Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire

logoLast Sunday, Rich and I decided to venture to Dyrham Park which is a national trust site only 20 minutes away from us and somewhere I regularly drive past on my auditing travels.

We’ve visited twice before, once with my parents, and the main appeal for me is always the free roaming deer. The first time we went we saw a few, and when we went with my parents we didn’t see any which was a real shame. On this occasion we saw loads!!

Dyrham Park

As well as walking around the park following a number of different routes, there are also some beautiful gardens, the 17th century mansion, a shop and a tea room.

DSC04788On our first visit I was very excited to see that they were advertising gluten free scones in the tea room, however after waiting in the queue for what seemed like ages, I was told they didn’t have any.

To say I was annoyed was an understatement and I decided we wouldn’t be having anything (one of those act first think later situations…).

On this occasion, after sending Rich to queue whilst I grabbed one of the last remaining tables, I was delighted that the outcome this time was more positive. :)

It wasn’t long before I was greeted with a hot DSC04759
chocolate, gluten free scone, Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream (only the best!) and a jar of jam. Heaven!

It was a shame that my scone was considerably smaller than Rich’s ‘normal’ one, but it tasted great and the texture of the scone was wonderful.

Of course my cream tea was compiled in the proper Cornish manner(!) and it was perfect for a Sunday afternoon treat!

It’s been a wait to get to try a Dyrham Park scone, but it was well worth it!

DSC04762-2I don’t visit any other National Trust sites so I’m not sure if they all offer gluten free options, but I’m pleased that Dyrham Park very clearly label their items with allergen information and also have some Mrs Crimbles goodies!

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If you’d like to find out more about Dyrham Park, you can visit their website and follow them on Twitter.

Have you visited any National Trust sites lately? Did they have any gluten free products? What did you think? Please leave your comments below!

Chirpy Cottage, Somerset

logoAnother local brand I came across on the Somerset Local Food Direct website, is a brand with an amazing logo, Chirpy Cottage! :)

Chirpy Cottage are producers of gluten and wheat free products and if you’d like to know more about them, here’s a little bit more information taken from their website:

We supply gluten free/wheat free products, with a choice of sweet and savoury morsels.

All our products are hand-made at our kitchen in the heart of Somerset. We prepare our products using only the finest ingredients and organic wherever possible. We also strive to use only local ingredients in order to reduce the air miles used in bringing our products to you.

Even if you do not have a dietary preference, you are sure to find our products enjoyable. Continue reading

Mill Farm Catering, Somerset

cropped-Logo400x100A couple of weeks ago I met up with the lovely Jasmine from Mill Farm Catering and she kindly gave me some samples from her gluten free range.

I came across Mill Farm Catering on the Somerset Local Food Direct website after one of my favourite brands, Wheat Free Kitchen, advised me that some of their products are now stocked on the website.

When I first asked Jasmine if she minded me writing a review of her products she was concerned that Mill Farm Catering was not the type of brand I’d want to review as their products are sold in farm shops, village stores and delis and not supermarkets, but these types of locally produced products, without the fancy packaging, are the exact brands that I want to promote on the blog, otherwise how will anyone ever find out about them? And as for not being available in supermarkets, they certainly should be! Continue reading

Christine’s Puddings

untitledIf you’re a regular reader of my blog you will know that I recently bought some more products from the amazing Christine of Christine’s Puddings when I saw her at the Coeliac UK Birmingham Group Food Fair.

I’d been meaning to write a review of her products after first trying them at the Bath Food Fair last year, but never got round to it, so I was determined to write one this time!

If you’ve not heard of Christine’s Puddings before, here’s a little bit more about the brand:

Christine’s Puddings was established in 2007 by Christine Willis. Being a Coeliac for nearly 40 years, I knew how hard it was to find good gluten-free proper puddings, so I decided to market the Christmas Pudding that I had been making for my family.

My range now includes several delicious gluten, wheat and dairy free products including great tasting pastry.

“My goal is to make interesting and tasty products that everyone can enjoy… and, by the way – everything is gluten-free!” Continue reading

Coeliac UK Birmingham Group – Gluten Free Food Fair

gluten-free-food-fairAfter missing out on this year’s Allergy Show, myself and @carriesquair decided to go to the Coeliac UK Birmingham Group Food Fair which was held yesterday in Sutton Coldfield.

