In Search of the Holy Grail….A Gluten Free Pasty in Cornwall


This weekend Mr D and I headed to fantastic Cornwall to celebrate his special birthday.

In the weeks before our trip I spent a lot of time searching the internet for gluten free Cornish pasties. I even sent out a couple of requests on Twitter but to no avail. Eventually I happened upon the website for The Mad Hatters tea shop in Launceston.

Can you see what the sign says…?

We entered the very friendly tea shop which was filled with tea pots of every possibly type imaginable. The place was packed and lucky for us the only available table was in the window. This photo was taken just after a group left and in the only 2 minutes the tables were empty!

After a long drive from London (and the prospect of another 2 hours to go), opening the menu to see such a long list of gluten free options made me very happy!

Of course, I went for a gluten free Cornish pasty. It came served with either baked beans or salad. I went for baked beans – they were Heinz and gluten free.

How did it taste? Delicious and definitely worth driving 3 hours for! The gluten free pastry was very flavoursome and had herbs (maybe rosemary?) in it. The pasty filling was the traditional beef, potato, swede and onion combo.

The other thing I found really interesting about The Mad Hatters was the other patrons in the tea shop. Many people think eating gluten free is a lifestyle choice, and not a medical requirement or a necessity for a healthy life. A number of the other clients in the tea shop were in the more mature age range and I could hear at least one person on each table ordering a gluten free item. I’m fairly certain for my fellow diners, the need to eat gluten free was not a lifestyle choice. I’m amazed that gluten free pasties weren’t more easily available in Cornwall. Based on how busy The Mad Hatters tea shop was, there is clearly a demand.

Launceston is located just off the main A30 going straight into Cornwall. If you’re travelling down to Cornwall for a holiday, it really is an easy stop off. Why waste your time in motorway service stations when you can visit somewhere as fabulous as this? If you’re en route to a self catering holiday cottage The Mad Hatters can also provide gluten free items to stock up on for your holiday to either freeze or eat straight away. Just pre order and then stop off to collect! No need to miss out on a Cornish pasty or scone just because you can’t eat gluten.


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  1. Jenne
    June 1, 2011 / 5:34 pm

    Bless! Brill blog! Any tea rooms or restaurants in London or in Wales that sell Cornish pasties and have a fab gf menu? x

    • Helen Evans
      July 25, 2011 / 4:00 pm

      Thanks, I’m going to Cornwall on Friday for a week so am busy searching for any gluten-free places!!

      • July 25, 2011 / 5:05 pm

        Hello! Glad you found this post, I really enjoyed my Cornish pasty at the Mad Hatters. Definitely give it a try if you’re in the area.

        You might also have come accross my post on the Scarlett Hotel ( It’s between Newqauy and Padstow if you’re in that part of Cornwall. They served 3 types of home made gluten free bread. Amazing!

        Another place to try if you’re on the other side of Cornwall might be The Peppercorn Kitchen Cafe ( which is near to Penzance. They have lots of gluten free options.

        Happy holidays!

        • Helen Evans
          July 27, 2011 / 9:16 am

          Thank you Mrs D! I have just looked at their website and will definitely visit! We are camping near Helston so this is not too far. Also planning a stop-off at Mad Hatters for a cornish pasty! I live in Manchester so if you any need any help with GF friendly places just let me know! Helen

  2. LLOYDS Architecture
    March 4, 2012 / 6:44 pm

    For Gluten Free pasties and cakes in Mid-Cornwall
    try the Little Red Deli in St. Austell: 59 Victoria Road, ST AUSTELL, PL25 4QF

    Tel: 01726 68011

    For Gluten free eating out in mid to west Cornwall look for Trevaskis Farm
    They do not advertise gluten free but tell them when you order and they are very accommodating.

  3. April 1, 2012 / 4:17 pm

    Enquired in the West Cornwall Pasty shop the other day. They said they are looking into producing gluten-free pasties. I was told to keep in touch!!

    • April 4, 2012 / 8:35 pm

      Thanks for the info about the West Cornwall Pasty Company. I emailed their Head Office to find out more but unfortunately I received the following reply:

      “Currently we do not supply any gluten free pasties as all of the pastry is made using wheat flour. As far as I am aware we do not have any plans to develop a gluten free product although I will pass your comments onto our Sales & Marketing Director as we are always striving to improve our products.”

      I really do hope they pass this on to Sales & Marketing. I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to be able to pick up a gluten free pasty at a festival, for example.

      • April 5, 2012 / 1:17 pm

        Bah! He was just having me on then!! Still no harm in asking – don’t ask, don’t get etc.

        • April 5, 2012 / 9:26 pm

          Absolutely! I really think we do need to keep asking businesses about gluten free alternatives. There was a lot of chatter on Twitter about West Cornwall Pasty Co offering gluten free Cornish pasties. The consensus was that they really should. I hope that the Sales and Marketing manager will take note. I understand I wasn’t the only person to contact them this week about gluten free pasties.

