Saturday, 18 April 2015

Eating out with food intolerances - Lucy's in Ambleside ...Cumbria

On the waterfall trek- Ambleside
Unfortunately, food these days contains everything...YES...literally everything that you would never really recognize as food and it's causing a lot of problems for a growing number of people. Life with food intolerance means preparation is paramount if you want something decent to eat. It's a challenge at home but it can be even worse when out and about or travelling.

When we finally reached our cottage here in the Lakes on Friday night we were disappointed to realise that the Sainsbury's delivery didn't contain the gluten free wraps that we had ordered for our lunch packs.  I  don't usually like to eat the store bought gluten free wraps very often as they contain a bunch of rubbish (in place of the things that are taken out)... however when on holiday it's the convenience factor that outweighs everything else. The fact that they were missing has made life a bit more difficult for us when out and about on our Lakeland treks....and so our lunch packs have been ...well..shall we say... non existent!  Instead of taking a wrap (an easy quick thing to make for a big group of people - 3 of whom have intolerances) we have eaten out or at the cottage.

You would think that eating out would solve the problem....but again when eating out with intolerance's it can be even more of a challenge in trying to find an establishment that can cater to your requirements.
So far We've had both positive and negative experiences here in Cumbria.This post is a Review of one of the more positive examples.

On Saturday we hiked up to the waterfall in Ambleside (a lovely...but short walk to get the legs going up hill!) and then looked around the town at all the outdoor equipment shops. Then hunger struck!

Where do you go and what do you eat? 
After asking a few people for recommendations (and then finding out that they were no good) we opted to go to the tourist information office and the lady suggested we headed to "LUCY'S" restaurant. It looks kind of small from the outside but opens up and is really spacious inside.

Lucy's in Ambleside

No sooner had we entered and told them of our dilemma they assured us that they could cater to our needs. The menu was diverse and geared to individuals who have this sort of a challenge and they were happy and willing to be negotiable on items that would and wouldn't work.
I ended up with a lovely steak and salad with a bucket of chips (yes they were gluten free.... and yes you may or may not be surprised to find out that chips often have a coating on them which contains gluten..duh...why oh why?) 
Someone else had the Moroccan Tagine.

Slate of steak and chips

Moroccan Tagine

Hungry boy!

The icing on the cake for me was the realisation that the desserts at Lucy's were also gluten free AND dairy free so I could have a yummy sticky toffee pudding for afters.... and it tasted good!

Very often when eating out with multiple intolerances  you find that restaurants have a token gluten free dish or a token dairy free dish but it often contains another ingredient that you are equally intolerant to. It ends up that there is nothing you can eat. Or, if there is something you can eat... you only have half a meal as they have taken everything off. Not good. The portion sizes at Lucy's were good AND they were willing to add bits if the meals had an ingredient that wasn't suitable and had to be excluded.

We even revisited a few  nights later to sample the evening menu. Service was a little slower due to being short staffed but they had mentioned that in their freshly typed menu of the day you can put up with that sort of thing. They even had our group party name on the menu welcoming us back.

Pork Loin, Potatoes,apple sauce, gravy.

Obviously had to sample some more of the G/F, D/F puddings... 

Lemon drizzle cake with lemon sorbet

"Lucy's" was a lovely find... a great atmosphere, very helpful staff and good food. I even noticed that they have a cookery school there where you can do workshops and find out how to make all of their goodies. Something for the future perhaps?

They had lots of lovely mock-tails  (for us non drinkers) and a comprehensive drinks list

Mock-tail tasting session.

Food should not only be a joy but also be enjoyable. Restaurants obviously can easily prepare unadulterated dishes that can be suitable for all. Why can't more do it? 
Lucy's was a great example of that here in the Lakes. We will surely be going back there next time we visit... and if you ever get the chance to hang out in Cumbria maybe go check them out for yourself and even book yourself on one of their courses. You can check Lucy's out here -

Now all I need to do is figure out how to make some desserts like Lucy!



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