Category: Travel

Inn on Randolph: Napa, California

If you are seeking a highlight travel experience away from the hustle of a city, whether you or your loved one are someone living with celiac, gluten intolerance, food allergies or not, look no further than the Inn on Randolph.

Tucked into a darling residential area of Napa, this beautiful inn is simply full of gems. From the little coffee and tea station in the main room to the fresh cookies upon arrival {made according to your specific food allergies–yes, mine were egg free}, you’ll feel like you entered a different world. People speak gently and with a smile; no ask is too great.

               

Oh, and of course, the Inn on Randolph is 100% gluten free.

When I asked the owners about why it wasn’t a more prominent feature on the website {you really have to search for it!} and about how many people with food allergies and/or celiac/gluten free needs come to stay at the inn, I was surprised. The innkeeper told me that they find only ~20% of their guests even need their gluten free offerings.

Now, wait a minute. I travelled across the country for a gluten free inn. However, the Inn on Randolph also is one of the most well-kept, clean, treasures of a stay I’ve ever had. People just happen to choose this inn without even knowing that even bite of food they consume is gluten free.

Each room can host two individuals; I was traveling with my mom and sister and stayed in the Fowler Suite + Union Room. Baskets of goodies greeted us upon entry (besides the home baked cookies!) and the staff noted that every toiletry item was 100% gluten free and allergy friendly as well. The simple sigh of relief that ensued from knowing that I didn’t have to dig into my suitcase for safe shampoo and conditioner made the trip all that more special.

The next morning, Chef prepared a lovely breakfast accommodating every single need of our table–including low sugar for the 2 type 1 diabetics. We even had egg free muffins to start! On my way out of the inn, they handed us their cookbook and some extra egg free cookie dough, since it wouldn’t spoil in my carry on during the flight home and they saw my pure delight in having something so special awaiting my arrival.

  

Thank you so much to the Inn on Randolph ladies. You are creating a world of relaxation and beauty for all of your guests–but especially for those that have extra concerns when traveling, like me and the loved ones who travel alongside me. Though we were only able to stay for one night, it was so special. I cannot wait to return.

Take it easy, but take it.

Brianna

 

Napa, California Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Name: Angéle Restaurant

Cuisine: French

Celiac Safe? Yes

Accommodates ALL allergens? Yes; limited options for some but fully safe

Impressions: Though few options for someone with shellfish allergies, they did a beautiful job preparing a gorgeous from-scratch french meal of chicken coq-au-vin with the most divine whipped potatoes. An unassuming exterior reveals a beautiful interior with staff that is extremely willing to dedicate time and energy to preparation and understanding of any food allergy need–and delivery of a dish that was very flavorful and perfectly safe. What more could you ask for?

 

Restaurant Name: Hurley’s Restaurant

Cuisine: Californian/American/Mediterranean-Inspired

Celiac Safe? Yes, with gluten free menu {owner’s child has celiac/food allergies!}

Accommodates ALL allergens? Yes

Impressions: Without a blink of an eye, every single allergy will be flawlessly accomodated at Hurley’s for a perfect meal. Our waiter was extremely kind and practically had every ingredient {both in the literal dish and the preparation–important for those of us who cannot have specific oils that appear in odd places!} memorized for every menu item and wanted nothing more than to give me a safe and tasty experience. He returned to the table after we’d begun to ensure that the food was flavorful enough, which is always so appreciated! I had a Moroccan Vegetarian Tagine that night that I can only hope to semi-replicate at home.

 

Restaurant Name: Torc

Cuisine: American “with global influences”

Celiac Safe? Yes

Accommodates ALL allergens? Yes

Impressions: I have never had chicken as good as the chicken I consumed at Torc. Yes, I went there– bold declaration. As soon as you sit down at Torc, place the order for the chicken that will take 45-60 minutes, order some appetizers, and wait for it. It’s worth it. With a jumble of high-end touches with comfortable diner-esque checkerboard napkins and other such bits, Torc is a unique atmosphere that is entirely welcome. I started with the tuna tartare {sans toast} and some brussel sprouts {they were in brown butter–who could deny?!} + mushrooms and then the 3 of us traveling shared the chicken {though listed for 2, is plenty for 3 people}. It is served with fennel and the flavors are stunning. Do not miss this place, nor this chicken. Seriously, folks.

