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 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!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Kaila (The Wanderlust Celiac)
    February 6, 2018 / 8:01 pm

    Loved reading your post! Nearly every restaurant I ate at in Australia was 100% gluten free (except two which I found reviews about and emailed the restaurants in advance), and I did find it much easier to grocery shop there than in the US. I realize not everyone traveling self-caters all the time, but since I’m very picky about where I eat out, I found that Australia had a lot of spots that met my standards. (We have no completely gluten free restaurants where I live!) I hope your next trip goes smoother. I would love to go back! (I miss gluten free teddy grahams.)

    If you go to Denver, one of my favorite spots is Quiero Arepas. It’s also completely gluten free. It’s more in line with fast food than a sit-down meal.

    • February 6, 2018 / 9:19 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience on eating out in Australia. It’s a strange thing, our trip next month will be my 7th visit to Australia yet the last trip (the 6th) had a few incidents and it’s really making me nervous about going back. We have 4 year old twins so our holidays always have an element of self catering avd eating out. In an ideal world I’d eat at 100% GF places but with 2 small kids (who are not Coeliac) it’s just not practical / possible because the menus often don’t suit young kids and when they’re hungry we have to find somewhere close by to eat. Hopefully our next trip will be better and I was just unlucky last time.

      Thanks for the tip on Denver, mmm arepas!

      • Kaila (The Wanderlust Celiac)
        February 6, 2018 / 9:49 pm

        Ah, yes, I completely understand! I was lucky to be solo traveling through Australia, which made it so much easier to feed myself. Have a great trip!

  2. Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad
    February 13, 2018 / 9:04 am

    I think there’s a lot to be said for beach trips whatever the weather – and what’s the saying, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!?

    Interestingly, Australia used to be so far ahead of the UK in terms of gluten free food both eating out and in supermarkets (I’m talking 8-10 years ago) but recently seems to have plateaued. Whereas the UK has come along leaps and bounds in availability and also understanding, I feel like Australia has gone a little down the faddy Instagram gluten free trend. I still do manage to eat well but I don’t feel they’re the leaders they once were. Happy to furnish you with as many recommendations for your trip as I can!

    • February 23, 2018 / 2:38 pm

      Totally agree, GF is quite faddy / instagram-y in Australia although I’m looking forward to buying some GF Anzac biscuits I found in Coles last year. I had a packet in my hand luggage to bring home but small persons in airport meltdown meant I had to dish them out! Still not booked anywhere to stay in Sydney yet….where do you prefer, north or south shore?

      • Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad
        March 1, 2018 / 6:38 am

        Sorry for your Anzac biscuit loss! We live on the north shore so I’d have to say north (Chatswood has some great value serviced apartment type places, convenient for train, lots of restaurants including my ride or die Vietnamese fave although not many others are gf) however if you want to be a bit more in the action you’ll probably want to go south. All the cool places and events are around Surry Hills so if you want a bit more to do locally and can find somewhere reasonable there then you may want to do that? Or you could always go eastern suburbs bubble and find somewhere fabulous in Clovelly or Tamarama or something and live the yoga and ocean swim at dawn life…! Depends what you’re on for really.