Blighty India Cafe

Last Saturday I found myself in Seven Sisters looking for somewhere to have brunch, when I stumbled across Blighty India Cafe.

Although Blighty specialises in lovely, freshly baked bread, they also do gluten free sliced white so I didn’t miss out on toast with my fry-up.

I went for a full English with gf bread and it did not disappoint. The sausage was removed due to its gluten content but it didn’t matter – the breakfast arrived with a side of spicy beans, 2 fried eggs, 3 rashers of bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and black pudding!

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The baked beans were definitely the highlight, especially because I could mop up all the sauce with the bread, a luxury I don’t usually have! The rest was great too, good quality and fresh, up there with the best fry-ups I’ve had.

Should I end up in Seven Sisters again I will definitely be making a return visit to Blighty.

Amsterdam

A few weeks ago I spent the two days in Amsterdam and it was great! Not only because it’s beautiful, friendly and relaxing but also because Amsterdam caters very well for coeliacs.

I wasn’t there for long enough for a really extensive list of options but here are a couple of brunchy places I recommend visiting.

Stroom

Stroom is a kind of a cafe/restaurant which does a really interesting range of breakfasts, paninis, wraps, eggs etc. You can customised each item and swap in THE BEST gluten free bread I have ever tasted!

We went to Stroom for breakfast and I ordered scrambled eggs with cheese, ham and gluten free bread.

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It may not look like it in the photo, but that is actually a really big portion. The scrambled eggs were fresh, light and well seasoned plus they didn’t scrimp on the cheese and as I said, the bread was unbelievable! I hope all coeliacs get to try Stroom’s bread at some point in their lives.

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Stroom’s website is sparse but you can find more information about it on their Facebook page.

Coffee & Coconuts

Our local friend recommended Coffee & Coconuts as a good place to have brunch and it certainly did not disappoint.

With lots of buckwheat on the menu I knew I was on to a winner and so I didn’t even need to ask the waiting staff for a gluten free one.

I ordered the coconut pancakes, made with almond and buckwheat flour and served with banana, red fruit compote and maple syrup. I added bacon for a savoury kick.

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You can’t really see the pancakes in the photo because they are hidden by compote but there are actually three thick ones in there alongside fours rashers of bacon. Coffee & Coconuts are very generous with their portions!

This was one of the nicest brunches I’ve ever had, the pancakes were delicious, I’ll definitely attempt to make them at home. Adding almond flour to the mix really makes a difference. I washed it all down with a ‘watermelon love’ smoothie and a cup of ‘black treasure’ tea.

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Based in a old cinema, Coffee & Coconuts is now a cafe/restaurant/art gallery with a relaxed atmosphere and very friendly staff.

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Other recommendations

Here are a few other places our native friend recommended for gluten free options that unfortunately I didn’t have time try out.

  • Omelegg – an omelettery! The queues to this place were endless which I guess means it’s pretty good.
  • Bagels and Beans – they have lots of stores all over Amsterdam if you fancy a gluten free bagel.
  • Chipsy King – fries and mayo.
  • Moeders – traditional dutch food.
  • The Seafood Bar – fish and seafood

Another Amsterdam must eat are the tradition dutch stroopwafel (thin, toffee filled waffles) and having spent a day longingly watching my friends eating then, I found some delicious homemade ones at the Albert Cuyp Market.

Berlin

Gluten tag from Berlin!*

Before I got diagnosed with coeliac disease I booked a trip to Germany, a country famous for it’s beer, currywurst and pretzels. Not ideal for the gluten free amongst us.

To avoid any unnecessary pain, I did a lot of research ahead of my holiday and found some coeliac friendly gems, so I hope this is helpful if you are planning on visiting Berlin any time soon.

Cielo di Berlino

Specialising in freshly made buckwheat pizzas, this restaurant was a great find, not only was my pizza delicious, the staff were incredibly friendly.

I ordered a buckwheat ‘sophia’ pizza, consisting of olives, pepperoni, garlic and mozzarella, all washed down with a Lammsbräu Glutenfrei beer.

It’s important to note that in Germany ‘pepperoni’ is not  pepperoni as we know it, it’s actually pepper, which I didn’t realise until my food arrived! Not to worry though, I like peppers and these ones were fresh, crunchy and had a nice mild heat to them.

When the chef here found out I was coeliac, he gave me a list of Berlin restaurants that have gluten free options, which saved us on our second night. Big thank you to the staff at Cielo for being so amazingly helpful.

Silo Coffee

Just around the corner from where we were staying, this cool coffee shop has a great hangover curing, healthy brunch menu, with gluten free bread available on request.

I went for the ‘build your own breakfast’ option, which comes with 2 eggs (poached or scrambled) on toast and then you choose your extras. Here’s a bad photo of my creation:

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2 poached eggs on gluten free toast with streaky bacon, mushrooms and spicy beans.

The food here is lovely and very reasonably priced considering the portion sizes, plus I’ve never had a more perfectly poached egg! They also have an extensive choice of coffee but no English breakfast tea, only black, white, green or peppermint. I had a white tea after the waitress recommended it and it was incredible! I’m now trying to find out where I can get some in London.

Katz Orange

This excellent restaurant was recommended by our friend at Cielo as ‘one of the best meals I’ve ever had’ and he was right.

The restaurant itself was beautiful, at the back of a courtyard, it is set around a well stocked bar with a cosy candlelit atmosphere. Unfortunately the camera on my phone just isn’t good enough but there are some great photos on this I Heart Berlin post.

The staff were friendly and knowlegable about the food, wine and cocktails and when asked, provided me with an allergy detailed menu.

Between the three of us we shared two starters, duck sausage and calamari. The sausages were small but tasty and although the calamari came with fennel, it wasn’t overpowering like it can sometimes be.

I had the Secreto Ibérico with beetroot, grilled pear, pointed cabbage and potato gratin as my main. Although my friends were disappointed with their choice (the Duroc pork), mine was excellent. It was great to have a completely gluten free meal of such high quality which delivered on both flavour and portion size.

Apologies for the lack of photos but take my word for it, the food was delicious and  as a holiday treat, well worth the expense.

Other recommendations

It’s always worth checking opening hours, we found that many restaurants were closed during the week or only open in the evenings.

Useful information

Gluten free options certainly aren’t mainstream in Berlin but there are a few decent places you can go to have a good meal, however, planning is key. Berlin is massive and coeliac friendly eateries are spread out. I found myself having to make do with cheese platters and jacket potatoes when trying to get lunch on the fly, which isn’t very exciting or healthy but sometimes very funny.

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Jacket potato served in a foil swan

 

*pun courtesy of my friend Louise