Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Camden Gluten Free Festival & New Eats!

Last weekend we headed down to London for a festive few days away. We always stay in Camden as its one of my favourite places to visit. We'd planned well as the Camden Market Gluten Free Festival was taking place over the Saturday and Sunday. Win!

We set off at 6.30am and arrived shortly after 9.30am. We had a wonder into the market while all the stalls were still setting up and sat down for a fresh mint tea at the morrocan looking place outside the stables market. 
First stop of the day for a mid morning snack was Cookies & Scream. I visit everytime I'm in Camden as they sell all Vegan & Gluten Free Bakes. I had a Bowser (Chocolate Brownie with Cookie in the middle) and my husband had a Peanut Butter & Jelly cookie. Both were yummy! 
By mid day the Gluten Free Festival stalls had set up in the Middle Yard and were serving an array of delights. Most of the stalls were also dairy & egg free too so I had plenty of choice. I decided to have a Chicken Empanada from a stall called Maize Blaze which is Columbian Street food. A golden crispy Empanada filled with seasoned chicken and served with herby potatoes, plantain, pickled red cabbage, salsa & salad. It was really really scrummy. I was so full after that I didn't have space to eat off any of the other stands. 

Mid afternoon it was snack time again. My husband had got a fancy ice cream from one of the shops so back I went to Cookies & Scream for my treat. I ordered a Tub of Scream with cookie dough balls & salted caramel sauce. OMG amazing!  

We spent early evening strolling around the Southbank Christmas Market which was lovely. After an early morning and lots of walking we decided to get food to take back to our hotel room. A few doors from our hotel was Byron Burger so we ordered a take away. I ordered the Skinny Burger which is a bunless burger with a side salad & an extra patty. Yes it would be nice to have it in a gf df ef bun but I really enjoyed it and was still very tasty.

Sunday we set off to explore a few areas we'd never been to. First stop was Boxpark. We were pretty early so not much was open but Milk Tea & Pearl was so we could get our bubble tea fix. I like a bubble tea. I had Lychee Black Tea with Lychee Bubbles. 

We then made our way over to Brick Lane as I'd noticed a cool looking Chocolate Shop on there called Dark Sugars. They sell all handmade chocolates and have a "Vegan Tree" with a dairy free selection. They are clearly marked Vegan too. I picked a nice little selection of truffles, chocolate coated medjool dates & cherries. They aren't cheap but they are well worth it for a luxurious treat. 

A bit further down Brick Lane we came across a market tucked down a side street called the Backyard Market. I spotted a sign for Gluten Free Vegan cake so I was straight in there. There it was a lovely cake stall called Cakes By Verna. I had one of each of the gf vegan options. a pretty Cranberry Orange cupcake, a chocolate brownie and an almond whoopie pie. I ate them over a few days and they were all yummy. The cupcake was my fave. 

Further down Brick Lane was another indoor market called Sunday Upmarket. I'm drawn to food markets so in we went to explore. After a few minutes I spotted another cake stall with signs for Gluten Free Vegan cake. Win again. This one was called Ninas Bakes and is run by a friendly lady who chatted about the gf and df ef options. I chose a piece of Carrott Cake and a slice of Chocolate Banana Loaf. I must say the banana loaf was the best I've ever brought. Yum! The Carrott cake was moist and delicious too. 

We headed back to the usual tourist areas and stopped for late lunch at Whole Foods Piccadilly. I picked my lunch from the hot buffet. Turkey in gravy, duck fat roast potatoes and maple glazed parsnips. All marked clearly with allergens. It was really tasty. I also picked up one of the cupcakes I purchased when I was last in London as I enjoyed it that much last time. 

I picked up a few snacks for the drive home from Wasabi. All their items are marked on the shelf labels with allergens making it easy to pick safe options. I love their shrimp nigri and edamame.

All in all I had a brilliant weekend and it's always made better when it's easy to find safe food to eat. I don't think I've ever seen so many signs offering various special diet options. That makes me happy :)