Bristol Coeliac Group – Meet No. 2

You may recall that I’ve been trying to persuade Coeliac UK to re-establish the Bristol Local Group, but when I was advised that they wouldn’t be considering it for the time being I went ahead and set up a Facebook group of coeliacs and gluten free-ers in Bristol. The main purpose of the group is to be social and arrange monthly meet ups, but also with the intention of being able to show Coeliac UK that we mean business (details of our first meet up can be found here).

Well, it worked!

On Tuesday I contacted Coeliac UK again and advised them that we now have our own Bristol Facebook group with over 100 members and a lot of interest in re-establishing the group.

On Thursday I received the following response: Continue reading

Lavida Food

logoA few months ago I was approached by a company called Lavida Food and was asked if I’d like to review some of the gluten free products they distribute.

If like me, you haven’t heard of Lavida Food before, here’s a bit more information about them, taken from their website:

Lavida Food is headed by husband and wife team, Mairead & Marek and like many great innovations was borne of their necessity to find and cook gluten free products they could both enjoy. Mairead is a coeliac and Marek an avid cook who despaired at trying to find and cook gluten free products they could both enjoy and which did not compromise their taste buds. After lots of research and hard work, Lavida Food was born!

Lavida’s moto “Taste Well Travelled” summarises the length and efforts they are prepared to travel the world to bring you healthy wholesome products that are not a compromise on your taste buds. Lavida Food believe that when it comes to food, despite allergies your senses should be able to have it all. Continue reading

D Fecci & Sons Fish & Chips, Tenby

DSC05602-2Earlier this week I travelled to Pembrokeshire for work and I asked my Facebook and Twitter followers for suggestions of good gluten free places in the area. I normally eat in my hotel when I’m in Pembroke, but after some disappointing meals I thought I’d see what else was on offer.

A couple of places were recommended by my followers and I did some of my own research too, with one place coming up in a number of different searches, D Fecci & Sons, a fish and chip shop in Tenby.

Ideally I didn’t want to have to travel too far to get my tea, so I decided to stop off in Tenby on my way to Pembroke, just so that I didn’t have to go back out again!

I’ve heard a lot about Tenby, but I’d never visited before. It is a very pretty little town with the most stunning coastline and views and a quaint little high street, which is where I headed to try to find the fish and chip shop.

The shop wasn’t particularly difficult to find as Tenby isn’t one of the largest towns, but it certainly seems to have a lot of fish and chip shops! Continue reading

Feel Free for Gluten Free Pasta Range

feelfree-logoHere’s the first of a number of belated reviews. Sorry for the delay, just one of the joys of having a busy full-time job! :(

This review is about Feel Free for Gluten Free and their range of 100% corn pastas. I’m a big fan of all things pasta, so to have another brand to review was ace!

If you don’t know much about Feel Free for Gluten Free, here’s some more information about them taken from their website:

Our Managing Director Sally Allister started the company in 2004 following her own experiences of living a gluten free lifestyle. A diagnosed coeliac, Sally understands the demand for high quality, great tasting products made without wheat and gluten.

Sally says, “We launched our Feel Free brand to give gluten free consumers just like me the choice and variety of foods that they’re entitled to – and with the quality to match. We’re proud of our products and feel that they are good enough to be served up on the plates of the whole family and not just to those who avoid wheat and gluten in their diets.” Continue reading

Cau Restaurant, Bristol

logoA couple of weeks ago Rich and I met up with two of our closest friends at CAU Bristol.

The restaurant hasn’t been open for very long, but after checking their gluten free options with them through Twitter, their options seemed great so rather than going to restaurants on the waterfront as we normally do, I thought this restaurant located on Queens Road would be a good choice.

If you’ve not come across CAU before, here’s a little bit more about them, taken from their website:

Many years ago, we fell in love with the vibrancy of Buenos Aires, a city where cosmopolitan sophistication collides with an irresistibly chaotic energy. It’s a beguiling, emotional and all embracing place to be.

When we started CAU, our vision was to capture that spirit in a restaurant that would fit right into the heart of Palermo, Buenos Aires. If we could replicate that vitality, passion and sense of fun, we knew CAU would be a place people would want to spend time.

Our menu embraces Buenos Aires cuisine, a melting pot of comfort food inspired by Italy and Spain alongside the jewel in Argentina’s crown, its beef. Mouthwatering steaks, burgers and steak sandwiches are joined by a tempting selection of more-ish favourites, each with a distinctive Buenos Aires twist. Continue reading

Bristol Coeliac Group

When I was first diagnosed in January 2013, I was advised by Coeliac UK that the Bristol Coeliac UK Group no longer existed and was advised that they ‘have tried on several occasions to set up a Local Group but lack of engagement by Members in the area made this unsustainable’.

I tried broaching the subject with them again a few months ago and received the following response:

We have had Local Voluntary Support Groups in North Bristol and South Bristol but sadly these were both closed due to lack of support from Members. We then had interest shown a couple of years ago from Members in the area and set up a Bristol Local Voluntary Support Group but again, due to the Committee Members standing down and getting no support from Members in the area to form a new Committee, the Local Group was subsequently closed.

Therefore, and I am sorry, but we would not consider reopening another Local Group in Bristol at this particular time. However, as we say to all our Members who enquire about Local Groups, should we have significant requests relating to a Local Group in Bristol we will give serious thought to writing to Members to ascertain the level of support in the area and consider reopening a Local Group in the future.

As you probably know by now, I don’t let things lie, so I replied saying that as far as I’m concerned it’s ridiculous that somewhere as big as Bristol doesn’t have its own group, which yielded the following response: Continue reading

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!


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