Marks and Spencer’s Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins

Marks and Spencer’s Gluten Free Chocolate Muffin

Marks and Sparks are doing pretty well at this whole gluten-free lark, I happened to be in need of a little respite in the Croydon branch today so decided to have a little nosey at what one might purchase for elevenses in their Cafe Revive and what did I find? Choice, that’s what.  There were not only these pretty damn delicious and intensely chocolatey muffins, there were fruit cakes, sandwiches and the offer of a wrapped gluten-free roll with their soups.  Yes that’s right, you are not hallucinating, as well as the usual standby of jacket potatoes there was quite a selection of both sweet and savoury offerings for us gluten sensitive coeliacs.  So I salute you M&S, well done, and I think I shall be returning around lunch time next week for a taste of one of the more substantial savoury offerings.

I’ll keep you posted dear readers but in the mean time, what about you?  Found any more new and exciting gluten-free morsels on the high street?  Let me know!

My Instagram Feast

I’ve been between phones this week and am not a happy bunny about the fact I’m still using my old phone over 2 weeks after purchasing my new one but that is something I need to tackle with the dreaded O2 and not bore my lovely readers with, anyways it means I’m a little short on choice of pictures to use but hey ho, it’s still a lil peek into what has fallen into my belly over the last week.

From top left: chicken and chorizo tray bake, my favourite icecream flavour in frozen yoghurt – trying to convince myself I was beeing healthy even though I ate the tub in less than 5 days, amazeball gluten free chinese feast courtesy of my dad on Friday night, beautiful gf afternoon tea from the lovely Tiffen in West Bridgford, a frickin awesome gf double chocolate eclair made again by my most talented father (I’ve only eaten one so far dad, although not sure how long the other one is going to last in the fridge) and these very moreish crisps from Tescos, a rather healthy week no?!

Gluten Free on the Go

So I thought I’d have a go at another regular slot and feature some of the gluten free snackage and food products I’ve begun to notice popping up in cafes and highstreets recently.

So we’re going to start with that good old British stalwart, Marks and Spencers.  Now  M&S have been stocking some pretty awesome gluten free goodies for sometime in their food stores, their almond bakewell tray bake is something quite special and they do bread and other offerings too, not totally convinced on the bread personally but its good to know they are trying, right?  Anyway, did you know they had started selling gluten free sandwiches? Yeah? Yes, I know, I’m a bit slow on the uptake here but a couple of months ago I heard about them here and then about a month ago, desperate for a quick reprieve from the wails of ‘I’m hungry’ from my 3 year old, I collapsed into M&S Cafe Revive in Croydon to sate her poor rumbling belly.  And it was just as I was contemplating eating a whole casserole ready meal type affair from the cafe fridge that I saw them, gluten free cheese and pickle ploughmans sandwiches.

Sorry for the crappy picture here, it's a tad dim in the Cafe Revive Croydon!

The sandwich was pretty good, I did leave the crusts (not because I don’t want my hair to go curly!) because they were a tad dry and crumbly.  However the main body of the sandwich was soft and packed with filling, unlike alot of packed sandwiches I’ve had in the past.  So all in all I’d probably buy one again, but I would like to see them in all or at least more of their cafes and food stores, when I went to my parents over the Easter break they weren’t stocking them and so far Croydon is the only M&S I have spotted them in.  Have you seen these sandwiches in your local M&S?  Do you know of any better gluten free sandwich choices on the highstreet?  Let me know… 🙂

My Instagram Feast

So I’m still quite addicted to this Instagram lark, I check my feed daily to nosey at other people’s pictures, it’s like little windows into other worlds and I love it.  In an attempt to showcase some of my food and feeds over the past month or so I’d like to introduce you to ‘My Instagram Feast’ which will hopefully be a regular (ish) feature on this blog (if i can manage to take a picture before guzzling down my food – it’s a serious problem you know?! all too often I find myself out and about devouring the most exquisite gluten-free treats only to realise at the last mouthful I’d forgotten to take a picture – doh).  So anyways I was talking about my feast  yeah? Well you’re all invited to join the feast and if you want to keep up to date with my Instagram food fetish then follow me at @whatislaate.

From top left, picnic in the woods, Natural History Museum's mammoth salad selection, Sunday tray bake, Lindt Carrot (oh my), Aubergine Bake, new season British asparagus with tarragon beurre blanc, rather hazy gluten-free fish and chips (I was too excited at the prospect of batter to take a good shot!), victoria sponge (gf) and my dad's gluten-free Chinese spread (oh yeah)...

So whats your Instagram name?

Restaurants I Love…

I thought I’d just record a little record of some of the most wonderful restaurants I’ve been lucky enough to dine in over the last few years, I wish this list was longer so would love you to share your recommendations here too.  Do make a comment and tell me about somewhere you love to eat.

  • The Banana Leaf, Croydon – I’ve written a review about my beloved local eatery here.  It’s South Indian food at it’s best in a friendly, family run set up.
  • Y-Ming, Soho, London – If I’m in london and fancy a good Chinese I go here, my dad recommended this place and it’s great.  Jay Rayner wrote an excellent review of this place recently and it reminded me I was long overdue a visit.
  • Quilon, London – Another amazing South Indian restaurant set in the rather swanky address of Buckingham Gate, this is definitely a place for a treat but also does very reasonable lunch deals that satisfy my frequent compulsion for South Indian in style.  It’s refined yet authentic and does an amazing (gf) bread/pancake called Appam, made from fermented rice flour that sates my desire for naan or paratha with a fluffy, spongy alternative I haven’t seen elsewhere.
  • Paradise Garden, Croydon – This Iranian/Persian restaurant sits alongside many eateries and bars along the Croydon nightlife high road (South End/High Street).  You might miss it if you weren’t in the know but step inside this little gem and you are transported into a little bit of Persian heaven.   It’s beautiful, the food is delicious (and seriously plentiful) and the service down to earth, helpful and friendly.  I went there for the first time only last Saturday but was suitably impressed, mouth-watering mezze style starters and ginormous mains lovingly prepared and cooked for your delection.
  • Scotts, Mayfair, London – Perhaps, again, somewhere for special occasions only (well until we all win the lottery) but I did love this restaurant, I had a meal here for my 26th birthday (3 years ago) when my daughter was just a few months old.  It’s a really opulent restaurant with a beautiful bar running through the centre where those who can  just pop in for a quick lunch of oysters and champagne (one day!). My dad worked here as a young chef, I think that is really why I wanted to mention it (!), it’s since changed hands but there is history there.
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Image courtesy of 'Me Likes' via 'we heart it'

So where do you like to eat?