Gluten free and Paleo restaurant coming to London, soon!

Pure taste has been running a successful pop up restaurant in Haywards heath Sussex and is now hoping to open a restaurant in the centre of London in 2014. The driving force behind this venture is Holly Redman a nutritional therapist and freelance chef.

It will be the first Paleo and free from restaurant offering a fine dining experience. Specialising in gourmet gluten free food perfect for Coeliacs. I am very excited about this project and urge you to check out their kickstarter video Here 

I have already pledged £250 which means Mr S and I can attend the Pre launch party ( A three course meal for two with drinks and entertainment ), why not come and join us? This would be a great chance to meet up. There are plenty of different amounts you can pledge from as little as a fiver.

So if you are a Vegan, Vegetarian, Coeliac, someone living gluten free or on a Paleo diet this will be the place for you. Please get involved Just 8 days left!

Hope to see you there!

UPDATE – Since writing this blog post I am thrilled to report, Holly has achieved the required funds with the help of Kickstarter  , Watch this space for more information . Well done Holly!

New update –  booking lines are now open for Pure Taste restaurant .  Westbourne Grove London

click here to book  > Pure taste

follow on Twitter @ptrestaurants

Restaurant opens in December 2014

Website – puretasterestaurant.com

 

Eating gluten free at Art cafe, North Norfolk

On Sunday we took a drive over to Overstrand and Cromer. After walking for miles on the beach we needed somewhere to warm up and have some delicious lunch. I remembered about Art cafe which caters for gluten free and vegetarians. I had come across this lovely cafe in the summer, so we made are way to Glandford a beautiful hamlet in the Glaven valley. About 2 miles from Holt and Blakeney.

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Art cafe is North Norfolk’s only vegetarian restaurant, artisan cafe and art gallery, You will easily spot the cafe as its brightly coloured paintwork draws you over. Inside is a selection of local art and craft which is available to buy, further inside is the cosy restaurant with a wood burner to keep you warm and when we visited the interior was decorated with pretty christmas lights.

We settled down next to the wood burner after eyeing up all the cakes and breads on display. I quickly spotted a gluten free lemon polenta cake under a glass dome and some delicious looking bakewell slices.

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Mr S chose the chestnut and sage soup for his lunch and I went up to chat to the waitress about what they could make for me. Never easy as not only can I not have gluten, I cannot tolerate yeast (wine, vinegar ) and onions. The waitress kindly said she would go and talk to the chef who came out to chat to me straight away. He suggested maybe some grilled vegetables and a dahl and said If I was happy for him to surprise me he would go and see what he could create. It is very nice to find a chef who was happy to work around your food intolerances. I waited eagerly for my lunch.

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Our tea and coffee arrived and while we were waiting for lunch I had a wander around the art gallery, paintings, ceramics, handmade cushions etc

Very soon Mr S had his steaming hot chestnut and sage soup served with crusy slices of homemade bread and butter. you can have gluten free bread with your soup too.

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Then the chef brought out my amazing lunch of grilled halloumi with grilled aubergine in a tapas style dish, another full of a delicious dahl all served on a board with a gluten free popadom and some mango chutney.

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My lunch was one of the most exciting lunches I’ve had at a restaurant for a long while. Usually my lunch lacks flavour, In fact usually I have to just have a slice of cake as its often the only gluten free choice .This meal was bursting with different textures and spices. I will now be trying to copy this lunch at home.

Chef was keen to let me know that they could accommodate other dietary needs. They are open 7 days a week 10am – 4pm.

The only thing I would like to see improved upon would be to ensure any gluten free baked cakes, biscuits etc are covered and clearly away from any gluten filled products with a separate utensil for serving them.

If you are in North Norfolk I can recommend this very individual restaurant cafe and art gallery.

Well worth seeking out!

My visit to Seine Rigger for gluten free Fish and chips

A year ago today I started my gluten free blog. To celebrate I thought I would have a fish and chip lunch.

Seine Rigger is a fish and chip restaurant and take away in Banstead Surrey serving gluten free fish and chips, its quite a drive from me, but well worth it.

