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 )

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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 .

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

Website mannadew.co.uk

Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm

Sat & Sun 10.30am – 6pm

169 Battersea high street SW11 3JS

 

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My visit to the stunning Wiveton Hall, normal for Norfolk!

I love the North Norfolk coast and I’m a regular visit to Wiveton Hall ,café and fruit farm . Usually I go along for tea and gluten free cake and buy seasonal fruit and vegetables . I find it a great place to take friends and family.

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The location is just perfect with views stretching down towards the marshes and sea. After watching the BBC 2 series Normal for Norfolk the documentary about Wiveton Hall and the undeniably slightly eccentric character that is Norfolk gentleman farmer Desmond MacCarthy . His mother the lovely Chloe at 100 is still very much part of the farm and cafe and who I spotted enjoying a gluten free brownie , which I have to say looked delicious.

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On Sunday inspired by the tv series I made the drive along the coast road to Wiveton hall fruit farm with my husband. The sun was shining brightly and although the car thermometer was only reading 12c it felt much warmer. The scenery along the coast road was gorgeous. winding through pretty villages, passing a windmill , fields of rapeseed and hedgerows of cow parsley.

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I had pre booked a lunch for two at 1. 30pm We arrived and parked up, as always it was packed . Do book in advance online if you want to eat at Wiveton Hall. Its always been very busy but I’m sure due to Normal for Norfolk’s popularity this summer will be its best!

We were shown to a large clean table with views down to the sea in the distance. Bright coloured chairs and fun patterned table cloths make this light bright airy cafe the perfect place for a sunny Sunday lunch. I was delighted that Desmond himself was in the cafe chatting to families. He kindly agreed to a photo for my blog post and was interested to hear where we had come from.

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Chloe, Desmonds mother has her own designated table. Where she was sitting waiting for her Sunday lunch and possibly waiting for Desmond to finish chatting with one and all and come and sit down!

The big table next to us was a family celebrating the grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. Wiveton cafe is very family friendly and if you prefer there is a seating area outside for families and dogs. The chairs and tables outside are painted in zingy bright colours and have an outstanding view of the Norfolk countryside and distant views of the sea.

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Before I booked online I contacted the cafe by email to explain my dietary requirements. Charlotte emailed me back straight away assuring we I would be well looked after and also giving me a menu idea for my visit that would fit in with my many intolerances. This was very reassuring .

At the cafe you take your order to the till where you can pay in advance or at the end. The  kitchen is open and right next door and if you had any questions, which I did about choice of gluten free puddings they were quickly answered.

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I chose Hot smoked salmon and Wiveton asparagus salad with a horseradish, tomato and lime creme fraise dressing, this was the menu idea from Charlotte.  Followed by homemade Wiveton strawberry sorbet. My husband went for the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with roasties and asparagus. His dessert choice was cappuccino panna cotta  with nut praline and raisins soaked in rum. Tea for one and a ginger beer.

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The drinks and food arrived promptly and were well presented. My salmon and asparagus salad was a good size and delicious the flavours delicate and a flavour combination I hadn’t tried before. Baby salad leaves, fresh asparagus picked from Wiveton farm and a good size piece of salmon with tomatoes. I would definitely chose it again.

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I eat out so rarely that when I do, and feel confident in the chefs , I always get a little emotional. The sheer joy of not having to cook and to be able to eat out like everyone else. That might seem quite crazy and difficult to understand but when you are intolerant to gluten , yeast thats vinegar, wine etc. Onions, garlic and paprika. Eating out becomes so difficult especially with the worry of cross contamination from gluten. These days any of these foods can cause me to be extremely ill for days and weeks to come.

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My husband enjoyed his large roast dinner with perfectly cooked pink slices of beef with crispy Yorkshire with plenty of hot meaty gravy.

