Chocolate and Hazelnut Cookies

I made these new cookies today, and as they were so delicious I wanted to share the recipe straight away.

I’ve eaten two already and they are not even cold , a crisp outside with a soft chocolatey and nutty inside . I hope you enjoy them too.

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Recipe –

100g ground almonds

2 tbsp coconut flour

2 tsp cacao

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips gluten free

1/4 cup maple syrup

70g melted unsalted butter

1 beaten large egg

Method

mix together all the dry ingredients

add the melted butter , maple syrup and beaten egg

stir together well

mould small balls of cookie dough and pop onto a lined baking sheet

bake in a pre heated oven 170c for 14 mins

cool on a wire rack

Enjoy !

 

 

 

Isabel’s naturally free from dough balls

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Thought i’d treat myself to some gluten free dough balls for lunch, So very easy to make. Easy to follow.

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Perfect for sharing or keeping all to yourself.

isabel’s naturally free from

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.

gluten free easy cheesy dough ball mix

Today I tried a new bread mix which is gluten and yeast free. I found the mix on the Ocado website Made by the lovely Isabel from Isabel’s naturally free from . I cannot believe I hadn’t seen it before.

The directions were very simple and clearly written on the reverse of the box.

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I used melted butter instead of the vegetable oil. The mix came together easily and I then kneaded the dough until it was smooth and pliable.

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Then split into little balls, I made 14 little rolls.

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I had pre heated the oven and they cooked in 25 mins.

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They looked and smelt amazing, I couldn’t wait to try them.

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When gluten eating Mr S tried them, he commented that “they tasted like the cheesy rolls from Gaucho’s” He absolutely loved them, saying it was the best gluten free food I had made.

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They had the most lovely airy texture, bouncy ! One of the best products I have found that is gluten and yeast free.

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Lovely filled, I chose egg and bacon today. I urge you to try them. Definitely not just for kids!

I’m going to stock up on these.

Follow Isabel on Twitter @isabelsfreefrom 

Website isabelsfreefrom.co.uk

gluten free British Grand Prix at Silverstone

On Friday we drove to Coventry in readiness for the British grand prix at Silverstone. We booked tickets at the very last minute through Thomas Cook so finding somewhere to stay was tricky. We eventually booked to stay at Coombe Abbey just outside Coventry. Arriving later than hoped we checked in and carried our bags through the main hotel to the newer buildings beyond. Opening the door we were greeted to the sight of a very narrow single bed, 10.30 in the evening this was not really what we needed. Anyway after phoning reception a new room was found and a complimentary G&T was brought up, a very nice gesture.

Saturday was an early start as we were eager to get to the circuit. We were first to breakfast at 7.30am . The conservatory where breakfast was set out was beautiful, to anyone probably, other than a coeliac the buffet looked great. Plenty of choice and in a seperate area a hot buffet, this always worries me due to cross contamination, fried bread next to scrambled eggs etc. Once I had explained the waitress offered me a freshly made omelette, which I happily accepted. The omelette arrived promptly and to this I added some bacon from the buffet, as we were the only people to touch the food so far I decided to risk it.

Driving to Silverstone was remarkably quick and easy. We arrived in plenty of time. Giving me time to sort out my picnic for the day. I didn’t feel I could chance there being gluten free options on site. On friday evening I had packed sandwiches made using Knead gluten free, yeast free bread, fruit, seabrooks crisps and Honeybuns bakery cakes in a large cool box packed with lots of large cold packs.

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Having made up my lunch we made are way to the circuit. Silverstone was not overly busy  and we were able to get our bearings and have a good look around. Over the two days we watched GP2 and GP3 races as well as the Porsche Super Cup and moved from one stand to another. Woodcote and Luffield area.

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Like a school child on a day out, I was ready to eat my packed lunch by about 10.30am but made myself wait. The ham and cheese sandwich had survived quite well, although probably had been sat a little to close to the ice packs. The cherry tomatoes had frozen! The Seabrooks crinkled ready salted crisps (gluten free and yeast free) were lovely. I had not tried them before, most impressed.

I had a good look around Silverstone for gluten free options but was disappointed to find no choices for Coeliacs. I did however find a coffee stall which sold Honeybuns bakery chocolate brownies, these were clearly marked. Well done Caffe cultura 

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After a busy day we headed back to our hotel looking forward to a rest and a decent meal at 8pm. Unfortunately our reservation had been changed to 9pm. After explaining our busy day and the early start needed the following day, they squeezed us in at 7. Relieved we headed down to dinner. Once again served in the conservatory it had been such a beautiful day that the sun was still blazing in through the glass room. The waiter took our order but was very quick. This made me feel that he wasn’t listening to my very specific requirements for my meal, which left me nervous.

