I have been wanting to visit The Herb Garden for as long as I can remember, so you can imagine my delight when my brother suggested it for tea! The restaurant is tucked away under the railway arches by Central Station in the heart of Newcastle and is very distinguishable due to the large white horse on roller-skates that sits outside! The gorgeous and very instatagramable interior is one of the main reasons I wanted to visit, and it did not disappoint! I was more than happy sitting and snapping away once we got inside. The tables are laid out in long sharing benches, which was ok for us as we went early so it was pretty empty, but I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much had it been busy!
The gluten free options were very limited – to just one dish! While the normal menu contained a feast of dishes, including their infamous pizzas, which my brother ordered. Our server informed me that the restaurant always makes sure their dish of the day is gluten free, so that’s what I settled for, a spicy vegetable aubergine bake with a side of new potatoes. Thankfully the dessert menu was more extensively catered towards gluten intolerance so at least I had more than one option there! I decided to get the gooey chocolate pot with fruit, while Matt got the chocolate brownie, which was also gluten free so I got a taste of that too, whether he liked it or not!
I am glad I finally got the chance to visit, but due to the limited selection for gluten free dishes, I don’t think I’ll be hurrying back anytime soon!
It was Johnny who suggested that we try the Fat Buddha for date night as he had eaten there before, and I am so thrilled we visited because it might be my new favourite restaurant in Newcastle! It’s marketed as an Asian Bar and Kitchen and decorated accordingly inside, with bold reds and gold’s splashed throughout and amazing feature lighting hanging from the beautiful celling in the main upstairs restaurant. Small Buddha ornaments are scattered around with a large golden fat Buddha sitting outside which is a great feature before you even enter the building. We had booked to sit in the upstairs restaurant; climbing the stairs you’re instantly struck with the beauty of it! Once seated we both ordered the restaurants signature cocktail ‘The Fat Buddha’, made up of; vodka, pineapple juice, apple juice, fresh passion fruit and a splash of their secret ingredient! I was so happy to see that there was a separate gluten free menu for diners like me to enjoy, and after much debate I decided to try the Wok Fried Sliced Chicken Breast with mixed vegetables and gluten free soy sauce. Johnny chose their Peking Chicken; crispy chicken breast cooked in Peking sauce with chilli, peppers and scallions. We also ordered some sides of salt and chilli chips and a bowl of egg fried rice for the table. When it all arrived, everything smelt and looked amazing, we both couldn’t wait to dive in!
We both had such a wonderful evening dinning out at The Fat Buddha. I can honestly say it’s some of the nicest food that I have ever eaten! The staff were also very attentive with our food and drinks and really helpful with any questions and concerns that I had over their gluten free menu.
After our meal we headed back downstairs to the bar to enjoy more of their gorgeous cocktails as we didn’t want our night to end! It’s such a perfect restaurant for a great night of food and drinking- we will definitely be back!
I’ve been meaning to give Dominos gluten free pizza bases a try for awhile now, so when I noticed their lunchtime work deal offering small pizzas from £3.99 I decided to order myself a couple! Dominos gluten free crusts are only available in 8.5”, which is something they really ought to change, as it would have been nice to have the choice of a medium sized base at least- something that their competitors at Pizza Hut offer. If you look at the menu on the website all items containing gluten are clearly marked with a “G” which is really helpful when deciding which flavour to go for. The lunchtime deal offers small pizzas with only one topping from £3.99 which is a far cry from the regular prices of £10.99+ for a small gluten free base, so I decided to order two while they were so cheap; one ham and the other with chicken. Sadly none of their sides are gluten free which is shame as I felt something like their potato wedges could have been re-worked, offering more choice to gluten free customers. At least their famous garlic dips which sit in their pizza boxes are gluten free!
When my pizza arrived I was pleased to see the small bright yellow ‘GF’ stickers on each box, so I knew that mine hadn’t been mixed up with order pizzas and was the gluten free bases that I had ordered. They smelled great, however when I lifted the lid I was a little disappointed to see the bottom of each pizza covered with burnt cheese. I was also stuck with how small the pizzas were compared to the medium or large sized bases that I used to order before I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant. The overall flavour and taste was fabulous and I particularly enjoyed the chicken pizza! Each base was light and airy, not soggy at all like most other gluten free pizzas that I have tried. I definitely believe they are a lot nicer than the gluten free crusts that Pizza Hut offers, which are very dry and bland in comparison. The only criticism I have for Dominos is the price of their pizzas, paying over ten pounds for a small 8.5” base is mad, especially for a student as most of their deals don’t include their small pizzas as an option, although the lunchtime work deal does offer a good compromise. I will definitely be ordering from them again, however I hope to see more variety in the size of the bases and the choices of sides for their gluten free customers in the future!
