Gluten free Fish and Chips at the Snettisham Fish Bar, Norfolk

I thought it was about time I revisited the Snettisham Fish bar, A tiny chippy a short drive from me.

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A large poster on the door announces that the Fish bar is Coeliac and gluten intolerant friendly.  The owner is very knowledgeable too, we had a long chat while my fish and chips cooked about his visit to a trade show where he learnt about the need for separate equipment etc because of cross contamination he also showed me how he kept the gluten free batter mix separately from everything else.

The Gluten free Cod and chips was cooked in the chip fryer. Only used for frying chips.

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Not only can you have any choice of fish. You can also have scampi, prawns or sausages in the Glu-2-Go  batter.

I had chosen Cod and chips for my husband and I. The meal for two came to £10.40

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When I arrived home and unwrapped my Cod and chips it looked amazing, I really miss having the option to dive into a fish and chip shop at the seaside like everyone else. So when you find a chippy that is gluten free its very exciting.

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The chips were incredibly good, just what I had hoped for. Sadly something was not right with the batter this time, and instead of being lovely and crispy it was soft and just acted like a skin around the Cod. I was so disappointed as we have eaten from here once before and the batter had been beautifully crispy.

I will definitely pop by when I pass to let them know, and will give it another go soon.

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The Fish bar is in Alma road, Snettisham Norfolk . worth a visit when you are passing.

Hopefully the batter will be back to its crispy self soon!

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.

Sandringham Flower Show and gluten free picnic.

Today was my first visit to the Sandringham flower show in the grounds of the Queens ‘holiday home’ in Norfolk.

Knowing there would be very little that I would be able to eat there, I baked a loaf of Sukrin sunflower and pumpkin seed bread, which is gluten and yeast free.

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The bread slices beautifully and is very like a good seeded regular loaf. I would say almost better than regular gluten filled bread. Sadly just more expensive!

I made some yummy egg sandwiches and cheese and tomato ones, A real treat when you never normally eat bread.

I was accompanied by my Mum and we headed off early to avoid the crowds. Parking was easy and free. We were directed to one of Sandringhams large fields. Making sure we made note of where abouts we were parked we set off for the small gardens.

ImageSew and Sow was a small garden by Emily Louisa Smith

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Fancy a stroll? by Tamara Bridge

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Modern tranquility by Fakenham garden centre Landscape and design.

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Art, Cities and Landscape BY Sarah Moore, Borough council of Kings Lynn.

We moved on to the Large show gardens, fortunately the sun was still shining and the crowds had not  built up.

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Love every drop by John Farley

To raise awareness of how important water is.

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A large Gunnera plant was used as a centre piece next to the fountain which hit the leaves before disappearing into the gravel.

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Rural Norfolk by Linda and Ralph Nichols

Depicting a disused lime kiln and work shed.

ImageCretaceous garden by Hall landscaping and design.

Featuring a Sarcosuchus better known as a Super Croc!

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A story garden by Jonny Baker.

Inspired by stories from Beatrix Potter.

My favourite of the large gardens.

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We stopped off at the Horticultural talks marquee for a demonstration by Hunstanton’s very own Florist Nicholas Godfrey-Cole from Scent with love

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A very interesting demonstration with lots of tips and ideas for budding flower arrangers.

Outside the rain had started, just in time for Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall to make there entrance.

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Sadly umbrellas and Royal canopy obscuring our view.

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A surprisingly small display of vegetables and fruit. Reminiscent of a local garden show.

By midday we were desperate for our lunch but every food marquee was packed with people sheltering from the rain. We decided to make our way back the the talks marquee, sadly to late to see the next demo by Scent with Love but nice and early for a talk on growing organic vegetables. A great spot for lunch when its raining outside!

Good old British weather!

The sandwiches were delicious and very welcome after a busy morning. So glad we had brought a picnic as very little else available even for gluten eaters and difficulty getting to the stalls. Mainly due to people camping out in the food marquee’s to avoid the rain.

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After visiting a large floral marquee we headed back to the car with a few new beautiful plants to remember our day.

Wow! muffins

Based in Wymondham, just outside Norwich WOWmuffins are a small gluten free business. Making the most amazing sweet and savoury muffins, many are dairy free too. Selling at farmers markets in East Anglia and available to order online.

I first met Karen a few months back at Creake abbey farmers market near Burnham Market, Norfolk. I literally went Wow! when I saw her stall.

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The stall was easy to spot with a big sign saying “muffins for everyone” and bright red gazebo. With a huge array of the most delicious looking gluten free goodies, I was a very happy lady!

I have never been a big fan of supermarket muffins as they always seem to me to be quite heavy in texture. But WOW muffins are quite different. Freshly made, they have a short shelf life, like all homemade bakery goods. But they freeze well on day of purchase. Or you can eat them immediately like I do.

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‘Muffinettes’

Light and airy in texture and available in two sizes regular and muffinettes, half the size and perfect if you are trying to be good or can’t decide which flavour to buy. They are also a lovely size for children, and would be great for a birthday party.

