Showing posts with label Coeliac UK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coeliac UK. Show all posts

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.


Related blog posts:

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Home Counties Gluten Free Food Fair in Biggleswade

The Beds & Mid Herts Coeliac UK support group is once again organising a food fair in Biggleswade.

It'll be a great opportunity to see what's new and speak with exhibitors from a wide-range of gluten free specialist businesses in attendance. There are usually plenty of samples available too.

The 5th Home Counties Gluten Free Food Fair will take place between 10am and 2pm on Saturday 23rd September. The venue is The Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade, SG18 8JH. Check out the group's poster below for more info and contact details.

Home Counties Gluten Free Food Fair in Biggleswade

I've been a member of the group since just after my diagnosis with Coeliac Disease in June 2008. The members of the group have been a great help - especially so in the early days when I was first stepping onto the strict and lifelong gluten free diet.

The group organises a number of events, has a regular newsletter and peer support. Emily and I have made some great friends through the group.

Monday, May 08, 2017

It's Coeliac Awareness Week

Coeliac Awareness Week is taking place from the 8th to the 14th May.

This week is Coeliac Awareness Week. Organised by national charity, Coeliac UK, the focus this year is on dining out gluten free. And being able to do so safely.

Coeliac Disease is a lifelong autoimmune condition, where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In Coeliac Disease, the immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body and attacks them. This can trigger a number of horrible, stressful and painful symptoms.

The only treatment is to adhere to a strict lifelong gluten free diet. In the UK it's estimated that 1 in 100 people have the condition.

While more places are offering gluten free menu options it's unfortunate that they are not also controlling cross-contamination risks. As little as one crumb of bread is enough to do a whole lot of damage to the gut of someone with Coeliac Disease.

I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2008 and remember the years before when I could dine out quite easily. Now I barely ever do. The last meal I had out was last December at a 100% gluten free restaurant in Leeds.

I wonder how many manufacturers, retailers and restaurants consider the impact selling gluten free products (or not) has on their bottom line? If I find somewhere safe to eat then I'm going to spend some money there (my Coeliac Pound if you will) - and tell other Coeliacs to as well. Plus, I'll likely be dining out with someone else who is also going to spend money there.

For more information about Coeliac Disease and Coeliac UK's Awareness Week visit the Coeliac UK website. The hashtag for the week is #glutenfreevolution.

Over in the USA the whole of May is Celiac Awareness Month.

- Coeliac UK

Related blog posts:
- Coeliac Disease
- Gluten Free
- Funny things about being a Coeliac #9 - Menu disclaimers
- My life as a Coeliac in LEGO form
- What a perfect Crazy Golf obstacle for a Coeliac
- Gluten - my Kryptonite

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gluten free at Filmore and Union in York

On our first evening in York we headed to Filmore & Union on Petergate. Ahead of our trip we'd searched for gluten free places that were suitable for Coeliacs and Filmore & Union was highly recommended.

We had a starter and a main and very good they were too. I had the seared pigeon breast with watercress and bean sprout salad, followed by the sesame and sumac trout fillet with roasted red peppers.

The menu is nice and clear and states the allergens. Filmore & Union have also received Coeliac UK Accreditation which is good to hear.

Our waiter and chef were confident in their answers about the gluten free options available, understood needs of Coeliac diners and explained the procedures to reduce cross-contamination. All plus points.

Unfortunately we were so hungry on this occasion that no photos exist of our meal there!

As well as dining in there are also takeaway options for lunch including a gluten free wrap and Brown Bag crisps.

I noticed that they also sold Daas gluten free beers which I think is always a nice touch. It's great to have the option of a GF beer with a meal, rather than always having to opt for soft drinks, cider or wine.

Check out the Filmore & Union website for more information, menus, restaurant locations and details of their offerings for special dietary requirements.

Filmore and Union
Filmore and Union York
Brown Bag Crisps
- Coeliac UK

Related blog posts:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ed's Easy Diner goes gluten free

Ed's Easy Diner announce a new gluten free menu.

