Monday, 21 April 2014

British Museum - Great Court Restaurant Afternoon Tea (or Mrs Crimbles special?)

I wanted to visit the Vikings exhibition at the British Museum and I was wondering if I would be able to eat anything gluten free there.
Gluten free afternoon tea
Standard afternoon tea
I was looking at the eating options and the Great Court Restaurant under the roof canopy looked like a fantastic location.
In order to avoid disappointment, I emailed them to ask about their gluten-free options for lunch and for afternoon tea.
They mentioned that they always have some gluten-free option on their regular lunch menu and that they could provide an afternoon tea with 24 hours notice.

That was brilliant news! Even though I couldn't get tickets for the Vikings in the end, I was so looking forward to the Gluten Free afternoon Tea that I booked it anyway.

It was quite busy on Easter Sunday, but I didn't mind too much. 
We were shown to our table and soon some lovely china arrived.

We had the usual choice of teas and I mentioned again my pre-booked gluten free afternoon tea.

Gluten free sandwiches
First we got some very nice sandwiches, and, although mine were on gluten-free bread, the filling was the same as in the regular afternoon tea, very nice fillings, very enjoyable.
I was soooooo looking forward to my scones and cakes.

Here is when I got the "treats" and we couldn't do anything other than laugh.
Where were my scones?
Can you spot your Mrs Crimbles favourites?
Is that a Sainsbury's brownie?
I couldn't identify the cherry bakewell tart, but it looked like it was just out of a packet, maybe Waitrose free from?
A bit of effort went on with the fairy cake, as it was "iced" with some whipped cream, and I got one macaroon of the ones available in the regular afternoon tea.

I suppose at least my companion enjoyed her treats, she said the scones were delicious.
It would have been so easy to make it worth it, even without much cooking, they could have served some of Waitrose's free from scones or some scones made with Helen's ready mix. They could have got some gluten free cakes from Konditor and Cook and dusted some icing sugar, or they could have added a selection of macaroons from Paul's.

I suppose as I could guess where all of it came from I was able to tuck in knowing I would not get sick. Not recommended unless you are a Mrs Crimbles fan.

GBK - Gourmet Burger Kitchen New Gluten Free Menu

 I wanted to try the new gluten free menu at Gourmet Burger Kitchen so I visited over the weekend.
The choice of burgers was excellent, very much like the normal menu, quite a few choices with beef and chicken and a few speciality burgers with lamb, buffalo and vegetarian burgers.

The staff were very nice, and when we said it was our first visit, they explained how it all works in a very friendly manner.
As soon as I asked for the gluten free menu another lovely lady (I think she was the manager) came along to explain why I couldn't have the fries my companion was having, being cooked in the same oil as onion rings and a source of cross contamination.
It was great to see how seriously they are addressing the gluten free menu, I was very pleased.

I ordered the avocado bacon burger, and it looked lovely when it arrived, with lots of avocado and bacon.
I had some GBK homeslaw as a side, which was also nice.

I have to say I would have loved some chips or fries or potato skins or something similar.
Even though every one was lovely and the burger was brilliant too, it would have made me feel more of a valued customer.

I had an elderflower fizz to drink and it was really lovely, and you can get free refills of any of the fizz drinks, thanks!

Overall it was a good experience and I would recommend GBK for any gluten free eaters out there.

To make the experience even better, I'd suggest having chips on the gluten free menu too, and adding one of the many gluten free beers to the drinks menu.
Go on....

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Gluten Free eating in London

Hello all!

This is a quick guide to Gluten Free eating in London for those visiting the city for a few days.
It is not a complete list, merely a few restaurants with uncomplicated menus that are easy to find in central London. They are mainly chains with many restaurants so you will always be close to one.

The information is the same as in the previous post in Spanish.


I’d like to mention supermarkets first. Most of them (Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer) carry a selection of Free From foods, and it’s quite easy to find bread, pasta, breakfast cereal, biscuits, and various types of milk (soya, almond, rice). In general they tend to carry a large proportion of own brand products and some by the well loved brands (Genius, Newburn Bakehouse).

If you’d like to buy something a bit more special, the best shop is Whole Foods Market. One of its larger stores is in Piccadilly Circus, but there are a few around London, here is their website:


Pizza Express

This chain of restaurants is serious about Gluten Free eating. From their regular menu you can choose any of their toppings, just need to ask for the gluten free base, and they are quite nice too.
They have a couple of choices for starters and desserts, all clearly labelled on their menu (available on their website). They also have Green Beer, which is gluten free and Aspall cider.

