This weekend a friend and I popped over to Lymington for an afternoon of shopping and hopefully a cuppa tea and a piece of cake!
Because the decision to go was at short notice or ‘off the cuff’ as we say I did not have much time to research, but I posted a request on 3 FB forums to see what would come up (unfortunately nothing during the time we were out) and how hard could it be to find a café who understands allergies.
Starting from the bottom end of town we called into one café who had a GF polenta cake openly on display amongst all the other cakes, when I mentioned there would be an issue with cross contamination, they mentioned they used separate slices, however the risk of crumbs from other food items was too great a risk, so we moved on.
Amongst the fabulous shops in Lymington there are a good number of coffee shops, tea rooms, hotels and restaurants, but there were very few who could offer a safe gluten free option or a combined gluten and dairy free option. After stopping at a number of the watering holes, we entered one of the hotels on the High Street, my friend has been there before as was quite sure they would have something we could have.
We asked the question “did they have gluten and dairy free options” the immediate response from the person we spoke to (I believe a team lead) was usually you have to book in advance for gluten free options, he then went away to speak with the kitchen to see what we could have, after at least a 10 minute wait he returned to inform us, they could supply a gluten free scone, when I asked about dairy free he shook his head, with a look of disapproval and said “that they could not accommodate this and surely a dairy free scone was like a biscuit!” Because we were settled we did order tea, and I took out my trusty 9Bar and again was left disappointed that when I venture out I have to plan 24 hours in advance.
Not just about Gluten free!
In relation to dairy free, food businesses who provide for gluten free should be aware there are a percentage of coeliac suffers who also suffer from Lactose intolerance and there are also those with dairy allergies who cannot consume milk without a reaction. A YouGov report 2014 shows that nearly as many people can suffer from milk intolerance or allergy as they can to gluten or wheat. So why don’t businesses recognise this?
After we left the hotel we wondered on down Lymington High Street and down towards the Harbour where to my delight we came across Drifters where they announced in the window they had “Homemade gluten and dairy free cakes” Yeah result!
On entering the shop I realised they had 5 different cakes to choose from, and the best yet that all the slices were individually wrapped in cling film to prevent cross contamination. I spoke to Bianca the owner and she mentioned they do not provide sandwiches because of the cross contamination risk, but she highlighted that all the cakes are made in a separate area, with a separate utensils and mixer so very safe for the coeliac customer
After purchasing a slice of carrot cake (which was consumed within a couple of minutes, it was amazing moist and tasty) and a slice of chocolate banana cake t takeaway, we made our way back up the hill passing numerous cafes. We noted another café Lounges highlighting they serve gluten free sandwiches; although I did not call in so do not know of their choices and procedures, maybe next time.
Yesterday my yearning for a scone with jam and cream got the better of me me so I took to baking my own to show that without dairy and gluten they definitely do not taste like biscuits! I also created a coconut cream to ensure I was able to get the full experience Mmmmm… – click here for the recipe. Enjoy
Have you had a good experience when eating gluten and dairy free? Want to shout out about it then please send through to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will endeavour to publish.
Also check out What Allergy’s latest blog “Cater for allergies and gluten free? Make my day!”