A party to celebrate this exciting project coming to reality for Holly and her team.


Now they say location, location , location and this restaurant is really in the perfect position on Westbourne Grove. Amongst restaurants and some lovely shops an easy walk from Notting hill gate tube station.

A small ( from the outside ) restaurant opening up to a large dining area further back and a bar and then further seating downstairs. The large window looks through to smart lighting and small tables and beautiful art work and Pure Taste lettering on the wall as you enter.



For our evening the room was arranged with two oblong tables and one circular one making for a social  dining experience. My guest for the evening was my dear friend Liz who kindly joined me, as my husband was away on business. Liz is following a low carb high fat diet and avoids gluten and strives to eat healthily avoiding refined sugar too, making her the perfect plus one.



We were offered a glass of bubbly and chose seats near to the live music that would accompany our evening. A duo of spanish guitar and singer followed by a lady with a beautiful voice on guitar.

We were first served a canapé at the table. I had chosen the pumpkin falafel with tahini and lemon dressing. It was full of flavour and I could definitely of eaten quite a few of these! Liz opted for the canapé quail scotch egg which she said was delicious.


pumpkin seed falafel

pumpkin seed falafel


canapè quails egg

canapè quails egg

Next a pre starter an individual beetroot ‘raviloi’ with tarragon cashew cheese, yellow pepper sauce and pistachios served on a tiny plate. Again the flavours were sensational We had actually forgotten what was in this dish so we asked our waiter if he could go through the ingredients. Something I think is a nice touch at a fine dining restaurant.


beetroot ravioli

beetroot ravioli

For my starter I chose the pan fried wood pigeon breast with roasted beetroot, walnut and watercress. Probably something I wouldn’t normally chose on a menu but very glad I did. well presented and seasoned a lovely dish.



Liz chose the chicken liver and bacon terrine, with rosemary plantain crackers and seasonal leaves. I have to say I was a wee bit jealous of this stunning starter. Unfortunately it contained chives and I wasn’t sure how I would react with them so avoided. I did however ask it I could try a rosemary plantain cracker and generously a tray of them came straight out to our table. Liz loved her starter, possibly her favourite course I think served with a glass of red wine it did look good!



My main course I had pre ordered the oven roasted Loch Duart salmon with orange and coriander cauliflower pilaf. Mine came without the onion and garlic, I instead had an extra burst of fresh herbs, I added a little extra pink himalayan salt and pepper to mine which I felt it needed but otherwise the salmon was cooked to perfection and it was a very pretty plate of food. Liz chose the canon of venison, brussels sprouts with bacon and boulangère jerusalem artichokes and a red wine jus. This looked very good and I hear tasted very good too.



Loch Duart Salmon



canon of venison

For pre dessert everyone was given a small shot glass of mulled wine sorbet, there was mixed opinion on our table but Liz enjoyed her and said it was like Christmas in a glass. Sadly due to the wine content I could try the sorbet.


For a while I was forgotten but eventually some delicious marshmallows covered in toasted almonds were brought out for me, which I was able to share with my guest. I wasn’t blown away by the taste of these but the texture was very good  and to have a different type of treat was nice, although I would have preferred a sorbet.



Dessert always for me anyway is a disappointment when eating out as usually only offered a fruit platter and occasionally a fruit sorbet. Gluten free puddings in restaurants are almost non existent . But Not here! There was a choice of Chocolate tart with cacao nibs and goji berries and caramelised banana ice cream and dark chocolate lattice all dairy and gluten free of course. It doesn’t get much better than that. Also Clementine and almond cake warm winter fruit salad and vanilla cashew nut ice cream. Again gluten and dairy free. Both desserts were well presented, I opted for the chocolate tart and so we could try both Liz chose the cake. Neither of us were disappointed . Both preferring our own choice and both agreeing that the size of the portion was just too big for a fine dining experience. Seams a strange thing to say I mean who doesn’t want a large slice of chocolate tart ! It just was not balanced with the rest of the meal. Notwithstanding this the desserts were delicious and possibly one the best dessert I have eaten in a restaurant since being gluten free.


