Gluten Free London Restaurant: Pure

The trickiest issue I’ve found with being gluten free is finding a suitable breakfast. I have never been keen on eating breakfast at home before enduring the daily bun fight into work on the Tube so have always preferred breakfast al desko.

Once I was further diagnosed with a nut allergy it became even harder as most gluten free breakfast options also included nuts.

However, one of the best developments for me has been the increasing number of food outlets offering gluten free breakfast items which don’t contain nuts.

There’s a Pod next to my office which offers gluten free porridge (with your choice of toppings) as standard. However, I’ve recently fallen out of love with them because it takes them soooo long to prepare the porridge. On occasion, I’ve actually drunk my entire coffee while I’ve been waiting for my breakfast order in Pod (still love their lunches though!).

gluten free london breakfast options #pureishot

So, I was extremely happy to discover a new cafe style restaurant called Pure right by the exit of my Tube station. They have multiple locations throughout the City, West End and Canary Wharf.

All their standard porridge is gluten free. You can also choose your own porridge toppings.

gluten free London breakfast

Not keen on porridge? Pure also do egg pots which I haven’t tried yet but which seem very popular given how many other customers order them.

When the weather was warmer I bought a bircher pot made with gluten free oats and rhubarb. This is currently not on sale; their menu changes seasonally. They were also doing a blueberry version which was delicious.

Gluten free bircher London

The only downside for me (with an allergy to almonds) is that there are two porridges on offer at Pure; one with organic milk and the other with almond milk. And I have had a couple of minor freak outs when I’ve seen the almond milk porridge (which I have not requested) get rung through on the till. However, the good thing (and what sets them apart from Pod) is that Pure have both porridges pre measured out in the tubs (under heat) ready for customers. This means that not only is it quick (toppings are added later as requested) but I can also see whether the team are selecting either the organic or almond milk porridges.

It’s not just breakfasts which are on offer at Pure, they also have lots of gluten free lunch time options too. You can check out the menu here.

The coffee is also really good here. And a special thumbs up to the baristas who are super friendly.

gluten free london

If you spot a Pure around London, especially at breakfast time, I highly recommend you pay them a visit.

Cost: £5.50 Gluten free porridge (they only offer one size but it’s large) with golden syrup and blueberries with a latte

Location: Currently around 10 locations in the City, West End and Canary Wharf. Check here to find one near you.

Website: Pure – Made For You

Would I go back? I do, daily! But I do need to try out some of their lunch options.

PIN FOR LATER

Gluten Free London: Pure Made for you

Gluten Free London Restaurant: Rosa’s Thai

It’s a freezing cold November day and it’s time for lunch. You’re suffering with a rotten cold. Luckily there are many options nearby which offer gluten free food, what do you choose? For me, there’s just one thing I need on a day like this….and that’s spicy food.

So when I was choosing a restaurant for work day lunch with a friend I remembered seeing an Instagram post that Rosa’s Thai offered a gluten free menu. I’ve heard lots of good things about Rosa’s but I’ve never been. A brisk 5 minute walk away from the office and we were tucked into Rosa’s warm cafe.

Having originally begun as a stall in east London’s Brick Lane in 2008, Rosa’s Thai has expanded into a chain with 8 locations in and around central London.

The gluten free menu contains plenty of options with Thai classics.

gluten free Thai food London

I have a nut allergy so this naturally means there are less choices for me in Thai food, although still plenty of choice. (I’m allergic to almonds, hazelnuts and chestnuts which are not nuts usually found in Thai food but I generally avoid all nuts).

gluten free calamari

I find it impossible to resist calamari if I find a gluten free version. What a treat! These were served with a sweet chilli dip. The gluten free batter was deliciously light.

On the menu was exactly what I needed; guay tiew tom yum. A spicy and sour soup with rice noodles along with prawns, tomatoes and mushroom.

gluten free thai food london

As our dishes approached the table the smell was just incredible. Spicy and fish sauce. Steaming hot.

I couldn’t have been more excited to tuck in. Absolutely delicious. And spicy. Totally hit the spot.

Warming, delicious and reasonably priced food. What more could you possibly want on a cold day?

