Hapless and Half-Hearted at The Hermitage, Hitchin (Hertfordshire)

I'd heard good things about the Hermitage from my colleagues. I was told that they were very accommodating. I sent them an email about 10 days before we were booked in for a work meal.
I received this response -

"Hi Debra,
While we haven’t managed to Print a new GF menu, we will have one to offer you on the night with a large range of dishes.
Let me know if you still wish to know before your booking.
Call me on Monday when you are free and in front of our online menu and I can go through it with you on the phone."

On the night, I asked for the GF menu and received this -

All of the dishes with bread, breadcrumbs or batter were crossed through (except the whitebait which was mysteriously crossed through in the starters but not in the mains.) The dishes with quinoa were also crossed through.

This peculiar doctored menu seemed to suggest that I could order some of the dishes, i.e the 'Harissa and lime spiced hummus with flat bread' without the bread - REALLY?

As my eyes scanned the menu, I laughed a strange, snorty laugh to myself. I tried to get angry but I was quite hungry. They have meat! And chips! I'm good, honestly. Don't worry guys, I won't starve.

But I had got my hopes up. The email promised all sorts. Would there be bread, perhaps some GF crackers with the cheese board, maybe even a special dessert?

I felt embarrassed. I had told some of my brand new colleagues about the email. They were happy for me.

I ordered and was informed that the red wine jus sauce was the only GF sauce. And none of the sauces were crossed out on the menu.

I ate my dry chicken and chips while everyone tucked into burgers and twiddled my thumbs as everyone devoured their brownies and ice-cream and I felt an odd zen-like calm.

This is progress. The restaurant knows what gluten is! I'll just be patient. Things are getting better, right?

Hermitage Rd Bar and Restaurant
20-21 Hermitage Rd, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1BT


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