Royally NOT gluten free Ascot

On Thursday 16th June 2016 I attended Royal Ascot with my work for a company day out.

Being that Ascot was going to be a full day out I needed to check if there would be gluten free food available.  Two of my colleagues and myself contacted Ascot to ask if there would be gluten free food on the day and we were all told that yes, there would be.  I was also told that one restaurant in particular called The Bandstand Restaurant would be offering gluten free on the day.

As someone with a food related medical condition I take it upon myself to take snacks wherever I go, just in case.  This day was no different.  I took two small NAKD bars with me in my handbag as a backup in case there wasn’t much for me to eat.  I needn’t have bothered as at the bag check desk, even after I explicitly stated that I had coeliac disease, a medical condition, the food was still confiscated from me.  I found this to be a terrible display of understanding and consideration.  It wasn’t like I was taking in a picnic or a full meal, it was two small health bars and I had a valid reason for having them with me.  There wasn’t even an apology at the gate, just a shrug and an almost ‘we don’t care’ attitude.  If I had been attending on my own I would have gone home there and then, but it was a work day out so I watched as my food was binned and went on through.

When lunch time came I went to look for the gluten free food I had been told numerous times was available. The Bandstand Restaurant had some ‘gluten free’ cake but it wasn’t securely wrapped and was placed amongst regular cakes.  The cross contamination risk was also way too high so that was off the menu.  I couldn’t find anything savoury gluten free. Nada.

None of the food stands I found did gluten free and I walked around, A LOT.  Disappointing didn’t even cover it.  I was hungry and angry and felt I had been lied to.

I had left the house at 8am and didn’t get home until 8pm.  Over the course of 12 hours all I had to eat, all I could find to eat that was gluten free at Ascot was a chocolate bar, a packet of crisps and a banana.  Hardly substantial.

In this day and age it really isn’t acceptable to hold a function which lasts all day and not cater for those who have an allergy or intolerance.  It feels almost like a form of discrimination and it ruined the day completely for me, I certainly won’t be coming back.

I try not to do any angry posts but this was one I could not just bite my tongue over and let go.  I was furious. I was teary. I was left feeling a terrible sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, both from hunger and frustration. You see, coeliac disease is MY disease. I don’t want attention, I don’t want sympathy, most of the time I don’t want anyone to know I have it.  But having it is hard and living with it can be hard and Ascot just made it so much worse for me when they really, REALLY could have made it so much easier.

FreeFrom Food Awards 2016

I’m still here!

It’s been months since I last blogged, to any of you who read this! It’s been a mad few months with lots going on and I’ve just had to put this on the back-burner for a while but I’m hoping I can get back to some format of regular posting soon!

So, for my first post in a loooooooong time it seems fitting to post about a recent event I went to, the FreeFrom Food Awards 2016!

This was my second time attending and it’s great for networking and hearing about new products and brands.  A lot of the winners from the evening I hadn’t heard of before so it’s good to get an update on what’s out there as it seems the range of free from food is widening by the day and the variety too. Fingers crossed the days of only being able to find a brownie or cheese pizza in your local supermarket are well and truly in the past.

So, without further ado, here is the list of winners from the evening:

FreeFrom Food Award Winners 2016

Unfortunately I can’t comment on all of the winners as I’ve not tried everything myself (also, I may have filled up on Honest Burgers before the show, whoops!).

– Winner of the FAIR trophy for the Best FreeFrom Food 2016
– Breakfast Foods
I’m a big fan of this one, I remember trying it a few months back. It’s a great breakfast cereal, very much a gluten free Weetabix, and as someone who religiously has cereal for breakfast this is definitely something I would recommend.  I think it’s available in most supermarkets now and is priced about £3-4 per box.


Tesco FreeFrom Garlic Baguette
– Bread (joint with Smart Eats & Treats Seeded Loaf)
I had the garlic baguette not that long ago when I spotted it in the freezer section at my local Tesco and it’s amazing, so much better than any other free from garlic bread I’ve tasted. The baguette is actually crusty when it comes out of the oven and the garlic taste is just enough without being overpowering. Brilliant product.

Tesco FreeFrom Garlic Baguette

Daura Marzen
– Down the Pub & the Bar
Okay, I admit it, I had a few of these (not all in the photo below I hasten to add!).  This is a really great beer and pretty strong, 7.2%.

Daura Marzen

Get Fruity Moist Mixed Berry Bar
– Bars – cereal, fruit, superfood, grain-free
I haven’t had these for a while but I can forgive them for using the ‘m’ word in the product description as it’s a great bar, very fruity and tasty. It is made with gluten free oats though so for those who avoid those, sorry!

Get Fruity

I don’t want to comment on the other winners as I didn’t try them so that would be unfair of me. However, please do check out the list of winners and if you can get your hands on them then you should as I’ve heard so many good things from some of the judges on the taste and quality of them.

And lastly, I’ve been led to believe this is a bit of a tradition now at the FFFA shows, the selfie! I think this is my favourite bit of the awards, meeting and chatting to other bloggers and free from folk, there’s such a great group of people out there and sometimes your dietary requirements can make you feel frustrated and quite alone, I know I know more and can deal better with being a coeliac thanks to people like this (I take no responsibility for the blurriness!)…


Until next time (hopefully not too far in the distant future!) – go get yourself some good food!


A little slice of cake heaven

I think we can all agree, cake is good right?

No, cake is GREAT (and not in a Tony the Tiger way… well, maybe in a Tony the Tiger way).

However, as much as I’m sure we’d all like to eat a whole cake, we can’t, and we probably shouldn’t, and there are times when I just want a little bit of cake.  Plus being gluten free means usually I’m the only one eating the cake and I just end up with stale cake because I can’t eat it all.  I don’t like wasting food.

So, when I heard about Sponge (who I already love and get my birthday cakes from (which never goes to waste as it’s birthday cake so lots of people to share with) and how they now offer slices of cake, I was, quite literally, giddy with excitement.

Recently launched is their ‘Cake Card by Sponge‘ where you can order either one or two slices of cake which is then popped in the post (1st class) and delivered to the recipient of your choice.

How great is that?!

Sorry, I mean, how GGGRRREEEEEAAAAAAATTTTT is that?!

There are cards available for all occasions, simply choose the one you like, write your message, choose your cake (there are currently 2 gluten free options available, apple crumble and carrot) enter your delivery information and job done, ever so simple.

I think it’s a really lovely idea and quite unique, who wouldn’t be happy to get a slice of cake through the post?!

I was lucky enough to get a sample to try and can not fault it.  The packaging was lovely and the cake was nice and protected so no chance of it getting squashed.

Cake Card by Sponge

One thing I love about Sponge (which I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before) is that their cakes all have this homemade look and taste to them and I find that quite important. A lot of care goes into these cakes.

I would highly recommend giving it a go and ordering some for yourself (or be nice and send it to someone else, but get two slices, so you can have one!).

Sponge: Sponge Website / Twitter / Facebook
Cake Card: Cake Card by Sponge