One of the main reasons for going was that there was going to be gluten free fish and chips, but we also thought it would be great to see some of our Twitter friends and some amazing gluten free brands!

We arrived at the venue not long after the doors had opened and there was a massive queue outside! This was obviously going to be one very busy food fair! Continue reading

Updated: BMI Regional In-Flight Snacks – now includes response from BMI Regional

Back in May I flew to Aberdeen for work and wasn’t aware until on the flight that BMI Regional offer complimentary snacks and drinks. As I hadn’t advised beforehand that I was a coeliac I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to have anything, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

To my surprise the cabin crew said they’d check to see if they had a spare gluten free box. A gluten free box?! Ooh how exciting!

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DSC04386I was delighted when a few minutes later, once everyone else had been served, I was given a BMI Regional branded ‘New Well-Being Box, The Good Life’. The front of the box stated ‘say hello to our selection of tasty nut, gluten and milk free bites, chosen from the best of British – enjoy’. Wow – multiple allergies covered in one box, how impressive!

Until you open it…. Continue reading

Newburn Bakehouse – Dairy Free Seeded Wraps

newburn logoNewburn Bakehouse contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if I’d be interested in trying an exciting new product and of course I jumped at the chance!

DSC04334I had no idea what the product was until it arrived in the post and it turned out to be a new and improved version of their seeded wraps. As well as now coming in packs of 4 rather than 3, they are now also dairy free. :)

I first reviewed this product last year (you can read the review here) and I regularly use the wraps as pizza bases, but would I notice a substantial difference between the old version and the new dairy free version?

In short, no! Continue reading

Gluten Free Baking & Living – Free to Try ‘At Home’ Course

logoHaving spent the past few days painting our living room, I felt like the urge to do something a bit more relaxing last night.

Having started to accumulate a few gluten free recipes, I decided to have a go at Gluten Free Baking & Living’s Cheese Scones recipe, which is free to download from their website.

If you don’t know much about Gluten Free Baking & Living, here’s their story:

Deborah and I have always shared a great joy in growing and cooking great things for each other to eat. Food and eating is so much more than just fuel, it can bring joy, delight, comfort, warmth, health. The wrong food, we are now realising to our cost, brings serious ill health. Above all, food and sharing it is about fun, love and caring for each other, your family and friends. Continue reading

Sweet Mandarin, Manchester

logoA lot has been mentioned on social media about the Sweet Mandarin restaurant in Manchester and when I had some spare time whilst in Manchester for work last month, I couldn’t resist organising a meal out with my some of my colleagues.

I already knew a little bit about Sweet Mandarin and their products as I’m a big fan of their sweet and sour sauce!

If you don’t know much about Sweet Mandarin’s recent history, here’s some information for you taken from their website:

It was a family trip to Hong Kong that made us talk about going into business together, and even though we had taken separate paths professionally – I’m a lawyer, Lisa a financier and Janet an engineer;  it was always with a notion that we’d use that chance to learn skills we could use for our restaurant and sauce business.

We were sitting around the kitchen table in my parents’ house with Lisa cracking jokes about the old times in the takeaway, when it struck us that, well, we were ready.  There was nothing stopping us from getting our dreams underway. Continue reading

Pitcher & Piano, Bristol

logoWhen I left my old job last year, I decided to have my leaving drinks at Pitcher & Piano, which is located along Bristol’s waterfront.

Unfortunately this outing was subsequently the result of a negative review on this blog, due to their poor understanding of gluten free in relation to their own menu.

As a result, I hadn’t been back to Pitcher & Piano for food since then, however when Rich left his job a couple of weeks ago, he too had his leaving drinks there.

The restaurant is located in a great location in Bristol and it’s often a very popular and busy area, especially on Friday and Saturday nights so it always seems a good starting point for an evening out.

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Having had a look at their menu online, things seemed to have improved a lot in terms of their gluten free offerings, including the option of a gluten free baguette which is not something that you normally see in restaurants, so I thought it was only fair to give them a second chance. Continue reading