The Red Lion

Lovely Barnes, one of my favourite areas of London. Great for runs, bike rides, bird watching and visiting my friend Louise. It also just happens to have a fantastic pub, The Red Lion, which makes for an excellent post-exercise pit stop.

On this occasion I had just finished the Putney and Fulham half marathon so I was in desperate need for some refuelling.

The menu changes regularly and although they don’t indicate the allergens, the staff are very friendly and happy to find out what is or isn’t suitable for coeliacs. On the Sunday I was there, I treated myself to steak, chips a red wine.

As always the food was lovely, my steak perfectly rare and chips fluffy and massive, and the red wine was the perfect finisher. Unfortunately The Red Lion doesn’t do gluten free beer but who cares when you’re eating steak!

When in Barnes, visit The Red Lion, I really need to go there more often.

The Hanbury Arms

Before going to see the wonderfully funny 2 Become 1 at the Kings Head Theatre back in December, my friends and I headed to The Hanbury Arms for a gluten free pizza.

When I arrived and asked about the gf pizza bases, the bar staff looked slightly perplexed and disappeared out the back to check the freezer. Not an ideal start to an evening. A few minutes later, they came back with the happy news that they had 1 gf base left. Thank god!

The Hanbury Arms offers a large variety of pizza, including my favourite – spicy salami with aubergine and basil. I love aubergine, so I had high hopes for this one.

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As with all gluten free pizzas, it arrived much smaller than regular ones, what I didn’t expect was just how stingey they were with the aubergine! You might just be able to make it out, it’s the tiny brown bits in between the salami. Gutted.

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Lack of aubergine aside, the pizza was really tasty, around about the Pizza Express level of quality. So if you’re looking for a decent, reasonably priced, gf pizza to fill you up, I’d definitely recommend The Hanbury Arms. If you’re looking for quality toppings, then it might not be for you. Sadly, there’s also no gluten free beer here.

The Camberwell Arms

The Camberwell Arms is one of my favourite pubs in London and just so happens to be very, very good at food. I hadn’t been back since I got diagnosed, until last Sunday to welcome my friend Matt to south east London.

The menu changes daily, so I had a quick look beforehand and there seemed to be a couple of options for me. When we arrived though, lots of the items had run out (top tip: get there before 2pm on a Sunday) so I asked our waiter if they had a gluten free menu. He took the menu and spoke to the chef, returning with a redacted version for me to order from. Great service!

We decided to have the Hereford sirloin, Bearnaise, roast potatoes and watercress for two and because we were sat at the bar overlooking the kitchen, we got to see the beast being flame grilled right in front of us. Amazing!

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The huge cut of beef was absolutely perfect – rare, juicy and beautifully seasoned. The roasties were a bit tough but we found dipping them in the meat juice softened them up a treat. The watercress salad was a lovely, fresh accompaniment.

I had meringue, peaches and cream (think Eton mess with peach) for dessert which was a great end to an amazing Sunday lunch. I cannot wait to go back again!

Crate Brewery

After an incredible 6 mile walk across London’s Lee Valley, my friend Matt and I stopped for lunch at Crate. I’d heard a lot of amazing things about it on the coeliac grapevine and I can confirm, Crate is great!

Although it doesn’t have any gluten free beer, all of Crate’s pizzas can be made with gluten free bases, which is fantastic news – I miss decent pizza so much!

I went for the Spicy Salami with a gf base, which didn’t disappoint. It arrived hot, straight from the open plan oven and packed with fresh toppings. They were amazingly generous with the cheese too, which just made an already fantastic day even better.

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