Back in April we went back to my home town of Penzance to celebrate my birthday and to see my friends before we had the baby (we knew we wouldn’t be back home for a long time once we’d had him).
I wanted to get everyone together in one place which meant that I needed to find a suitable venue to accommodate a large group, as well as one that could cater for my dietary requirements.
Situated in Wharfside Shopping Centre overlooking Penzance harbour, I’d been to the Renaissance Restaurant on numerous occasions both before being diagnosed and since then, so I knew that they could safely cater for a coeliac, making it the perfect choice.
Here’s some more information about the restaurant, taken from its website:
Kelly and Matthew Osborne took over Renaissance Café Bar in October 2012 which has been open since 2000 after the Pulford family built the Wharfside Shopping Centre here in Penzance. After spending many years away running a four star hotel in the North East of England we have come back to our roots and have been gradually refurbishing the restaurant creating a warm, modern and welcoming environment. We are a family run establishment and are passionate about good quality local fresh food and a relaxing service.
All of our ingredients are sourced locally to bring you the very best of our Cornish produce.
All of our dishes are prepared daily using the best of local produce. We offer a variety of gluten, wheat and dairy free dishes ensuring we cater for all dietary needs. Running alongside our daily menus we also offer a variety of freshly baked cakes, scones and pastries. Our specials boards are used to enhance our menu, with special offers and fresh daily dishes.
I had some discussions with them beforehand to check that they could still cater for coeliacs and could accommodate us, and although they would normally be closed on the day that I was looking for (it was still out of season at that point so they had reduced opening hours), they agreed that they would open for us! 🙂
One of the managers (Kelly) kindly sent me a copy of their menu, which she had updated to identify their gluten free options. I was astounded by quite how many options there were!
I could choose from sandwiches or burgers made using gluten free bread, pizzas using a gluten free flatbread dough and a large number of their other items that were either naturally gluten free or could be adapted to be gluten free. There really was a lot of choice!
On the day I decided to go for the gluten free fish and chips, which I’d had there previously and absolutely loved. In addition, after being told that any of the sides could be adapted to be gluten free, I really couldn’t choose between the garlic bread with cheese and the onion rings, so naturally I went for both (obviously to share…..)!
The fish and chips were served on imitation newspaper to give the impression of authentic fish and chips from a chippy, and they tasted just as good! The batter was lovely and the fresh salad was a nice accompaniment and made it feel that little bit healthier! 🙂
As for the side dishes, one was much tastier than the other…
The onion rings were unfortunately extremely greasy, which meant that you were covered in oil after picking them up. This was a real shame as I absolutely love onion rings normally. With a bit less oil I think that these would have been amazing.
The cheesy garlic bread on the other hand was delicious. It had a lovely thin base and as you can see from the photo above it was very cheesy! In future this would definitely be my preferred side dish.
I’d like to thank Kelly and the team at Renaissance for opening especially for us and I hope to visit again when I’m next home.