Friday 27 July 2012

Your Olympic London gluten free cheat sheet: Part 3 - Fish and Chips

What could be more quintessentially British than Fish and Chips?

Well folks, get ready for some fried food because several London restaurants are offering gluten free batter and dedicated friers on certain days of the week.

And do try the mushy peas.

Oliver's Fish and Chips

Oliver's is a great fish and chip shop, serving classic food but in modern environment with class. I love this place. 

They do gluten free fish and chips every Wednesday - so be sure to put it in your diary. 

This place is really worth it making a special trip out to. (Plus Belsize Park is a pretty area!)

Here are three more that I haven't tried, but have been recommended by my most excellent readers: 

Olley's Fish Experience - Herne Hill - Gluten free Tuesdays:

Mam's Fish and Chips - South End Green Hampstead - Gluten Free Tuesdays

Belmont Bay Fish and Chips - Harrow - Gluten Free Wednesdays

Looking for gluten free fish and chips in other parts of the UK? This guidebook to the best UK chippies shows which ones have gluten free! 

Thursday 26 July 2012

Your Olympic London gluten free cheat sheet: Part 2: Sandwiches

As a coeliac we are denied many things but one that gets me surprisingly often is this: we can't have foods that you can eat at the same time as walking.

They are all bread based - people stroll between meetings munching sandwiches, wraps, panini's, even a slice of pizza or a croissant. And when you are a busy person running around town, having to stop to eat a salad can be quite frustrating. Especially when you are with a group of people who are all happy to grab a sandwich and get going.

Perhaps more accurately it's foods that you can eat without cutlery: hand held food stuffs that you can pop in your handbag and eat whenever you want.

Without further ado - places to get handheld food stuffs for all of you busy busy folk (namely Sandwiches):


Spot the tiny gluten free label! 
Thank goodness for the gluten free sandwich at Starbucks. It's saved me at airports, in train stations, and just rushing around town. 

It's subtly labeled gluten free on the packet so you have to look closely. The flavours are on rotation every three months or so. I curse it when it's the cheese and coleslaw one. But the rest - tuna, chicken and pesto and the very tasty (and quite healthy) ham and mustard are delicious. And I'm sure someone likes the cheese and coleslaw one. Anyone, anyone?  

And, obviously, there are Starbucks EVERYWHERE.

p.s. there's also a gf brownie, cake, and salad box.

Marks and Spencers 

Marks and Spencers, for those visiting from foreign climes, is a department store that has a supermarket division called "M&S Simply food". It's bigger stores have food halls within them also. 

They offer great gf sandwiches in distinct lime green packets in their sandwich section. Annoyingly the brand is called "made without wheat" but it's all gluten free. ( I mean, it's like launching a line of fruit-free drinks and calling them "made without pineapple". Would a fructose intolerant person go near that?!?!).

I like the ham salad one, and there's also an egg salad variety. 

Not all locations stock them, but I've found most London ones do. The full list is here. They also stock them in loads of train stations. Conveniency food slam dunk! 


Another british supermarket. Waitrose have plenty of london stores, and sell a prawn mayo and an egg mayo sandwich. Basically if you don't like mayo then you're screwed. But if you love mayo, then you're in heaven!

As you can see the packaging colours are different but the "gluten free" is easy to spot. 


Wasabi is a japanese chain that offers sushi and japanese curries and noodles. They do have an allergen sheet; basically the currys and noodles are a no go, the majority of the sushi is fine. BUT the BEST thing about wasabi are the ingenious Onigiri - one of which (see warning below!) is gluten free: the tuna and mustard. 

These little triangles are balls rice with a filling in the middle,  surrounded by seaweed nori that only comes into contact with the rice as you unwrap it. Thus there is the most satisfying crunch when you bite into it. Easy to hold in one hand and munch on, so even when it's pouring with rain and you have an umbrella in the other hand you can rejoice at eating on the go (I've been doing that a lot this rainy summer!)


For some reason that I cannot fathom, on the allergen sheet they have a tick saying contains gluten next to the tuna and mustard onigiri.  Now, I know that the seaweed, chicken and salmon have soy sauce in the fillings (it says so in their descriptions) , but the tuna and mustard - well, I have no idea what would have gluten in. I've asked at the counter and none of the ingredients are glutenous. Even on the allergy sheet you can see it's not soy sauce (soyabean isn't ticked, unlike the others) I've been eating them for about five years now without a reaction, but if you are very very sensitive best to avoid. 

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Your Olympics guide to gluten free London: Part 1

With everyone rolling into town for the Olympics, I thought it would be a good time to share a quick London eating on the go guide for you all.

Fellow Londoners will no doubt already know the places that are friendly for us when we are on the go looking to grab a bite to eat. I don't usually write about chain restaurants, but there are quite a few that are trying to make great gluten free strides forward, and in times of desperation can seem like gleaming beacons on the horizon, saving us all from a hungry stomach and having to make do with a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar (man how much do those moments suck?)

Without further ado, the London chain restaurant cheat sheet:


A firm lunch time favourite. A wide range of "healthy fast food", organic and locally sourced and more importantly, damned tasty. Everything is labeled on the menu with "GF" so it's easy to see what's gluten free. They have a wide range of items to choose from.

They have 11 London outlets all over the city - find them here:

Go for: a healthy lunchtime treat

Top dishes: Sweet potato falafel, Chicken superfood salad, Pecan pie!


I've posted about them before, but they deserve mentioning again as they deserve praise for all of the hard work they have put in to train their staff to understand gluten, making them a chain where you don't have to worry. Great, fresh and delicious Italian food. A gluten free menu is available.

There are 18 branches London wide, so you should never be far away:

Go for: a long lunch or an informal dinner

Top dishes: Any of the gluten free pasta dishes!


Wagamamas is a japanese asin fusion noodle bar, essentially. They have a sheet detailing what is gluten free. The options are somewhat limited but all delicious. The chicken itame is a coconut based noodle soup with thick flat rice noodles. Tasty every time. It's a casual dining environment; you share long bench like tables and the dishes are delivered whenever they are ready.

There are 10 London branches:

Go for: a quick lunch or dinner pit stop.

Top dishes: I love the chicken itame!

That's it for this post, more to come tomorrow.