Our desserts were both gluten free so I was able to sample to cappuccino panna cotta. My husband wasn’t convinced on the flavour combination with the nut brittle and the rum soaked raisins but I thought it was a clever idea that I’m sure worked well. My Wiveton strawberry homemade sorbet was a real treat. Bursting with early english strawberry flavour and more than a little sugar! ( well it was a treat pud ! )

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I thought the prices were ok my salad was £13.50 and the roast was £16.50 the desserts were £6 each. I found the waiting staff were friendly and very helpful.

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After my delicious meal I suggested we took a walk around the gardens this costs £2.50 each from the shop. Which by the way is amazing and I got carried away buying a Wiveton mug, postcards and Wiveton jam. Some lovely things, much of which is locally made.

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The gardens was something after seeing the tv show I really wanted to explore.

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Unfortunately the hall itself isn’t open to the public this is very much Desmond and his families home. But the walled garden , the outside of the hall and wild woodland gardens  are truly worth an afternoon stroll. I properly fell in love with the place and could of quite easily spent hours there.

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If you are up in Norfolk it is well worth a visit. Just don’t forget to book in advance if you want to eat at the cafe. You can click through here to find availability. There are also holiday cottages to stay in.

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Wiveton cafe is open for lunch and afternoon tea. Friday evenings for Beef and Reef. Saturdays are Tapas night, also pizza evenings . Special events are on the website too.

Before you leave its well worth checking out the plants, fruit and vegetables available to buy.

Wiveton Hall website

follow on Twitter @wivetonhall 

check out @Iizzirainey handmade lovely things available in the Wiveton shop

Missed the series Normal for Norfolk? click here to view 

 

These views and this stunning scenery is really Normal for Norfolk! come and see for yourself

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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. 

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Website – Norfolk gluten free company

Twitter – @nklkglutenfree

 

A gluten free summer wedding

In April this year my youngest son became engaged to his lovely girlfriend. Plans for a summer wedding started almost straight away. Very quickly the couple decided on a venue, they knew very clearly that they wanted the celebration to take place in their most favourite place, North Norfolk. They fell in love with Chaucer Barn, Gresham nr Holt North Norfolk. I cannot recommend the venue enough. They kindly squeezed our celebrations into the only space on the calendar in August. The couple were delighted. The Barn sleeps 18 in 9 gorgeous bedrooms, cosy lounges and huge hall for dining and cooking with a homely Aga. There is also a formal garden and meadows.

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Next we needed to find an amazing Norfolk Wedding photographer. Twitter was a good place to start, very soon I had a list of about 8 photographers. Many of these were incredibly talented. The couple singled out Andy Davison a Norwich based photographer . His pictures stood out to us all, very creative and well shot, a real talent. Andy had photographed Weddings at Chaucer barn before so we were able to see some of his work and the way he had captured the lovely barn and grounds beautifully . On the same day as our visit to the venue we drove to Norwich to visit Andy. The couple knew at once he was perfect, they were impressed with his work and felt very comfortable in his company. Although Andy was incredibly busy around the time of the wedding he kindly fitted us in.

Finding a caterer who could provide a completely gluten free menu we knew would be difficult. Chaucer barn recommended Alex Chef who often catered at the venue. Now planning a Norfolk wedding from Surrey was not the easiest but through emails and calls the couple decided to use Alex his exciting Southern American street food menu exited them it included spicy pork, chilli chicken wings , beef chilli and corn bread and with the brides family coming from America the couple thought it would work well with a very english wedding ceremony. Alex is a very talented chef , very laid back and is very competent cooking for a small or large party. Alex used Anglia Elite for crockery, table cloths etc.

Wedding Flowers I knew would be the easiest to organise. I follow Nicholas Godfrey-Cole from Scent with love Hunstanton on Twitter and have seen him work first hand at Sandringham flower show. The bride and I met up with Nick at the florists in Hunstanton and was able to talk through the brides requirements. Its always worth taking photographs or using pinterest to show your florist what you hope to achieve. We ordered three hand tied bouquets one for the bride and two for the bridesmaids along with some button holes and a large order of flowers to do our own arrangements on the day. With a number of talented family members and a tight budget this worked well for us.

