Published On: Fri, Nov 29th, 2019

The Great Gluten-Free Christmas Getaway

Ali Walsh discovers a few hidden gems to take the stress out of Christmas…

What’s your perfect Christmas? Is it where you don’t have to do anything, can laze about in bed as long as you like, magically find you’re showered and dressed by noon and then fairies bring delicious food with a glass of Champers which gets topped up whenever you bat an eyelid?

And what’s the reality?

It can be bad enough for regular folks (you know, the ones without special diets). If you’re not cooking 20 different things all at once and desperately hoping the vegetables won’t go soggy before the turkey’s done, you’ll be dashing about getting emergency chairs from the bedrooms so that everyone can fit around the table. And after all that, you’ll be the one who ends up with a beanbag to sit on. Isn’t it lovely to come eye-level with the table and feel two-years-old again?

Luts B&B

Lut’s B&B

Restaurants open for Christmas lunch

Drum roll, please… There are umpteen coeliac-accredited venues open nationwide on Christmas Day with sumptuous gluten-free menus. Here are two of the big-hitters:

Brown’s

With 25 locations in the UK, there’s probably one close by.

◆ www.browns-restaurants.co.uk

Brunning & Price pubs

Numerous UK locations – just check their website for your nearest pub.

◆ www.brunningandprice.co.uk

Places to stay over Christmas

1 The Springfield Hotel

With butter-roasted turkey and a gluten-free Xmas pud on the menu, this hotel and health club is the place to be on Xmas day in North Wales. There are stunning views over the Dee Estuary and if you want to work off Xmas dinner, the leisure club’s included in your stay.

◆ A55, Pentre Halkyn, Holywell CH8 8BA, Wales ◆ 01352 780503 ◆ reception@hotel-northwales.com ◆ www.thespringfieldhotel.com ◆ Accommodation & lunch? Yes

2 No.21 York Guest House

Serving up a gluten-free breakfast fit for a king, you’d be wise to plan a late Xmas dinner. The hotel boasts fresh gluten-free bread that’s baked on the premises, pancakes, biscuits, mushroom & butterbean bruschetta, muffins and sausages.

◆ 21 St Mary’s, York, North Yorks, YO30 7DD ◆ 01904 629 494 ◆ stay@no21york.co.uk ◆ www.no21york.co.uk

SPECIAL GFH READER OFFER: Book direct (quoting this magazine article) and receive a £20 discount on a room!

3 Duke of Marlborough Country Inn & Restaurant

Situated near Blenheim Palace and Bicester Village, this gorgeous place offers an extensive gluten-free menu including syrup sponge and gluten-free beer. There’s also folk music on Xmas Eve!

◆ Woodleys, Oxfordshire, OX20 1HT ◆ 01993 811 460 ◆ sales@dukeof marlborough.co.uk ◆ www.dukeofmarlborough.co.uk ◆ Accommodation & lunch? Yes

Lut’s B&B

4 Lut’s B&B, Lincoln

For a stay in a stunning 300-year- old listed farmhouse with wooden beams, beautiful fireplaces and a winding staircase, look no further than this little gem in Lincolnshire. Owner Lut is from the Netherlands and will welcome you with open arms. She boasts an ‘outrageous breakfast menu’ which includes gluten-free and vegan options.

◆ Grange Farm, Mill Lane, North Hykeham, Lincoln, LN6 9PB ◆ 01522 306 215 ◆ lut@lutsbandb.co.uk ◆ www.lutsbandb.co.uk ◆ Contact direct to book a room (booking is not available through the website) ◆ Accommodation & lunch? B&B (other meals by prior arrangement)

5 The Kings Arms

Award-winning and a supporter of local farmers, The Kings Arms is an 18th-century building with 13 en-suite rooms, log fires and tales of Dick Turpin. The restaurant provides you with your own gluten-free menu including Xmas pud.

◆ Market Place, Melksham, Wilts, SN12 6EX ◆ 01225 707 272 ◆ kingsarms@wadworth.co.uk ◆ www.kingsarmsmelksham.co.uk ◆ Accommodation & lunch? Yes

6 The Rubens at the Palace

For luxury and a Xmas you’ll never forget, this is as close to being royal as most of us will get. With a gluten-free afternoon tea as well as a gluten-free Xmas Day menu, expect to be thoroughly pampered. There are 2 restaurants, 3 bars and 24 hour room service, as well as rooms overlooking Buckingham Palace. With a 5-star rating on Trip Advisor from a coeliac, you can rest assured you’ll be in safe hands.

◆ 39 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0PS ◆ 0207 834 6600 ◆ www.rubenshotel.com ◆ Accommodation & lunch? Yes

7 Moorland Garden Hotel

This 4-star countryside hotel is offering a 4-course Xmas Day Lunch in their crystal ballroom. There’s not just one, but three delicious gluten-free desserts on the menu, including Xmas pud, salted chocolate tart and panna cotta. Dairy-free options are also a specialty.

◆ Yelverton, Near Plymouth, South Devon, PL20 6DA ◆ 01822 852 245 ◆ stay@moorlandgardenhotel.co.uk ◆ www.moorlandgardenhotel.co.uk ◆ Bonus features: dog-friendly ◆ Accommodation & lunch? Yes

The Rubens at The Palace

Gluten-Free deliveries

If you aren’t leaving the house this Christmas, there are still some fantastic mail-order options to choose from. Whether you need dinner itself or simply want some luxury accompaniments, the following places will do you proud.

1 Borough Box

A delicious hamper with hand-picked gluten-free goodies including juicy olives, spicy bean crush, onion crackers and yummy dips!

www.boroughbox.com/gluten-free-food-gift

2 Wiltshire Farm Foods

For regular ready meals with plenty of delicious gluten-free options, go to the website to order online or request a brochure. The special Xmas menu includes salmon fillet in mint butter sauce, lamb with redcurrant and red wine sauce and a mushroom & Cheddar West Country bake.

www.wiltshirefarmfoods.com/ready-meals/gluten-free

3 Gluten-Free Hampers

Delivering only gluten-free food and drink, you’ll be spoilt for choice with these amazing hampers. There are 2 special Xmas baskets boasting brandy butter, mince pies, millionaire’s shortbread and sage and onion stuffing. You can have your hamper delivered internationally (if need be) and order up to 6 months in advance (because Easter’s not that far away, right?).

◆ 01360 440066 ◆ www.glutenfreehampers.co.uk

4 Paxton & Whitfield

Love cheese but want the crackers to go with it? With two boxes of gluten-free cracker bakes, 3 cheeses and 2 bottles of French wine, this beautifully presented wooden box is every coeliac’s dream.

www.paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk/shop/cheese-hampers/glorious-gluten-free-hamper.html

5 Fortnum & Mason

From alcohol-free, gluten-free Xmas puddings to nutcracker biscuits, cakes and pale ales, Fortnum & Mason offer a delivery service with gluten-free and vegan options galore.

www.fortnumandmason.com


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