If you're an American looking for a fun international travel destination -- where there's no language barrier (except for the great accents!) -- and where maintaining a gluten free diet is relatively easy, you'll want to consider London.
As our Featured Reviewer on GlutenFreeTravelSite this month will attest, shopping for gluten free grocery items is easy (items are well-labeled so you can readily tell what's gluten free). And dining out during her recent trip to London over New Year's went even better than Aimee anticipated. She found that many restaurants had Gluten Free Menus, and others were knowledgeable and able to communicate exactly which menu items were safe too eat -- and tailor certain offerings to make them gluten free, if needed.
Aimee shares three of her favorite "gluten free friendly" restaurant discoveries in our Featured Review this month, starting with an elegant restaurant between Chelsea and South Kensington (and not far from great shopping in Knightsbridge or on King's Road). Whether you dine there for lunch or dinner, you'll find the wait staff friendly and their knowledge of gluten free options impressive. Aimee enjoyed a perfect Italian dinner consisting of a wonderful endive, pear and Gorgonzola salad, followed by an exquisite rissotto, and capped off with a decadent panna cotta.
Aimee found two other restaurants particularly noteworthy on her trip: a restaurant well-known by locals and named after Princess Margaret, who used to be a frequent guest. This West London restaurant evokes the feeling of a farmhouse kitchen in the English countryside. Huge wooden tables display candles dripping wax down old wine bottle candelabras, and the atmosphere, food, service, and affordable prices left Aimee wanting to return.
Since no trip to London is complete without seeking out some of the wide variety of cuisines from around the world, Aimee highlighted a particular favorite find of hers: a small Lebanese restaurant that was packed at lunchtime...but worth the wait for one of the tables. Located on a tiny cobblestone street, this unexpected discovery was one of the culinary highlights of Aimee's trip. The fresh, flavorful food -- most of which was gluten free to cater to the restaurant's many GF diners -- was an absolute delight. (You can read more details about all three of these restaurants on our Featured Review page.)
Aimee left London feeling great about her gluten free experiences -- and happy to confirm that this exciting, vibrant city can be a very safe place for Celiacs to travel and dine like Kings or Queens!
Have you been to London? What were some of your favorite restaurants? Feel free to click the Comments button below and share your recommendations -- or submit a quick review to GlutenFreeTravelSite so that others visiting or living in London can benefit from your recommendations!
Have another favorite "gluten free friendly" destination -- in Europe or someplace else around the globe? We'd love to hear about your experience!