The couple wanted a country feel to their wedding so I sourced Wild flowers from Daisleys wild gardens at Drove Orchard. Pauline was very helpful and we were excited at the prospect of jugs of wild flowers around the gardens of Chaucer barn.

I found a large quantity of white enamel jugs from vintage shops and visited Ikea with the bride to buy simple large and small vases.

We have a lovely bridal shop in our local town in Surrey and the bride was thrilled to find a dress she adored on our first visit. Natasha Jane bridal shop in Dorking. Again I can recommend Natasha, She was friendly and helpful. Natasha has a reliable talented seamstress who works with her to create the perfect gowns.

The couple decided on a marquee for their wedding reception party on marquee worked out best for our budget. They also supplied chairs ,tables and fairy lights for the marquee.

 

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Photo by our photographer Andy Davison

The couple wanted a Christian wedding ceremony outside in the meadow so they needed to also book a Registrar to conduct the legal wedding ceremony Kings Lynn office were very helpful. Our local Norfolk Minister Sam Abramian from our church Union church in Hunstanton kindly agreed to conduct the Wedding ceremony.

Music was the next to plan, I found Norfolk based Waveney string duo, Kate and Kayleigh play violin and cello. They came with lots of recommendations. All aranged via email with Kayleigh, very easy. The girls agreed to learn a hymn Be thou my vision for the ceremony and here comes the sun by the Beatles for the brides entrance. Evening music came recommended by Chaucer barn The Joe Ringer band. The couple really wanted a swing band and the band have a huge selection of swing music and modern music to get guests up on the dance floor.

Alcoholic Drinks were sourced from Majestic Kings Lynn, Norfolk apple juice from Drove Orchard Thornham, and Raspberry and  Elderflower and cucumber cordial from Norfolk Cordial.

The couple wanted gluten free cup cakes instead of tiered Wedding cakes. I found Sugar buttons cakes. Imogen is a  diagnosed Coeliac which means she is very aware of cross contamination. Our visit to Imogen’s home to try all the flavours of cup cakes will remain with me for a long time. A really lovely part of the wedding preparation process. The couple decided on Strawberry, Lemon cheese cake, Lime and coconut and lavender and vanilla. All beautifully decorated, Imogen is very artistic and all her cakes look amazing and taste delicious.

Gluten free bread rolls were one of the hardest things to find, they needed to taste as good as regular rolls. I found Wheat free bakery in Scotland and after doing a test order for the couple to try we put in an order for 70 rolls. The family were impressed with the quality of the rolls.

We booked local Bernies Taxis to run family to and from the venue. Norfolk’s Ronaldo’s provided gluten free ice cream for the wedding.

The bridal party ladies wanted to have a Spa day shortly before the Wedding in Norfolk. I struggled to find somewhere to accommodate 7 of us but Twitter was helpful again, and I was able to book Ficarra’s spa in Fakenham who looked after us very well. We booked a full day including a swim and massage.

All decorations were hand made for the Wedding we used online shops to source materials and the bride made all the place names and thank you luggage tags and homemade kraft paper cones to hold natural petals for confetti. The save the date cards and invitations were also hand made and designed by the couple on kraft paper and printed in Hunstanton.

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My parents made black boards to use at the Wedding, about six in total. using old paintings and framed mirrors from second hand shops.

I found good priced white simple fairy lights on Amazon which decorated the Barn.

The Wedding

The day before the Wedding, we collected the wild flowers from Daisleys wild flower garden at Drove orchard We were thrilled with the collection of flowers.

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and collected the bridal flowers from Scent with love Hunstanton , The bride asked for a few alterations which Nick and his team were happy to do. The flowers were beautiful and hand tied with brown string.

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We arrived at the venue ,and the afternoon was spent making flower arrangements, decorating and putting up tables and chairs in the marquee for the big day. It was a real family affair with many family members from both families using their talents to make the day perfect. After a run through of the ceremony with Sam the Minister. We gathered together in the large barn around the table and enjoyed a meal cooked by the brides family. I cannot think of a nicer way to prepare for such a special day.