chocolate tart

chocolate tart


clementine and almond cake

clementine and almond cake

The meal finished with a plate of petit fours to share, little squares of hazelnut chocolate fudge and wait for it! Maple glazed donuts, yes really tiny bite sized treats which were delicious. If only I hadn’t eaten all that chocolate tart I may of had room for more than one. These were served with coffee or tea dairy free milk of course.


petit fours

petit fours

The evening was a great success, I’m sure a real learning experience for the waiting staff . I look forward to booking up again in a few months when the restaurant has been open for a while .

The menu I hear will constantly change ever couple of months with seasonal choices and new creations from Holly I’m sure.

A big thank you especially to Sharon who made us both feel very welcome and made sure my food intolerance’s were past on to Holly.

Congratulation Holly on making your dream a reality the food was delicious and inventive and I look forward to future visits to your Paleo fine dining restaurant. Thank you for the extra effort you went to with my meal it was much appreciated.


If you live in London or can come down for a visit why not book up to eat at Pure Taste restaurant and see and taste for yourself this exciting and delicious food.

Pure Taste can be found at 115 Westbourne Grove London W24UP

You can book a table now here> Pure Taste < Open from 3rd December

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The restaurant caters for Low FODMAP, Paleo, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, grain free, low carb etc

A fine dining experience for everyone!

> Menu <

Visit Website here



I was not paid to do this review and was there as a Kickstarter backer,

photographs taken on camera phones by myself and Liz


Worthing’s newly opened gluten free Café and Bakery

Yesterday I drove down to the Sussex coastal town of Worthing. It was a beautiful warm sunny day for the 1st day of October, making it a very pleasant drive. Ably assisted by my Sat Nav , I located the cafe easily and parked just down the road in a small car park.


The Sussex bread company cafe and bakery are on a busy road next to shops and language schools. It is also opposite Worthing Museum which helps to locate this new venture.


Sussex bread company cafe and bakery opened its doors on Saturday, so this was only the morning of day 4! I was greeted warmly by Jane one of the owners and after a quick look around I was offered the table by the window to enjoy my freshly made coffee. Dairy alternatives are available lactose free milk or almond milk etc.


Along with my coffee I decided on a savoury cheese and tomato muffin.


This can be served cold or warm. I chose to have mine cold and it was delicious,  But next time I think I would have it warmed up.



The cafe and bakery is set in a really quirky building with lovely lighting and considering it has only been open a few days it is certainly really starting to come together. Its wooden floors and small wooden cafe tables and wire crates and flour bags give it a rustic feel . I also noticed how clean the cafe was, and although not a huge selection of food how well it was displayed. Bearing in mind this is the first week of opening, I imagine more choices will gradually be added.


There was a good selection of quiches which can be taken away or eaten in with a green salad and coleslaw. Filled Firle Focaccia looked very inciting . Displayed on the stand were gluten free custard tarts, brioche and savoury muffins. Freshly made cheese straws were also on offer, they did look very delicious.


Along with Anzac biscuits and chocolate meringues. I would love to see a second choice of biscuit maybe that doesn’t contain gluten free oats. Something I try and avoid. I think I could have been very easily tempted with a gluten free chocolate cookie or similar.

The fantastic thing is that the cafe and bakery are 100% gluten free No need for food to be covered or segregated to avoid gluten contamination. You can eat everything! I liked the fact that no big deal is made of the fact that everything is gluten free. It does mention it on the flyer by saying With love, not gluten. This hopefully will give Sussex bread company more of a chance of breaking into the cafe market.



The bakery has been up and running awhile in Worthing serving the south east coast with fresh homemade gluten free bread. It has now moved to the premises here at the cafe meaning fresh artisan bread available every day except when the cafe is closed on a Sundays.

Hove organic flax and sunflower loaf an everyday seeded loaf,

Shoreham white Cob

and Firle Focaccia.