  4. Suzanne Thomson
    June 24, 2012 / 7:52 pm

    I’m in Cornwall just now on holiday and found your blog post after searching for gluten free cornish pasties. I never knew they existed. I was pretty jealous yesterday when my husband was scoffing a cornish pasty so it is good to know that gluten free ones exist – I’ll be definitely trying to get one before I leave here ๐Ÿ™‚

    • June 24, 2012 / 8:31 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! It’s well worth a stop in Launceston for a gluten free pasty at the Mad Hatters. Hope you enjoy your holiday in wonderful Cornwall!

  5. Peter Jones
    August 21, 2012 / 1:49 pm

    My wife is a Coeliac so the Mad Hatters is a regular stop on our Cornish Holidays. Happy wife makes life some much easier:-)

    They stock the Gluten free pasties at a cafe in Boscastle, its on the left as you walk from car park to sea they have a large sign advertising Gluten free.

    Another favorite is the tea shop at Morwenstow a little more expensive but really good gluten free scones as well several excellent gluten free meals.

  6. Jamie-Marie
    March 20, 2013 / 11:48 pm

    I have also had a Cornish GF pasty from the Oggy Oggy pasty shop in Falmouth, only from the one on the main street(not the one opposite Trago). They only come frozen but are very nice and great for buying a few and keeping until the urge for another one comes! Also the Fish & Chip shop in Lanivet (on the way to Bodmin just off the A30 st. austell junction) has an amazing menu with approx 80% of it being gluten free, my parents had the fish and chips and didn’t even notice the difference!
    The Eden Project does have some GF food down in the bakery, to which the bread is lovely.
    And one last place I have found is The Boathouse in Charelstown, St. Austell, they have a lovely range of GF food.
    I am finding several places around my area (St. Austell) to which I can eat a nice variety of GF foods at good prices too!!
    Hope this helps you on your visit to our beautiful county. I will keep you updated when i find more places to visit or avoid.

    • March 24, 2013 / 1:27 pm

      Hello there, many thanks for stopping by and leaving your tips for good gluten free food in Cornwall. They all sounds great but in particular the fish and chip shop in Lanivet sounds amazing!

      I’ve been to the Eden project and tried the gluten free food there. Blog post coming up on that….

      Thanks again for your tips, would appreciate any more good or bad places which you find. Cornwall certainly is a beautiful place!

  7. Jamie-Marie
    March 26, 2013 / 9:20 am

    Hi, if you had a little google map that members can add places to, then that would be great as then people can see where the places are and how far they would have to travel. Just an idea ๐Ÿ™‚

    • April 21, 2013 / 11:10 am

      That sounds like a great idea! Hopefully one day I will have some spare time to build something like that.

  8. Lisa Vickerage
    May 26, 2013 / 5:03 pm

    Thank you very much for this info. On holiday in Cornwall for the week and now I’m really excited that I’ll get a gluten free pasty!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. steve
    August 11, 2013 / 8:01 pm

    I saw this before we went to Padstow for the last 2 weeks and I thought I would give an update as I had found it helpful.

    GF pastys are now available at 2 of the pasty shops opposite the museum (order them and come back in 20 minutes) – look for the sign in the window. Both traditional and cheese and onion.

    Harbour Ice (near the shelter by the harbour) have gluten free ice creams and cones

    Rick Steins chip shop on the quay can do GF fish and chips to order.

    I had a very happy daughter ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. sarah weller
    December 29, 2014 / 5:25 pm

    Just to let everyone know the mad hatter Launceston has now closed

    • December 30, 2014 / 4:06 pm

      Oh no, what a shame! I’ve been there quite a few times on the way deeper into Cornwall. Do you know if the owners have another gluten free venture instead? Many thanks for stopping by and letting us know.

      • ruddys pasties
        January 11, 2015 / 4:37 pm

        We make gluten free D shaped Cornish pasties
        we also make gluten free dairy free Cornish
        pasties which also are side crimped.
        I believe we are the only pastie company to offer a true side crimp Cornish pasties

        • January 11, 2015 / 4:39 pm

          Thanks very much for your comment. Are you stocked in shops or online? If in shops, please do leave a comment to let readers know where they can find yoi.

    • February 1, 2015 / 11:06 am

      That’s good to hear about! I wish somewhere else in Cornwall would start doing gluten free Cornish pasties. Such a shame.

  11. Estate Agents in Peterborough
    June 30, 2015 / 4:37 pm

    This is actually an incredible find. I went to Cornwall with my mother in law and wife who are both Gluten Free for health reasons and we only found one place which I think was in Helston that sold Gluten Free Pasties which was the Oggy Oggy Pasty shop up on the highstreet.

    They were awesome in the fact that they did vegetarian pasties also which tasted amazing. Just the thought of them makes me want to go back!

  12. Natasha Herman
    October 8, 2015 / 4:48 pm

    Thank you thankyou! I’ve been here for four weeks and no Cornish pasty due to my wheat intollerance – I am so grateful to find this post – God bless you! x

    • October 8, 2015 / 5:05 pm

      You’re very welcome! If you find any gems not noted in the comments above, please do leave a comment to let us know. I need an excuse to head down to Cornwall soon!

  13. Lesley Tapp
    April 28, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    The Good Food Bakery Helston do gluten free ive found. Will be trying this weekend.

    • April 28, 2017 / 1:41 pm

      Oh, thanks for the tip! Please do let me know how it is when you’ve been there.