Not A Trace Awards 2013

MeAs we approach the festive season, and I approach my first coeliac anniversary next month, I thought that now would be a good time to look back over the past year and highlight my favourite products, restaurants etc that I’ve come across. What better way to do this than in the form of the inaugural Not A Trace awards!

I’ve reviewed at lot of amazing things since starting my blog in April and having passed 9000 views during that time, I’m very grateful to all of my readers! It’s certainly been a very rewarding and somewhat therapeutic experience for myself and I hope it’s been of some benefit to all of you too!

I must also say that I have made some wonderful friends in the gluten free community as a result of social media, and I’m very grateful to all of you for your friendship and advice during my first year as a coeliac. Thank you!

So, let’s kick off the awards…..

Best Bread (bagels)

udis logoMy winner of Best Bread (bagels) has to be Udi’s Gluten Free for their utterly delicious Savoury Bagels. I absolutely adore these bagels toasted and then topped with Philadelphia and ham – scrumptious!

I haven’t even had a chance to write a blog review for this product yet, so keep an eye out for it in the new year! In the meantime, you can read my review of their plain bagels here.

To find out more about Udi’s you can visit their website (http://udisglutenfree.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@Udis_UK).

Best Bread (baguettes and wraps)

newburn logoA brand that I’ve reviewed quite a lot on Not A Trace is Newburn Bakehouse, Warburton’s gluten free range. Newburn’s white / seeded baguettes and wraps are second to none and that makes them the winner of this award.

They are both extremely versatile products and I am a particular fan of using the wraps as pizza bases! You can read my full reviews of these products here.

To find out more about Newburn Bakehouse you can visit their website (www.newburnbakehouse.com) and follow them on Twitter (@WarbsNewburnBH).

Best Bread (loaf)

logoOne of my staple products since my diagnosis has to be the winner of this award – Genius Gluten Free. Despite having tried numerous brands of bread, I keep coming back to the Genius Triple Seeded Sandwich Bread.

Because it has been a regular in my diet, I haven’t actually reviewed it….. However, I can confirm that although I’ve noticed people mention that they regularly have issues with these loaves, out of all of the many that I’ve bought, only a few have had problems (such as falling apart), but this certainly hasn’t put me off buying this product.

To find out more about Genius Gluten Free you can visit their website (www.geniusglutenfree.com) and follow them on Twitter (@GeniusFoods).

Best Crisps

jackpots-mini-logodarling spuds logo-2This award has been a difficult choice for me, so much so that there almost wasn’t one as it was so hard to choose!

As a result this has to be a joint award between JackPots and Darling Spuds as I really can’t choose between them! JackPots are really strong in flavour and very crunchy, yet Darling Spuds have a greater array of unusual flavours that really work. My JackPots review can be found here and my Darling Spuds review is here.

Best Dinner for One

brandingEarlier this year I was lucky enough to receive some samples from a brand called Ilumi and I am so glad that I did as I’ve ordered tons of products from then since then!

There was never any doubt that they would be the winners of this award with their single meal masterpieces. They’re proved really essential to me when I need a meal in a hurry and over the next few weeks when I have a new kitchen installed, they really will be crucial!

I have so many favourites in their range so I am unable to pick out a particular meal, but you can read my review of their products here.

To find out more about Ilumi you can visit their website (www.ilumiworld.com) and follow them on Twitter (@ilumiworld).

Best Doughnuts

tbb logoEarlier this year I tried some doughnuts with had been handmade at The Boutique Bakehouse in Clifton. They were the most amazing doughnuts, but the shop also sold a variety of other gluten free goodies.

I am very disappointed that unfortunately The Boutique Bakehouse has since had to close as I for one will definitely miss their doughnuts. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Jordaine best wishes for the future.

Best Gluten Free Gift

DSC02523If you’ve read my blog recently you will see that I was lucky to be sent an amazing gluten free hamper from Really Truly Gluten Free.

