Pigging out in Dorset!
I've just returned from 4 days in Portland near Weymouth. We got a brilliant deal with Groupon for 3 nights at a B&B. I hadn't gone with the intention of finding gluten free food. It seemed to find me!
I don't usually ring ahead or get the chef to make me something off menu and I rarely even ask for soya milk in coffee shops. I kinda just live without. I don't want to make people believe that I'm going to get really, really sick if I have gluten. However, I found it easy peasy to go without gluten while I was away and the people serving the gluten free food were amazingly knowledgeable and couldn't do enough. (Although I cheated by eating things that contained eggs or milk. You can't win 'em all.)
The first place I found was in Weymouth itself. The Pasty Parlour on St. Mary Street had this sign in their window, so I ventured in for a look. (Sadly it appears the Pasty Parlous has now closed down.)
I was shown to a chest freezer which contained an Aladdin's Cave on gluten free food. It took me a while to get over the shock and actually take in what I was seeing. Sausage rolls, quiches, pasties and cakes all from Baked To Taste by G Free.
The manager told me I could have anything heated up to take away, as everything was frozen. I chose a 2 pack of sausage rolls and got a quiche to keep for later. The sausage rolls were double bagged and heated and the thermometer was sanitised. I was looked after as though I was the most sensitive Celiac of all (felt a bit guilty actually!) My sausage rolls were divine. I sat on a bench while my husband tucked into his haggis pastie and I felt so happy. It was at that moment that we were surrounded by bubbles from a nearby bubble machine and it all felt a little magical!
Later on, we stopped at The Old Harbour Fish Bar on St. Edmund St. My husband had tried and loved a mackerel bap from Bennett's at the Bristol Love Food Fest so we went to find the original. We walked into the shop and saw straight away a sign offering gluten free fish and chips! We booked a table and sat down for mackerel and gluten free fish and chips and again enjoyed a thoroughly lovely and rare moment of synchronised eating pleasure.
We were exploring the harbourside area in Weymouth when we found a fantastic row of restaurants and bars called Custom House Quay. I was by now checking all the menus for gluten free items and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this menu for The Stable. Not only do the toppings look amazing, but they do gluten free pizza bases. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to go in as we only had 4 days and a limited amount of meals in the day!
The cafe is Bellenie's Bakehouse on Market St. I had a coffee brownie from Honeybuns and my husband had one of their cream teas (a Dorset cream tea comes with a cheese scone! Yum Yum). The cafe is also the local tourist information centre and the manager here is really informative and helpful. Go here first when visiting Dorset and pick his brains! I chose a Devon Steak Pie from G Free to take home with me (again frozen) but they had a good choice of gluten free quiches, pies etc in the chiller.
Since returning, I found this page which lists yet more gluten free offerings from Weymouth. I definitely have to go back!