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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Glutened in Krabi

On our penultimate day in Thailand, what I had been dreading unfortunately happened. Stomach ache and cramps started at around ten in the evening after eating at our hotel. The Tubkaak Krabi boutique resort in Krabi, The staff had been so helpful and keen to make my stay perfect, it was such a shame. All I can think is that I had been glutened by cross contamination. I chose chicken satay which I had already had on a previous evening, followed by stir fry rice and crab.

The hotel manager immediately checked with chef about my food and no yeast or onions were used.
So what followed as many of you well know! was hours of pain and nausea causing a sleepless night for both myself and my husband. The hotel room whilst being beautiful, was small with no where for me to go and moan by myself.
I tried the usual things to help including drinking peppermint tea. But no real improvement. At least these days I don’t panic about it, as I know whats happening and that by morning the pain will stop and I can get some rest.

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The next day I took things very easily and had no breakfast or lunch and stuck to drinking lots of water and camomile tea. Fortunately I had no further pain or discomfort and was able to have my per booked lavender oil massage in the afternoon. Even feeling comfortable enough to allow the lady to massage my tummy.

The staff throughout the day were very concerned and asked constantly if I was feeling better. The head waitress at the restaurant even advised my as to what I should eat that evening. Which was off the menu!
Chicken in a watery rice type broth with salt and pepper. Popular in Thailand and China for poorly tummies.

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It may look like gruel, but it was perfect. I was advised not to eat anything else, so watched the family tuck into the most delicious 3 course meal. Not easy watching chocolate fondant and ice cream being devoured I can tell you!
I have had no further effects from the glutening episode so
here’s hoping for a safe eating experience for the rest of my time in Asia.

Eating with food intolerances in Krabi, Thailand

We are staying at the Tubkaak Krabi boutique resort for 4 days. The hotel is very small and has only a very small restaurant. Breakfasts have been a little tricky. Quite concerned about cross contamination. Waffles and pancakes are made at the same station as the fried eggs so I have opted for omelettes so far which are made in a special pan in that station. The bacon has had to be cooked for me separately as all bacon tomatoes etc are sitting on slices of bread in the warming trays.
Lunches have been lovely. I have been choosing egg fried rice with prawns or chicken sometimes in curry or chilli. Just delicious!

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Also fresh crab and avocado with tomatoes and lots of fish.
Evening meals alfresco have been very memorable . Gin and tonics at sunset followed by usually the crab and avocado or chicken satay. The rest of the family have been able to sample some amazing food which I am very envious of. Main courses have been good Sea bass and rice dishes

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The chef kindly made me some gluten free and yeast free bread but sadly it was inedible. I made the family give it a try, but they thought it tasted like an eraser.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free from Fine dining on the Norfolk coast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Delicious tender lamb course.

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will return very soon.

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.