Friday, 25 January 2008

If you have a sweet tooth...

... read on! I have recently eaten the BEST gluten-free cake I've ever had, AND the best biscuit. Honestly, they were both so good and you would never know they were gluten-free...

The cake comes from Konditor and Cook and is called Almond St Clement. It's a moist, spongy, orangey cake with a delicious sticky layer of citrusy goodness on top and really is perfection. I got given a whole one for my birthday recently and I almost ate the whole thing (meant for 12) for breakfast. They also do some other gluten-free things - helpfully pointed out on their 'retail list'.

The biscuit is from, surprisingly, Costa Coffee. It's called 'Gluten-Free Raspberry Shortcake' and so far every branch I've been into (bar one) has stocked them. It tastes a bit like a cherry bakewell (which I love so was instantly sold on flavour) but the best thing is the texture - it has jam in the middle and is like a shortcake cookie on the outside so it's really almost like having a soft cookie (the kind I used to eat from the bakery bit in Sainsbury's - where you get 5 in a bag or whatever - pre-gf days...) - AMAZING.

Seriously, give both of them a try - they are truly delicious and unlike so many of the gf products, are exactly like their wheat-filled friends...

23 comments:

Christensens said...

Hello! You don't know me, but my name is Tatiana, I also live in London, and I am a fellow Celiac (that's how we spell it in the States). Anyway, I've stumbled upon your blog (thanks for some great ideas, by the way), and I was wondering if you've tried Ooze risotto bar on Goodge Street? They have delicious risotto for eat in or take away, and the menu specifies what is gluten free.

Lizzie said...

Hi Tatiana,
So glad you've found it useful... And thank you for mentioning Ooze-have been meaning to go for ages but haven't made it yet-glad to hear it's good! Will endeavour to go soon and add a post!
Lizzie

Biker0107 said...

Hi, i'm italian celiac girl and next summer i'll go to London.. i don't know where i can eat gluten free.. can you help me? please.. sorry, i speak a little english but i try to understand what you said.. please help me.. thank you..

Lizzie said...

Hi - there are obviously lots of places mentioned on here but if you let me know whereabouts in London you will be living/working I can try and help you find some places near there...
Most supermarkets (Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose etc) have gluten-free products but the smaller ones in the centre of town don't always stock everything...
Fresh & Wild in Piccadilly Circus is a good source of gluten-free food but is quite expensive... there is also one of these shops in Camden and in Stoke Newington and Clapham...
There is also a HUGE one, called Wholefoods, on Kensington High St.
Let me know where you'll be and I'll try and help!
Lizzie

Biker0107 said...

Hi Lizzie thank you for informations.. i think that we'll be living in hotel near Paddington or Kensington but anyway we want to visit all the city.. So i need to know where are shops, reastaurant, take away, supermarkets, fast food.. all you know.. thank you very much Lizzie!!

Lizzie said...

Hi - basically it's a bit difficult to list every supermarket etc but if you are going to be in Kensington then you'll be quite near Wholefoods - which although I have some issues with - it has quite a good selection of gluten-free things - if you ask someone in there they'll be able to help you. It's on Kensington High Street (quite near the tube station).
If you Google 'Sainsbury's' and 'Tesco' and 'Waitrose' you'll be able to find out exactly where all their stores are... as for places like coffee shops - they are everywhere! If you ask in any of them if they do anything gluten-free they'll be able to show you what they have, if anything. Fast food I'm not so good on - but Leon is a great option for cheaper and quick food - you can get it to take away or you can eat in - there's a post further back on here (the first one I ever wrote) which has a link to their website but there is one on Carnaby St, one on Regent St, one on The Strand and more... For more specific restaurants and things try reading some of the other posts and hopefully you'll find some ideas... I know there aren't many yet but at the moment I'm working out of London during the day so not so much opportunity to try new places! It is hard to get snacks etc just anywhere that are gluten-free although lots of sandwich places etc are now doing more things like bags of nuts etc and you can ask in any of them for ingredients lists for the soups etc or if they're gluten-free and most of them can tell you (Pret-A-Manger and Eat are good for this).
Good luck and if you want to give me your email address I will try and help some more - anche parlo un po d'italiano quindi forse posso scrivere un po' nella sua lingua! (Posso provare, anyway!)

Lizzie

gianni said...

lohi lizzie! i'm italian girl and i'm coming to london and i would be happy, if you could tell me where i can buy gluten free food...
and also would like to know if in coffee bars i would find gluten freee things... it's my first "celiac journey".... anyway i carry with me some pasta and bread..... bye bye

vina said...

hi, i'm italian celiac girl.i'm coming to london and i would be happy if you could tell me where i can buy gluten free food, and also would like to know if in coffee bars i would find gluten freee things... it's my first "celiac journey"....

Lizzie said...

Hi,

The best places to buy gluten-free food are either supermarkets (the bigger branches) like Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Asda, Morrisons etc or health food shops. Health food shops tend to be more expensive but they often have nicer things in that aren't as full of additives as some of the supermarket stuff... (having said that, Sainsbury's corn pasta is some of the best gluten-free pasta I've tried)
Fresh and Wild (part of Wholefoods) is good - there's one in Camden, Soho and on Kensington High St, Planet Organic is another health food chain but I never find as much gluten-free stuff in there...
Holland and Barratt is also good for basics - although the choice isn't huge, they're everywhere on high streets around London so are a good place if you're starving and need a snack!
Coffee shops - Starbucks does a gluten-free sandwich but not all the branches stock them and the ones that do often only have one... (the best ones I've found are at stations - Liverpool St and Waterloo usually have plenty in the mornings!)
Costa Coffee does a good biscuit, and most coffee shops are now really good and usually have something like a gluten-free brownie (usually pre-packaged, not fresh am afraid, but still...!) or something that you can eat like yoghurt/fruit salad etc...
Places are getting better and supermarkets are way better stocked than they used to be in terms of gluten-free stuff - Marks and Spencer doesn't do a gluten-free range but all their food is labelled really clearly and it seems that they make an effort to make things naturally gluten-free as much as possible by using cornflour, instead of wheat flour, etc so you can see clearly if something contains gluten...
Good luck and let me know if I can help more!
Lizzie

TC said...