I rang in advance to book a table and inform them that I would require the gluten free menu. Seine Rigger ask you to give them at least 1/2hr notice to make up batter etc.

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What always strikes me when I arrive at this take away and restaurant is just how clean and fresh it feels, which gives you lots of confidence as someone who has to avoid gluten. Something I don’t say about many eating establishments.

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Today I chose to eat in, as its such a journey back home. I was greeted by a friendly waitress who showed me to my table. The restaurant is warm and welcoming and today was full of retired couples having lunch. One lovely elderly gentleman was reading the newspaper aloud to his lunch companion, very sweet.

I always get very excited eating out here I have total confidence in their knowledge of gluten free and cross contamination. A feeling I don’t have when I eat out normally with the exception of the italian restaurant Bruschetta in Kingston.

Today I ordered gluten free Haddock and chips with a side order of gluten free mushy peas. My pot of tea arrived very quickly, closely followed by an amazing looking plate of food. Being gluten intolerant you appreciate and get excited by food that others take for granted.

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I could see at first glance that the battered haddock was lovely and crispy and the chips looked just perfect.

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The fish was very fresh and the gluten free batter was indeed light and crispy and not at all greasy, far better than I remember regular batter to be. The chips were cooked well and again not greasy. Seine Rigger uses ground nut oil to fry in, and ensures that the temperature is perfect to avoid greasy food.

My mushy peas were very good, certainly ample for two people, I didn’t really do them justice on my own.

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Also available if you have any room left, are pineapple fritters made with gluten free batter. I’ve never been able to fit in a pudding!

A perfect meal out ,  10 out of 10 I could not fault the food or service.

I can recommend this lovely restaurant, definitely worth the journey. One tip, leave extra time to find a parking space. I struggled to find a space today, a cold wednesday afternoon.

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Here is their website Seine Rigger

and Seine Rigger facebook

Address 11 Nork way, Banstead

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My visit to Bruschetta, Italian gluten free Restaurant in Kingston

Yesterday Mr S and I decided to make the journey over to Kingston for some authentic Italian food. Not just any italian food, but Gluten and yeast free, very exciting! I remember on my first visit to Bruschetta over a year ago I actually had a tear in my eye after eating my first mouthful of Pizza in many years due to my gluten intolerance.

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Bruschetta turns gluten free eating out, on its head by offering gluten free pizza’s, pasta and puddings to everyone as First choice. You have to ask specially for a regular gluten filled pizza, Brilliant! I never worry about cross contamination when I eat here. Julia herself is gluten intolerant and her sister is a diagnosed Coeliac.

On Sunday we were the first people to arrive to the London road restaurant, but Bruschetta soon filled up and had a lovely buzzy atmosphere.  Like all good traditional italian restaurants it has a real family feel and I immediately felt transported back to holidays in Italy, In pre gluten free days.

Ordering is always difficult because I can never decided between the array of gluten free pasta dishes, risotto and pizza choices on offer. We eventually both decided on pizza’s Monteverde ( mozzarella, tomato, parma ham, fresh rocket and parmesan ) for me with extra chicken. Mr S had his usual, the famous Alex Corbisiero’s favourite ( Buffalo mozzarella, tomato, italian sausage, diced chicken and spicy salami )

The Pizza’s arrived quickly and were enormous and looked fabulous!

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It is very exciting to be able to eat pizza out in a restaurant, being gluten and yeast free means I cannot eat out at the pizza chains. Making these occasionally treat meals very special.

We enjoyed our pizza’s very much, fresh ingredients and friendly staff adding to the experience and such traditional surroundings.

I was fortunate to get a chance to speak to Julia who explained that she goes to great lengths to find the best quality italian gluten free dried pasta’s, breadsticks, biscuits etc which are on sale in the restaurants. Christmas Panettone classes raisin or chocolate chip are still available but are selling out quickly.