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We were all woken in the early morning to a violent thunder storm, the rain continued until after breakfast. Thankfully the rain ceased and the sun appeared and lasted all day. Feeling much like the very start of Autumn we enjoyed the warmth of the sun and

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Family and friends arrived at Chaucer Barn . The Brides family came over from America for the weddding. Everyone gathered in the barn and on the beautiful lawn. Tea, Coffee and gluten free biscuits were offered to guests.

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The meadow wedding ceremony took place at 2.15pm with Waveney string duo providing the music. We had lots of comments about the lovely music.

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All went well, the maid of honour and bridesmaid walking down the aisle  accompanied by the best man and grooms man, more traditional in America. A lovely idea, the girls really looked stunning in their lavender dresses. They carried the pretty hand tied bouquets from Scent with Love.

The Bride came down the meadow aisle to The Beatles Here comes the sun. She looked absolutely lovely, her veil gently blowing in the breeze .

photo by our photographer Andy Davison

photo by our photographer Andy Davison

The gathered family and friends sang Be thou my vision the traditional irish tune sounding particulary nice played by the string duo.

photo by Andy Davison our amazing photographer

photo by Andy Davison our amazing photographer

After the Christian ceremony we moved to the barn entrance for the civil ceremony. I was honoured to be a witness along with the brides Mom.

Pimm’s on the lawn followed

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and gluten free ice cream from Norfolk’s Ronaldo’s served from a cart in the afternoon sunshine. I provided gluten free cones for those who were gluten intolerant. The advantage of being gluten free ( and there isn’t much! ) is that we went first to avoid cross contamination from the regular cones. We could have used tubs for everyone to have avoided this.

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While photo’s were taken by Andy Davison, family and friends chatted, played garden games and listened to the music from the string duo once more.

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stunning photo by Andy Davison our photographer

stunning photo by Andy Davison our photographer

The delicious gluten free Wedding meal prepared by Alex Chef was served in the marquee by Alex’s team of girls who were exceptional. I had lots of comments about how good the food had been. Many would have had no idea the entire meal was gluten free. My food was also yeast, onion and garlic free too.

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Gluten free Wedding Menu

roasted spiced pulled pork

southern fried wings with maple and chilli

crab cakes with pepper and mango salsa

Beef chilli with coriander and sour cream

red cabbage, celeriac and apple slaw

roast new potatoes

boston baked beans

chilli corn bread

smoked dapple mac and cheese

mixed green salad

Vanilla panna cotta with raspberries

homemade biscuit

and chocolate brownie

Cheese and onion rolls and sesame seed rolls ( wheat free bakery )

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The wedding cup cakes, were brought to the venue by Imogen from Sugar buttons cakes and displayed in the marquee. They looked very pretty on vintage glass cake stands and tasted incredible.  No one would have known they were gluten free. Many people were so full after dessert ( chocolate brownie, vanilla panna cotta with raspberries and a homemade biscuit ) that we had plenty to take home and have for breakfast the next day.

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After brilliant speeches we moved to the fairy light filled barn for dancing with The Joe Ringer band. Very talented guys who I can very much recommend. The first dance which was Days like this from Van Morrison after an hour of Swing we had another fun filled hour with everyone on the dance floor again.

The evening ended with sparklers on the lawn, especially wonderful with Norfolk’s big star filled sky.

Throughout the day Andy Davison the photographer managed to be just at the right place at the right time without being noticed. It never felt that Andy was in the way. I even saw him sliding along the ground and diving through the undergrowth to get the best shots. We are all blown away by the shots we have seen so far, click here andydavisonphotography to see his amazing work.

Family and friends had a wonderful relaxed day in the Norfolk countryside celebrating two of our very favourite people in the world becoming Mr and Mrs Smyth. I could not be happier about the way the day went.

Thanks to all those who played a part in their special day.