Head down to The north Pole in W10, They have a range of gluten free dishes including pasta and bangers and mash. They also occaisionly do a gluten free chocolate fudge cake that is to die for. And it's the only place I know where you can have a Sunday roast with gravy!

Lizzie said...

Hey TC,

Sounds great - thanks for the tip! Will definitely try and make it there for a meal and add it to the blog...

Lizzie

Moinakan said...

Hi lizzie..i'm biker0107 but i don't remember my pass so this is a new account.. :) i'm just decide where i'll go in London.. my hotel is near Earl's court station.. if you want i can give you my e mail so we can write there.. i need some information.. please.. ;) my e mail is monycadimonza@hotmail.it
i'm going to wait your e mail.. thx a lot!!!!

Moinakan said...

Hi lizzie.. i'm just decide where i'll go in London.. my hotel is near Earl's court station.. if you want i can give you my e mail so we can write there.. i need some information.. please.. ;) my e mail is monycadimonza@hotmail.it
i'm going to wait your e mail.. thx a lot!!!!

Moinakan said...

Hi lizzie.. i'm just decide where i'll go in London.. my hotel is near Earl's court station.. if you want i can give you my e mail so we can write there.. i need some information.. please.. ;) my e mail is monycadimonza@hotmail.it
i'm going to wait your e mail.. thx a lot!!!!

ga3 said...

my name is gaia,i'm italian and i'm celiac from 2 years.i'll come to london in may and i'll stay in a hostel (its name is generator)so i'll eat in restaurants and other locals for my lunch and dinner;can you tell me some name of restaurants,bars,pubs,mcdonalds or other local where i can eat gluten-free?thanks if you can send me an email to gaga03@hotmail.it
sorry for my bad english!! :) gaia

ga3 said...

hello.i'm gaia and i'm celiac.i'm italian and i'll come to london in may.i'll stay in a hostel;can you tell me some restaurants,bar,pubs,mcdonalds or other locals where eating gluten-free?thanks and sorry for my bad english!! :)

Hannah said...

Hello; I would also highly recommend the chocolate brownies from Cafe Nero. They're gluten free and individually wrapped, so no worries about contamination.

Elle Moxley said...

Hi Lizzie,

My name is Elle and I'm from the US, but I'll be studying abroad in London this fall. I'm trying to learn as much as I can prior to going, so I can eat safely from day one. I'd love to talk to you at some point and get some tips and tricks for managing celiac's while abroad. I do just fine here, but it's so different trying to research an entirely different country!

Anyway, if you're still checking this site and you'd be willing to chat to help me out, just shoot me an e-mail, em2mb@mizzou.edu.

Take care!

Best,
Elle

Elle Moxley said...

Hi Lizzie,

My name is Elle and I'm from the US, but I'll be studying abroad in London this fall. I'm trying to learn as much as I can prior to going, so I can eat safely from day one. I'd love to talk to you at some point and get some tips and tricks for managing celiac's while abroad. I do just fine here, but it's so different trying to research an entirely different country!

Anyway, if you're still checking this site and you'd be willing to chat to help me out, just shoot me an e-mail, em2mb@mizzou.edu.

Take care!

Best,
Elle

tryingtoavoidproblems said...

Trying again with comment...I'm going to London and will be staying at Royal Horseguards hotel. Could you please tell me the names of grocery stores with gf items near the hotel? Also the names of nearby gf restaurants? Is the muffin place you mentioned near the hotel? Many, many thanks for any information!

Lizzie said...

Hi tryingtoavoidproblems,

Unfortunately I don't know if the branches of the supermarkets near where you are staying stock their gluten-free ranges or not - I don't live near there and haven't really done a survey!

The easiest thing is to go to supermarkets' websites - like Sainsbury's/Tesco/Waitrose, put in the postcode of your hotel and see what kinds of branches are nearest...

The smaller branches - like Sainsbury's Locals and Tesco Expresses - don't tend to have very many, if any, Free From products, so try to see if there are bigger branches nearby.

The muffin shop isn't TOO far away - but isn't exactly on the doorstep - that's in Covent Garden - so if you look on a map you'll be able to see how far it is.

You're quite near the Strand in your hotel - there's a branch of Leon (see first post on blog) there where you can get really good gluten-free food - to eat in or take away - all for about £5. They also do really good cakes.

You're also not too far from Piccadilly Circus where there is a branch of Fresh & Wild which stocks lots of gluten-free products - things like rice/corn pasta and rice flakes, gf breads etc so that might be useful for you? It's quite expensive but it has a good range...

Hope that helps a bit,

Lizzie

anre said...

Hi Lizzie,

I just wanted to say thank you for the great blog. I stayed in London for vacation for some days and selected the restaurants according to your blog.

I went to the Da Mario, Rasa, Leon at Spitalfields and the Imli. All were great and in my opinion Imli was best. Thank you very much, you really made a difference. :)
Andreas

Lizzie said...

Hi Andreas - really glad you found it useful - thanks so much for letting me know! Lizzie