Sunday, 7 May 2017

Afternoon Tea at La Fait Maison

Afternoon tea is a luxurious treat and one I absolutely love to do at any given opportunity. Since being diagnosed as a coeliac I do have to do my research though to find places that are tummy friendly, but over the years I have found that this is not all that difficult. More and more places are becoming gluten free friendly and the choices more varied and adventurous. Post diagnosis I have had many a lovely afternoon tea including one at The Ritz, which everybody has to do at some point.

It was my birthday at the beginning of April and my lovely friend booked an afternoon tea for the two of us as a treat at La Fait Maison on Gloucester Road, London. I had vaguely heard of the cafe but did not know much about it I must admit. My friend also opted for the gluten free version for ease.

We caught the bus to the King's Road and made the short walk up to the cafe which was a good opportunity to have a nose at the lovely properties en route.

We arrived at La Fait Maison ready to devour lots of goodies! The staff greeted us warmly and were very friendly and accommodating. It was clear that g/f was not an issue at all so I felt instantly at ease. We had a mocktail each and selected out tea.

Then out came the tier of sandwiches and cakes, it looked gorgeous. The waiter explained what each cake was (I forget now though I am afraid) while we were waiting to dig on in the second he walked away! Every single sandwich and cake was beautiful and we polished the entire lot off. It was all done whilst gossipping away and having a really good catch up. I love spending time with my girlfriends and having a natter, but to do it over cake makes it even better. To me, it is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

I would not hesitate to go back to La Fait Maison and would wholeheartedly recommend the experience. If you visit the branch on Gloucester Road you can then also then take the opportunity to do a big of shopping (Sloane Square is very close by) or have a mooch around the National History Museum which is a very short hop away.

Claire xx

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Noodle Joy

I love bowl food. If you can cook a meal in one pan and then pop it straight into a bowl even better. I also love noodles and up until a few days ago I could only eat rice noodles (I like the big fat ones). However, I was doing some food shopping in Tesco recently and noticed these:

They looked a little different and I liked the fact they came in a split snap pack. Oomi noodles are a high protein, low fat noodle and can be eaten hot or cold. The protein, rather unusually, comes from fish! A few reviews on Ocado (they stock in both Tesco and Ocado) said they tasted a little fishy - I did not pick up on this at all and it probably wouldn't have bothered me anyway as I love fish.

I love the versatility of noodles, the fact that you can chuck anything in the pan and it's a fab way of using up vegetables.

I did a simple recipe of beef, ginger, red onion, soy sauce (gluten free obvs) and chilli.

It was really really good and reminded me of the old days when I could devour egg noodles. I would definitely recommend Oomi noodles, I found mine in the vegetable/stir fry section in Tesco so go check them out. I am looking forward to trying new recipes using the noodles!

Claire xx

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Time for cake and chatter at Manna Dew.

This blog post is way way overdue. One Saturday earlier this year I met my best friend for cake and gossip - what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon? Best friends since we were 11 years of age we can easily lose hours chattering away. I had been keen to try a cafe/bakery/patisserie I had heard about called Manna Dew in Battersea and as I had since moved to the area it seemed an ideal opportunity. I met my friend at Clapham Junction station and we walked the short journey to the cafe.

I should point out that Manna Dew is entirely gluten free so a complete heaven for me, they sell all sorts of products including freshly baked bread and delectable looking cakes. It didn't take me long at all to figure out what I was going to devour - cheesecake! I love cheesecake, hands down it has to be one of my favourite deserts. Despite it being a very easy pudding to make gluten free you don't often see it in eateries hence it was no brainer for me to opt for this sweet treat.

It was gorgeous and it was such a treat to know I could eat anything in the cafe. It is quite a small space with limited seating but we managed to grab a spot by the window so we could see the world go by outside.

Manna Dew are London's first gluten free patisserie, they are open seven days a week and also do a cake delivery service Monday to Saturday. They are are active on social media (the instragram pics make me drool!) so go and saturate them with some love and pay them visit if you are in the neighbourhood.

Happy cake eating!

Claire xx

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Cheesy Happiness

This is a short and sweet post. I love cheese pretty much any way it is served to me. I got a little excited in Tesco recently when I stumbled upon these in the freezer section.