Ed's Easy Diner will be opening in The Mall Luton in May 2015. The diner's also have a new gluten free menu
Ed's Diner is opening in The Mall Luton in May 2015

1950's themed diner chain Ed's Easy Diner has launched a new gluten free menu!

I was tipped me off about the new menu as she is a big fan of the diners and received the latest newsletter with info all about the gluten free options.

It looks and sounds great. Having been on a strict gluten and wheat free diet since my diagnosis with Coeliac Disease in 2008 I haven't eaten anywhere like Ed's for ages. Luckily there is a new diner opening at The Mall in Luton this May. I can't wait to try it out as there looks to be a lot of choice (85% of the 'normal' menu has been adapted to make it gluten free).

The gluten free menu will be served from breakfast to dinner. There are GF buns for hot dogs and burgers and the fries are OK too! Special malt-free milkshakes and three desserts will also be available. On the alcoholic beverages side of things you can get CELIA gluten free lager.

Ed's Gluten Free Menu looks great - with a choice of ten Hamburgers and five Hot Dogs!

With more new diners opening there will soon be over 30 to choose from around the UK.

Check out Ed's Easy Diner website for more information, locations and menus. You can also sign-up to Ed's Club where you'll receive news and offers.

- Ed's Easy Diner
- Ed's Easy Diner on Twitter
- Ed's Easy Diner on Facebook
- Coeliac UK
- CELIA Lager
- The Mall Luton

Related blog posts:
Gluten Free
- Funny things about being a Coeliac #2 - I live in Luton, but I can't eat Gluten

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scott's Gluten Free Raspberry Butterfly Cakes

Spotting a new gluten free product in Asda.

While stocking up on gluten free supplies in Asda Dunstable I noticed an interesting box on the shelf containing a product I hadn't seen before - Gluten Free Raspberry Butterfly Cakes!

New in Asda! Gluten Free Raspberry Butterfly Cakes
New in Asda! Gluten Free Raspberry Butterfly Cakes

They looked enticing and I had to grab a box to give them a try. After checking, and double checking, to make sure they were gluten and wheat free I put them in my basket.

The Gluten Free Raspberry Butterfly Cakes cost £2 for six - a bit of a gluten free bargain, granted I could make some (and Emily does make some delicious cakes), but 33p each for some very tasty cakes, with great consistency (that are quick & easy to scoff too) is brilliant to see. I'll definitely be buying them again.

The tasty gluten free Raspberry Butterfly Cake from Scott's Bakery. Note that this is the third one about to be wolfed down
The tasty gluten free Raspberry Butterfly Cake from Scott's Bakery. Note that this is the third one about to be wolfed down

There's a question on the label that says "Have you tried our gluten free Chocolate Chip Muffins?" - the answer is no, no I haven't. But I'll be keeping an eye out for them.

A nice touch is that the cake cases have the words 'Gluten Free' printed on them in a diagonal pattern. It's not overly in your face, and while it can be annoying to be reminded when eating that your food is GF, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Intriguingly, despite searching online, all the usual social media channels and the Asda Free From section I can't find any sign of a website for Scott's Bakery!?

Yesterday Coeliac UK announced that Asda is the first supermarket to sign up to the 'Coeliac UK Gluten-free Guarantee'. This means Asda will be stocking a core range of eight gluten-free items in all their stores to help people with Coeliac Disease manage their condition. Good news indeed.

This week is also National Cupcake Week - check out the website for more on the event.

Related blog posts:
Gluten Free
- National Cupcake Week 2014 and a Cupcake ATM

- Asda

Monday, September 15, 2014

National Cupcake Week 2014 and a Cupcake ATM

National Week to celebrate Cupcakes runs from 15 to 21 September.

Earlier today I spotted a Facebook post by Coeliac UK about how to celebrate National Cupcake Week with a gluten-free cupcake - almost at the same time as Emily sent me a photo of a Cupcake ATM in Las Vegas!