Our starters arrived, I had chosen Asparagus and a cheese brulee with pea shots, asking them to hold the quail scotch egg. Unfortunately the breadcrumbed egg was well and truly in the centre of my meal. Mr S’s Scallops had been brought out gluten free!  After alerting the waitress a new starter was brought out for me and a reheated scallops for Mr S.  I explained again the importance of getting our orders right. My food was delicious and the cheese brulee a great invention. For main course I had ordered the special which was John Dory fillet with new potatoes and samphire without the accompanying sauces. This was very good and it was my first samphire of the year. Sadly Mr S wasn’t impressed with his steak. For dessert the waiter suggested I left it up to the chef, which I was happy to do. Mr S ordered the cheese board and I was given a coconut and lime parfait with slices of pineapple and a tiny chocolate mousse. Very glad I left it up to the chef! The only thing we did notice was the staff were getting lots of complaints that evening about slow service. drink orders not being taken and some not even getting a menu for a very long time. As we were first in we seemed to avoid this.

The hotel is a wedding venue, not surprisingly as it was very picturesque. We saw two weddings while we were there. This did mean that we were woken at 11PM to a firework display outside. Not really what you need when you have to leave at 6.30 the next morning.

We made a prompt departure early on sunday morning and arrived at Silverstone for breakfast. Considerably more people on Sunday for the big race, It was very exciting to be there after watching for so many years on the tv. Once again I made up my picnic and made our way down to Woodcote B stand where we spent the majority of the day.

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After watching some exciting races in the morning I queued with Mr S for his gluten filled pizza which looked amazing. As it was such a lovely day we sat on the grass watching the Red arrows flying overhead.

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Then time for the big race, we had a very good view and a large screen directly in front.  Which was just as well as with my ear defenders in, I couldn’t hear the commentary. I thought Saturday was loud but it was nothing compared to Sunday. Those F1 cars really do make quite some noise! Rooting for Jenson Button and the rest of the Brits we settled down to enjoy a great race.

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We certainly weren’t disapointed. Although would have prefered not to have had all the tyre blow outs. The crowd were quieter than expected but I put that down to Lewis’s tyre nightmare early on. The final 6 or so laps the crowd certainly made up for the quiet start and it was a day I will never forget.

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We quickly made our way to the car and after much polite queueing, we were on our way home.

Maybe by next year at  Silverstone, there will be some gluten free options? Here’s hoping!

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten free Cream tea time!

Wimbledon starts today, what better time to make some gluten free scones for an afternoon cream tea!

I started with a clean work surface very important when baking for Coeliacs or gluten sensitive friends and family. Also I pre heated the oven to 220c

recipe-

250g SR Flour gluten free

2 tsp baking powder ( gluten free )

1 tsp Isabels baking fix (optional )

1  large egg

80g butter unsalted

a little milk up to 100ml

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I weighed 250g of gluten free S R flour into a mixing bowl. To which I added 2 tsp of GF baking powder, both were from Doves farm . Then I added 1 tsp of Isabels GF baking fix, this is the first time I have added this. It should improve texture and extend shelf life. I then mixed the dry ingredients together.

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Next I added 80g of real unsalted butter, chopped and rubbed with fingertips until it resembled breadcrumbs.

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Finally I added 1 egg and 100ml of milk. add gradually until it comes together to a ball using a knife. The dough will feel very soft, don’t worry! this is normal and with a little flour on your work surface the scones will be perfect.

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I rolled out the dough quite thickly and using a cutter cut out 6 scones and popped on a baking sheet with greaseproof paper cut to size. They look especially good if you egg wash them on top.

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The scones went in the hot oven 220c for 10 mins. They should look a lovely golden brown on top .

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I cooled them on a wire rack then served with a low sugar jam. I use St Delfour strawberry jam. To top the whole thing off I added thick double cream.

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Best eaten the same day, Scones also freeze well.

Perfect for a summers afternoon . whatever the weather!

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Easy yeast free and gluten free sunflower and pumpkin seed bread mix

Today I decided to have a go at a new bread mix I came across at the Allergy and free from show at Olympia. Made by Sukrin the sunflower and pumpkin seed bread is gluten and yeast, milk and soy free. The bread mix and other products including almond and sesame flour both gluten free are available from a selection of stockists

ImageFirst I pre heated the oven, then tipped the contents of the packet into a bowl and added water.

Mixed well and left for 3 mins. The mixture absorbed the water and became quite thick. I poured the bread mix into the container provided and popped it in the oven. Couldn’t have been more simple. loved it!

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Baking time is approx 1hr 20mins which seemed along time for such a little loaf. After 1hr 10 mins I checked the loaf and after taping the bottom decided it was cooked. It came out of the baking tray easily.

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The trickiest part was leaving it to cool. I wanted to tuck straight in. The loaf looked really good. Very impressed!