There are lots of restaurants around London and the UK, and I’ve eaten here many times, and I’ve never been ill afterwards.


This is a family run Italian restaurant. The owner is a coeliac, so we are in good hands!
All dishes on their menu have gluten/gluten free options, just that the gluten free ones are a bit more expensive.
Opening hours: 12 to 2.30pm and from 6pm to 11.30pm, closed on Saturday morning and Sundays.
It is close to Waterloo (5/10 minutes walk), just opposite Lambeth North tube station. They not only have pasta and pizza, they also have starters, meat and fish mains and a few desserts, tiramisu being my favourite. They even have gluten free bread rolls. I recommend it.


This Japanese style restaurant is quite popular, no need to book. There are lots of them and they are easy to find.
The main menu does not indicate which dishes have or not gluten, but in all their restaurants they have two very useful folders, you just need to ask their helpful staff when you arrive.
The first one is an allergy folder, listing all the dishes that contain a particular allergen and the second is a substitutions folder, suggesting which dishes from the main menu could be easily adapted to your requirements.

Be careful and do not use the soya sauce on the table.

In my experience the staff have always taken me seriously and have always been happy to answers any questions about ingredients.
They do have a dietary filter menu on their website, so you can check out your options before you go.
If you like noodles I’d recommend it, I’ve never been ill after eating here.


This Mexican style chain has many restaurants around London. There are no reservations; you might have to wait a bit. The one based in the Southbank (near Waterloo) is built with shipping containers, and has some fantastic views over the river.
They have a dedicated Gluten Free menu accessible on their website.


Like Leon, this restaurant offers nutritious and healthy food and information about allergies can be found on the menu itself.
There is a symbol for each of the following: superfood, low fat, vegetarian, vegan, wheat free, dairy free, gluten free, contains seeds, contains nuts

They have breakfast options, including gluten free toast made with Genius bread and shakes, salads, wraps and hot pods, their warm pots of deliciousness.
The ingredients used in all their dishes are super fresh from the market every morning.
Most Pods are located around the City / Holborn areas and generally open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, but some of the branches open even at 7am and some close at 4pm.
I can imagine the typical customer being someone who needs breakfast and/or lunch to go around work, but they also have seating space at all Pods if you prefer to eat in.
You can see opening times and the full menu on their website:


This is a Portuguese style chain with all dishes based on roasted chicken with piri piri sauce, and some sides like chips, salad, corn and so on. Very much like McDonalds but with roast chicken and no bun.

They do have allergy information in a folder behind the counter, and the best thing to do is what they recommend on their website, ask for the manager to check your gluten free order. I’ve eaten here a couple of times, always asked for the least spicy roast chicken with chips and salad and I’ve added some of the lemon and herbs sauce and I’ve never had a problem.
Obviously you have to avoid the burger, pitta and wraps...


Honest Burgers

This is the burger place most talked about by Gluten free eaters in London. The first and only restaurant for a long time is in Brixton, but there are now other branches around London, even one in Portobello road if you are visiting the market. They have buns with and without gluten. I haven’t been myself yet, but will have to get there soon...
The Soho restaurant is quite tiny so if you plan to visit this one, get there early and/or be prepared to wait.

GBK – Gourmet Burger Kitchen

These burger restaurants have just added a Gluten Free menu to their choices. It is so new that the menu is not yet available on their website (April 2014) although it will be soon.

I’ve got in touch with them by email and they’ve sent it to me.
It looks impressive, so many different burgers you can choose from, beef, lamb, chicken, vegetarian... Although there are no chips on the gluten free menu.

I hope these recommendations are useful for anyone visiting London, let me know ;)
All opinions my own.

** I have removed Leon from the list, as @celeberrima has found cross contamination in their rice here

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Comer sin Gluten en Londres (Gluten Free Eating in London)

This post is a guide for Spanish speakers that will be translated into English in no time....

Saludos desde Londres, he escrito estas notas sobre donde comer para los celiacos e intolerantes al gluten que vengais a dar una vuelta.
No es una lista exhaustiva, simplemente es una lista de restaurantes sencillos y faciles de encontrar, de precio medio que no entorpecen el disfute del viaje.
En general casi todos los que menciono son una cadena de restaurantes por Londres, asi que nunca estareis muy lejos de uno de ellos.


