This week I wore my first roll neck. That means it’s officially no longer summer.
But this year has brought some brilliant food so far. A number of BBQs, excellent eating out spots, embracing beer gardens and abroad to Greece and Belgium. It hasn’t been all that bad really.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve written my last post – apologise for the silence, it’s been a manic few months of changing jobs and long hours, but I’m getting back to blogging again. I’ve actually really missed it. It sounds sad but taking photos of food actually brings me pure joy (I know others will get this too), and the eating isn’t too shabby too of course. I’ve still been eating out lots, and recording findings on Instagram, but thought it was about time for a fresh post, rounding up some of the best over the last few months that you need to try. I do playlist like this all the time, so why not a food playlist?
So here’s a round up of the best…
Fifth Floor of Harvey Nichols*
Location: Knightsbridge, London
I celebrated my birthday here a few months back, and my god I was impressed. At first glance the menu doesn’t look too GF friendly, mainly because it’s not labelled – and we all know that can be a bit of a minefield. After chatting to the waiter however, he gave the most extensive breakdown anyone has ever given me, and I honestly could have chatted to him for ages!
We started with fresh GF rolls which were perfectly fluffy. My guest couldn’t tell the difference – and you know that’s always a good thing. We then had a great starter – squid ink risotto and fresh water prawns – followed by roasted chicken with sweet potato and greens.
Fancy cocktails and a bottle of red was also a must (birthday after all…) and the team were so kind to bring out a personalised dessert, all GF of course.
Nothing was too difficult for these guys. Service was spot on as was the dedication to allergies. The perfect spot for something special, or after a Saturday shopping trip.
Location: Brixton, London
Found tucked away off the main drag in Brixton, I visited Salon with my brunch babe Cristina, who wanted to try brunch there for a while.
The menu is labelled, but a quick chat with the chef gave us some options, including their three cheese cornbread (you know I love my cornbread), which was naturally GF.
I went for the light grilled courgettes, chickpeas, ricotta and basil pesto salad, weighed down with some hearty cornbread and Cristina had the drool worthy salmon royale with duck eggs and siracha hollandaise. Picture perfect.
The Begging Bowl
Location: Peckham, London
I’m a big Thai food fan, but I’m guilty for always ordering the same thing…a green curry. I became obsessed with them when I visited Thailand, and loved how every place I went had a different take on the classic.
These guys have a separate gluten free menu, which is well labelled, and staff make sure dishes are kept separate. Not to mention how gorgeous the interiors are here. Plants hang from every corner, and eating there in the warmer months almost felt I was back on a small Thai island, and not busy Peckham.
We got some great sharing platters between three of us – most are fine, but some things are off limits due to soy sauce. This was the grilled steak with palm heart, young ginger, mangosteen and chilli jam dressing. We also went for the celeriac, peanut and coconut curry, with stir fried cabbage and unlimited sticky rice. So naturally we got a lot of rice!
Such a little hidden gem in Peckham, on a small little street that a friend of mine happened to stumble across. Give it a go, and then pop for a drink at the cute pub across the road, or a quick bev at Frank’s.
Flotsam and Jetsam
Location: Wandsworth, London
Wandsworth is such a lovely area that feels almost like you’re not in London at all. By a lovely park, a trip to Flotsam and Jetsam isn’t complete without a drink in a local pub or wander in some independent shops.
As you know, I love my Eggs Royale with cornbread, and these guys do an excellent version, as just one of a few gluten free options available. I’ll always go for a dish like this over a standard ‘fry up’ style brunch, mainly because I don’t think I could ever re-create it as perfectly myself.
In terms of how this compares to my ultimate cornbread Royale combo at MILK, the cornbread is thick, but not as flavoursome. However the salmon is incredible, and the thickness like I’ve never tried before. They serve lovely coffee and fresh juices too.
Location: Rock Werchter Festival, Belgium
I was really impressed with Rock Werchter this year. It was my third year at this incredible festival, but food has always been a problem. Although places in Belgium have some great GF options, the festival itself hasn’t been as good.
This year however, they began to label foods, with more and more options other than the classic chips. I rarely choose a festival based on food; this is one time it doesn’t matter and it’s solely about the music. Being able to eat does help though, and one of the spots I lived off were Wurst Dogs. Gluten free buns and three flavours meant I had to have them all, whether it be breakfast lunch or dinner. Thanks for keeping me alive guys!
Location: Various, UK
These guys have already had their own dedicated post, but they really are brilliant for allergies, gluten free, vegan and veggie.
You can read all the fine details here, but the dinner in particular was fantastic, with a separate menu, so I could just enjoy being relaxed. You need to feel at ease at a spa, and not worrying about food, and here I could do just that. I’ll definitely head back again.
Location: Found in UK supermarkets including Asda, Tesco & Waitrose
Earlier this year, I was sent a HUGE parcel from Heck foods just in time for BBQ season. Over the last few months I’ve tucked into sausages, burgers, bites, and last night even made a lasagna from their pork meat squares.
Heck are naturally gluten free meats, and recently they’ve even introduced vegetarian and vegan options. They really do go with everything – salads, BBQs, brunches, and even cooked up for work packed lunches. Although not a restaurant, they’re been enjoyed throughout summer in a number of ways and really are delicious.
I think my favourite has to be the Italian Chicken burgers. Find the full list of stockists here.
All the Greek Salads
Location: Skiathos and Skopelos
I’m in the process of writing up my travel guide to these beautiful greek islands, but just to wet your whistle, I ate a lot of greek salads. I think being GF, you have to be prepared to eat a lot when you’re in Greece, but to be honest, there’s nothing I fancied more when it was almost 30C.
Different spots across the islands have different takes on the classic, but a side of tzatziki is a must. You’ll also find the fruit and veg is so much bigger and sweeter than at home. If you go, make the most and always order a salad for a side at least.
Location: Southend, Essex
Although I live in London now, I’m originally from Southend, and pop back every now and then to see friends and family.
Recently, Molo Lounge has opened on Southend high street, with a separate gluten free menu. Southend has been really crying out for somewhere like this in the high street. Living in London there’s such great quality brunch spots, outdoor lunch areas, and dinners that turn into drinks, but I can only ever think of a few places like this off the top of my head when I’m home.
I had a great GF burger with a really good understanding of coeliac and allergies. Veggie and vegan options a plenty too.
Now role on all the roast dinners and pies.
*Places or products marked with a star I was invited to as a guest, or something I was gifted. This does not change my opinion on the food or service. I never cover a place that hasn’t impressed. Blogs should be about positivity and good reads, that can help others find the best spots, and I’ll always continue this way.