New Ladybird Bakery Stall and Herald Gluten-free Feature

17 Jan

Hopefully by now most of the Plymouth based gluten free readers will have met Donna and Sarah of the Ladybird Bakery.  They have been selling their tasty gluten free baked goods around Plymouth since last year, but the good news is they’ve now got a permanent home inside Plymouth Pannier Market.  You can find them on stall 20 opposite Martin’s Butchers, which is on your right if you enter the market at the Frankfurt Gate entrance.  They sell sweet and savoury baked good, all gluten free with dairy free options too.  They are also selling frozen ready meals now.  Opening hours as below:

ladbybird stallMonday: 9.30-16.30
Tuesday: 9.30-16.30
Wednesday: 9.30-15.30
Thursday: 9.30-16.30
Friday: 9.30-16.30
Saturday: 9.30-16.30

The Herald have today covered the opening of the new stall and have included an interview with Donna and Sarah.  The good news is though that The Herald decided to take it a step further and have composed a feature on coeliac disease with case studies and have even featured an interview with myself about coeliac disease and Gluten Free by the Sea!  A huge thank-you to Chiara Giordano at The Herald for her brilliant work on this.  In addition to Chiara’s excellent feature, there was also a great review of The Galley by Louise Daniel and a gluten free pizza recipe in the What’s On section yesterday.

The Herald have put much of the coverage on-line and you can read it here.  Fantastic coverage and a big well done to all involved, and brilliant to see the Ladybird Bakery girls even making the front page!

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galley herald

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

2014 – A Gluten Free Year

21 Dec

So as 2014 comes to a close it’s time to look back on what the year has brought for me personally and of course the gluten free scene in general.  Well let me get the personal stuff out the way first.  To be honest it’s been a rubbish year and I’m more than happy to see the back of it.  We recently went through a period where Abby lost a close friend, I found out I was being made redundant and then we lost our beloved cat Azreal.  A tough time to say the least and I must admit I’ve struggled to find the time/enthusiasm to blog much recently as a result.  Here’s hoping life and Gluten Free by the Sea are back on track in 2015!

Az

2014-01-18 12.24.51On to the more relevant stuff with a look at the gluten free scene in Plymouth this year.  The year started with a bang as Clare’s Gluten Free Cafe opened as the first completely gluten free eatery in Plymouth.  It was so great to have somewhere that was completely gluten free and not to have to worry about cross contamination at all, only what to eat!  I was a regular there for lunch and the IT department at work grew very fond of the weekly cake run.  Sadly the cafe didn’t make the end of the year which was a huge blow but a big thanks to Clare for all the delicious goodies whilst it lasted.

emma_markOn to more positive news and thankfully Plymouth has an all new completely gluten free restaurant that has recently opened, The Galley.  Based in The Maritime Inn on The Barbican serving freshly cooked, reasonably priced pub grub it’s been great to have another safe haven.  Emma and Mark are doing a great job and I’m already a regular, and I’m looking forward to many more visits in the new year.

We’ve had to say goodbye to a few other Gluten Free by the Sea favourites this year too unfortunately.  Traditional Puddings and Love Free From have ceased trading and Eggbuckland Fish and Chip shop changed owners and stopped their gluten free nights.  The good news though is we’ve got to say hello to The Ladybird Bakery, Holland’s Diner, Soupy Do and gluten free days at the excellent Kingfisher Fish and Chip Shop.

Burger from Holland's Diner

Burger from Holland’s Diner

JD's Grill gluten free hoagieI couldn’t do a review of the year without mentioning the JD’s Grill hoagie!  Being five minutes away from the office I have indulged in (probably too) many of these delicious six inch subs filled with amazingly cooked pulled pork or pulled brisket.  Great value and an excellent gluten free lunch option in the city centre.  JD’s continues to go from strength to strength and not only have their GF offerings improved over the course of the year, I think they’ve continued to push the quality of their food.  They are becoming increasingly popular which is well deserved.

JD’s hosted a successful GF night for the Coeliac UK Plymouth Group early in the year, and it has been a busy year for the group.  In addition to the meal out we have managed to put on a couple of food fairs at the Elm Centre, a new members meeting and a fun day at Mount Edgcumbe.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed to those events and I hope that you have enjoyed them if you’ve come along as a visitor.  Next year is an important one for the group, by the time we host the AGM in March we will need to find a new Group Organiser and Treasurer in order to keep the group going.  If you are interested in one of these rolls or a lesser role on the committee please do get in touch.

On a wider note 2014 has been notable for the introduction of the new allergen laws recently.  I’ve yet to really investigate how restaurants are coping with the changes, but for the most part the labelling on packaged products seems to be working fairly well.  A thank-you here to Alex Gazzola for his tireless work trying to help us all fully understand the changes during the year.  There are clearly still some grey areas that have been highlighted and I think it will take a little bit of time to see how well the changes are working.

In terms of wider availability of GF foods this year it has been good to see Costa finally launch a savoury option.  I try and support local when I can but it’s always good to see another on the go option.  Frankie and Benny’s have also added a GF menu this year and Marks & Spencer have continued their impressive work expanding their free-from range.  Pret have also added a “gluten free” wrap, though there are still many questions to be answered as to whether that option is safe for coeliacs.

Finally let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!  I hope that 2014 has been kind to you and that 2015 will be an even better one for us all.  A huge thank-you to everyone who has supported me throughout the year, whether that be by reading the blog, help and conversation on social media or supporting our events.  You are all amazing!