As it was extra special to be eating out at an Italian restaurant, we allowed ourselves pudding as a treat. We both chose the chocolate and hazelnut cake slice with ice-cream baked by Julia. It was delicious and a very good size slice. I should have shared a pudding really. will remember next time!? Our meal cost approximately £20 per head for pizza, pudding and a bottle of water.

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Bruschetta is really worth a trip, the gluten free Italian food is exceptional. The decor in the restaurant could perhaps do with an injection of cash to spruce it up a little but in some ways this just adds to the authentic italian family restaurant feel. Once the restaurant is full of people eating and drinking with lots of laughter and chatter, nothing else matters.

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The restaurant is popular with some famous rugby players maybe you will spot one or two when you go along?  We have seen Alex Corbisiero who plays for England a couple of times, enjoying his favourite pizza with fellow players and friends.

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Bruschetta is on Facebook

and Twitter

141 London road

Kingston upon Thames

KT2 6NH

0208 5469328

A visit to The Healthy Cook Company in Kingston

Today was the first day of the Christmas park and ride from Chessington world of adventures to Kingston upon Thames, a great excuse to pay a visit to my favourite shop in Kingston, Healthy cook company in Old London road. This road is easy to spot as it has the famous leaning telephone boxes at one end, it is just off the main shopping street.

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Healthy cake company is a bakery and cafe offering an assortment of gluten free, dairy free, egg free and some sugar free produce.

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The cafe is quite small so well worth arriving early for lunch as I did today. There is a cosy friendly feel to the cafe and while small, there is a huge array of produce. I struggled to chose!

As you enter on the right hand side there is a bakery section with warm homemade gluten free and yeast free bread. Sealed and boxed cakes ready to take home. I grabbed a loaf straight away incase I missed out.

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Today I decided to sample one of the lunches that was on offer, I chose the toasted soda bread with salad and homemade humous and spinach pesto, this was £3.50 followed by a homemade gluten free mince pie.

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My lunch was very good, as was my freshly made mince pie with perfect pastry. I enjoyed this with a cup of tea.

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Trisha and her staff were busy with lots of customers including a dad who had come in to collect a fabulous looking Free From Thomas the tank engine chocolate cake for his 3 year old son. He let me have a quick look, it was beautifully decorated. What a lucky boy! I’m sure it will taste very yummy. Birthday and celebration cakes can be ordered online.

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Now came the difficult decision of what to select to take home. Eventually I chose an individual  carrot and raisin cake, a chocolate cake, a flap jack and lemon and poppy seed muffin and 2 chocolate brownies sweetened partly with date syrup. All gluten and dairy free. Think I will have to freeze some.

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If you are planning a Christmas shopping trip to Kingston upon Thames in the next few weeks . Don’t forget to look in on Trisha at her award winning bakery and cafe the Healthy cook company.

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I have tried Trisha’s cakes and bread before, they are always very good and well worth taking a break from shopping to go and sample.

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The Iced gluten and dairy free carrot and raisin cake was overall winner of the free from awards 2009

check out Healthy cook company on Facebook

@HealthyCookCo on twitter

32 Old London road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT26QF

My review of WOW bakes gluten free cakes

I was thrilled to be asked by Karen to review her Wow bakes cakes recently.

I regularly buy @wowmuffins Savoury and sweet muffins from the @creakeabbey farmers market in Norfolk so was very keen to taste the gluten free cakes. Unfortunately these delicious cakes are not yet available at Creake Abbey farmers market. But are available from Back to the garden in Letheringsett North Norfolk.

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I was able to try 4 of the 5 gorgeous cakes available from WOW bakes

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Fruity apple cake – is also dairy free, a lovely moist cake due to the goodly amount of apple inside. Quite crumbly, the family liked it best with a dollop of double cream. Gluten loving friends gave it a thumbs up too, saying they would never have known it was gluten free. I gave this cake a 8/10 Could definitely be used as a pudding too.

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Belgian Chocolate cake – what can I say!  We were all very impressed with this cake. Rich and delicious reminded us a little of a chocolate torte. I loved the chocolate coating all over the cake. Very decadent. Glad to see butter used in this recipe.  A big favourite with family and friends. I awarded this cake 10/10 and would definitely buy it for a special occasion.