Antes de entrar en el tema, mencionar que los supermercados suelen tener casi todos (Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer) una seccion de Free From food, o sea, para nosotros.
En general es facil encontar pan de molde, pasta, cereales para el desayuno, algun muffin, o galletas y leche de varias clases (de soja, de almendras, de arroz). Lo que mas abunda son los productos de marca propia, y algunos de marcas muy reconocidas aqui (Genius, Newburn Bakehouse).
Si quereis comprar algo mas especial, la tienda con mas surtido es Whole Foods Market. Una de sus tiendas esta en Picadilly Circus, pero hay varias por todo Londres, aqui esta su website:


Pizza Express
Esta cadena de pizzerias se ha tomado en serio comer sin Gluten, y de su menu habitual, se puede elegir cualquiera de las pizzas, solo hay que pedir que cambien la base a la Gluten Free.
Y ademas estan muy buenas.
Tienen tambien un par de opciones de entrante y de postre, todo muy bien marcado en la carta (accesible en su website).
Tambien tienen Green Beer, que es Gluten Free y sidra Aspal.
Hay muchos restaurantes por todo Londres y por toda la UK, asi que siempre encontraras alguno cerca... Yo he estado muchas veces y nunca me he puesto mala, asi que lo recomiendo.

Este es un restaurante italiano familiar. El dueño es celiaco asi que estamos en buenas manos!
En la carta todos los platos tienen la opcion con y sin gluten (sin gluten un poco mas caro)
Horario: 12 a 2.30pm y de 6pm a 11.30pm, cerrado sabado por la mañana y domingo.
Esta cerca de Waterloo (5/10 minutos andando), justo enfrente de la  estacion de metro Lambeth North. No solo tienen pasta y pizza, tambien entrantes, carne y pescado y unos cuantos postres, mi favorito el tiramisu. Tienen hasta panecillos de pan sin gluten. Lo recomiendo.

Esta cadena de comida de estilo Japones tambien es muy popular, no hay que reservar, y el comedor es bastante comunitario. Hay muchos por todas partes, facil de encontrar.
El menu principal no dice que platos tienen o no gluten, pero en todos los restaurantes tienen dos carpetas que son muy utiles, solo hay que pedirlas al camarero al llegar.
Una con la informacion sobre ingredientes que pueden provocar alergias (allergies folder) y otra con posibles sustituciones que se pueden hacer a los platos del menu (substitutions folder).
Cuidado, y no tomeis soya sauce de la que tienen en las mesas.
En mi experiencia, los camareros siempre me han tomado en serio y me han aclarado dudas sobre los ingredientes.
En su website tienen un filtro para seleccionar solo los platos que puedes comer (dietary menu filter), asi puedes saber tus opciones antes de ir.
Tambien lo recomiendo si te gustan los noodles, yo nunca me he puesto mala comiendo aqui.

Esta cadena es de comida Mejicana y tiene unos cuantos restaurantes por Londres. No hay reservas, asi que a veces hay que esperar un poco. El que esta en el Southbank (cerca de Waterloo) esta hecho con contenedores y tiene buenas vistas al rio.
Tienen un menu dedicado al Gluten Free que se puede acceder en su website.

Al igual que Leon, este restaurante de comida rapida ofrece opciones bastante saludables, y la informacion nutricional esta en el menu (GF=sin gluten, WF=sin trigo, DF=sin lacteos).
La comida se puede llevar o comer alli, y tienen opciones tambien de desayuno, incluyendo tostadas sin gluten con pan de la marca Genius (mi favorita). Tienen tambien batidos, ensaladas, wraps y los hot pods, guisitos calientes.
Todos los ingredientes los traen por la mañana del mercado, fresquito fresquito.
Se encuentran por la City /Holborn y en general abren de lunes a viernes, de 8am-5pm, algunos incluso abren a las 7am o cierran a las 4pm, centrados sobre todo en los que van al trabajo y quieren desayuno y/o comida para llevar, aunque tambien hay espacio para sentarse en los restaurantes.
Se pueden ver los horarios y el menu completo en su website.

Esta es una cadena de estilo portugues que se basa en el pollo asado con salsa piri piri y acompañado por patatas fritas / ensalada / maiz y alguna otra opcion. Es un estilo a McDonalds pero con pollo.
Tienen informacion sin gluten en una carpeta tras el mostrador, y lo mejor es preguntar por las opciones sin gluten. En su website recomiendan que preguntes por el manager para asegurarse de que no te contaminan.
Yo he comido aqui alguna vez, siempre he pedido el pollo asado sin especias y la salsa de limon y hierbas (lemon and herbs), las patatas fritas y la ensalada y nunca he tenido problemas.
Obviamente la hamburguesa, pitta y wrap estan descartadas...
Hay muchos por todas partes.


