Monday, 27 July 2015

Brighton Eats July 2015

Last weekend we went down to Brighton for a long weekend break. Brighton for me is up there with Camden, I love both of them so much. Brighton is also amazing for every special diet. I have my favourite places to visit down in Brighton but this trip I decided to try and visit some new places that we'd never eaten at before. We were very successful. 

42 Juice fast became our breakfast stop off. It was right outside our hotel so each morning we stopped for a smoothie or juice. 

They sell a great selection of nut milks, juices and other healthy snacks. 

First morning I had an "I am Temptation" which is Cashew Milk, Raw Cacao, Banana, Dates, Walnut, Lucuma and Cacao Nibs. It was delicious. 

The next morning I picked up a Watermelon Juice which was lovely and refreshing with a nice touch of mint.
I also got a Cashew Milk. Cashews are one of my favourite nuts and it makes a change to see cashew milk rather than Almond milk or coconut milk which I can't tolerate. It was really tasty. There's something to be said for hand made milks.

We were in the lanes all morning browsing the shops so for lunch we stopped at Hen which is at the very top of the North Lanes. Really nice trendy restaurant that sells Chicken in various ways.

I had quarter grilled chicken with sweet potato fries. The chicken was lovely and juicy but the fries stole the show. They were amazing. Never thought of combining dill with sweet potato but it went so so well. All the sauces were gf and df too which was good. Very helpful friendly staff too. I'll definitely go again if we're in Brighton. If you are just gluten free they do gf waffles too. Unfortunately not dairy or egg free though.

I'm really loving loose leaf teas at the moment since being introduced to them in Alnwick earlier in the year. The Blue Bird Tea Co has a massive selection of tea combinations. The girl in the shop was really friendly and helped me pick out some great flavours. 

While there I also brought a cold brew tea bottle to make tea and store in the fridge so I can have iced tea whenever I want. I got some teas specifically because I thought they'd made good cold brew flavours but I also got a nice peppermint cream to have hot and a lavender sleepy tea. They sell online too. 

One place I have to visit each time I'm in Brighton is Boho Gelato. They always have a selection of vegan gelato and most are also gf. I was happy to see grape flavour in the cabinet. It was so nice. Yum! 

We met up with some friends for our evening meal. Knowing they love Japan we chose to book Moshimo which is a Japanese and sushi restaurant. It was right outside our hotel so didn't have to walk far. At night all the front is open with seating outside too. 

The waitress gave me a full allergen folder to help me make my choice. She also pointed out that things could be adapted, the tempura could be made with corn flour and the sushi selections could be made to suit my diet. I fancied trying a Sashimi selection which came with rice and miso soup. We also shared some edamame. The Moshimo mojito was lovely too. 

The following day I really wanted to visit a chip shop in Hove that I'd seen people raving about. It was a bit of a walk from where we were staying so we thought it would be fun to hire a bike and cycle along the seafront to Hove. 

Wolfies of Hove have gluten free batter every day which is also dairy and egg free. You don't need to preorder you can just turn up. Our fish & chips didn't take long to arrive and the servers were all really friendly. We jumped back on our bikes and took our fish & chips down to the seafront to eat. 

The fish was lovely and I enjoyed the batter. The chips were great too. They only use gluten free vinegar so you don't have to worry about that either. They have everything covered for a delicious safe fish & chips. Yum!! It was worth hiring the bikes for. (The ride up to Hove is really enjoyable too. We hired our bikes from the bike rental near Brighton pier).

Sunday evening we planned to get a pizza to take to the beach while the sun set. Another place i'd heard was great was Morelli Zorelli. They are based on Western Road but also do deliveries so we had our pizzas delivered to the hotel. 

They use Venice Bakery pizza bases which are the best in my option. I had the Wild Boar Pizza with wild boar prosciutto, smoked pancetta, roasted vine tomatoes and I had vegan mozzarella. It was really enjoyable and it's great that they cater really well for gluten free and Vegan diets. They have great menus showing all options on their website.

Monday before we traveled back home we took the opportunity to eat at Fishy Fishy 
(Dermot O'leary co owns the restaurant) as the weekend crowds had died down. 

I only wanted a light lunch so I had the Lean Green Salad (minus Parmesan) with a balsamic dressing and added prawns. It was simple but I enjoyed it. I was tempted by the Rosemary Salted Chips as they were cooked separately but I resisted. 

Before leaving Brighton I wanted to call into Eat Naked as I'd been following their Instagram and loving all the creations. Eat Naked is owned by Stacie Stewart (Masterchef finalist & TV Baker). It was nice to chat to her in the shop about when she judged my baking at a local food festival. 

