Gluten Free Holidays

I know I chatted about eating out last month, but felt it rude not to share my recent birthday treat weekend away from home, especially seeing as some of you may be planning your own trips in the UK or abroad!

Visiting new places is great, it gives you the chance to take a break from daily routine, allowing you time to relax, rejuvenate and eat great food. I have just returned from a couple of days away in Ambleside in the Lake District and was lucky enough to enjoy all of this!

hotel

As usual before booking our trip I had to ensure the hotel was able to provide gluten free food. Checking this out over the phone (before you go) is always better as you definitely get the feel whether or not your dietary requirements are understood. After a good chat with the receptionist, I was happy to book the Waterhead Hotel in Ambleside, this proved to be the ideal base for us to explore the beautiful surroundings.

lizzy hotel

Food in the hotel was spot on and little touches like gluten free biscuits in the bedroom were a lovely surprise. They had an extensive gluten free dinner menu, which was great, after I’d made sure that they were aware of cross-contamination issues I felt confident to order any of the gluten free options – it felt really nice to be spoilt for choice!

I wanted something light, so to start I opted for treacle smoked salmon, served with pickled beetroot, ginger and lemon puree, followed by pan roasted duck breast with brandied Agen prunes, Anna potatoes, spring greens and peppercorn sauce. Sticky toffee pudding and ice cream finished my meal off perfectly! I was completely reassured it was gluten free as the sticky toffee pudding served to my non-coeliac husband was square and not round like mine.

A great cooked breakfast allowed us to fill up before heading out for the day. Again the choice was plentiful.  The first day I had smoked salmon with scrambled egg on gluten free toast, which had been prepared separately in the kitchen.  The second day I went for a full cooked breakfast with gluten free sausage… yum!! The only thing I did miss with the breakfast selection was gluten-free cereal, I did wish I’d taken some of my Juvela Cripsy Rice with me as cereal does always hit the mark and when having bigger lunches its sometimes good to have a lighter breakfast!

vinegar jones

On one of our days out we discovered a great fish and chip shop in Bowness, called Vinegar Jones. They don’t have an official gluten free menu, but when we went in I got chatting to the fabulous young man and he filled me with confidence as he was very knowledgeable about gluten free food and cross-contamination. He assured me that he could fry the chips in separate oil (that is only used for frying chips) and keep them away from any areas which could contaminate them. Rather than tipping the chips into the main basket he decanted a few off for me in a tray and passed it over the counter, I added mushy peas and they were soon devoured on a nearby bench… classy I know!!

We located a great coffee shop just across the road from the hotel (where you catch the ferry at Ambleside) This shop has been run by the same family for over 30 years and was simply idyllic. The coffee was delicious and if you fancy something sweet they did have pre-wrapped gluten-free cake available, however on this occasion I was more than happy to just go with a latte!

lizzy hill

To treat ourselves my husband and I pre booked a table for dinner on the second night away at the Old Stamp House in Ambleside.  I have to say this is probably the most exquisite place I have ever eaten (but not too formal, I overdressed!). Their knowledge of food and dietary requirements were second to none.  If you are in the area and want to have a really special meal this is the place to go. From little gluten free nibbles, such as warm macadamia nuts sat on a delicious sweet sauce to beetroot macaroons that were brought out between courses, to the explanation of each course.  The menu is seasonal and will change but I’ve popped a couple of pictures of what I ate below. I have to say the crab starter (shown below left) was my favourite! Ravenglass crab salad with avocado, pink grapefruit and radish followed by Goosenagh duck with carrot, salsify, chicory and orange.

old stamp meal

So that’s me, I loved my little break there are so many exciting and beautiful places to visit within the UK. On this trip I could see how restaurants and cafes are evolving to ensure they can offer a selection of safe gluten free dishes. If I hadn’t been so well catered for I’d have perhaps taken some Juvela Fresh Rolls to use as sandwiches for days out. I hope you have had the same great experience I had and like me are looking forward to your next get away!

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Happy, Healthy gluten free to you!!

Lizzy x

P.S As always do your checks before booking to stay somewhere or eat out… go with your gut instinct to ensure you stay gluten free.

16 Responses to “Gluten Free Holidays”

  1. Anne

    Thanks for the tips Lizzy, I am going on holiday to the Lake District in August and have noted the hotel and restaurants you recommend. It is kind of you to share your tips with everyone, I agree it is getting better regarding obtaining gluten free items now in restaurants and hotels. I also always do my homework before booking hotels and restraurants, it is a must for people like us

    Reply
    • Juvela Admin

      You are so welcome Anne, just want everyone to be able to continue enjoying great gluten free food and love sharing the positive experiences I have had since being diagnosed with Coeliac. You are right to do your homework, as it ensures you stay safe whilst still being able to eat delicious food out and about!! Hope you have a lovely time in the Lake District in August. Best Wishes, Lizzy.