Honest Burgers
El sitio de hamburguesas mas recomendado de Londres por los sin gluten es Honest Burgers.
El primer y hasta no hace mucho unico restaurante esta en Brixton, pero ahora hay unos cuantos mas por Londres, incluso uno en Portobello Road si vais al mercadillo. Tienen el bollo con y sin gluten.
Yo no he estado todavia, pero pronto pronto ...
El de Soho es muy pequeño, asi que recomiendo ir prontito y/o preparado para esperar.

GBK - Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Esta cadena de hamburgueserias acaba de añadir la opcion sin gluten. Es tan nuevo que la carta sin gluten no esta todavia en su website (April 2014) aunque estara pronto. Yo les he contactado por email y me la han mandado, aunque me dicen que ya hay carta y platos sin gluten en todos sus restaurantes, que son unos cuantos.
Aunque parece que tienen todas las hamburguesas que te puedan apetecer (ternera, pollo, cordero, vegetariana), en el menu sin gluten no aparecen las patatas fritas en ningun sitio.

Espero que sean utiles estas recomendaciones y ya me contareis ;)

**He quitado a Leon de la lista porque @celiberrima ha encontrado contaminacion cruzada
*** He añadido una pestaña al blog en español "Londres sin gluten" donde ire actualizando mas informacion:

Monday, 14 April 2014


I went to Wahaca, Southbank recently with the Meetup Gluten Free London Club.
It's always a nice outing with the group, and all the restaurants selected have gluten free options.

The Wahaca Southbank branch is quite cool, built with containers and overlooking the river, it was a fantastic location for a Spring evening.
They do have a dedicated Gluten Free menu, so that says to me they do take it seriously.

I ordered the British Steak plato fuerte as main and mango sorbet to finish.
The Steak dish comes in two large soft wraps with lots of salad, and two side sauces, guacamole on the left, and creamy black beans with corn tortillas on the right.
By far my favourite flavour was that of the creamy black beans.
I found that on the main wraps there was quite a lot of salad but didn't seem to have any dressing, which made it very dry.
The steak bits were quite nice, as the grilled cheese on top, but overall, if I went again I would choose the smaller dishes ordered by some of the others (street food tacos).
They got three small wraps per dish, and two or three dishes per person seemed to be a good portion.
As a special they had corn tortilla lasagna pictured here on the bottom left, interesting dish, which according to Ben was good.
The sorbet was very nice, and I'm glad I ordered it. Actually all the ice creams ordered by the group were enjoyed.
I ordered two drinks, a Citrus fizz and a Hibiscus mojito and both were a bit watered down and disappointing.

Overall it was a good evening, as the group is great, but the food was quite unremarkable, maybe because it was a busy Friday? It might be worth going again on a quiet day and compare....

Monday, 7 April 2014

Dairy Free Chocolate raisins - Fabulous Freefrom Factory

These raisins are really nice, advertised as dairy free (and no gluten containing ingredients).

I found them at Holland and Barrett, a 75 gr bag for £1.69

Unfortunately, as I was doing some more online search for this brand I've found this March 2014 notice from the Food Standards Agency, it seems that one of their batches contains milk:

So, one to be cautious about.

Cote restaurant

I recently read somewhere that at Cote restaurants they cater for gluten free eaters, but couldn't remember who it was that recommended it or if they had a separate gluten free menu.
So, as I was passing by Cote in Wimbledon village, and feeling in need of some dinner, I went in.
They had a set menu that included a steak with salad and fries that looked tempting.

Water comes along in an earthware bottle that keeps it fresh, it reminds me of Spanish botijos (earthware jugs) and that made me smile!

The steak came promptly and it looked quite delicious, I had asked beforehand about the fries and they reassured me that they are cooked separately from anything else, so I was very happy to tuck in.

The steak was fantastic, it never tastes like that when I cook it at home, how do they do it?
I'll definitely eat here again!

There are a few branches around London and in the rest of the UK:

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Helen's Chocolate Cupcake Mix

After trying and loving Helen's brilliant bread mix, I saw this pack at Sainsbury's and decided to try it.
It couldn't be easier!
Melt butter (or sunflower spread for me), mix with eggs, add the shifted mix, put in the oven...
After a few minutes, some gorgeous cupcakes will come out of your oven.
I never use frosting, but if you do, there are some instructions for that in the pack.

Very chocolatey, I would recommend it.