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

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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….. Continue reading

Really Truly Gluten Free – Product Review

DSC02523Last month I reviewed a new website which offers luxury gluten free gifts – Really Truly Gluten Free (the review can be found here).

I’m delighted to now be able to write a review about one of the products for sale on their website, which I referred to in my previous post – the Chocolate Lover’s Treat hamper, which was very kindly sent to me for review.

The hamper includes the following products:

  • Booja Booja, Hazelnut Crunch Truffles 104g
  • Montezumas, Minted – Milk Chocolate with Crunchy Peppermint 100g
  • Peace of Cake, Choc & Nut Biscotti 125g
  • Montezumas, Creamy White Chocolate 100g
  • Island Bakery Organics Against the Grain, Chocolate & Orange Cookies 150g
  • Montezumas, Chocolate Coated Mixed Nuts 130g
  • Clipper, Fairtrade Hot Chocolate 250g Continue reading

Freedom Deli

Before I start this review I must apologise for my lack of blogging of late. Having recently started a new job which involves a lot of travel, I haven’t had much time for blogging, but hopefully once I’m into the swing of things my blogging can go with me when I spend evenings away!

imagesCALA604MI first came across gluten free brand Freedom Deli at The Allergy & Free From Show in London back in June, when I bought one of their paninis at the end of the show. Although I’d been snacking on lots of freebies I hadn’t actually eaten properly and was starting to feel a bit unwell, particularly given the temperature in the building as well.

I purchased one of Freedom Deli’s ham and cheese paninis which they cooked from chilled and it tasted absolutely amazing – just like a ‘normal’ panini. I used to really enjoy paninis, much more than sandwiches, so this is definitely something that I’ve missed having since my diagnosis. Continue reading

Thornleys Tuna & Pasta Bake and Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe Mixes

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This post is a continuation of my first product review of the Thornleys gluten free range of mixes, which can be found here.

This review focuses on the Tuna & Pasta Bake and Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe Mixes.

As with most of the Thornleys mixes, the additional ingredients required for both of these recipes are standard ingredients which you may already have, or are easily obtainable. Yet another reason why these mixes are so great! Continue reading

Braw Fruit & Gluten Free Oat Bars

braw logoA few months ago I was sent a selection of goodies from Braw Food and I firstly must apologise as to how long it’s taken me to post this review! 😦

There are four flavours of fruit and gluten free oat bars and I was lucky enough to be sent a sample of each of them. The four flavours are: strawberry, blackcurrant, cocoa & orange and apple & pear. All lovely sounding flavour combinations I’m sure you’ll agree?!

Before we get onto my review, here’s a little bit of background information about Braw Food, taken from their website:

Braw is a health conscious food company based in Scotland. We create positive tasty foods that help people to snack guilt free anytime, anywhere.

Braw means ‘Healthy’, ‘Good looking’ and ‘Excellent’ in Scots. For us it captures a wholesome, hearty and vigorous attitude to life that you get when you exercise and eat healthily.

It’s getting harder to eat healthy whether you’re on the move or in need of an energy boost in between meals. When you eat better, you look good and feel excellent. That’s why we’ve created a healthy snack option that you can trust.

That’s because Braw bars are made with 100% natural ingredients and are bursting with fruit and wholegrain oats. Enjoy Braw bars as part of a healthy diet, providing 1 of your 5 a day and great slow release energy boosting you throughout the day. Continue reading

Thornleys Chilli Con Carne Recipe Mix

logoI was delighted to be offered the chance to review products from the new gluten free brand Thornleys. I hadn’t heard of them before I was contacted, but I’ve since discovered that there are three generations of coeliacs within the Thornleys family which always encourages me that the products will be great, because, as mentioned on their website, they ‘know and understand the difficulties and demands of satisfying a hunger for delicious, natural tasting food suitable for a coeliac to consume’.

Here’s a little bit more about Thornleys, taken from their website:

As a family, we have always eaten fresh and natural foods, a core principle of Thornleys and our range of sauces stay true to these values. It is our mission to provide the highest quality products which are 100% natural and delicious for all to eat; including those who must follow a gluten and wheat free diet and for those who prefer not to have chemicals, additives or preservatives in their food. We do this with passion! 

We presently have a range of five sauces, blended as if you had prepared them yourself using only the finest natural ingredients. Each product in our sauce range has been approved by the Coeliac Association and is made using only natural ingredients that are free from additives, preservatives, colours, MSG, gluten and wheat. Continue reading

Really Truly Gluten Free – Luxury Gluten Free Gifts

logoIf you’ve ever had difficulty finding a special gift for a coeliac, then a new website launched today will be your new best friend!

Really Truly Gluten Free offers a hand-picked selection of some of the finest gluten free food available, bringing together a delicious selection of premium and award-winning gluten free foods. Each gift is individually hand-packed with your gift message for that personal touch and beautifully packaged to provide the perfect gift. Continue reading

Phil Vickery Seriously Good! Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix

Phil Vickery logoWhen I was first diagnosed with coeliac disease I regularly came across gluten free recipe books from TV chef Phil Vickery and quickly ascertained that he is also an ambassador for Coeliac UK, so he really does know his stuff!

After speaking to Phil on Twitter he offered to send me some of his gluten free mixes and I was delighted to receive 2 mixes in the post. One was the Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix and the other was the Vanilla & Raspberry Cupcake Mix, but I haven’t got around to trying the second mix yet, so I will post an additional review of that once I’ve tried it out.

The mixes are manufactured by Squires Kitchen and here’s a little bit more about their partnership taken from Squires Kitchen’s website:

Squires Kitchen has teamed up with Phil Vickery, one of Britain’s favourite chefs, to help you create delicious gluten-free cookies and cupcakes time after time. A leading name in gluten-free cooking and baking, Phil Vickery has made it easier to bake for special diets with these fantastic gluten- and dairy-free cookie and cupcake mixes.

An active ambassador for Coeliac UK and the author of several gluten-free cookery books, Phil has used his wealth of experience to carefully formulate this delicious gluten- and dairy-free chocolate chunk cookie recipe. Just follow the simple recipe on the box to create cookies that are just as chewy and irresistible as traditional recipes. Continue reading

The Assay House Restaurant, Penzance

cropped-The-Assay-House-LogoAs many of you will probably know I’m originally from Penzance in Cornwall and when I was first diagnosed with coeliac disease my Mum mentioned to me that a restaurant in Chapel Street was advertising that they offered gluten free options on their menu. This combined with a recommendation from @gfandfabulous on Twitter meant that I just had to try it out!

DSC02377According to their website, Assay House offers freshly sourced local produce for lunchtime and evening dining and their menu includes local Newlyn fish, a wide selection of gluten free and vegetarian dishes with a well chosen wine list caters to all tastes. It certainly sounded great, and I was delighted to finally get around to visiting it a few weeks ago. Continue reading