The Cupcake ATM is at Sprinkles Cupcakes on South Las Vegas Boulevard
The Cupcake ATM is at Sprinkles Cupcakes on South Las Vegas Boulevard

On holidays to Amsterdam I remember the great Febo automated food vending machines, but I've never seen a cake ATM before. Looking at the Sprinkles website the one Emily saw is the world's first Cupcake ATM!

National Cupcake Week runs from 15 to 21 September 2014 and is organised by British Baker magazine to celebrate the sweet bakery product.

I had a look on the National Cupcake Week website and there are some gluten free recipes, which is good to see. These include White Chocolate & Raspberry Cupcakes and Sticky Toffee Pudding Cupcakes, along with a guest blog about starting a cupcake business - with gluten free as a niche.

Check out the Gluten-free cake making page on the Coeliac UK website for more information about cake catering for Coeliacs/Celiacs.

Related blog posts:
Gluten Free
- Las Vegas

- National Cupcake Week
- Coeliac UK
- Sprinkles Cupcakes Las Vegas

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Minigolfing gluten free in Margate

I’m an avid blogger and tweeter on all things Minigolf and Gluten Free so with May being Celiac Awareness Month in the USA and Canada and Coeliac UK running its annual Awareness Week from the 12th to the 18th May what better time for me to be exploring the gluten free options available while on a roadtrip to the British Minigolf Association’s National Championships in Margate, Kent.

Minigolfer, and Coeliac, 'Squire' Richard Gottfried at Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate

Arriving in Margate in the early afternoon on practice-day-Friday Emily and I headed straight for Strokes Adventure Golf course on Westbrook Promenade. We’d spent the previous day in nearby Whitstable – via Gillingham and the Isle of Sheppey – and had a great meal at the Pearson’s Arms on the seafront there.

Richard Gottfried playing the 14th hole at Strokes Adventure Golf course

After the first practice round – Emily winning by 39(+3) to my 41(+5) – we had a bit of a sit-down with team-mate/rival John ‘Thighs’ Moore. While we were relaxing a bit of post arrived for me at the course, in the form of a Coeliac UK t-shirt!

Special delivery

A second practice round followed, with me, Emily and John having a round with BMGA Tour rookie Derek ‘Needs a nickname’ Bentall. The scores in this round saw me hit a 38(+2), with John shooting a 39(+3), Emily a 44(+8) and Derek a 46(+10).

Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate, Kent
Playing the 16th hole - Shark's Teeth - at Strokes Adventure Golf course

After some more practice on the course’s more testing holes Emily and I headed off to check in to our hotel and explore Margate. We hadn’t been to the town since the BMGA British Open tournament in 2012 so we wanted to see what had changed. The Old Town in Margate is always worth a look and we popped into a few of the new vintage shops searching out old postcards.

Unfortunately one of the things that had changed for the worse in the town is the closure of the classic Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course in Cliftonville. We played there in 2007 and 2011.

On the plus-side The Ambrette restaurant is still going strong in Margate and after our last visit – a recommendation by Matt Wood at Strokes Adventure Golf – we were really looking forward to our meal.

What a gluten free feast

I can’t recommend The Ambrette enough, it really is great. The staff are very knowledgeable about the gluten free needs of Coeliac diners and when you eat there you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. For example, with the main course you are served a dosa pancake, rather than a naan bread – whereas in many other places you’d just have to ‘go without’. My dessert of Chocolate Silk was amazing. 

Time for pudding at The Ambrette

The first day’s play of the 2014 BMGA British Minigolf Championships teed-off on National Miniature Golf Day and the minigolfing gods were somewhat on our side as the rain which had been forecast never arrived. However, the field of 30-players had to contend with some very windy weather indeed, making the difficult Strokes course even harder in places. With nine-rounds(!) in total a lot of minigolf was to be played over the weekend.

A view of the 18-hole Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate, Kent
A rather overcast day in Margate

During the rules briefing and announcement of the groups and playing order I tweeted "This year's @bmga_minigolf championships @strokesgolf features a Portuguese and a Canadian. And a bunch of Brits. #minigolf #Margate" to which @Strokesgolf replied "and a coeliac." Brilliant :-)

Despite the wind cutting through the players there were still some opportunities to play some great shots and Emily and I hit ten and eight holes-in-one during the day respectively.