Cost: £31.15 for two (incl service) including two mains, a starter and prawn crackers. Very reasonable indeed.
Location: 8 locations in central London
Website: Rosa’s Thai
Would I go back?: Rosa’s is now my new favourite lunch time restaurant and since this visit I returned with my colleagues. I couldn’t have enjoyed the food and service any more than I did. Go and try!

PIN FOR LATER

gluten free restaurant London Rosa's Thai

Gluten (and Nut) Free Afternoon Tea at Claridges Hotel, London

As the venue for my first ever gluten free afternoon tea, Claridges Hotel in London has a special place in my memory. A gluten free afternoon tea hosted by Genius bread at Claridges Hotel in London was the first event I was invited to as a result of writing this blog. I love with the Art Deco style of the hotel (who wouldn’t) and it’s stunning Dale Chihuly chandelier in The Foyer. The chap I was seated next to at the event was fascinating (an investor to the Genius business) and the gluten free cakes and sandwiches were astounding. Any thoughts that gluten free food would be bland or unglamorous were banished that day.

So when it came to choosing an afternoon tea for a special birthday treat for my Mum, reserving a table at Claridges was top of my wish list.

At Claridges it’s possible to book a table for afternoon tea up to 5.30pm. We booked for 5pm. The perfect time as we were heading on to the theatre that night.

Am I alone in getting goosebumps as you enter through Claridge’s hotel’s revolving door? The interior is just so stylish and glamorous. Hydrangeas were arranged beautifully throughout. (NB excuse the poorly lit photos; 5pm in late October means it was dark)

Seated in the low lit Foyer  we enjoyed the musicians playing nearby while we admired the Chihuly chandelier.

gluten free afternoon tea Claridges Hotel

The atmosphere was relaxed and the room had a lovely chattery buzz. Not in the least bit stuffy; people were well dressed but not OTT. (The dress code is elegant smart casual). And in a reminder at how popular afternoon tea is; every table was occupied.

gluten free afternoon tea menu Claridges

We started with a glass of champagne and our sandwiches were delivered with a flourish. Now call me weird but it’s usually the sandwiches I love most about afternoon tea. And these sandwiches were just marvellous. The gluten free bread was pillow soft.

gluten free afternoon tea Claridges Hotel

And the fillings. Oh my. They were all delicious but if I had to choose a favourite it would be the Dorrington ham with truffled Parmesan dressing and the Severn & Wye smoked salmon with lemon and samphire running a close second.

gluten free sandwiches Claridges hotel

Aside from the taste and imaginative, good quality fillings, what really impressed me about the sandwiches was that I had exactly the same as the gluten eaters. I had (a lovely) afternoon tea at the Lanesborough recently but my sandwich fillings were vegetarian. Delicious, but I’d have preferred to be served, as at Claridges, the same fillings as everyone else.

Once our sandwiches and champagne had been demolished (yes they replenish the sandwiches if you would like and yes I did), we moved on to scones and pastries along with the tea choice.

I’m a complete jasmine tea fan so I was keen to try the Claridges blend and it didn’t disappoint!

gluten free scones

The gluten free scones were spectacular! Not in the slightest crumbly and delivered warmed. Alongside the Cornish clotted cream, I liked the Marco Polo gelée they were served with. Although if I had one thing I’d have changed, it would be to have lemon curd with the scones. Is that sacrilege? I don’t know but I loved the lemon curd served with scones at the Lanesborough.

gluten free afternoon tea

My pastries in this photo are all both gluten and nut free. If you are only gluten free, I think your selection might be a little different.

gluten free claridges hotel

A final word on service. Just extraordinarily great. I realised after we left that I didn’t lift the tea pot once; my cup was constantly and seamlessly replenished, almost without me even noticing. At no point during our afternoon tea did we feel even remotely hurried or pushed to vacate the table for later guests. Perhaps this is a result of the 5pm booking, but I suspect we could’ve stayed (and I would’ve been happy to settle in) for the whole evening. If you are looking for a special treat, I could not recommend the whole afternoon tea experience at Claridges more highly.