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Once the bread had cooled I cut myself a couple of slices and spread some proper butter on top.  I was blown away by the taste and texture of the sunflower and pumpkin seed bread. The best bread I have eaten since being gluten and yeast free and the easiest to make too.

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10\10 for ease of making and quality of the final loaf. Well done Sukrin! a fabulous loaf. Hard to believe it is gluten and yeast free and low carb too.

The only thing that could possibly be improved upon is the size of the loaf. Rather on the small size, its not going to last me very long.

Will definitely be ordering again.

My first Allergy and Free From show at Olympia

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Last Saturday I made my first visit to the Allergy and free from show at Olympia. Now I had been warned that I would need lots of bags to bring back the many gluten free offers. So bags in hand and a husband, or should I say official bag carrier. We boarded the train to Clapham junction then went on the overground train to Olympia. 

Arriving at 10am just as the doors were opening. A large queue had formed outside the hall but we quickly made our way inside. I was so glad we had arrived so early as we were able to make our way to the gluten free stands with ease. One of the first stands we found was Isabel’s cuisine. It was lovely to meet Isabel in person as I have followed her on twitter for a while. The Pizza mix is so versatile I have made the pizza bases before and I cannot wait to make bagels with it very soon. They had a very good offer, I bought five boxes including the batter mix and dough ball mix, another tweeter was on her stall the happy coeliac who had made some yummy cakes using one of Isabel’s mixes. It was great to meet her too and try the delicious cakes.

Moving on we found Perkier also on Twitter , a small business who use gluten free oats to make a selection of porridge and granola. One thing I thought was particularly good was the individual instant porridge pots which would be great for a weekend away or festival food.  We both tried some flapjack made using the apple and cinnamon porridge very good! I went away with a box of porridge. 

Now being gluten and yeast intolerant means i’m always on the look out for a bread I can eat. At the show we found Sukrin they had a sunflower and pumkin bread mix which was soy milk and yeast free. result. I filled a bag with a supply of bread mix, I cannot wait to try making it at home. The taster on offer at the show was good, denser than regular bread but that is to be expected.

Moving on we found Nairns gluten free and as they had a special offer on packs of savoury biscuits I picked some up. Warburtons also had a stall and had there new wraps at £2 a packet. So brought some for the freezer.

I really wanted to search out small businesses as I feel it is important to support them, on the next isle we found one such business, Knead. It was good to meet Sim in person a I follow her on Twitter and was eager to try there gluten free yeast free bread. They had a good offer on the gluten free bread so once again choose 3 loaves 2 seeded and one white. Almost demolished one loaf within 2 days scrummy, I even made a fish finger sandwich something  I hadn’t been able to have in ages. Good news if you weren’t able to get the show  Ocado are now stocking Knead bread.

We took a break from the stalls and made a dash to the cafe area where a TweetUp was taking place, It was great to meet up with many fellow coeliacs and gluten sensitive Tweeters and put faces to names. It is such a supportive community and I can recommend joining Twitter. I have learnt so much in the last year or so about Coeliac disease and tips on baking, shopping, cross contamination and living with a gluten free diet .

After spending some time at the cafe , we said our goodbyes and headed back to the stalls. Unfortunately it was now 12ish and the hall was rammed. Fighting through the crowds we headed towards the free from bakehouse previously called Sugargrain where we chose lemon meringue tarts to take home, also choosing a cinnamon sugar doughnut for my journey home.

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Whilst it was quite nice, I think it would have been nicer eaten with a big mug of coffee as it was a little dense. The Gf lemon meringue tarts survived the journey very well and were delicious the gluten free pastry was very good.

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DS gluten free had a stall and I decided to treat myself to a few boxes of bourbons and chocolate biscuits. I like them as they are in little packs in side the boxes and keep well.

We found another new company I hadn’t come across before Pudology run by Lucy. Individual Puddings dairy, egg and gluten free. We tried the chocolate, lemon and banoffee puddings and brought 4 to take home. Again Ocado are stocking them as are some Waitrose shops. The banoffee was particularly good.

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Deciding that it really was now too busy we reluctantly made our way to the exit, very relieved I had taken my husband with me, as had far too many bags to carry by myself , also needed more cash than I had expected as not all stalls took cards. He came in useful for that too!

Just our bags alone took up all the baggage space on the train!

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Finally made it back home with a huge array of gluten free goodies. No shortage of choices for a late lunch.

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I will definitely be returning next year and hopefully will find even more small businesses.

 I trust that the company’s I found this year will be bigger and even better in 2014

 

Finding Free from treasures on Lamma island , Hong Kong

On monday we took the ferry to Lamma, an island off Hong Kong island. Sadly the weather was poor. Cloudy with very little sunshine, but still a warm 27c.

It was a far shorter journey than I was expecting about 20 mins which as the sea was quite choppy, that was long enough!