It’s been a busy month after 2 amazing trips abroad with Jonny and moving back up to Newcastle to start second year, I have barely had anytime to blog! My holiday posts will be up soon but in the meantime I thought I’d share my visit to the street food kitchen, Dabbawal, located in Jesmond. This was our first date night since moving back to Newcastle and after hearing only positive things about their menu and the gluten free options we decided to book up for Saturday night! We struggled to find the restaurant at first, as its not sat on the main row of restaurants, instead located down the back street behind Brentwood Avenue. However, once we did find it we were blown away with the modern and colourful decoration both inside and out, which only filled us with more excitement to try their food!
After we were seated inside the gorgeous restaurant, we were given copies of their extensive menu, along with some poppadoms and a homemade chutney selection to nibble on while we decided what to eat and drink. To start, we both ordered cocktails, I chose the Mitch Martini made up of Bison grass vodka shaken with passion fruit syrup, apple and lemon juice which was gorgeous while Jonny went with the Kaffir Lime Cosmopolitan consisting of; Indian kaffir lime leaves, Wyborowa Lemon vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice. Their menu is made up of a variety of meals such as small tapas dishes for starters or sharing options as well as larger curries for a bigger main course. As it is a ‘street food kitchen’ we decided to get a selection of the tapas dishes and some sides to share so we could sample a mix of classic Indian street foods. Each item is clearly labeled (G) if it contains gluten, which is great for gluten free diners to be able to easily see which dishes to avoid. After much consideration we eventually picked 3 gluten free tapas dishes; the Chicken Supreme Pakora Fritters, the Dabawall Grill and the Punjabi Chicken Lollipop as well as Pulao Rice and Masala Chips as sides to the meal which were also gluten free.
As we had ordered the tapas options, they each came to the table separately with the sides not being served until we were half way through the dishes, meaning we didn’t feel that we were eating our main course as dishes kept being brought to the table and interrupting us. Although the food was pleasant enough we were a bit underwhelmed after hearing only good things about the restaurant, we didn’t feel that we had been able to enjoy ourselves or the food. With the restaurant decked out in quirky, modern furniture and fittings, it is a gorgeous setting for a meal however the dining experience was disappointing and sadly we wont be returning as the whole meal came to around £60 which we is something neither of us can justify spending!
A mouth-watering confusion of native Latin American Indian, Spanish, Portuguese and African influences, Las Iguanas is an adventure. You’ll discover new tastes, and fall in love with new favourites – and feel the warmth and welcome of South America. I hadn’t heard of Las Iguanas until I moved to Newcastle and once I discovered they offer a wide selection of gluten free options I knew I had to visit! I have eaten there four times now, with my most recent trip being to their new restaurant located down on the quayside. Every time I walk into one of their restaurants I feel instantly happy as the colourful mix of furniture and quirky decorations creates a great atmosphere. Their new quayside location is ideal to sit outside under the parasols enjoying their fruity cocktails and watch the river Tyne in the sun, which exactly what my friend and me did when we dined there. On each of my visits the servers are always more than happy to help when I tell them I’m gluten intolerant. Las Iguanas offers a separate gluten free menu for diners however on their lunchtime deal menu, they have small symbols next to dishes that can be cooked gluten free on request. Their crayfish salad is so light, but filling and definitely a great choice if you can fit it in during lunch. The blazing bird is also a gorgeous dish of spicy chicken marinated with a fiery sauce (I chose honey peri-peri), served with slaw and salad. I did originally opt for fries as my side, however after checking with the kitchen the waiter said they couldn’t be sure they were gluten free so salad it was! Both of these dishes are from their lunchtime menu, which offers main courses from as little as £6, with the choice to add a starter for an extra £2.95, an ideal option if you’re looking for lunch on a budget1
On my first visit to Las Iguanas as I read through the menu, I noticed they offered gluten free nachos on request so I knew I had to get them for a starter! Crispy corn tortilla chips with melted cheese, topped with pico de gallo, jalapeños, salsa, soured cream & guacamole, they were everything I had hoped they would! As a main course I decided to give their triple tacos a try…three corn & wheat lightly charred tortillas. So far I have had the chipotle chicken, soured cream & pink pickled onion option as well as their garlicky mushroom, chill, thyme and cheese tacos, which have both been fabulous! Just be sure to specify with the server that you want the gluten free tacos when you’re ordering!