The Brighton is a mediterranean loaf available in two sizes but not available when I was there.

All named after places along the Sussex coast.

All these loaves can be ordered online from sussexbreadcompany  <click on the link 

So even if you are not within driving distance you can still sample this artisan gluten free bread.

As I am not able to have yeast I asked a number of gluten and gluten free friends and family to taste test the breads I had brought back.

The Firle Focaccia went down well “good flavour”  “lovely warm”  one thought it was ” a little dry and crumbly”  But a newly diagnosed gluten intolerant friend thought it was  “fragrant and aromatic with a nice consistency ”



The Focaccia contains buckwheat,tapioca and rice flour. Free range eggs, olive oil, milk, psyllium husk, yeast, sugar, salt and rosemary.


I hear it was very good with a good olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

This loaf was £3.90

The Shoreham Cob loaf had some good reviews too.


“A good crunchy crust and toasts very nicely”

“the bread holds together well so its good for breakfast with peanut butter etc”  ” not too crumbly”

“preferred this toasted”   “had rather an odd smell, but tasted good with crispy crust ”

The Cob contains buckwheat, tapioca and rice flours , psyllium husks,olive oil, xanthum gum, yeast, sugar,salt, and vit c.

This loaf cost £3.20


One of my reviewers made this yummy looking open salmon sandwich using the gluten free Cob loaf.

I froze the leftover bread in slices for easy use in the future. The bread doesn’t contain lots of additives so is best eaten straightaway or frozen. The Focaccia is best warmed with a sprinkle of water. I wrapped it in tin foil to avoid it drying out.

When I next pop down I hope to buy the Hove and the Brighton for family and friends to try.



The cafe and bakery had a steady flow of people through the door while I was there. A great start



If you are local to the Sussex area or holidaying on the Sussex coast do make a bee line for this cafe and bakery on Chapel road opposite Worthing Museum and just down the road from Connaught Theatre and cinema.


Do spread the word to fellow Coeliacs, gluten intolerant family and friends or simply those who love a good cup of coffee and some good quality artisan bread and tasty treats.

In the short term remember to take cash as the till is not up and running yet.


I look forward to visiting again in a few months to see how things have progressed . All the very best Sussex bread company in your new venture.

Follow on twitter @sussexbreadco

Facebook sussex bread company

Website < click here to take you to the website



I was not paid to do this review and bought my own gluten free goodies to eat in and take home.


Winner of 2014 World Bread Award #glutenfree for their Bracklesham Brioche burger buns 


Sussex bread company online –

Bracklesham Brioche Buns 


This month ( December 2015 ) I ordered 12 Bracklesham brioche buns for my nephews birthday party . They arrived on time , but one of the bags had split in transit. I think the bags need to be thicker. On lifting them out of the box I noticed how heavy they felt. The open bag didn’t seem to have had any adverse effect on the 6 rolls they were lovely and fresh.

Sadly once opened the Bracklesham Brioche buns were not the light brioche style rolls I was expecting. I still served them at the gluten free party of 12 adults, to go with pulled pork . They did not prove popular and were described as heavy , dense , crumbly and more like an english muffin and definitely not a brioche. I’m sorry to say I won’t be ordering them again. They were not cheap at £9 for 6


Some family took the leftover buns home and used them like crumpets/english muffins toasting them and adding cheese. They said they were much better eaten like this.

Gluten free at Côte Restaurants

On Saturday we ate out for the first time in ages, sadly I had been glutened so often in the last year, I had almost given up on going out to eat.

We decided to re visit a restaurant that we had eaten at twice before with no problems. Côte Restaurants are all over the UK . We chose to visit the Blackheath restaurant, in a perfect location looking onto the heath and church. Nathan the manager was quick to welcome us. I explained I was gluten free and he immediately returned with a gluten free menu. This was new as I hadn’t been offered this before, good to see! especially as there was a good choice for me, including a selection of puddings.