I probably got way more excited than was necessary but who cares - it's gluten free mozzarella sticks! Woop woop! They went straight in the basket with no messing and we had them with our pizza that evening.

Saturday night - cheesy sticks of happiness dunked in ketchup following by pizza and washed down with a gluten free beer equals one very happy Clairey. Massive thanks to Tesco for producing these although I can't seem to find them ever in stock at my local branch in New Malden (these were purchased in Truro)...

As soon as I lay my hands on them in my local Tesco I plan to fill the freezer!

Claire xx

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Celebrating pie week!

It is rather apt that I am publishing this blog post today as today marks the end of British Pie Week. Pie and mash has become a British staple, generally smothered in lashings of gravy with some vegetables on the side if we are feeling particularly ambitious! Pie was one thing that was omitted from my diet when gluten became my enemy. You could, of course, make your own pie but making your own pastry was always a bit of a faff (and I have a tendency to be lazy!) and it was a while after my diagnosis that decent ready made pastry hit the shelves. As the gluten free market has grown companies are always upping their game and g/f products hitting the shelves are, in a word, brilliant.

I heard about Pieminister pies via my Twitter feed and was keen to get my hands on one. I discovered they are not the easiest pie to find, they are available in Waitrose although only selected ones - I hope this changes. I called the guys at Pieminister to see if they could advise me which Waitrose near me stocked them, they were incredibly helpful and pointed me in the right direction. As luck would have it the evening I popped in they were reduced - woohoo!

I had my pie with proper mash and broccoli and devoured the plate within seconds. This is hands down the best gluten free pie I have eaten. The pastry was thick, tasty and moorish and the pie was packed full of meat with spot on seasoning. Along with the potatoes and vegetables it was a proper hearty meal and one that I am keen to eat again soon.

For non meat eaters Pieminister also make a Heidi pie filled with goat's cheese, red onion, spinach and sweet potato.

If I could fill my freezer with these little beauties I would :-)

Claire xx

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Love for Livia!

I have been wanting to get my mitts on Livia's Kitchen millionaire raw bites since I heard about them and a couple of weeks ago I succeeded following a trip to Planet Organic (great for gluten free if you hadn't already heard about them). They are a bit pricey but Planet Organic were offering 20% off - yay!

I tried hard not to eat the whole tub in one setting they were so good! There are very few ingredients and all of them are recognisable which is always a fab sign of a decent product. The main ingredient are dates so I would like think that I am also getting one of my five a day! :-) I managed to make the tub last almost a week, which is I feel is some sort of miracle. The bites are also in grab and go bars - I definitely need to get some for my cupboard. 

Livia's Kitchen conjures up sweet treats with a nutritional twist which is great for the guilt factor.  Her website will show you all of the products she makes as well as upcoming goodies and recipes. She has also just started doing afternoon teas! Go pay her site a visit and show Livia some love.

Claire xx

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Mooching around Borough Market

I have lived in London for over twenty years and haven't explored nearly enough of the city. This year I am making it my mission to see a little more and hopefully discover some gluten free finds on the way. Borough Market was on my tick list so last Friday I decided to check it out and grab some lunch whilst there. We got the train to Waterloo and walked to the market along the river stopping at the Tate Modern en route.

Borough Market is an easy walk from Waterloo and it's nice to be near the river. The market was probably a little bigger than I expected and was bustling. There was so much to see, buy, and eat! I had already had a google ahead of my visit to ensure there would be gluten free offerings and I was not at all surprised to learn that I should be absolutely fine.

We started off with Swiss raclette at Kappacasein - lashings of melted cheese on baby potatoes with baby gherkins on the side. There is nothing better than the taste of melted cheese and this stuff was soooo good. It definitely filled a hole and was a cheap bite to eat if you are looking to save pennies too.

After a while I was craving something sweet so I tracked down the Freefrom Bakehouse and got myself a velvet cupcake - got to love me some frosting!

There is so much more to see at the market than we covered so I definitely have an excuse to go back! If you a cheese lover than you definitely have to pay the market a visit. Their website is really thorough and lists all the traders too.

Here's to finding more gluten free foodie discoveries in London!

Claire xx