 

Restaurant Name: Auberge du Soleil

Cuisine: Fine Dining; global cuisine

Celiac Safe? Yes

Accommodates ALL allergens? Yes

Impressions: *Important Note: this dining experience was a gift for many recent occasions that I have been greatly looking forward to, as the foodie you all know. If you have a special reason to indulge in dining, come here or to any of the little spots tucked away in pockets across the globe.*  The food I consumed here is barely able to be described in words. Three courses, one of which is usually dessert though replaced by a third food course due to difficulty in providing a “unique and special” dessert course that would be safe for my allergy profile, graced the table with a vast array of spices, proteins, produce, and decorative elements.  Auberge du Soleil deserves the endless awards and accolades that are given to it each year — and the chef has created a menu that is extremely conducive to all food allergies without extraordinary changes in the food profile. Photos do better justice, though still cannot fully capture this culinary experience. Feel free to reach out to me for more information about this one– I’d be happy to talk about it endlessly!

Berner’s Tavern: London Restaurant Review

Restaurant Name: Berner’s Tavern

Cuisine: Contemporary

Location: Soho, inside London Edition Hotel

Website: http://www.bernerstavern.com/

Coeliac UK Certified? No

Accommodating of ALL ALLERGENS? Yes

Dishes Tried: Only ate breakfast, though could create dishes at all meals; stayed at hotel; had yogurt+ berries, chef’s creation with veggies + smoked salmon {see photos}

Impressions: I stayed at the London Edition for my quick trip, as the chef in Berner’s Tavern guaranteed all meals could be prepared safely for any allergen {I try to stay in places that can guarantee safe meals in the possible event that all restaurants fall through–which is always a possibility when traveling!} Upon explaining my allergies, they prepared the yogurt dish without granola {I added my trusty SunKrunch from my bag–both in the restaurant and when I ordered room service one morning} and created a dish with smoked salmon and avocado, right up my alley! The chef could create anything from lunch or dinner, though I didn’t get a chance to try– a Michelin starred chef, nonetheless! If you’re not staying at the hotel, be sure to make reservations– they’re famous for their weekend brunch.

Rating: 10/10

Pho: London Restaurant Review

Restaurant Name: Pho

Cuisine: Vietnamese Street Food

Location: Dozens, including Soho + Islington + Spitalfields

Website: http://www.phocafe.co.uk/

Coeliac UK Certified? Yes {entire menu except one dessert + beer are gluten free, and dessert is packaged off site/kept packaged!}

Accommodating of ALL ALLERGENS? Yes

Dishes Tried: Phở tái {thinly sliced steak pho} with added bean sprouts and green beans

Impressions: Walking around London, I highly doubted I would run into somewhere nearly 100% gluten free {and accommodating of all allergens} that wasn’t already on my must-hit list, but low and behold, I found Pho! After walking around Spitalfields Market {a definite recommendation!}, I was starved and so grateful to find this tiny–and I mean tiny– spot that was barely big enough to walk into! Crunched up in a table against the window with my face practically in my bowl of pho, I devoured a delicious, hearty bowl of pho {one of dozens of options} with an enormous spoon. The flavors were bold and of course, I added sriracha–my fave. There are locations all over the UK as well, not just London, so be sure to check one out for lunch or dinner for a quick, safe bite!

Rating: 10/10

Dorchester Afternoon Tea: London Restaurant Review

Restaurant Name: The Dorchester — Afternoon Tea Service at the Promenade

Cuisine: Afternoon Tea

Location: Near Soho

Website: https://www.dorchestercollection.com/en/london/the-dorchester/restaurant-bars/afternoon-tea/

Coeliac UK Certified? No

Accommodating of ALL ALLERGENS? Yes

Dishes Tried: Chef’s creations; full notice given with reservation + confirmed day before

Impressions: Surrounded in the most stunning atmosphere, I had a beautiful afternoon tea at the Dorchester. The chef was given advance notice of all my allergens– I mean come on, gluten and eggs are staples of afternoon tea offerings {finger sandwiches and pastries!} but this chef made me light up with delight! The first course was all different proteins, dairies, and special pickled vegetable combinations {see the photos– including kippers, smoked salmon, feta, cream cheese, beets, pickles, and more!} on beautiful toothpicks. The second course was a stunning display of fruit. The only disappointment is that there wasn’t anything offered to me for dessert, even given the advance notice. I’d hoped for some chocolate, even a simple small plate–which perhaps they’ll consider in the future!

Rating: 8/10