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Carrot cake – this cake is dairy free too. I am a fan of carrot cake and this one is very good and very light. A very moist cake too  and not overly sweet. A definite 9/10 .

Would definitely buy this one if I had guests coming for tea.

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Sticky Ginger cake – Not normally a Ginger cake fan, I was surprised how much I liked this cake. I would buy it again as it was especially nice with a cup of tea and again not overly sweet. Also think it would work well with custard as it was on the slightly dry side. I would still give this cake an 8/10

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WOW muffins & bakes are a Norfolk company and the cakes are available at local farmers markets, shows and local cafes in East Anglia.

Twitter – @wowmuffins

Cafe’s – @back_togarden

Check out there website here wow muffins.com

Gluten free Sponge cake at Holkham

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Today I decided to take a drive to Holkham Hall, thought it would be a great place to take the Dog for a walk.

Dogs need to be on lead at all times due the the many Deer in the parkland.

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My favourite place at Holkham is the Walled garden, so I decided to take a walk there. A golf buggy is also available to ferry you to the garden if you don’t fancy the walk.

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On the way you can see lots of happy pigs, sunbathing today!

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The Walled garden is currently being brought back to its former glory, already it looks amazing!

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The vegetable garden was full of the most amazing veggies ready to be harvested.

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After an enjoyable walk around the garden we headed back to Holkham cafe

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I was pleased to see a choice of gluten free goodies available. Brownies and cake slices from Honeybuns Bakery and Large slices of cake from Sponge. I  decided on a pot of tea and a huge slice of Apple crumble Sponge cake and a tiny carton of Rodda’s clotted cream very indulgent ! But essential for research purposes. Not being able to resist I bought a slice of Honeybuns bakery Almond moon. I’m saving this for a picnic later this week.

I was pleased to see a long line of freshly filled Dog bowls outside the cafe. Much appreciated by my four legged friend.

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The Sponge cake was very delicious, if a little over sweet. Love the combination of apple and cinnamon, great texture too. think you would be hard pushed to tell the difference between this and a regular gluten filled sponge cake. The clotted cream went brilliantly with the cake, felt like I was having a cream tea. Pleased I could buy the cream separately from scones.

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The staff were helpful and friendly and informed me that they also served soup which was gluten free and usually dairy free too.

Will definitely try the soup next time I visit.

After over 2hrs in the sunshine I headed back along the coast with one very tired Dog.

Find more information on Holkham Hall here www.holkham.co.uk

For more information on  Sponge gluten free cakes Perfect for occasional treats.

gluten free cake at Back to the Garden

ImageToday I decided to explore a little more of Norfolk, I had heard via Twitter about a Farm shop and restaurant near Holt.

Back to the Garden is in Letheringsett North Norfolk on the Fakenham road. Very easy to find.

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ImageThe Barn Cafe and Restaurant were very nice, set in a renovated threshing barn.

I loved the photographs on the walls, the restaurant felt very new. As well as the beautiful barn the restaurant and cafe also has a lovely garden where you can eat alfresco. A lovely sun trap too.

ImageI was excited to see what choices there would be for Coeliacs and gluten intolerant customers. I was pleased to see two choices of cakes. A orange and almond polenta cake and a lemon cake. I chose the lemon cake and a English breakfast tea. I would have preferred a caffeine free tea or camomile tea but neither was available. I wished I’d had more time to have a meal but will definitely return with the family to try it very soon.

ImageThe lemon gluten free cake was absolutely delicious and had a sharp lemon and sugary taste. A lovely treat!

I was pleased to see that the gluten free cakes were covered with glass display lids and that my waitress used a new separate knife to cut my cake slice.

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Next to the Barn restaurant is the amazing Farm shop possibly the best farm shop I have seen. Great to see so much local produce, organic vegetables, organic meat including gluten free sausages and beef burgers made on site by the farm shop’s butchers, who had good knowledge of cross contamination. There is also a Deli well stocked with wines and cheese. Brays cottage famous Pork pies and fresh bread for gluten eaters , and gluten free Muffins and cakes from Wow muffins, definitely worth trying.

