Having the choice in a restaurant when you have allergies is great, but staying somewhere that completely ticks every box when it comes to not only menu choice, but a total understanding of gluten free and coeliac disease, makes the whole experience far more enjoyable.
When I was kindly invited to AlpenPalace in Northern Italy, I couldn’t believe their commitment to allergies. A full section on the website fully explains how the hotel is a complete safe haven when it comes to gluten free, lactose free and even those who suffer from asthma.
The perfect place to start has to be the food when it comes to our weekend at AlpenPalace. I took my Mum as a treat, who vowed to eat gluten free along with me, so we could try as much of the food as possible.
On arrival, we were treated to juice before sitting down to cake which is served from 3-5pm. Mentioning ‘gluten free’ to the waitress, she went straight to the kitchen where the chef prepared something specifically for us. She returned with an absolute feast of multiple cakes. In our room, lay an incredible selection of fruits, chocolate and gluten free cake, along with bubbles.
Our room was equally impressive with a jacuzzi bath, large shower, living room with coffee machine, super comfy beds and wonderful views from the balcony. What was even more impressive was the three TVs!
That evening, a traditional South Tyrol themed meal was the on the menu, consisting of an incredible six courses, and even a bread basket of gluten free rolls (something you very rarely come across)! On first glance I was trying to work out what from the menu I could have, so when the waiter came over, I was amazed to hear that ANYTHING was possible – the chef explained everything could be adapted, and I should choose whatever I liked for each course, so as you can imagine my eyes lit up.
We feasted on the likes of:
Leek Cream Soup
Lamb Karee with Potato Gratin
Spinach & Bacon Dumplings
Turkey with Potato Snow and Vichy Carrots
Plus incredible buffets, cheeseboards and sweet desserts.
This continued the following evening, with the nicest soup I’ve ever had. There’s something so comforting when it’s super cold. I don’t know what it is about the soup in South Tyrol, but it’s incredible. The Leek Cream Soup with Flaxseed and Garlic Cream, and it’s easily one of the best soups I’ve had. Perhaps it’s the way food is served so mindfully at Alpenpalace. Small portions, full of flavour.
When it came to breakfast not only was there a breakfast buffet that was fully labelled, but a separate menu to order specific egg and pancake dishes. Our assigned table even had a bread basket with fresh GF rolls and croissants.
A portion of pancakes came out without even asking, which were perfectly warm and fluffy, drizzled with syrup. When there’s so much choice, you’ve got to fill your boots, right?
The second of our breakfasts were a little lighter. I went for eggs benny and a bowl of yoghurt, nuts and seeds with a fresh juice after a morning run. Perfect.
One of the other biggest highlights at AlpenPalace is their incredible spa, with indoor and outdoor pools and jacuzzis, and multiple treatment rooms.
As you wait for treatments, you’re invite to sip fruit teas in the warm and calm surroundings. As the weather was so cold, it was great to step into a hot jacuzzi.
We timed our full body massages perfectly, after a very long hike through the mountains.
Almost on the border of Switzerland, the views continued to amaze us. AlpenPalace is situated relatively high, and clouds seem low as you peer out across the valley. We decided to experience more, we’d go on a hike and head east. A short bus ride, we arrived at a small town near Predoi where routes were labelled. Luckily we’d wrapped up warm, as the temperature seemed to change all the time.
We walked until we couldn’t walk anymore (we literally hit a huge snowy mountain) and walked so far, we’d almost crossed the border.
It’s a wonderful experience to breathe air that fresh, and with twists and turns along the path, you never know what’s going to appear behind the next mountain.
After many hours of walking, on the way back we stopped off for a hot coffee in a traditional bavarian mountain restaurant, and to our surprise, the menu was labelled for allergies! We both went for frankfurter and hot chips before heading back to rest.
We had such a lovely weekend, and I can’t thank AlpenPalace enough for their hospitality and complete understanding to gluten free. We attached our trip to a day either side in Verona, where we flew into and then took a train ride to Brixen where we were collected by transfer.
If you’re looking for a break where you can be totally at rest and switch off from everything, this is the place.
For a full explanation of their commitment to allergy suffers visit here.