Prior to visiting places on the BMGA Tour and during our roadtrips I will put out a tweet or two to see if anyone can recommend anywhere to safely eat gluten free.

A great reply came from Annie’s Supperclub and Larder who let me know she was able to arrange delivery of a variety of picnic and lunch orders to any of the beaches, or stations (and Minigolf courses!) in Thanet. This sounded great, as I always struggle to eat anything substantial during the day while playing in a competition. 

While I did keep myself going on the Pom Bears Strokes Adventure Golf course sells, it was great to know I’d be having a proper lunch too.

The lunch of a Chicken & Bacon Sub (freshly baked bread), a bag of Prawn Cocktail crisps and a Chocolate Cupcake was great and I’d certainly use the service again and recommend it to others. It made such a big difference in being able to eat some well made, fresh and tasty food – all in the knowledge it was 100% gluten free and made by someone with extensive knowledge of coeliac disease and gluten free food.

Lunchtime - a proper meal after a busy morning of tournament minigolf

Having had two large and delicious meals out on Thursday and Friday, plus a filling lunch, I opted for a ‘hotel room picnic’, while Emily had a meal at the hotel restaurant while we watched the Eurovision Song Contest with some of our fellow minigolfers – living the high-life!

Having visited the local Morrisons it was an opportunity to complete one of the Coeliac UK Awareness Week postcards detailing what was available in the store’s free from section. I duly noted what was there, and what was missing, and sent this off. I’d encourage all my fellow coeliacs to have a look in their local (or not so local) supermarkets to help inform the work of Coeliac UK.

Day two began much like day one, with windy weather, but a little less sun – that’s not to say we didn’t catch the sun after three days exposure – getting a nice tan on my face and hands!

During the break between rounds the Hole-In-One Charity Challenge took place, with 28-players stepping up to tackle the 17th hole – the Ski Jump – with a standard low-bounce course ball, rather than with a Minigolf sport ball that we’d used during the main-event.

Playing the 17th hole at Strokes Adventure Golf during the BMGA Hole-in-One Challenge contest

I was third to play the hole, with neither of the first two players managing to score an Ace I lined-up the shot, hit it for a jump over the ramp, a rebound off the bricks at the back of the green and in it went! I greeted the shot with my Ace-shout of “Yee-ha” and a round of applause from my fellow competitors. It was a nervy ten or so minutes of waiting for the rest of the field to give it a shot. Luckily for me no-one else managed to score a hole-in-one, though some came very very close, so I won the shootout – my first win in a BMGA Hole-in-One Challenge!

Just as I was being declared the winner of the challenge contest I noticed my lunch from Annie’s Larder was arriving – a great victory meal of Falafel Sub with a salad, Prawn Cocktail crisps and a Lemon Polenta Cake.

Playing the 11th - Heartbreak Ridge - a real killer hole in Minigolf

It was a brilliant weekend of minigolf, food & drink, good company and nice seasides.

Thank you to Matt, Brian and Frankie at Strokes Adventure Golf for allowing me to use the course as my weekend’s residence and 'mail-drop' and to the team at Coeliac UK for putting the t-shirt and Awareness Week information in the post to me.

Strokes Adventure Golf course - an 18-hole Minigolf course on Westbrook Promenade in Margate Kent
Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate - well worth a visit 

For more information about Coeliac UK, Coeliac Disease and the Gluten-free Guarantee Awareness Week check out the Coeliac UK website.

As a Coeliac I’m always keen to highlight the condition and spread the word in order to get more places offering uncontaminated gluten-free choices. I’m also a Gfree Athlete with the Glutenlibre team based in the USA. Check out my interview with them here.

Coeliac Disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten and while there is no cure (yet!) the only treatment is to adhere (endure) a strict lifelong gluten free diet – which can be harder than you think when you factor in the risks and hazards of cross-contamination!