Location: Claridge’s Hotel, Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR
Website: Claridges Hotel
Would I come back?: In a heartbeat
Cost: Traditional Afternoon Tea £58 / with a glass of Laurent-Perrier £68 / with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé £78

Top tip: Book as far in advance as you can, afternoon tea at Claridges is very popular.

Pin for later

Gluten and Nut Free Afternoon Tea Claridges Hotel, London

Gluten Free Paris: Restaurants Open In Evenings

On my recent trip to Paris I was again reminded how the gluten free restaurant and cafe scene is really booming there (spoiler; it’s not like this in the rest of France). However, many of the gluten free places in Paris are bakery/cafe type establishments and they mainly operate during day time hours only. I find this a bit frustrating and it presents a problem if, like me, you are looking for an evening meal with safe gluten free options.

I have been to NoGlu before (you can read my review here). Whilst it’s open in the evening, I was a little disappointed not to be bowled over by the food on my previous visit. I was expecting more innovative dishes than the naturally gluten free items the menu mostly contained. Consequently I was looking for somewhere different to try. Also on my list was a restaurant special enough for dinner with two great friends of mine who live in Paris and neither of whom is gluten free.

So I was delighted to discover that My Free Kitchen was open in the evenings as I hadn’t eaten there on previous trips. My Free Kitchen is located less than 10 minutes walk from Gare du Nord. This was an easy walk even with my luggage, laptop and a tonne of magazines to read while I was away. Everything at My Free Kitchen is gluten free and lactose free.

My Free Kitchen

The interior of the restaurant was light, white and Scandinavian-style fresh. On shelves, packages of their cake mixes – which you can buy – were displayed.

My Free Kitchen

It was after 9pm by the time I arrived (they close at 10pm) so was a little quiet. My Free Kitchen post their daily changing menu on their Instagram page. I hadn’t really given a great deal of thought to the day’s menu until I was standing in the restaurant. It was chilly in Paris that evening so I went for a hot dish, hachis parmentier, known on the other side of the Channel as cottage pie. It was tasty but the portion was huge and I couldn’t finish it all.

My Free Kitchen

The staff at MFK were very friendly and welcoming and I didn’t feel out of place dining alone there (in fact I’m rarely bothered about this). Organic wine is sold by the glass (EUR 5). I will definitely be coming back to eat at My Free Kitchen again. Next time I’ll try one of their gluten free pizzas, which you can also take away or have delivered via Deliveroo, handy if you’re staying in an AirBnB within the delivery area.

Sadly, for my meal with friends I couldn’t find the right balance of safe gluten free option and more special restaurant for the next night’s dinner. So instead, the next evening we went to a lovely modern take on a Parisien bistro they recommended. Where I had steak and chips, which I always seem to do in France!

If, like me, you’re looking for somewhere in Paris to eat with gluten free options, I’ve compiled a list of places which are open in the evening. (NB These restaurants are also open during the day). This list specifically includes places which are open for an evening meal, i.e., I have not included places closing at 7.30 or 8pm. Also note, some of these restaurants have more than one location. I’ve specified the location (by arrondisement) which is open in the evening.

  • Bears and Raccoons (11th arrondisement) – open to 9.30pm  Thursday, Friday and Saturday
  • PNY Hamburgers (three locations; 3rd, 10th & 11th) all open to either 11 or 11.30pm 7 days a week
  • Cafe Pinson (3rd) – open to 10pm Monday to Saturday
  • Breizh Cafe (3rd) – open to 11pm Wednesday to Saturday and 10pm Sunday
  • Nous (9th) – open 7 – 10.30 pm 7 days a week
  • Saveurs Veget’Halles (1st) – open to 11pm Monday to Sunday
  • Noglu (2nd) – open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday 7.30 – 10pm

NOTE: Opening times for restaurants in Paris can vary considerably, especially during August when they may close for several weeks and/or work on reduced opening hours. Please ensure you check the website for any restaurant you wish to visit to make sure it’s open on the day/time you plan to eat there.

I’m a frequent visitor to Paris so I keep a Pinterest board for any new Paris restaurants I stumble across. You can follow it here.

Have you been to Paris recently? Do you have any gluten free restaurants which are open on weekday evenings to add to the list above? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 

PIN FOR LATER

gluten free paris