Supperclub Tweet-up and Gluten free tour of London!

21 Aug

Well I really would like to keep this blog focussed on Plymouth, but I couldn’t really go on an epic four day gluten free food tour of London and not talk about it could I!  Back in May I had the good fortune to meet some of the brilliant coeliac and gluten free Twitter community at the Allergy Show in London.  An idea was soon formed about having another “Tweet-up”, but this time having a much more social event.  After much planning by Siân Drew, we met at Annie’s Supperclub in Bromley.  It’s a long way from Plymouth so my wife and I made a long weekend of the trip, and here are our eating out experiences along the way.

Tweet-up at Annie’s Supperclub

Well obviously this was the centre piece event of the weekend away, and what an absolutely fabulous time was had by all.  I have always been a shy lad, and the thought of attending a secret supperclub type event would have been something I would have run a mile from in my pre-coeliac days.  However, since being diagnosed I have found so many fellow coeliacs on Twitter and they have taken me into their online community.  It is something very special, and Chef Annie herself is a massive part of that Community.  To spend an evening with these great folk was nothing short of a privilege, and something I had looked forward to for months.

Moving on from the company and onto the Supperclub, this too was absolutely fantastic.  The story behind why Annie runs the Supperclub, is a powerful one and in my opinion that comes across in the food.  There is clearly a lot of love and pride that went into making these dishes, and some of the ingredients even came from Annie’s back garden.  Annie’s husband Roarke is an excellent front of house host, and drew frequent laughs from the guests.

The food was second to none.  We were served four Italian themed courses, each of which were excellent.  The first course of panella really set the tone, and this was followed by panzanella, cannelloni with the most amazing garlic bread and finally tiramisu.  I ate and loved every mouthful of every course.  I don’t really like cucumber or coffee and enjoyed both as part of this meal.  I couldn’t find fault with any part of this meal, and the fact Annie made a dairy free, coffee free and gluten free tiramisu for one of the guests shows you the lengths she will go to to ensure nobody feels left out.  Thank you to Ann Perkins from Perk!er Foods for letting me use her photos of the night, and also the goodie bag!

My only disappointments of the night were that I didn’t get to spend more time chatting to those at the other end of the table, and that we didn’t get to spend more time with Annie herself!  I’d highly recommend a visit, but as our hosts rightly pointed out this isn’t the sort of place you come for a romantic meal for two.  I just wish I lived in range of Annie’s London lunch delivery service too. UPDATE: Annie’s Supperclub has now moved to Margate

Oh and the fun didn’t end there, there was more fun and cocktails after too.  Really hope we can organise another GFEatUp soon!

Bruschetta

On our first night in London we visited Bruschetta Restaurant in Kingston.  It was 30 minutes on the the train to get there but was well worth it.  This is actually a gluten free restaurant, and we coeliacs can choose from the entire menu!  The sign at the front of the restaurant even includes the crossed grain symbol, a welcome site for any coeliac I can assure you.  Unfortunately we had a late lunch due to train delays so ended up skipping the starter, but the food was excellent.  I had a chicken pasta dish with a chilli sauce, which I am still raving about now.  The sauce was excellent.  I had a lovely cheesecake too, and my wife pasta with artichokes followed by chocolate cake – all gluten free.  Only downside was travelling distance, but I would recommend a journey if you are in London for the experience of a gluten free restaurant.  The owner was very friendly and made us most welcome, and was pouring us an extra Limoncello by the time we left. UPDATE: Sadly Bruschetta has now closed

Otto Pizza

Situated in Notting Hill, Otto make a delicious deep dish gluten free pizza.  It has a cornmeal crust which is really unusual, and I really enjoyed it.  Note if you buy the gluten free crust you need to buy at least half a pizza.  This pizza is very filling and polishing that off is more of a challenge than it may sound.  This is certainly the best gluten free pizza I have found since being diagnosed.  All toppings are gluten free, and each pizza is cooked in it’s own dish and I have not had any problems with cross contamination on my two visits.  If you go make sure you order a side of the delicious BBQ sauce, and a gluten free pilsner to wash it down. UPDATE: Sadly Otto has now closed

Honest Burgers

Honest Burgers have taken the concept of doing something simple and doing it well:  a perfect burger on a gluten free bun from the WAGFree bakery in Brixton.  It was thoroughly satisfying and the cheeseburger I’ve been missing for so long.  We visited the new branch in Soho, and it was just as good as the original Brixton branch and also has more seating available.  Each burger is served with rosemary salted chips and gluten free beer is also available, or delicious lemonade if you prefer.  I don’t think I will ever come to London again without visiting this place.

Wahaca

There are several branches of Wahaca in London serving great Mexican food.  I have eaten here twice now, and although there is no gluten free menu they are very knowledgeable with regards gluten free and the food is delicious.  There are still plenty of choices once the waiter crosses off the “can’t haves” from the paper menu.  Amazing sweet potatoes too!  Oh and have a margarita or three, they really are very good here!

Leon

With numerous branches in London Leon is a healthier fast food stop, and perfect for both the elusive gluten free breakfast and also lunch.  We made stops for both while we were there.  For breakfast I had Poached Egg with Ham Hock & Truffle Gruyère, and then went back for Morrocan meatballs and fries another day too.  The fries have recently changed recipe and are now gluten free.  Make sure you try the lovely Leon Lemonade too, and I have been reliably informed by my Twitter friends I missed out on a great gluten free brownie.  There are plenty of gluten free options on the menu and this place is the perfect pit stop while on the go in London.

Shops and Markets

On Saturday we made a stop at the market on Marylebone High Street to pick up some cup cakes from Sweetcheeks.  I’d previously tasted these gluten free and vegan delights at the allergy show and it was lovely to meet Catherine.  We also stumbled upon Wild Thexton while there and snapped up one of their gluten free rarities – the scotch egg!  Next day in Camden Market we visited Cookies and Scream, where I had a chocolate chip cookie which had a lovely texture.  It had a slight aftertaste though, but my wife really enjoyed their peanut butter cookie.

We also made a stop off at the new Whole Foods Market store in Picadilly, where I picked up some treats from B-Tempted and Sugargrain to take back to Plymouth.  I actually bumped into Caroline from Sugargrain while there, whom I’d also met at the Tweet-up the previous night.  I find Whole Foods slightly frustrating as the gluten free foods are mixed in and can be a challenge to find.  They have impressive gluten free labelling, although we did spot several gluten free items that didn’t have these labels.

Finally I stopped off at Totally Swedish for some Kladdkaka for the freezer which I have been craving since the allergy show!  Diet starts next week I reckon…

For further information on London, check out these great London based blogs:

http://www.glutenfreemrsd.com/
http://glutenfreeb.com/
https://naturallyglutenfree.wordpress.com/
http://glutenfreecakelover.blogspot.co.uk/
 

10 Responses to “Supperclub Tweet-up and Gluten free tour of London!”

  1. Sarah Ram August 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Oh my god, sounds like you had a fantastic time!!! 🙂 This food all looks amazing. Glad you found so many nice places to eat. A whole gluten free restaurant is like a coeliac mecca – amazing!

    • Kevin Gollop August 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      It was great! Can’t tell you how good it was to see the crossed grain symbol on a restaurant sign too 🙂

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