Las Iguanas also offer great deals on their drinks menu with ‘HAPPY HOUR’ all day, everyday on 25 of their cocktails and coolers. They give diners the chance to get 2 for 1 on these drinks; the only drawback is that when you buy one glass, you get the same free, so be sure that you’ll like the drink you go for otherwise you’ll be stuck with 2 drinks that you aren’t fond of! These cocktails are priced at £7.95, which I think is more than reasonable for the simple fact you get 2 for the price of 1! While their coolers are £3.30, which again two fruit filled drinks for this price is amazing! Las Iguanas is well worth a visit if you’re in Newcastle as both of their restaurants (Greys Street and Quayside) are well furnished and their servers can’t do enough for you. Their food is of a high quality and always filling, and for such great prices you can afford to really treat yourself especially with their lunchtime menu, which runs daily until 6:30pm.
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited away for the night to Whitby with my aunty, uncle and cousins, who had rented a revamped fisherman’s cottage in the heart of the old town. I caught the train from Middlesborough, and although I have always visited Whitby since I was little, it was my first time travelling there by rail which is something I’d really recommend as you pass through the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside!
Thankfully the typical British summertime rain held off and we were able to enjoy a few hours of sunshine as we explored the gorgeous sights and hidden treasures that Whitby has to offer! From the atmospheric Abbey towering over winding cobbled streets to the windswept beach which inspired Bram Stoker’s world famous “Dracula”, Whitby is not your traditional coastal town.
The first stop was the ‘Cranberry Swamp’ for some lunch- a small cafe that my aunty had found before I arrived as they offered gluten free options! Just a 2 minute walk up the road from the cottage, this was the perfect place to grab a bite to eat! Turning the corner, the cafe instantly stood out from the other shops with its deep purple exterior and wooden sign hanging above the door, the interior was also just as quirky with exposed hanging bulbs and bold colours splashed on the walls. The menu was very varied and great for gluten free diners, even I struggled with what to chose but eventually settled on a classic burger with onion relish severed in a gluten free bun with a side of sweet potato fries and salad. While my cousin ordered a toasted BLT sandwich on white bread which looked fabulous! The food defiantly didn’t disappoint and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful! Although fish and chips is the typical choice for lunch when you’re in Whitby, I really recommend breaking with tradition and heading to the Cranberry Swamp as this reasonably priced little cafe offers a wonderful dinning experience, no matter of your dietary requirements!
After a gorgeous lunch, I spent the day walking in the sunshine through the old cobbled streets and down to the working fishing harbour, marvelling at the colourful fishing boats and the hundreds of lobster fresh from the catch! You won’t find yourself struggling for things to see or do in this historic seaside town, from tackling the 199 steps up to the Abbey (something I didn’t attempt) to feeling like a child again at the classic seaside amusements with the 2p slots as well as being able to take in the picturesque views, it’s an ideal place for a weekend getaway! Whitby also plays host to Goth Weekend, a unique event that happens twice a year celebrating all things Gothic!
After an early start in order to pack up the cottage, we had a last walk through the town before heading home. As it was their last night in Whitby I was able to get a lift home with my family in their car, instead of getting the train back. We decided to drive home over the North Yorkshire Moors, where we stopped off for lunch. My aunty spotted a small cafe as we drove through the village of Castleton, called the Old Chapel Tearoom, which had once been a Methodist Church, however after renovations is now a clean and inviting tearoom offering a varied menu. Although they were dog friendly in the main dining area, we chose to sit outside in the sun. The staff were lovely and couldn’t have been more attentive, even bringing the dog a small bowl of water! I ordered myself a jacket potato with a generous helping of tuna mayonnaise and a side salad, while everyone else chose sandwiches and lasagne which all looked delicious too!
It was so lovely to get away to Whitby for the night with my aunty, uncle and cousins especially now that I live away for university its always good to catch up with the family whilst I am at home! I’m thankful that the weather held out for us and we were able to make the most of the sun in our idyllic seaside setting! It is always nice to be able to unwind for a couple of days and switch off from the chaos of everyday life and where better to get lost in the beauty and history of a place than Whitby.