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Lamma island is where many ex pats live. The island has no cars and the only mode of transport is bicycles. Many of which were parked up by the terminal ready for their owners arriving back later.

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As it was nearing lunch we went off in search of somewhere to eat. Now Lamma island is famous for its seafood restaurants all along the road from the ferry terminal. We decided on a small, clean looking restaurant called Beer and Babble seafood restaurant.

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The waiters were very friendly and spoke very good english. As always I had my trusty food intolerance translation sheet with me. Now looking slightly worse for wear! Sticky tape holding it together from an incident a few days ago. The waiter read it carefully and took it off to show the chef. I decided on grilled king prawns with plain boiled rice and broccoli. 

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A safe sensible choice, could of done with some lemon or something to cheer it up but at least I knew it was Free from.

After lunch we had a little look around the shops, only a few and not very exciting. Until we came to, Just Green a health food food with a good selection of gluten free and free from goodies. Now if only I could have found this shop a week ago! Anyway it was good to check it out and it will be useful for future visits to my Brother in law and his wife on Hong Kong island.

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A few doors away was an intriguing cafe, very quirky. I loved the look of it.

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Bookends cafe was a vegetarian cafe which had some gluten free and free from options so I had to try it out!

The blackboard had an array of gluten free, free from cakes written on it . I decided on an english breakfast tea and a slice of their gluten free carrot cake. Sadly they had sold out, so had to make do with some gluten free biscuits I had hidden away in my handbag for such occasions.

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The cafe had a lovely atmosphere and I can see why it is mentioned in the guide books.

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It was soon time to head back to the ferry terminal, I’m so glad we made the trip over. Otherwise we would have never discovered the free from treasures Lamma had to offer.

 

Life, A vegetarian restaurant in Hong Kong

On Sunday night we decided to give Life a try! It’s a vegetarian restaurant in Hong Kong

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The restaurant is right next to the Central Mid levels escalator. A small 3 levelled restaurant, we were taken to the top floor a lovely little roof terrace with wooden seats and small square tables. We were given a menu and I ordered a homemade lemonade and my husband ordered an organic white wine.

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It was exciting to see gluten free marked on a menu. The first time this holiday! I chose the sweet potato chips and asked them to hold the mayonnaise and ketchup. Stupidly I didn’t explain about the yeast intolerance immediately. The chips arrived with a small amount of vinegar on them. What a fool! Unfortunately then my husband accidentally knocked his wine glass over . Some landing in my chips. Not a great start! I had luckily or unluckily had tried a couple, they were fine nothing special. They didn’t taste like sweet potato or potato so not sure exactly what they were. Very tough when you can’t have a sauce to dip them in to.
Mr S had some polenta triangles which looked nice although he said they were quite dry and couldn’t get through the four of them.

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Unfortunately I couldn’t try them as they had mushroom in them. Vegetarian restaurants don’t actually seem a terribly good choice for me! Being yeast, onion and mushroom intolerant as well as gluten makes eating quite difficult sometimes. This restaurant would be great though if you are gluten and dairy intolerant.

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I was very excited about my main course, gluten free Pizza with sundried tomato and goats cheese. I suddenly panicked and double checked it was a yeast free base too. I was told immediately yes it was. But when it arrived it basically looked like a large slice of toasted gluten free bread. The bread was very spongy like a soft focaccia. I called the waitress over to double check about the yeast. I have never seen yeast free bread like this except when I have made soda bread. My pizza was now sitting in front of me. There was a lot of toing and froing and after 20 minutes of trying to speak to the Only person who knew what was in the ingredients the main chef. Who was not working that night. We finally had our answer Yes it was definitely free of yeast and contained some kind of Japanese gum!?
Now obviously my pizza/ toasted bread was stone cold. Things were not going well. Luckily my husband had chosen a gluten free pasta with a spicy vegetarian sauce which he enjoyed. Although he was terribly stressed about the pizza situation.

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It also turned out that the cheese was actually vegetarian goats cheese so made from some yeast product, so I had to remove that before I could start. Anyway the Pizza was fine, definitely just toasted bread with tomato on , but a tasty snack.
Still hungry I decided to look at the pudding menu.

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Thought I would give the chocolate flour less cake a go. The waitress then brought over a sheet which showed its ingredients and in large letters it read gluten free yeast free! If only they had one of those for the main courses!

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I have to say the cake was the driest crumbliest cake I have eaten in a long time. Nothing like the beautiful homemade gluten free cakes I can make or buy in the UK. Had to ask for some glasses of water to help us get through our one piece to share.
So, not the best of evenings. Luckily we were on our own so it didn’t wreck anyone else’s dining experience.
I think if you are only gluten intolerant then there would be some good choices of food at this restaurant, but if like me you have multiple intolerances better stick to places where you can have fish or meat with veggies.

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