Thursday, 21 January 2016

Nottingham Eats January 2016

A few weekends ago we went into Nottingham. Knowing we'd be there pretty early and for most of the day I picked out a few new places I wanted to try. 

I'd heard great things about Bagel Nash on twitter so that was my first choice for breakfast. 

Their gluten free bagels are also dairy and egg free (vegan) which was great news. I picked bacon and avocado as my fillings. The bagels are toasted on the same toaster as normal bagels so you would need to be careful if you are highly sensitive. It would be nice if it was a separate toaster. The bagel its self was really tasty, nice and soft inside with a crusty outer. I'll definitely be visiting again when I'm next in Nottingham.

The Victoria Shopping Centre has been opening lots of new restaurants recently so there were a few I'd got on my list to try. We chose to have lunch at Tortilla. This reminded me a lot of Chipotle in the USA. You choose from Burritos, Tacos or Burrito Bowls and pick out your fillings from the counter.

I chose to have a Burrito Bowl. I checked with the server that the rice and chicken were dairy & gluten free. I was told yes. I obviously didn't have any cheese or sour cream but I had guacamole (dairy free according to server) and salsa. The last part of the counter was lettuce and a few other toppings. I noticed that the server was touching and wrapping flour/cheese/sour cream filled burritos with his gloves on and I didn't want to risk him picking out my lettuce with the same gloves so I chose not to have any. It would have been better if they'd had a utensil to pick out the lettuce to avoid cross contamination. I couldn't find their allergy info anywhere online so it would be helpful if it was displayed on their website or noted next to each item in store.

I loved the Burrito Bowl though it was full of flavour and reminded me of the USA.
 I'll definitely eat there again in future.

I popped into the Natural Food Company on Mansfield Road to see what goodies they had. As I don't go into Nottingham very often I like to see what different items they are selling. It's not a huge shop but it's full of cool stuff. They stock various Follow your Heart sauces which I've tried in the USA and love. The Caesar dressing is really good. They also stock quite a few different Violife cheeses which I've not tried before. I loved the smoked version and the Parmesan style is fab grated on pasta dishes (or anything you want uber cheesy). I picked up some of my favourite sweet treats, raw chocolate mulberries, cookie shots, a Vego bar and a Thumbs up bar. I also got a jar of Apricot Kernel Butter which I've not yet tried but I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like. They have a cake & savoury cabinet with fresh baked vegan & gluten free goods. I picked out a chocolate walnut slice which was delicious. I think I need to visit more regularly because it's a great shop.

While browsing Tiger I spotted this milkshake mix. I know it's not great ingredients but I fancied trying it. I blended it with a banana and some rice milk and it was actually quite nice although very sweet. I wouldn't probably buy again but I'm glad I tried it. 

I also wanted to mention a great Coffee Roaster called 200 Degrees in the city centre. We stocked up on some of their delicious coffee beans which we have been loving. Can't beat freshly ground coffee. 

They sell various drinks and foods in their lovely coffee shop which you can eat in or take away. 

I can't wait to visit Nottingham again soon as it seems to have a lot to offer at the moment. 
Have you visited Nottingham recently? What are your favourite Allergy Friendly places to eat at?

Monday, 11 January 2016

Champney Springs Leicestershire

Happy New Year! 
I hope you had a great Christmas with lots of safe free from food. I know I did!

I spent the first two days of 2016 at Champney Springs Health Spa which is located near Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire. My husband had booked it as a surprise to help get us back on track after the Christmas indulgences. 

At check in I mentioned my intolerance's (usually you mention them when booking) and the receptionist took a note to let the chefs know. We booked our lunch for while we were waiting for our room. It was only 15 minutes after we'd checked in but they had already marked up a sheet for the buffet with all the options I was safe to eat. It was a self service buffet with lots of fresh salads, meats, fish and hot and cold options. All the items on the buffet were also labelled with allergens.

I didn't take a photo of my lunch on the first day but it was a plate full of different salads, roasted potatoes and chicken legs. Very tasty. On the 2nd day I chose to have fish with jacket potato and salad. I liked how there was lots of choice and it was easy for me to pick out the safe options. There was GF bread on request as well as rice cakes.

Dessert on my first lunch day was a fruit salad but on the 2nd lunch day it was a lovely berry jelly which I enjoyed.

While at Lunch we booked a slot for our evening meal. The menu had all allergens marked on it but I did double check with the server. I was happy with the amount of options and it was obvious that they tried to cater for as many different diets as they could.

My starter was a Trio of Melon with a lemon dressing. I do love melon and the dressing made a nice change. For my main course I chose the grilled haddock with sweet potato mash, grilled tomatoes and lemon dressing. Again it was a nice fresh tasty meal.

Unfortunately my dessert was fruit salad but I suppose I was there to get healthy and not eat chocolate cake so it was acceptable on this occasion. 

Breakfast was another buffet with various cereals, fruit, yoghurt, breads and fish. Again all allergens were labeled on the buffet. Hot breakfasts could be ordered for an extra cost. I picked some GF cereal, an Alpro yoghurt and fruit washed down with a peppermint tea.

There was a little cafe area where you cold buy smoothies, herbal teas and snacks such as Nakd bars, savoury snacks, Honeybuns Bakery brownies and a special at the time which was a Chocolate Orange energy ball. I loved these, they were a nice treat.

Overall it was a brilliant place for people with allergies and intolerance's. There was a lot of choice and I didn't ever feel uncomfortable mentioning my intolerance's. It was nice to feel normal. They were very helpful and knowledgeable. The food was all prepared and cooked nicely and was very fresh and tasty.

It was a nice get away for a few days and we left feeling relaxed and refreshed.