Tag Archives: coeliac uk

Bit of an update!

19 Apr

Well first of all apologies for the recent radio silence.  As you may have read in a previous update I’ve been going through redundancy and trying to find a new job which has been a particularly trying time for me personally.  The good news is I’ve found myself a new job which I started last week and am really enjoying it.  At the moment I am throwing all my energy into the new job as you would expect, so it really isn’t leaving much time for social media or blogging.

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Also keeping me busy lately has been the Coeliac UK Plymouth Group.  I hope those of you that were able to make the AGM in Estover last month enjoyed it.  Thanks to Tamara Simmonds from Glutafin who gave a great talk on the day and those businesses who contributed to the event by selling on the day or donating raffle prizes.  Unfortunately due to a lack of volunteers the group has now been suspended for six months.  We are in desperate need of a new treasurer and some new committee members in order to keep the group going.  If you are interested in helping then please let me know.

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Congratulations to the Ladybird Gluten Free Bakery who have just moved to a new home in the market.  As you can see from the photo below their new venue is looking fabulous and now has a small seating area so you can sit down and enjoy a gluten free cake with a cuppa and even a chat with fellow gluten free folk.  Ladybird are now also selling some great products from Jackson’s Gluten Free in Torquay, and also some delicious crisps from Darling Spuds which I believe will soon form part of a meal deal.  The new stall is still at the bottom of the market, turn left if entering from the Market Avenue entrance by Frankfurt Gate.

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In other news Ed’s Easy Diner based in the mall have now added a Coeliac UK certified gluten free menu.  We are of course lucky to have a couple of great independent restaurants in Plymouth for our burger fix in JD’s Grill and Holland’s Diner but more options are always welcome, and it’s always good to have some safe chain restaurants in your back pocked when travelling.  I see Ed’s are offering gluten free hot dogs which may well be a first for Plymouth.  I’ve not had chance to give them a go yet, but would be interested to hear from anyone who has been in to try it out.

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In other news The Barbican Galley continues to go from strength to strength and have recently been able to employ a second chef.  I have had many fabulous gluten free meals there recently, including a visit to their Mexican theme night.  I can highly recommend the Southern fried chicken burger and the all day breakfast, not to mention the Sunday roast.  A reminder that everything they serve is gluten free so if you haven’t been yet then you really must give it a try!  They are also serving takeaway fish and chips (the chips are SO good by the way), which I am sure will be very handy if the current sunny weather continues.

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Anyway, I hope everyone is well and enjoying the sunshine.  If you’ve made any new gluten free discoveries in Plymouth recently then please let me know, it would be great to share them.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea.

Coeliac UK Plymouth Group AGM, 14th March

1 Mar

The Coeliac UK Plymouth Group are holding their Annual General Meeting on Saturday March 14th.  Everyone is welcome to attend so I hope that I will see lots of Gluten Free by the Sea readers in attendance!  There will be a talk from Glutafin and of course the opportunity to buy some amazing gluten free goodies from some local suppliers, plenty of free samples and some great raffle prizes.  Please see full details below.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea.

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The committee invite you to join us at the ELM Centre, ASDA Plymouth, for our AGM. A short meeting to go through the formalities of the AGM will be followed by a talk from Glutafin. There will also be the chance to buy some gluten free treats from some fantastic local companies. For new members we will be available to give help with such things as prescriptions and best places to purchase gluten free products.

We are delighted that Tamara from Glutafin will be joining us this year to give a gluten free talk and update from her company. This will be followed by a great opportunity to stock up on gluten free products from some of the finest local suppliers. Let Them Eat will be present with their delicious cakes, Jackson’s Bakery will be bringing their fantastic products down from Torquay, Ladybird Bakery will be selling a taste of what is available at their new Pannier Market home and St Maurice Bakery will be selling delicious hot steak pasties amongst other things. Pomeroy Rare Breeds will again be selling their fantastic pies and Scotch eggs.  We have now added Westcountry Produce to the line up and they will be bringing some fantastic looking pies, including a vegetarian range.  Everything will be gluten free! Glutafin, Juvela, Newburn Bakehouse, Keep Me Gluten Free and The Black Farmer have all donated free samples for members or raffle prizes amongst others.

In the Elm Centre we will have use of the excellent kitchen facilities, where Tea’s, coffees, biscuits and cakes will be available after 2:30pm. For all you bakers out there, we welcome you to bake and share with other members. There will be a £1 voluntary entrance fee to the meeting and members are also encouraged to bring unwanted prescription items for new members.

We are looking forward to seeing you on the 14th March 2015. Doors will open at 12:30pm with the food fair running until 4:30pm. We sincerely hope you can attend, and trust you will have a great time.

Programme:

  • 12:30pm Doors open
  • 1:00pm AGM and Glutafin talk in the church hall
  • 2:00pm Food fair opens in the main hall
  • 2:30pm Kitchen open for teas and coffees
  • 3:00pm Raffle Draw
  • 4:30pm: Food fair closes

Directions/Parking:

For any of you who do not know were the ELM Centre is, it is located in Estover Plymouth adjacent to the ASDA Store. If at the ASDA main entrance, turn right down the steps and the centre is at the far end of the courtyard. Full address is Leypark Court, Leypark Walk, Plymouth PL6 8UE.

There is some community centre parking, otherwise you can park in the overflow ASDA car park for 3 hours.

There are regular bus routes to the ASDA store, the number 50 City Bus. You can catch the 27 or 27a if travelling from the City Centre.

Plymouth

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

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