I have visited this restaurant twice now, and its fast becoming a favourite of mine! The Mak brothers -Yen and Andrew- have created a new look restaurant in Newcastle’s Chinatown, The Landmark. Having many years of experience and history in their hometown, they pride themselves on exceptional attention to detail and hospitality, and above all serving great oriental cuisine. It was Johnny who initially suggested that we give the Landmark a go after hearing good reviews about their gluten free options, and after not having Chinese food since my diagnosis, I was more than happy to give it a try! The Restaurant itself is split level so as well as the bar reception area there are relaxing and intimate dining booths, leading down into the main restaurant where there are further booths and large round banqueting tables. Once seated the server said we are welcome to help ourselves to the gluten free prawn crackers on the table while we looked over the menus. There isn’t a separate gluten free menu however the staff were more than happy to advise me on what sauces and dishes I could eat from the main menu, seeming very knowledgeable about the gluten free options and the way the food is cooked. On my first visit to The Landmark I decided to try the King Prawns Deep Fried with Garlic and Spiced Salt for a starter followed by Stir Fried Chicken in a Satay Sauce, which were both gorgeous, I thought the prawns and chicken were cooked perfectly!
When we visited a second time, I decided to just have a main course as we found on our previous visit that we were far too full after having a starter as well! This time I went for Stir Fried King Prawns with Mushroom and Bamboo Shoots, which again didn’t disappoint! On both visits we also had egg fried rice and chips for the table, so we could take a bit of what we wanted to go along with our meals. The food here is simply stunning, it’s definitely some of the nicest gluten free food that I’ve ever eaten and Johnny always clears his plate too!
I can’t praise this restaurant enough for their attention to gluten free dining, with small details such as the prawn crackers being gluten free to the knowledge of the waiting staff just makes the overall dining experience at the Landmark so memorable and as a customer you feel really valued. Whether your diet is gluten free or not, I definitely recommend that you head down to China Town and as The Landmark is well worth a visit! The Mak brothers have managed to create something so special here and I honestly don’t think that I’ve enjoyed oriental food as much as I do when I dine at their restaurant!
After my first trip to the wonderful Pitcher and Piano in Newcastle, I knew I had to give their breakfast menu a try before I moved home for the summer! So I dragged Johnny out of bed and we headed down to the Quayside for some gorgeous food to wake us up! Since my previous visit, the restaurant has had a total makeover with summery green plants and quirky geometric designs now the main focus. Once we were seated, we both ordered some fruit juices; I went with the mango and passion fruit flavour of the Cracker Drinks Co Juice while Johnny picked the smooth orange flavour of the Eager Fruit Juices. The staff were very helpful when I told them I was gluten free, and after reading the breakfast menu I was pleased to see a little side note stating ‘we’re happy to say that all our breakfast butties can be served in a baguette carefully made using ingredients that don’t contain any gluten or wheat’. In the end I decided on the ‘P&P Breakfast’ made up of bacon, Cumberland sausage, fried egg, hash brown, grilled flat mushroom, baked beans, half a grilled tomato and toast, however the sausage and toast wasn’t gluten free so Johnny ended up eating them for me alongside his ‘Big Breakfast’.
We both really enjoyed our visit to the Pitcher & Piano and their breakfasts are well worth getting up early for! Although the food and drink came to around twenty pound for the two of us which as a student I feel is a little pricey, the Quayside setting and staff make for a great dinning experience. I’ll definitely be back to give their gluten free breakfast bun a try!
After our day of exploring Newcastle, I booked us a table at Zizzi as I was keen to try out their gluten free menu before I moved home for the summer! So we hurried back to my flat, got changed and set back off into town. Zizzi is located just down from Monument on Greys Street, and the interior is just as stunning as the building it sits in. We were seated downstairs at the back of the restaurant next to the big open plan kitchen so we could see the chefs working which was exciting! The servers couldn’t have been more helpful when I asked for the gluten free menu and what they would recommend to try. I knew I had to have a pizza so I went with their new ‘Non Gluten’ Polpette, which contained; lamb & red pepper meatballs, anchovies, fior di latte & smoked mozzarella, spinach, olives, sunblush tomatoes, crushed chillies, roasted garlic cloves & smoked garlic oil. I also ordered myself their new pink G&T cocktail, a mix of Bombay Sapphire & tonic with strawberry purée, mint, cucumber & fresh raspberries! While Johnny chose their Pollo Prosciutto – chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto ham & sage with a white wine sauce, Tuscan potatoes & green beans which looked just as nice as my pizza when they both arrived.
Although it was a typical doughy/stretchy gluten free pizza base, I still found myself enjoying it! The flavours were really nice too, however after awhile I did begin to find it a little too spicy and couldn’t finish it all, so I would recommend choosing a different pizza if you aren’t a big fan of spicy foods.
The staff and atmosphere made for a great evening, and the fabulous cocktails topped it off! With Zizzi restaurants up and down the country, there’s no excuse not to give their ‘Non Gluten’ menu a go.