Eating out…do you risk it?

I LOVE eating out. My favourite kind of place to eat is a rustic pub: wooden floors; log fires; relaxed; unpretentious with no airs and graces and an extensive menu. Preferably after a long walk with the dog. In the summer I’d sit in the garden and take my shoes off. In winter I’d sit by the fire and probably fall asleep!

I dream of coming home from work and my husband says not to bother cooking because he’s going to take us all out for dinner….so NOT gonna happen!

You see, he does not enjoy eating out anymore. It is too dangerous.

We went out for pizza last week- a rare treat for our children. I won’t name names, but the menu stated that the gluten free pizza bases were made off site to avoid cross contamination. The next 3 days for him, included the runs, sickness, headaches, lethargy and stomach pains. He is currently training to cycle London to Paris for charity but he couldn’t ride for 3 days – that’s how much gluten affects him. It’s not a fad. It’s not a choice.

The problems of eating out range from clueless waitresses, “but can you eat sugar?” to contaminated chips because they’ve been fried with breaded scampi…”but it’s potato, that’s okay, right?” You’d expect steak and chips to be a safe choice (not necessarily), but do you really want that every time you eat out? He asked for a burger without the bun recently…completely threw them! Why is that confusing? If a woman asked, they’d probably assume she was on a diet.

Anyway, by law, restaurants must provide an allergy menu for all of their dishes. Whether you have a gluten, dairy, nut or any other allergy, you can demand a menu which specifically lists the ingredients of every recipe.

So, where can you go and expect a reliably gluten free meal? The best and most reliable restaurant we have ever been to is Deeson’s, Palace Street, Canterbury. It’s our favourite restaurant ever, with good reason.

Attentive, polite, caring waiting staff. As soon as you ask for allergy advice the special menu is presented. While you peruse the choices, you are given a board of delicious bread and butter (smoked butter no less!) and my husband is not excluded.

The lunch menu is reasonably priced, the evening menu is still reasonable but a little bit more special. They have a children’s menu and rooms for private parties. The children are always greeted warmly, as are the adults, the food is sublime and they serve “Bacchus” (Chapel Down, Tenterden), which will always get the thumbs up from me!

Go and try it and let me know what you think…..and of course, share your recommendations.




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