I chose a Sirloin steak and frites with salad garnish as did my fellow diners. I cannot recommend the frites enough, they are really Very good, and cooked in a separate fryer.


The food arrived quickly and my medium steak was perfect as were the frites. Sadly due to needing to make a quick get away to the theatre we couldn’t stay for a creme caramel. Maybe next time!


Côte restaurants

My most recent visit to Côte Brasserie in London

My most recent visit to Côte Brasserie in London

* Côte restaurant and Brasserie is now my Go To place to eat gluten free. Since writing this blog post I have been many times .

Find your nearest Côte here

Côte restaurant now has a gluten free menu in all restaurants

Eating gluten free at Côte Restaurant

To celebrate my recent Birthday we decided to go to the Theatre in London to see The Bodyguard and I also wanted to take the family out for a pre theatre meal. For most people this is an easy task. For me, a little more difficult. Having multiple intolerances makes eating out very difficult, gluten, yeast and onions a tricky combination.

Côte Restaurant was recommended to me as being Coeliac friendly.  I sent Côte an email asking for a little more information. Charlotte from Côte was very helpful, she sent me a list of gluten free dishes.

here it is!


Seasonal homemade Soup

Prawn Gratine ( ask for no croutons )

Roquefort salad ( ask for no croutons )

Smoked salmon ( ask for no dressing or sourdough bread )

Crab mayonnaise ( ask for no bread )

Moules Marinieres

Main course options-

Risotto vert

Chicken and walnut salad ( ask for no croutons )

Nicoise salad

Fish parmentier ( suprisingly! )

Roast duck breast

Pork belly

1/2 Chicken ( garlic, provencale and mushroom sauce all ok )

Steaks are all ok ( roquefort butter, bearaise and peppercorn sauce all ok )

Roast seabass

Goats cheese salad ( ask for no crostini )

Rump of lamb

Moules Frites


Creme caramel

Creme brulee

Chocolate pot ( from set menu )

iced berries

ice cream

We arrived at Côte near Covent garden Tavistock street at 5.45pm and were shown to our table at the furthest corner of the restaurant. Booth type seating, quite cosy for 6 of us. We were welcomed by our waiter who then went to fetch us some water. Sadly this did take a long while to turn up, maybe if we had been ordering wine etc it would have arrived more quickly. We ordered our food, I chose 1/2 Chicken with garlic butter and Frites, I was beyond excited about the frites, I cannot remember the last time I had proper french thin fries. Charlotte was able to reassure me that the frites are cooked in a separate fryer, brilliant news. No idea why more restaurants don’t do this.

The family chose Duck, Cassoulet, Moules, Steak and Chicken. The water arrived in unusual earthenware pots which was novel.

The food arrived quickly and everything looked amazing, My 1/2 chicken was absolutely delicious especially with the garlic butter and the Frites definitely lived up to my expectations, glad I ordered an extra side of Frites for the table ( for me really ) Everyone enjoyed their meal choices and we will be booking a return meal at Côte Restaurant very soon. Fortunately there are nearer Côte restaurants to us in Surrey.


It was the first meal in a while that I felt totally confident that it really would be gluten free, which makes such a difference to the evening for myself and the family.

The one thing I could see that could be improved upon would be the addition of a GF sign next to each meal choice that is gluten free. I imagine this would be very easy to do.

I would never have chosen this restaurant If It hadn’t been recommended as I saw no sign of gluten free choices. Not everyone has time to email these restaurants in advance, I took along 5 customers to Côte because I knew I could eat there, worth other Restaurants remembering!

I can definitely recommend Côte Restaurants to fellow Coeliacs and those who are gluten intolerant .

Maybe by the time You visit the gluten free options will be clearly marked on the menu.



The Bodyguard musical at the Adelphi Theatre was very good. Many of the best known Whitney Houston songs sung by Beverley Knight. If you are a fan of Whitney or the film The Bodyguard its worth a visit. The Côte restaurant is nice and close for a pre theatre meal too.

October 2014 – Côte now has a gluten free menu in all restaurants