Not A Trace Awards 2016

Regular readers will know that each year I have my own little awards ‘ceremony’ where I acknowledge the best products / companies in various categories.

The awards for 2016 are obviously a little late(!) and as my blog posts were few and far between last year, due to a certain little person taking all my attention, the 2016 awards are more a summary of my blog reviews from last year.

Despite my inability to blog of late, it’s great to have had over 58,000 blog views since Not A Trace began. I am also very proud to see the constant stream of views every day even if I haven’t blogged for a while. Thank you to you all!

So, on to the awards / 2016 round-up…. Continue reading

Salt & Malt, Chew Valley Lake

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I first ventured out to Chew Valley Lake last year and experienced the fish and chips at Salt & Malt, an amazing restaurant overlooking the lake. I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t have time for photos, so promised myself that the next time I went I would write a review….

Before I get on to that, if you haven’t heard of Salt & Malt where have you been? Not only do they have a restaurant, but they also have a takeaway so you can have the same great food whilst enjoying a walk around the stunning lake.

However, the best thing about Salt & Malt is that a large number of their items are gluten free as standard! 🙂 Continue reading

Renaissance Cafe Bar Restaurant, Penzance

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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. Continue reading

Vinegar Jones Fish & Chips, Bowness-on-Windermere

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My first blog post back has to be about one of the best examples of gluten free food that we’ve had over recent months.

A few months ago we visited the Lake District for our final break before the baby arrived. We’d visited Windermere a few years ago but that was in my pre-coeliac days, so I did some research into hotels and eateries before we booked our trip, just to make sure I would be ok.

We arrived quite late in the day on our first night due to a very long drive up from Bristol. As a result, I liked the idea of going for a walk rather than sitting down to a meal, so we decided to get fish and chips. Continue reading

O’Joy Bistro, Shrewsbury

logoAs Rich is from Shropshire we regularly visit the other half of the family in Newport (not the Welsh one!), but we haven’t been able to visit Shrewsbury for probably well over a year, purely due to time constraints when visiting the family.

Last week on Twitter I came across O’Joy Wellness on Twitter (formally known as Optimum Joy for the locals reading this) that has recently had a relaunch. As well as offering complementary and alternative therapies in the space upstairs, downstairs (and just off the very popular Wyle Cop) is the O’Joy Bistro offering an entire vegan menu.

Although I’m not a vegan, I often find that where there are vegan options on a menu there are usually gluten free ones, too so I thought I’d tweet them to ask the question. To my delight co-owner Nick Knowles confirmed that there are gluten free options! I then spoke to fellow owner Becky who was able to provide me with the current menu (see below). Continue reading

Venue 35, Westbury-on-Trym

I need to make a massive apology to Josh and the team at Venue 35, Westbury-on-Trym, for the massive delay in posting this blog review from the Bristol Coeliac Group’s Christmas meal at the venue. Due to personal reasons things have been a little busy of late and blogging has had to take a back seat, but I think this review was worth the wait…

Towards the end of last year we floated around some venue suggestions for the group’s Christmas meal. Having been to The Townhouse the previous year, we wanted to try somewhere different and I’d heard good things about Venue 35 and in particular how much of their menu is gluten free, but I wasn’t sure if its location would be suitable for those in the group that travel quite a way to come to our monthly meals.

It turns out that there was nothing to worry about as those that could attend overwhelmingly agreed that we should give it a go. I got in touch with the venue and had regularly chats with the manager Josh to make sure everything was well prepared for the meal.

Before I come to my review, here’s a little bit more information about Venue 35, taken from their website:

Come to us for the best in the area. Venue35 Café Bar is a fully licensed premises in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. Come by today and choose from our amazing menu. In our cafe, we offer breakfast, lunch and early dinner seven days a week.  Continue reading

Not A Trace Awards 2014

Slightly later than last year, here are my Not A Trace Awards 2014. These awards provide me with an opportunity to look back over the last year and remind you of my highlights.

Unfortunately my blogging has taken a bit of a back seat over the past year due to work commitments and this year my time will also be restricted due to house moving and wedding planning, but I hope to blog whenever I can to bring you all the best brands, restaurants etc.

This time last year my blog had passed 9,000 views, and I’m extremely delighted to say that my views have now passed 28,000 which is a massive jump, so thank you all so much for continuing to read my blog! 🙂

So, let’s kick off the awards….. 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

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!!

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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!

My Gluten Free Cornish Birthday Celebrations!

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As part of my birthday celebrations last month, Rich and I went back to Cornwall to visit my family, and on my actual birthday we spent some time visiting St Michael’s Mount and Marazion.

First up was our trip to St Michael’s Mount.

To most local folk who have been away, you know you’re home when you see St Michael’s Mount on the horizon. It’s certainly been a tearjerker for me when I haven’t been home for a while!

Rich had never visited the Mount himself so I was keen for him to visit and take in the beautiful scenery. For those not familiar with St Michael’s Mount, there are two ways main ways to get there (unless you fancy swimming!) and those are by boat or by foot across the causeway. Obviously there are only certain times when the causeway is accessible due to the tide so I made sure we visited during these times, as I’m not a massive fan of boats myself…. Continue reading