ImageA selection of sweet and savoury muffins from this weeks visit to the farmers market.

 

Even more exciting than the sweet muffins, I think are the savoury ones. Sausage, sun-dried tomato and paprika. which has a real kick to it. Feta, basil and sun-dried tomato my favourite, The feta cheese works perfectly. I really could eat a large amount of these!  Also bacon and cheddar and red onion ones which look amazing but am unable to try as I am intolerant to onions. But I would love the combination of bacon and cheese.

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Perfect as part of gluten free lunch.

 

The muffins are best eaten warmed for about 30 seconds in the microwave maybe slightly less. I think I over warmed my banana fudge muffin yesterday and the fudge centre had virtually disappeared. still very yummy though. I had mine with a big cup of tea for pudding. But they would be perfect for breakfast, I have a blueberry one lined up for breakfast today.

 

 

Karen has a good knowledge of all things gluten free as she herself is wheat intolerant and has friends who have Coeliac disease. 

I urge you to go online today and have a look at the website. Or if you are up in East Anglia seek them out at your nearest farmers market.

Creake Abbey farmers market, North Creake, Fakenham

Wymondham farmers market, market place Wymondham

Mildenhall  farmers market, jubilee centre . near Bury St Edmunds

You can also follow WOWmuffins on twitter @wowmuffins and on facebook

I think it is really important to support our local small businesses, especially when they produce gluten free produce.

April 2014

Unfortunately Wow Muffins has ceased trading, hopefully one day soon they will be baking again. Will blog about it when they are up and running again

 

 

Our new Norfolk garden

Earlier this year Samantha Mckay a local Norfolk garden designer and her team headed up by Trevor, started work on our garden in Norfolk. 

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It really was a blank canvas!

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First a new patio area went done, followed by a base for the pavilion.

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We had asked Sam to design a country/coastal garden that was easy to maintain as we would not be at the house all the time. We wanted to include a boardwalk and some curves. We also needed to lose some of the lawn as we were spending most weekends cutting it in the summer.

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The Crown pavilion was then erected and the canvas covers were added.

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Next Sam planted all the beautiful flowers, trees and grasses. She gave us a book showing all our new plants with a guide to show us how to care for them.

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Already the plants are really starting to take shape, thanks to the recent rain and lovely sunny days.

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We look forward to spending long hot summer days admiring our new garden in Norfolk.

Many thanks to Samantha for designing such a lovely garden, and to Crown pavilions for our new outside room. We have already eaten many meals alfresco. A perfect place to entertain friends and family, or just curl up with a good book.

Free from Fine dining on the Norfolk coast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageThe mackerel was cooked using a blow torch and tasted delicious

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Delicious tender lamb course.

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will return very soon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eating out with multiple food intolerances

On Easter Saturday we went for an early supper at The Duck inn Stanhoe Norfolk. I always now ring or tweet ahead to give the restaurant warning that I have multiple food intolerances. I was reassured that this would not be a problem.

When we arrived I explained to our waiter that I had intolerances to gluten, onion and yeast including wine and vinegar. He made some notes and said he would talk to the chef, good news I thought. Unfortunately between our table and the kitchen, yeast had been missed off the list. So when my starter arrived with a pickled looking vegetable on the side I was obviously worried, just by the smell I was sure it was vinegar but got husband to check it too. I really should have sent it back, but family urged me to push it to the side, the rest of the starter was lovely grilled salmon with a few salad leaves.

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Looking back I think I should of sent it back, although fortunately this time I was fine. But I really mustn’t take the risk.  All the other starters were enjoyed thoroughly. I spoke to a different waiter when he came to collect plates and explained about the vinegar, he then went to the kitchen to inform the chef who came out to apologise, which was really appreciated.

I was then able to explain about yeast intolerance. Not an easy one to get your head round, as it covers so many things from wine to mushrooms.

The problem always seems to come between speaking to the waiting staff and them taking all the information back to the kitchen. Have decided to get some business card type things made up with all the necessary information on so that it can be taken straight to the chef, hopefully saving any more accidents.

The main courses at The Duck were very good the chef suggested a few options, I choose the fillet of hake with mash and green vegetables. A very good choice, delicious! the family were all very impressed with their meals too.

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We thought we should treat ourselves to a dessert as it was Easter, the chef suggested the vanilla pannacotta with rhubarb for me. The family went for yummy brownies with salted caramel and apple crumble which seemed to go down very well.

The Duck has just been taken over by Chef Ben Handley and I am pleased to say the food continues to be of the same great standard as it was before. We will certainly be returning.

I think having more than one food intolerance has been a huge learning curve for me, with Yeast being the most tricky to be understood. Unfortunately resulting in a few stomach aches, bloating and nausea recently. Hopefully soon I can get to the point when I can hand over a card with all the information on, giving the chef the best chance in making my meal safe for me to enjoy and making the evening hassle free for the family.

We love to eat out as a family, especially up in Norfolk where the restaurants and pubs serve some really special local food. These minor hiccups will certainly not put me off eating out.