As I said in my review (which you can read here) the Chocolate Lover’s Treat hamper was outstanding and the products within it were divine. If you’re looking for a gift for a coeliac this Christmas, I’d definitely recommend Really Truly Gluten Free!

To find out more about Really Truly Gluten Free you can visit their website (www.reallytrulyglutenfree.com) and follow them on Twitter (@ReallyTrulyGF)

Best Handbag Essential

logoSince starting my new job I’ve had to think carefully about which products I can take with me if I’m in need of a quick snack. As a result, I now can’t be without some 9bar snack bars.

You will always find some of these brilliant energy bars in my handbag as they are great for refuelling when you’re out and about. You can read my full review by clicking here.

To find out more about 9bar you can visit their website (www.9bar.com) and follow them on Twitter (@9Bar_Official).

Best Handmade Cakes

IMAG1544-2If you are ever in need of a handmade gluten free cake, you really should get in touch with Patsy at Paradise Cakes!

I was fortunate try a selection of her cakes and traybakes and they really are truly scrumptious and you would never know that they were gluten free. You can read my full review here.

To find out more about Paradise Cakes you can their website (www.paradisecakesbristol.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@paradise__cakes).

Best Mixes

logoI’ve tried quite a variety of gluten free mixes since being diagnosed, but the best by far has to be those made by Thornleys. They make amazing dry powder sauces that are sealed in foil packets and need limited work to produce the final product.

Thornleys have even managed to make me a fan of Chilli Con Carne which I never thought would happen! You can read one of my product reviews here.

To find out more about Thornleys you can visit their website (http://thornleysglutenfree.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@ThornleysGF).

Best Own Brand Supermarket

m and s-2The amount of own brand products that I have found in Marks & Spencer of late has been exceptional, particularly in their party season range.

I’m also a big fan of their chicken breast fillets and cod fillets, as you will see from my review here, and I regularly stock up on these as they taste great and you’d never know they were gluten free – my boyfriend loves them too!

To find more about Marks & Spencer and their gluten free party season range you can visit their website (www.marksandspencer.com) and follow them on Twitter (@marksandspencer).

Best Pasta

imagesThe best pasta that I’ve had this year has unfortunately been one that I can’t readily get hold of! It’s the fresh pasta from Dell’ Ugo which I purchased at The Allergy & Free From Show earlier this year.

Their penne and tagliatelle ranges taste far superior to dried pasta and when I next come across them in a store, I will definitely be stocking up on them. You can read my full review here.

To find out more about Dell’ Ugo you can visit their website (www.ugogroup.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@Dell_Ugo).

Best Pasties

baked to tasteNow I had to have an award for best pasties as this is something that regular readers will know is particularly important to me, being a Cornish girl!

Unfortunately though, Cornish producers have lost out on this one, as there really is only one amazing producer and that is Baked To Taste, from Devon…..

Their Devon Steak Pasty really is great and as I will soon be getting a bigger freezer, this will be one item that I will definitely be stocking up on! If you’d like to read my full review you can do so here.

To find out more about Baked to Taste you can visit their website (www.bakedtotaste.co.uk).

Best Restaurant

hi-res-first-day-230I’ve eaten out quite a bit since my diagnosis, although I’m still nervous every time I eat out, but one place I know I can rely on great service and stunning food is Meluha, an outstanding Indian restaurant in Bristol.

I recently went back for a second time and haven’t got around to writing the review yet, but if you’d like to read my original review you can view it here.

To find out more about Meluha you can visit their website (www.meluha.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@MeluhaBristol).

Best Savoury Pies

baked to taste

Baked To Taste are winners again, this time for their savoury pies and my particular favourite, their Caramelised Red Onion and Goat’s Cheese Tart.

I was lucky to receive this product as part of a selection of goodies from Deli Divine and the review can be found here.

To find out more about Baked to Taste you can visit their website (www.bakedtotaste.co.uk).