      Reply
  2. Nigel Currey

    The Lakes District is well off for gluten free, much of it due to Lucy (Lucy’s places in Ambleside). She teaches gluten free cooking. If you are further north, check out Morrels, Lake Road at Keswick, they have a gluten free menu.

    Reply
    • Juvela Admin

      Hi Nigel, Yes totally agree, I was delighted during our stay as to how much gluten free choice I had. I now have Lucy’s and Morrels on my wish list for when I am lucky enough to next get up to the lakes!! Best wishes, Lizzy.

      Reply
  3. Leigh

    I recently enjoyed a break in the lakes and was very glad to find gluten free fish and chips in Keswick at The Kingfisher. And although we didn’t get to visit this time, after being in touch with the chef, Mexican restaurant Salsa Bistro in Penrith (he assured me) has significant gluten free options available. I had been to the sister restaurant before I was diagnosed and it was lovely Mexican food!

    Reply
    • Juvela Admin

      Hi Leigh, Love it when a fish and chip shops have gluten free covered and you are safe to eat there….. perfect being able to enjoy the simple things like a bag of freshly cooked chips!! Thanks for sharing these restaurants. Best wishes, Lizzy.

      Reply
  4. Phyllis Cripps

    I have been a Coeliac since 1972. Oh how things have changed!
    So much more variety of foods to eat. Supermarkets have special areas for G.F. foods. I would recommend a holiday at a Warner’s hotel. I first went to Thoresby Hall Hotel when they ran a special G.F. weekend (gorgeous puddings that I thought I would never find!) But we have been to other Warner places and they all now serve gluten-free meals. I took some GF bread with me recently but they supply that as well. You have to be over 50 to go to one of these (no problem for me – I’m nearly 79!)

    Reply
    • Juvela Admin

      Hi Phyllis, Thanks so much for your recommendation for Warner Hotels….although I have not stayed at one of the hotels, I have heard great reports of how well they are able to cater for coeliac’s, safely covering all aspects of the gluten free diet. Best Wishes, Lizzy.

      Reply
  5. Patricia Blythe

    Hi Liz, loved reading your blog, a long time since I visited the Lake District. Must go soon and try the hotels you mention. On your last blog you mentioned you were trying the Ring o Bells in Widnes. That’s where I live so was just wondering how it went? Perhaps I’m stealing your thunder for your next blog. Keep up the good work, been Coeliax for 40 years, things have moved on greatly since my diagnosis! Thank goodness. Regards. Trish

    Reply
    • Juvela Admin

      Hi Trish, Lovely to hear that you enjoyed the blog!! I do hope that you manage a few days in the Lakes, it is Beautiful and I promise you, you will not go hungry. Yes, The ring o bells was really good, I had a beef madras and rice on the night I visited. Unfortunately I couldn’t have the chips as they did not have a separate fryer available. However I was just grateful for their honesty and how they understood the need for a separate fryer to prevent cross contamination…you must pop in for your tea sometime (of course just you run through the usual checks to make sure all OK for you on the night). Best Wishes, Liz.

      Reply
  6. Sandra Buckley

    How funny is that my husband and I were away with friends in Ambleside in May. We stayed in a cottage but had a lovely meal at Lucy’s on a Plate great gluton free options available plus puddings!!!

    Reply
    • Juvela Admin

      Hi Sandra, Ha, ha our paths could have crossed!! I was meaning to check out Lucys, but to be honest was spoilt for choice for places to eat!! It will have to go on my wish list for our next visit. Best wishes, Lizzy.

      Reply
  7. jayj

    I really enjoyed reading about your trip. My 5yr old son was diagnosed 2 months ago. We love eating out and visiting new places and have generally had very positive experience since he went GF. We’re in Cornwall and haven’t found a strong coeliac community down here to share stories like this (I have set up an Instagam page to hopefully encourage one @Cornwall_coeliac_kid) I shall look forward to reading your blog and tips though. Many thanks, Laura and JayJ.

    Reply
    • Juvela Admin

      Hello Laura and Jayj, Thank you for your kind comments, its lovely to hear that the blog is helpful for you and your son. Wishing you success with your Instagram Page!! Best wishes, Lizzy.

      Reply
  8. Mike Winter

    I have been a coeliac for 25 years and always go self catering on holiday as food can be a problem. But for the last few years have been to Lyme Regis because of its excellent gluten free availability. The Cobb Arms serves many g/f meals including cod and chips, a bakers in the High Street bakes 3 different varieties of g/f pasties, most cafes have g/f bread and will make you a sandwich. The Aroma cafe opposite the museum does g/f and dairy free meals and cakes, including Dorset Apple Cake! Yum. The Bell Restaurant adapts a lot of meals to suit you and also does g/f cream teas. It was a treat to be able to eat in so many places that the only time we self catered was for breakfast.

    Reply
    • Juvela Admin

      Thank you for sharing your tips and recommendations Mike! Great advice for anyone heading to Dorset. Many thanks, The Juvela Team

      Reply

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