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

A New Gluten Free Restaurant – The Galley

11 Nov

galleyTo be honest I’m still desperately sad that Plymouth lost it’s only 100% gluten free eatery, Clare’s Gluten Free Cafe, a few months ago.  In fact it’s been a sad few months with a couple of other local free-from businesses, Traditional Puddings and Love Free From also ceasing to trade.  Plymouth of course still has some fantastic local businesses catering gluten free and I am often told how lucky we are from those reading my Facebook and blog posts from afar.  The great news though as that we’ve got even luckier!  Plymouth now has a brand new completely gluten free restaurant, The Galley.

emma_markThe Galley is run by Emma Oxland and her business partner Mark Palfrey.  Emma is coeliac herself and Mark is an experienced chef who has lived with Emma for a number of years and so has witnessed first hand the effects of cross contamination and how ill it can make a coeliac.  You might say Emma and Mark are something of a dream team to open a gluten free restaurant!  Rather than open their own premises they have taken over the food franchise within the Maritime Inn on Southside Street on the Barbican.  This seems like a smart move and means they have (presumably) less overheads and a ready made customer base, and hopefully means they won’t face the same financial pressures that have seen us lose some other free-from businesses recently.

The Galley opened around a month ago and prides itself on freshly cooked local food.  Mark is making everything from scratch so knows exactly what ingredients are going in to all of the dishes.  When they first opened there were a couple of gluten containing dishes, but only three weeks in they managed to completely eradicate all of these and the entire menu is now gluten free.  I’d had some contact with Emma over social media and asked if she could put together some information for Coeliac UK Plymouth Group members for me.  So here’s a bit about The Galley from Emma:

My name is Emma and me and my business partner Mark have recently opened our own gluten free kitchen inside The Maritime Inn on the Barbican.
I am a coeliac myself, and for the past 6 years my dream has been to open a restaurant that caters primarily for a gluten free diet.. And all dietary needs. I believe that no one should feel like they are a burden or doubt whether they should eat out just because a lot of people do not understand the risks or consequences for someone who is gluten intolerant.
The chef that works with me is a highly qualified, experienced chef who has lived with me for years and so is extremely aware of how eating gluten, or being contaminated by gluten can effect people.
We are two very friendly very eager entrepreneurs who really want to make a difference. I would love for people to be able to enjoy an amazing freshly cooked meal without any worries or doubts. Because why should we not be able to go out and enjoy incredible food, as well as everyone else!?
We did have very few things on our menu that contained gluten, but we have now made everything on our menu gluten free, and today we have finally made out own gluten free bread :)
It is an amazingly exciting new venture for us, and I hope to see some of you very soon :)
If you would like to see our menu, we have a facebook page which is www.facebook.com/pages/The-Galley/1547846495434594
Go check us out and see the variety you are able to choose from :)
Kind Regards
Emma Oxland and Mark Palfrey

I’d heard good feedback from a few friends and this weekend I decided I’d take my nan and granddad out to lunch and make my first visit to The Galley.  On Sunday’s the special is always a Sunday roast, which is something that as a coeliac living with a vegetarian can be hard to come by!  On arrival we were greeted by the lovely Emma who runs the front of house.  It was great to have a chat with her and as a fellow coeliac she clearly gets the struggles we have eating out, and the importance of being able to relax those with allergy and inolerance so they can actually enjoy eating out.  It also made my day to hear that anyone who orders without requesting gluten free gets it anyway, and that nobody has noticed the lack of gluten so far.

On to the food and the specials for the day on Sunday were roast chicken or roast lamb.  I always think lamb is a good test for a restaurant as it can often be a cheap fatty cut and very poor quality.  I love lamb and so went for this as did granddad, whilst nan went for the chicken.  I managed to snap this (slightly blurred) pic of my roast before I tucked in.  Everything was cooked to perfection, including the lamb which was great quality.  The gravy was think and tasty and there was even a GF Yorkshire pud and a side of mint sauce.  I really enjoyed it as did the grandparents.  Thumbs up all round!  The portion size was good without being overwhelming and left enough room for dessert.  Most mains on the menu come in at around £8 which is good value in my mind for freshly cooked local food.  The main menu includes options such as battered cod and chips, ham egg and chips and an all day breakfast.

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Now on to dessert!  A choice of chocolate truffle cake, profiteroles or sticky toffee pudding served with cream, ice-cream or custard will have most coeliacs drooling.  There is also a choice of ice creams for those who are too full.  I went for the chocolate truffle cake, below, which encompassed a delicious chocolate truffle mouse on top of a layer of chocolate cake.  I chose to top mine off with ice cream.  This was absolutely delicious and it was nice and light being mainly mouse.
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However, whilst granddad skipped dessert nan went for this amazing giant profiterole.  I was suffering from some major food envy at this point and will definitely be going back to try this one in future.  There’s even a scoop of ice-cream in the middle.  Emma also highly recommended the sticky toffee pudding, I’m not used to having all of these dessert choices!
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Be aware that The Galley doesn’t open late most evenings as the space is shared with the pub which can get busy at night time.  The opening hours are:

Monday ~ closed
Tuesday 12pm – 7pm
Wednesday 12pm – 9pm
Thursday 12pm – 9pm
Friday 12pm – 8pm
Saturday 12pm – 8pm
Sunday 12pm – 4pm

I’m so excited to have a completely gluten free restaurant available in Plymouth, and being situated in a pub and in walking distance this will be the perfect place to enjoy a meal with a few pints too.  I’m already looking forward to going back again and I am sure I’ll be taking dad in for an all day breakfast soon.  Keep an eye on The Galley Facebook page for the menu details and info on daily specials.  I wish Emma and Mark every success with their new venture and recommend that you all pay a visit and try some of this delicious gluten free food.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea
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