Thursday, July 26, 2012

eating gluten free in London

I think the thing I worried most about before our trip to London was food. I keep a strict gluten free diet because I have celiac disease. It's not a big deal when I am at home, I know what I can and cannot eat and I know where I can go out to eat and get a safe meal. Would I be able to eat out in a foreign country for more than a week? I wasn't sure.

First off, I have to give a shout out to American Airlines! Our travel agent notified them that I would need gluten free meals on the plane and they came through! My dinners to and from London were delicious and breakfast was fine. Nothing fancy but gluten free and nutritious! Yay!

On our way to London we had an 8 hour layover in Boston. When I heard that, I knew exactly what we would do with our time! We took a cab into the city and spent about an hour walking around Boston Commons. Mom and Dad had taken my sister and I there to ride the swan boats when we were little girls. What fond memories! We didn't ride the boats this time, but it was fun to sit in the shade and watch.
And yes, this is my shameless way to include a photo in an otherwise photo-less post! Can you believe I didn't take a single food photo? I was too busy enjoying it. While we were in Boston we went back to Legal Seafood for lunch. We had taken Steve there last year during our Baseball Trip and I knew I could get a wonderful gluten free meal (complete with fresh hot rolls!). They did not disappoint.

London was a wonderful gluten free surprise. Just about every restaurant we walked into either 1) Had a gluten free menu or 2) was able to accommodate me with a wonderful meal! The hostesses/waiters & chefs were far more educated and aware than most are here in the states. This is one of those areas where the British seem to be miles ahead of us.

Here are some of the places where I had a wonderful gluten free meal:

Ask Italian  This is a chain all over England. There was one right near our hotel, near the Gloucester Road Tube station, and we ate there twice. I was able to have fabulous gluten free pasta! Lots of great options.

La Tasca This is also a chain with many locations. We ate at the location near Leicester Square. They had many gluten free options, including paella and lots of different tapas. All Spanish food and delicious!

The Diner at Harrods believe it or not, we had lunch at the Diner inside Harrods and they had fabulous gluten free options, including gluten free burger buns! Yay!

Olives Restaurant a wonderful (if a bit expensive...) Italian restaurant on Gloucester Road near our hotel. Although they did not have a gluten free menu per se, they were happy to offer lots of great options and the food was delicious. The chef even prepared one piece of hubby's bruschetta on gluten free bread and brought it to me on a separate plate. What a treat!

These are just a few of the wonderful places we ate on our trip. What a wonderful surprise to not have to survive on gluten free pretzels and cheese sticks and salads.


Melissa said...

I am so glad this went well! We always enjoyed eating out in London - even if it was a familiar food, it seemed better or fresher. Maybe that's the fun of traveling & experiencing "new" things.

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

That's great! I'm sure it was a big weight off your shoulders and you were able to enjoy your trip even more.