Food and restaurant links:

Related blog posts:

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Coeliac UK Awareness Week 2014 and the Gluten-free guarantee

Coeliac UK's annual Awareness Week is taking place from the 12th to the 18th of May and this year the focus is on the Gluten-free guarantee.

The Awareness Week 'Gluten-free guarantee' is aiming to ensure that key items are available in stores around the UK, so that Coeliacs are able to easily shop for food and drink items that are an essential part of a safe and healthy diet.

The core items of the gluten-free guarantee shopping basket are:
- fresh white bread
- fresh brown bread
- bread rolls
- breakfast cereals
- pasta
- flour
- crackers
- cereal bars

Coeliac Disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten and while there is no cure (yet!) the only treatment is to adhere (endure) a strict lifelong gluten free diet - which can be harder than you think when you factor in the risks and hazards of cross-contamination!

Check out the Coeliac UK website for more information and you can order an Awareness Week 2014 Toolkit here.

May is also Celiac Awareness Month in the US and Canada.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

What a Day, Week and Month!

Happy National Miniature Golf Day to all (and there's a bunch of other stuff to celebrate today)!

May the 11th, and indeed this week and next, plus the month of May is packed full of celebratory day's to mark everything from Minigolf to Doughnuts.

Check out the latest blog post from our friends over at Putterfingers about today's Day, plus yesterday's Windmill Day. The British Minigolf Association is also holding the annual BMGA British Championships tournament at Wroxham Barns, Norfolk this weekend (it teed-off this morning). Follow the live results here and if it takes your fancy you can join the BMGA for free here.

And if you're playing at a Miniature Golf (or Crazy Golf or Adventure Golf) course then send a review over to the team at The Putting Penguin and! There's a lot of Minigolf history to read up on over at the Crazy Golf Museum too.

As well as being National Miniature Golf Day, it's also World Fair Trade Day today. I found this out while out for a wander in Stopsley, Luton this afternoon when I found the Fair Deal World Shop located in Stopsley Village. 

And don't forget, according to Punchbowl today is also Eat What You Want Day (mmmm, so far I've had a Choco-Knobbly Crispy Rice Bites Gluten Free bar, an Egg in a Bap, some scorchingly hot Awfully Posh Pork Cracklings and home-made Popcorn (with more grub to scoff later).  It's also Twilight Zone Day (great as I love the show and movie) and National Train Day (brilliant, while not a spotter I can tell a Class 316 DMU from an HST).

This week is National Pet Week (interesting as we're Dog Sitting) and May is National Hamburger Month (yum), National Strawberry Month (we bought some today) and National Bike Month (handy that as I'm selling a Mountain Bike at the moment, let me know if you're interested). 

I heard from The Dull Men's Club that it's also National Doughnut Week at the moment. 

From the 13th to the 19th of May is Gut Awareness WeekCoeliac UK's annual week of activity to raise awareness of Coeliac Disease (of which I am afflicted!). For more info and advice on getting a diagnosis check out the Gut Feeling Awareness Week 2013 website

I'm sure my friend and fan of "Day's" Oliver 'The Machine' Florence is having a field day with all the activity! He let me know it is National Mills Weekend this weekend too.

All the best for today, whatever you are celebrating. Have a good one.


By the way, if anyone knows what 2013 is the year of then do let me know...

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Richard Gottfried - Coeliac UK Member Story - Travelling Gluten Free, Fish & Chips and Minigolf

I have had a 'member story' published in the latest issue of Coeliac UK's Electronic Crossed Grain (eXG) newsletter (August 2011). The topic for the August issue was 'travel themed member stories'.

I wrote about me and Emily's resolution to visit all of the UK's seasides, travelling on a Gluten Free diet, Minigolf, Fish & Chips, and some of the best places we've been able to eat out at.

You can read my story online at - Member Stories: Richard Gottfried

Coeliac UK is the leading charity working for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). Their mission is to improve the lives of people with coeliac disease through support, campaigning and research.