Friday, November 13, 2020

Tales from a Gluten Free Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching I'm pleased to share my experience as part of Coeliac UK’s ‘Tales from a Gluten Free Christmas’ campaign. Visit the Coeliac UK website and check out the #gfchristmas hashtag on social media to find out more.

This year we've been missing meeting friends for a meal at our favourite restaurant, The Oxford Place in Leeds.

With a bit of luck we'll be able to get over there for a meal this year after the current national lockdown in England.

Dining out gluten free

Since we first heard about The Oxford Place in 2016 we've eaten there a lot. Not only is the entire restaurant and kitchen 100% gluten free and safe for Coeliacs, it serves superb meals that my non-Coeliac friends have loved eating too. They pass the "you can't tell its gluten free" test every time.

Last year I had my first Christmas Dinner at a restaurant since I don't know when!

Christmas at The Oxford Place in Leeds
Last Christmas at The Oxford Place

It wasn’t any old Christmas Dinner either. The Oxford Place always put so much effort into the dishes they serve up and they are a treat for the taste buds and the eyes.

Normally by this point of the year we'd have been to Leeds for celebration meals, for fun, to attend events and see friends. In 2020 we've been there a grand total of zero times.

We've had so many wonderful meals at The Oxford Place. From light lunches to three-course meals, to birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas Dinners with all the trimmings I've been able to feel somewhat normal again by having the choice of anything and everything on the menu without worry of cross-contamination, or the annoyance of having something removed or replaced to 'make it gluten free'.

We can't wait until we're able to get back to the city and The Oxford Place. I know I'll be making up for lost time and ordering a lot of food on my next visit.

If you haven't been to The Oxford Place I suggest you make a booking and try it as soon as you are able to.

A gluten free Christmas at home

Being a Coeliac doesn't mean you have to miss out on treats. I've certainly snacked on and scoffed my fair share of Christmas food since being diagnosed in 2008.

Last year you could get Lebkuchen by Schar at Asda. They were something I'd really missed so I bought a lot of them. I haven't seen them in store yet this year, but fingers crossed they'll be doing them again.

It'll be fun making some too. There's an excellent recipe for gluten free Lebkuchen in the Gluten-free Baking at Christmas book by 'The Happy Coeliac' Samantha Stein.

Home-made gluten free Lebkuchen
Home-made gluten free Lebkuchen biscuits

We'll be enjoying Christmas at home again this year, cooking up a superb festive meal with all the trimmings, including Yorkshire Puddings.

The range of gluten free food available in supermarket's Christmas ranges has also improved over the last ten years and we've ordered a few extra treats from M&S already.

What is your favourite thing about being gluten free at Christmas?

Check out Coeliac UK's Christmas website for more information, ideas and inspiration for gluten free food and drink.


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