Category: Travel

Dorchester Afternoon Tea: London Restaurant Review

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

Cuisine: Afternoon Tea

Location: Near Soho


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


Arepazo Bros/Arepa: London Restaurant Review

Restaurant Name: Arepazo Bros/Arepa

Cuisine: Venezuelan Street Food

Location: Camden Lock Market


Coeliac UK Certified? No, but 100% gluten free

Accommodating of ALL ALLERGENS? Yes

Dishes Tried: Arepazo Bros {fully loaded arepa!}

Impressions: Walking around the Camden Lock Market is a must-have experience– this 365 day-a-year market is loaded with hidden artisan treasures and is swarming with people regardless of the weather. A highlight of the market is the dozens upon dozens of food stalls–better than any food truck lineup I’ve ever witnessed live or via photo. Every cuisine imaginable had a stall–and the gluten free/allergy friendly/vegan+vegetarian options are abound. With many 100% gluten free stalls to choose from, this gorgeous brightly-colored stall with the friendliest staff called out to me– I had to chow down a fully loaded arepa. Using 100% sunflower oil, this corn meal pocket with filled with pulled chicken and beef and topped with cheese, avocado, black beans, melted cheese, plantains, and pico de gallo–and they keep EVERY ingredient separate with its own utensil so they can prepare for any food allergy that comes their way {including dairy!} I chatted for awhile about ADSG and the celiac/food allergy community in the US and begged them to open a stall closer to home– I promised I’d bring them a big crowd + I knew I couldn’t keep myself from eating there many times a week! An absolute highlight of my trip.

Rating: 10+/10


Côte Brasserie: London Restaurant Review

Restaurant Name: Côte Brasserie

Cuisine: Steakhouse

Location: Many!


Coeliac UK Certified? Yes

Accommodating of ALL ALLERGENS? Yes

Dishes Tried: Piquant Mixed Olives, Smoked Salmon Starter, Steak Frites, Iced Berries

Impressions: A perfect pre-theater dinner! I played it safe and simple, as we were traveling back to the US the next day, with dishes that I could see the entirety of the ingredients right on the plate! The most fun was having frites– fried in a dedicated frier and made from 100% potatoes. For a steakhouse, the prices were remarkably low–which made this spot recommendable for a grab and go bite any day of the week! The gluten free menu, which is Coeliac UK certified, is extremely extensive and all staff is extremely well trained in all allergens.

Rating: 7/10

Casita Andina: London Restaurant Review

Restaurant Name: Casita Andina

Cuisine: Peruvian, Tapas

Location: Soho


Coeliac UK Certified? No, but almost entire menu GF and most vegan/vegetarian

Accommodating of ALL ALLERGENS? Yes

Dishes Tried: Crunchy Corn, Aubergine Jalea, Aji de Gallina {no quail egg}, Salmon Escabeche, Classic Ceviche, Causa Andina

Impressions: This was hands down my favorite dining experience in London. Again, this was my FAVORITE dining experience. Cocina con cariño– cooked with love– written on the wall and felt in every dish. The ingredients are beautifully sourced with local produce {mainly organic and fair trade} and traceable/high welfare/red tractor farms for meats. The majority of the menu is gluten free, with many vegan and vegetarian options and an extremely knowledgeable staff and kitchen. I had marked my allergens in my reservation online and by the time I had taken my seat, the manager was at my side having reviewed the entire menu with the chef to inform me of the available safe dishes for lunch that day. I could have eaten at Casita Andina for brunch, lunch, and dinner every day of the trip– I even purchased the Ceviche cookbook by their owner and head chef whom I met that day to try my hand at his dishes upon returning back home. Though I was unable to try the other Andina restaurants in the group throughout London, I have no doubt the teams at the others would handle all allergens just as beautifully. A truly unforgettable culinary experience with bold, exquisite flavors.

Rating: 10+/10


La Polenteria: London Restaurant Review

Restaurant Name: La Polenteria

Cuisine: Italian

Location: Soho


Coeliac UK Certified? Yes

Accommodating of ALL ALLERGENS? Yes, and clearly marked on menu!

Dishes Tried: Aubergine caponata with homemade focaccia bread {yes, it’s vegan!} + duck breast marinated in wine and anise served with celeriac cream and grilled polenta

Impressions: If you’re seeking the Italian food experience from gluten free heaven, look no further. Upon sitting at our table, the waiter {who also happened to be the manager} immediately asked if anyone was gluten free or a celiac then asked about other allergies. Finally, he greeted us with “welcome to your food heaven!” The menu is clearly marked with every allergen below each menu item and despite many fresh pastas containing egg, many dishes {including several types of gnocchi!} were available to accommodate a host of allergies including egg free/vegan. The focaccia {made in house} was vegan and left me speechless as I ate piece after piece. I took some to go and ate it for breakfast the next morning in my hotel room! Due to the high carb nature of many dishes, I opted to have duck for dinner, which was lovely–though I did have to request it was cooked longer for my liking and the polenta was quite plain. Others at my table had duck ravioli, which was given extremely high ratings.

Rating: 8/10