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ImageI will be returning to this farm shop and restaurant very soon. Definitely worth the drive!

 

 

 

 

A visit to Wiveton Hall Cafe in a thunderstorm

On Friday I took a drive out to Wiveton Hall, a farm and gluten free friendly cafe. Situated on the North Norfolk coast road between Blakeney and Cley.

Unfortunately I seemed to follow a thunderstorm along the coast. The heavens opened and the sky lit up with flashes of lightning, but nothing was going to stop me getting to the gluten free cake!

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Wiveton hall is very much a working farm with pick your own. The farm also has a perfectly placed cafe with distant views out to the sea. Perfect on a dry day! The tables are surrounded by strawberry plants and raspberry bushes and guinea fowl wandering around. Pretty perfect!

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I particularly love the brightly coloured benches and tables inside and out. An idea I have pinched for my own garden.

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As I taken the Dog I sat in the covered area outside.

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Firstly I popped inside to have a look at the huge array of cakes. , The cafe often I think, has a choice of gluten free cakes, today they only had one gluten free cake. But it was a chocolate and almond cake which looked divine! I checked with a member of staff if the cake had its own serving knife, which it did. He then went on to tell me that his Mum was also Coeliac which was reassuring to know he was aware of cross contamination. He went on to say that many Coeliacs ate at the cafe. Good to know!

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My Cake and Camomile tea arrived quickly and I wasn’t disappointed. A rich deep chocolatey pudding type cake, absolutely scrummy. Would have been even nicer with a dollop of thick cream.

The crockery is all Emma Bridgewater, a lovely touch. Not a cheap choice, but added to the overall appeal of the cafe.

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Check out there website here for more information wivetonhall.co.uk

The farm also has a good range of plants and I treated myself to some Sea Lavender for my garden.

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Even in a thunderstorm Wiveton Hall is a great place to visit. I hear the Tapas nights are very good. Booking is advisable for All meals, as this is a popular venue.

Tips to avoid cross contamination from gluten

Newly diagnosed with Coeliac disease or sensitive to gluten? I have put together a few tips for staying gluten free.

Use separate area if possible for preparation in your kitchen, use easily identified chopping board. preferably not wooden. Glass or plastic work well as they can be cleaned easily.

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Have your own labelled butter dish to avoid contamination from gluten covered knives. It is advisable to have separate jams and spreads as it is hard to keep these free from gluten crumbs. Squeezable jams and honey work well.

Wipe surfaces well before baking and cooking and make sure cloth hasn’t been used to wipe up gluten crumbs, flour etc .

Make sure utensils are thoroughly cleaned before preparing a gluten free meal.

Always keep gluten free food stuffs in separate cupboard to gluten containing foods especially flour. If using wooden spoons they need to be clearly marked gluten free and only used in GF cooking and baking as gluten can lurk in the wood. If possible have your own colander to drain gluten free pasta as the families colander/ sieve can have hidden gluten lurking in the holes even after using a dishwasher.

Treat yourself to your very own toaster clearly labeled and away from gluten toaster to avoid crumbs.

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Make sure family grill is clean before using for gluten free food. Gluten lurks every where!

Wash hands thoroughly after feeding pets, most pet foods contain gluten.

There are Pet foods  available now that are gluten free.

Fridge doors can be a gluten trap, wipe down regularly.

Do not serve gluten free food and gluten containing food on the same plate e.g cakes. bread rolls

Best not to share a drink with someone if they are eating gluten, have heard of a case of friends sharing a water bottle causing her to be glutened.

Check with restaurants that they use a separate fryer to cook deep fried food like chips as oil will be contaminated with tiny amounts of gluten.

Always good to encourage family members to ‘clear as they go’ and not leave dirty plates possibly containing gluten on the work surface for you to clear up.

Wash hands regularly and change tea towels and cloths often.

If these simple precautions are taken, living and eating with gluten eaters doesn’t need to be a problem.

Any other tips? let me know