I picked a salad box with rice, greens, courgetti with a avocado mint sauce and grilled chicken. It was really tasty and really makes me want to make more clean meals. She also makes raw sweet treats and juices.

Another place I popped into before leaving was Infinity Foods supermarket. It is a free from heaven. I picked up a few bits. I love Ten Acre crisps, the cheese & onion and chicken flavours are amazing. I got a few drinks as I love the pomegranate & green tea but don't get it near me. My husband wanted the Raw Chocolate Company treats which he enjoyed. I had the Cleo's and Twilight bar which are both really good. Got some squirty cream for hot chocolates and finally a fresh baked Foccacia and White Chocolate Cranberry muffin which were both really nice. 

I've got to add that all of the restaurants I emailed or tweeted were all great and answered my questions which is always good. Thanks!

So we had an amazing weekend in Brighton and successfully tried lots of new places. I will always recommend Brighton to people, not only for its food options but it is a fantastic place with so much to see and do. Go visit!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Camden Town Eats July 2015

It's no secret that I love Camden. It's one of my favourite places in the UK to visit. The market stalls and shops in this area could probably cover every dietary need. It's a fantastic place. As we were in London for the Allergy Show we decided to stay in Camden for the weekend.

As we arrived in Camden mid afternoon we headed straight to the bustling market to pick up some lunch. Last year I ate from Maize Blaze and loved it. I've been craving it ever since so that's the stall I headed for. They do amazing gluten free and dairy free empanadas which come with an array of tasty sides. I love the chicken empanadas they are full of flavour and I chose to have mine with the salad box which included mixed leaves, tomatoes tasty fried potatoes, red cabbage and sunflower seeds. So good. My husband had the box which also contained rice and plantain. Delicious.

I can't visit Camden without stopping at Cookies & Scream. It wasnt just me that has that thought either as we found Becky (gfcuppatea) and her boyfriend Mark slurping down some scrummy milkshakes sat at the stall. I picked out the hazelnut brownies, a choc chip cookie and a bowser (brownie & cookie in one! Hell yes!). As always they were all super delicious. I always recommend Cookies & Scream to anyone visiting Camden who needs GF Vegan sweet treats.

Another place I always stop at in Camden is Chaboba for a bubble tea. I noticed they were doing a Watermelon special so I had to try it (being watermelon everything obsessed). I had it with lychee & mango bubbles and as a crush as it was so hot. Lovely and refreshing.

The first evening we decided to go to WholeFoods to stock up on food for a hotel balcony picnic. I love Wholefoods there needs to be one in every town. I picked out some sweet chill wings, falafel with a sweet tangy dip, tortillas and what I think is the best guacamole ever. I like Wholefoods as they list all the ingredients of the warm buffet food on labels making it easy to pick safe food. All was very tasty.

The following morning I went over the road to get a smoothly from InSpiral Lounge. If you've not heard of InSpiral they are a 100% gluten free, vegan & vegetarian restaurant and shop. You can buy some of their packaged products in Wholefoods. I had a Banana Karma Smoothie which is Activated Cashew Nuts, Dates, Raw Cacao and Bananas. I really enjoyed it. They have a great selection of take away juices and smoothies. They also sell nut based ice cream, desserts, kale chips and raw chocolates along with numerous menu items in the cafe.

We spent most of the day in London Zoo. It's a nice walk along the canal and through Regent's Park. I didn't eat in the zoo but I did notice that on one of the stands they had allergens shown on the labels for sandwiches etc. 

Late afternoon we popped back to the market before heading home. Another place I really wanted to try was the Louisiana Chilli Shack. I saw them at the GF Festival last year but didn't get a chance to try. I chose the beef chilli with tortillas and coriander salsa. This was one of the best Chillis I've ever tasted. It was so so good. Everything on the stall is gluten free and they have dairy & egg free options too. Thumbs up! 

Finally while I was in Wholefoods I got a few items to take home. I picked up a couple of Vego bars. I can't resist hazelnut chocolate. Some Rose & Cardamon Marshmallows which looked interesting and a chocolate orange cake from an artisan chocolatier call Pourtoi. The cake was really nice with chunks of chocolate throughout. Yum! 