Best Stocked Supermarket

header-logoThis award is where I have to give credit to Sainsburys. I know that Tesco often seem to have the monopoly on new brands, but I am very pleased with the amount of gluten free products available in my local Sainsburys, including the amount of their own brand products. Thank you for making my life that little bit easier Sainsburys!

To find out more about Sainsburys and the gluten free products they stock you can visit their website (www.sainsburys.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@sainsburys).

Best Sweet Pies

logoAnother brand that I’ve yet to write my review for is Christine’s Puddings, a brand that I came across at a recent coeliac food fair.

I bought a selection of products from them including a Treacle Tart and Mini Raspberry Frangipane Tarts. They were both utterly gorgeous and the pastry was perfect – I will definitely be buying these again!

To find out more about Christine’s Puddings you can visit their website (http://christinespuddings.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@christinesPuds).

Best Sweet Treat

There has to be joint winners of this award, as I couldn’t pick one above the others and they all offer different types of sweet treat!

logoThe first winner has to be PERK!ER Popping Tiffin! This is the most amazing product that I’ve found this year and I’ve always got a stash hidden in the cupboard, well away from any snafflers! 😉 You can read my review here.

To find out more about PERK!ER you can visit their website (www.perkier.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@Perkierfoods).

logo-2The second winner is Portoui and their divine cookies. They are certainly perfect for the chocoholic and their flavours are truly scrumptious! You can read my review here.

To find out more about Pourtoi you can visit their website (www.pourtoi.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@pourtoicookies).

honeybunslogoThe third winner is Honeybuns, for their amazing variety of cakes. All of their range is gorgeous and I’ve even got some on my Christmas list! You can read my review here.

To find out more about Honeybun you can visit their website (www.honeybuns.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@HoneybunsBakery).

logoThe final winner is Fair & Square Chocolate Brownies who were the subject of my first review back in April! They’re flavour combinations are just perfect and you would never know that they were all gluten free! You can read my review here.

To find out more about Fair & Square Chocolate Brownies you can visit their website (www.fairtradebrownies.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@FairBrownies).

Best Takeaway Meal

papas logo-I recently stayed away in Worksop and asked my Twitter followers if there was anywhere they could recommend for a gluten free evening meal. It was suggested that I tried Papa’s Fish & Chips Restaurant and Takeaway, so I did!

It was the best fish and chips I’ve had and it was made even better by having gluten free onion rings! Wow! You can read my full review here.

To find out more about Papa’s you can visit their website (www.papasfishandchips.com) and follow them on Twitter (@PapasFishNChips).

Best Travel Essential

logo

It’s the folks at PERK!ER again, this time with their Apple, Cinnamon and Raisin Porridge Pot, which has proved to be an absolute lifesaver for me!

Not only did these travel to Sweden with me, but I always take them away with me when I’m staying away overnight, just in case I can’t be catered for at breakfast or even at lunch. These are definitely my number one travel essential! You can read my full review about PERK!ER’s Porridge Pots here.

To find out more about PERK!ER you can visit their website (www.perkier.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@Perkierfoods).

Special Mention

Flag_of_Sweden_svgI ventured abroad for the first time since my diagnosis back in August when my boyfriend and I travelled to Sweden for our friends’ wedding and a mini holiday.

I was very apprehensive about travelling abroad as I didn’t know whether I could be catered for, but it was truly brilliant and one of the best places for living a gluten free lifestyle. From the wedding catering to gluten free McDonalds, it was great from start to finish and well worth a visit. You can read my full review of my experiences here.

So there we have it, that’s my round up of my first (almost) year as a coeliac. Congratulations to all of the winners (sorry that there’s no physical award!). There are so many other awards that I could give, but these were the main areas that I felt deserved recognition!

I’d love to hear from you if you agree or disagree with any of my selections – please leave a comment below!

In the meantime, I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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