To Madrid. The weekend trip we’d previously postponed finally happened and we flew on the new BA 767 service there and back. Thanks to an air miles redemption, we flew in a great deal of comfort in the long haul flat beds for little cost. The meal served on the return flight was quite possibly the prettiest I’ve ever seen for a gluten free meal with its edible flowers! I do, however, suspect I was served only part of the meal.
Sadly our trusty (I’m calling it that now) red double buggy took a direct hit from something large or heavy on the flight to Madrid and one of the metal arms was completely snapped.
The boneshaker of a contraption has been all over the world (Mr D’s teeth are still chattering from pushing it over the cobblestones in Gothenburg) but it was finally broken by Madrid.
All credit to the Iberia ground staff at Madrid airport who started the damage claim and BA’s UK agent who arranged for a replacement to be delivered to our house 3 days later. However, it did mean we were without a buggy in Madrid and the kids had been up since 3.30am to get to the airport (I had been expecting them to have a siesta in the buggy while we found a bar to pass an hour in)….luckily our hotel had a spare single buggy to lend us. But we cracked the next day as we passed an El Corte Ingles and bought another spare single for the princely sum of €59! Bargain. With both kids now in single buggies we were able to do an extra hour of walking at a speedy pace – Mr D & I like to walk.
While we were in Madrid we went to the Zoo. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about zoos. The Zoo in Madrid has every type of animal you could ever want to see (I saw pandas for the first time!) and for my animal mad children, it was heaven. But the cramped conditions of some of the enclosures made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I managed to push this out of my head until, just as we were leaving, we came to the kangaroos. My son, wise beyond his 3 years, asked me “Why are the kangaroos in a cage mummy? They live in Australia”. Well, quite.
May also saw the first trip to the ballet with the twingos to see the Northern Ballet’s production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears at Sadler’s Wells. They (both) do ballet classes at their nursery and love it. I can remember as a child how spine-tingly excited I’d get when I was taken to the Royal Opera House to watch the ballet, usually at Christmas, and I am really looking forward to be able to take them – but they need to be 5 to go to ROH.
A real highlight for me on the Madrid trip was that I managed to visit not just one, but two gluten free bakeries in Madrid.
You can read my review here of the Sana Locura 100% gluten free bakery.
We also stumbled across Celicioso, another 100% gluten free bakery in Madrid.
Since I was in Madrid for a weekend I wouldn’t claim to write the ultimate guide to gluten free Madrid or some such (how is that possible after only a few days in a place?) so I’ve added a couple of links in the post to people who know far more than me about gluten free Madrid.
I’ve loved exploring a bit more of London this month. On the first May Bank Holiday we did one of my favourite trips for tourists; Tube from where we live in SW London to Greenwich, the Emirates Air Line cable car across the Thames, DLR to Canary Wharf (front seat of the train, naturally!) and then picked up a Thames Clipper to Waterloo from where we took the overland train home. If you’re planning a trip to London, all these parts of the journey were taken on public transport, using an Oyster card. You don’t need to pay to go on expensive sightseeing tours when you come to London!
A super day out exploring the city we live in was topped by a lunch at Wagamama where I was taken care of extremely well and the kids loved their meals. I’ve not been to Wagamama for a number of years as I’d been ill several times after eating there. They’ve recently changed their processes and the manager is now in charge of taking orders from diners with allergies.
On this, and a subsequent visit to Wagamama on a day out up to Hampstead Heath / Regent’s Park (where once again the new processes were in place), we all ate happily at Wagamama and there were no after effects for me. Hurrah!
Blog posts I’ve loved reading this month
I think May has been a bumper month for interesting and well written blog posts. It’s been a real struggle not to list all the posts I’ve bookmarked this month. However, if I were to pick the best of the best, it would be this post by Kelly on practical travel tips for Moscow. You can read a further post on the Novodovichy monastery here. Both posts also contain some great photographs of one of my favourite cities.
I also loved this post by Amy on gluten free dining options in Maui. I didn’t visit Maui on our trip to Hawaii but having read this, I would now love to.
I’ve been pondering a return to Vienna for a while (but perhaps in summer next time!) and this post by The Sightseeing Coeliac has some great options for gluten free meals in Vienna.
Finally this post on the tricks and fakery of Instagram. Whilst I do really enjoy Instagram and get a lot of tips and info from it, I definitely see plenty of accounts – sometimes I’m surprised at who – who are clearly buying followers or comments. I just think it’s a bit sad.