What with the Allergy Show and Camden I had a great Free From weekend. Check out my previous post to see what I found at the allergy show.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Allergy & Free From Show 2015

Last Saturday I was up bright and early to travel down to the Allergy & Free From show at the Olympia. I arrived 20 minutes before opening and joined the queue which was getting pretty long. This is my 3rd year at the show so I kinda know what to expect and I always have a rough idea of the stalls I want to visit. This year I printed off a floor plan and circled the stalls that I definitely wanted to visit so I didn't miss them.

The show is split into three areas. The Allergy & Free From Show, Just V Show (Veggie & Vegan food & lifestyle) and the Love Natural Love Organic Show. All marked out with different coloured carpets in the Grand Hall. I'm glad we got there for opening as the the show gets busy very quickly. 

My first stop was the Delicious Alchemy stall. I love this brand. They sell some amazing products. My favourite being the bread mixes and the chocolate brownie mix. They were super friendly and it was nice to meet the girls behind the Twitter account. We discussed the brownies because they require egg in the mix. As I avoid eggs I usually use egg replacer but I was told to try mashed potato instead. I'll be giving this a go. 

My next stop was another of my favourites BFree. It was a nice surprise to see that they are launching Stone Baked Pita Breads that are Dairy, Egg and Gluten Free. I adore their bagels and these pita breads don't disappoint either, they are amazing. I love this brand because they don't use egg in their products. It's hard to find gluten & dairy free products without egg. Would be great to see more of their products in all the supermarkets. 

I stopped at the lovely Anandas stall as the marshmallows and Round Ups caught my eye. I'd seen that Round Ups are very popular with Vegans and I was so happy to see they had created a gluten free version too. They are amazing. Mine didn't last long at all. Who couldn't love two biscuits filled with marshmallow, jam and covered in chocolate. I also picked out some raspberry marshmallows which were (yes I've eaten them all) delicious. 

I'd seen Baskels mentioned on Twitter the previous day and noticed their mixes were egg free (as well as dairy & gluten free) and didn't require egg to make either. The mixes weren't for sale at the show but the very helpful man gave me a bag with a sample of the Artisan Bread Mix. The breads on the stall looked fab so I'm looking forward to trying this mix. 

I got a tip off the previous day from Sarah of Sugarpuffish that I needed to visit the Nana Nice Cream stall. I'm glad I did. She was right. I purchased a tub of the Vanilla Nice Cream and it was really nice. It contains simple ingredients (banana, avocado, dates, apple & vanilla) and tastes great. Hopefully they will be stocked in supermarkets soon.

I can't go to the allergy show without buying chocolate and this year I had Cocolibre on my list of must visits. The ladies on the stall were really friendly and helpful. I went for the show deal and picked out two large items and two small. I picked out a delicious three pack of small bars (honeycomb, raspberry & orange/ginger), a big bar of honeycomb and two small bars of orange and mint. Delicious dairy free chocolate.

This one my husband spotted and wanted to try. This is a rich raw chocolate. Both flavours were tasty. The bars were pretty small but I find with dark chocolate you don't need too much anyway. 

I stocked up on the O'Choco biscuits as I don't have anywhere near me that sells them. I'm partial to these Oreo style cookies so they will go down nicely. I don't think there are any other UK brands that sell this style cookie so its great that lovemore have got us intolerant / allergic peeps covered.

Another favourite of mine is the Venice Bakery pizza bases. I've been buying them for a few years now. I like to use them for garlic bread to accompany meals as well as pizza. They are the best UK pizza bases in my opinion. Would be great if some bigger pizza chains used these as their free from option as they cover so many allergies.

I've not had Hoi Sin sauce in a long time so I had to buy this from the Sweet Mandarins stall. They sell great gluten free Chinese sauces. I'm looking forward to trying this sauce with some crispy duck. One day I want to visit their Chinese restaurant in Manchester. 

Fave snack alert! The nakd stall had a great offer on their bars so I stocked up on two of my favourite flavours. My husband likes the nibbles so I got him a selection of flavours which he hadn't tried. These will keep us going for a while. 

Ms Cupcake had made all her vegan bakes gluten free this year which was amazing. It was hard to choose from the delicious selection of flavours but I picked out a red velvet cupcake. I ate it as soon as I got back to our hotel. Yum! I need to get her book out again and start making some of her bakes. She's fab! If your ever near Brixton go visit her shop.

So there you go. That was this years Allergy Show. I had a great morning at the show and was really pleased with all my purchases. It was great to meet some of the faces behind social media accounts too.

I highly recommend visiting the show if you have allergies or intolerances. There are hundreds of stalls and lots of really helpful information.

You can visit the Allergy Show Website here or find them on Twitter @AllergyShow