Went – Ate – Loved: January 2018

When I awoke on New Year’s Day in Den Haag with steets littered with firework debris from the previous night’s celebrations (who knew the Dutch loved fireworks so much!), I wasn’t expecting to have such a busy January….


I am totally done with the dark mornings and early arrival of darkness in the evenings. How can it regularly be dark well before 4pm? Urgh. This year seems darker than any other I can remember and as we head in to February I’m very thankful the light hours are increasing, finally.

In need of some fresh air we drove down to Dungeness. What we discovered when we got there was wonderful light.

Alien stones

And beached boats

For a weekend getaway we headed to….Luxembourg City – somewhere I’d fancied going to, just to see. When I wa a student in Russia I’d shared a flat with a girl from Luxembourg who spoke an impressive 7 languages and I’d always been a bit fascinated by this tiny country.

I asked on social media for recommendations for Luxembourg but the options were limited. So I mostly ate my default safe gluten free meal; steak and veggies.

We then went down to Isle of Wight for the weekend to see Mr D’s parents.

Even the ferry crossing is exciting…

It might seem odd spending 2 weekends by the coast in January but I grew up by the sea and watching my kids race around on the sand in the freezing cold reminded just how much fun and good for the soul it is, whatever the weather.


The gluten free options on the Isle of Wight seem to improve each time we come.

I enjoyed this lovely seafood platter, complete with Schar gluten free rolls at The Crab & Lobster, Bembridge.

The highlight, however, was a trip to The Sun Inn, Calbourne where the chef has been trained by Coeliac UK and has delicious gluten free and nut free home cooked food on offer

Fish and chips, gluten free…A rare treat for me which I thoroughly enjoyed.

gluten free fish and chips Isle of Wight

Gluten free and NUT free (yes, NO almonds!) apple & date crumble with custard….

I was honoured to be invited again this year to judge in the annual Free From Food Awards. This year I was judging in the ‘Savoury Snacks and Crackers’ and ‘No Top 14 Allergens’ categories. Top picks from me this year were the Gallo rice and corn dark crackers which were the colour of a ryvita (something new and different in the gluten free cracker world), these new Rosemary & Sea Salt flatbreads from Nairns, sweetcorn and quinoa bites made by Gosh! (which I could’ve demolished the whole plate of). The shortlist is due to be published in mid February and winners will be announced on 17 April 2018.


I’ve managed to read quite a few blog posts this month (or maybe I’m better at noting the ones I enjoyed!). Here’s a selection of the gluten free posts I’ve enjoyed this month.

I’ve had great weekend trips to both Vienna and Innsbruck but I’ve not visited Salzburg yet. Kelly’s post is giving me wanderlust!

I’m currently trying to plan and map our upcoming trip to Australia so this post on gluten free in Australia was very interesting reading. I didn’t write a trip report from our holiday last year in Australia, mainly because although I did find a couple of absolute gluten free gems, I also had a few incidents of being told something was gluten free, only to discover afterwards that it definitely wasn’t. I think in Australia there are many people following a gluten free diet for lifestyle reasons and my experience was that, whilst some restaurants took cross contamination and provision of accurate allergen information seriously, in fact many others did not. I agreed with many of the blog’s comments about excellent ranges in supermarkets (the author was self catering a lot during their trip) but I disagreed with the eating out part because my experience was different, and not generally for the best of reasons.

This post on gluten free options in Denver is also making me want to plan a trip…..so many choices!

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