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The Minefield Of Eating Out On A Gluten Free Diet

Eating out when you are on a restricted diet always has the potential for difficulty. Only yesterday I was reminded of this when we went out for a late Sunday meal.

As always we had spoken to the restaurant, in fact it is one I have used before. Gravy is the usual problem for a traditional Sunday roast dinner, however we were assured that the chef would produce a gluten free version. So far I have yet to find any catering establishment that produces a gluten- free Yorkshire pudding. If you know of one please let us know so we can spread the work through our website.

We had been putting a room straight after decorating all day, so were more than ready for our meal. All went well through the meal until ordering the desert.

Those who know me well know that I really enjoy the sweet course best of all and whilst I love fruit but will choose to have something different when eating out. I do get irritated when restaurants offer fruit/ fruit salad as the only option as it shows so little imagination.

Back to our meal. On the menu board there were two good gluten free options or so I thought, Eton Mess, which is a concoction of broken meringue, raspberries and whipped cream and a lemon cream brulee. I ordered the Eton Mess but as always asked the waiter to check it was gluten free.

A couple of minutes he came back saying that the only option I could safely eat was strawberries and cream. Not the end of the world but somewhat irritating if you have got your mouth in the right shape for something else.

Next of course there is the decision whether to challenge what is said or to go quietly. Mt sister had the Eton Mess; in fact they had served it up in a twille basket, which was of course made with wheat and so not gluten free. As for the brulee - who knows?

I think that in a society which is becoming ever more ready t sue when things go wrong restaurants get very nervous and in the end make decisions based on ignorance. I will be sending them my "What You Can And Cant Eat Food List" before I eat there again.

Gina Gardiner author of "Live Well Eat Well With Celiac Disease" writes from first hand experience of being a celiac. For more information or to sign up for our free monthly ezine go to

Works as a professional life coach working with people developing their leadership skills, preparing people for promotion and supporting their ongoing development once in post. For more information contact


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