Hawksmoor, Guildhall

Hawksmoor is always a great option for coeliacs, especially if you want a to treat yourself to a high quality steak.  Having previously been to the Air Street restaurant, this time I got to try Guildhall for my friend Grant’s birthday lunch.

As always, the waiting staff were able to take me through the menu and tell me what I can and can’t have. We decided to order from the Express Menu (3 courses for £28) because it’s such a bargain.

I went for the Salcombe crab on toast as a starter and the chef substituted the toast for some sliced beef tomatoes.

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I absolutely love fish and seafood and this crab was up there with some of the best I’ve ever had.

For my main course, I decided to pay the £5 supplement and ordered the fillet steak (rare) with triple cooked chips.

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Hawksmoor really knows how to do steak well and my fillet was no exception – it was perfectly cooked and extremely delicious.

For dessert I had the special, a lemon meringue sundae which was the surprise winner of the meal.

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This dessert was sooo good, it’s one of those dishes you can’t stop thinking about once you’ve tried it. I hope they include it on the menu again soon.

As always, Hawksmoor delivers great gluten free food and I hope to visit all the restaurants at some point!

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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.

Hawksmoor, Air Street

I’d always wanted to eat at Hawksmoor before being diagnosed so I was delighted when I read about it’s ‘proper GF menu’ on The Coeliac Plate. So as a birthday treat a couple of months ago, I celebrated over lunch at the Air Street branch.

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We all opted to order from the very reasonable ‘express menu‘ (two courses – £25 or three courses – £28) and upon advising the waiting staff that there was not one but two coeliacs in the party, they were very quick to let us know what our options were.

What separates great restaurants from average ones, are when they can accommodate alterations to meals. Nothing pisses me off more than when a dish is deemed not suitable for coeliacs just because it’s served with a slice of bread. Hawksmooor is a great restaurant though and makes it very clear what is gluten free and what can be modified, happily this meant I could have the triple cooked chips (sans vinegar) with my fillet steak worry free.

I had burrata with peas, broad beans and asparagus to start followed by fillet steak and chips. Both courses were amazing and attempting to describe them wouldn’t really do them justice. I’d happily eat at Hawksmoor everyday if I had the money!

Unfortunately none of the desserts on the express menu were gluten free (or could be modified) so we called it a day and headed back to mine for some birthday flourless chocolate cake (this recipe is ridiculously good).

Overall Hawksmoor was a great experience and I highly recommend it to everyone. I hope to visit again very soon.

Leon

Only a few days after discovering Eat’s gluten free offering, Leon comes along raises the bar. Pretty much everything on Leon’s menu is gluten free. Seriously, even the puddings!

Overexcited by the quantity of gf options available, I ended up buying far too much for lunch today – Thai green chicken curry ‘hot box’, baked fries (with chili sauce) and a billionaire’s shortbread.

The hot boxes are enormous, great at value for 6ish quid. The Thai green curry itself was creamy and flavoursome without being overbearing, it also comes with a fresh salad made up of cabbage and peas (kind of like a slaw but without mayo).

The fries and billionaire shortbread were an unnecessary but delicious edition to lunch and I’ll certainly be buying them again but maybe on a hangover next time rather than as a side to an already very filling meal.

The menu on the Leon website shows you which items are gluten free (and low in saturated fat, low glycemic load, wheat free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, contains nuts) and goes in to detail about the ingredients in each, including allergens and calorie information. This is definitely one of the most thorough and useful websites I’ve seen.

Leon – thank you for being so great at creating fresh, healthy (minus the fries and cake) tasty gluten free food. You’ve made me a very happy coeliac, lunchtime on the high street is really starting to look up.