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For truly luxurious chocolate you have got to visit Co Couture in Belfast, all I can say is what a joy for all coeliac chocolate fans. Just a minute's walk from Belfast City Hall is No. 7 Chichester Street and you will find Co Couture located in the basement.  
Once you step through the door the aroma of chocolate is intoxicating. When I asked which chocolate was gluten free I was amazed to hear that everything is gluten free, what a find. Deirdre was most helpful explaining the various ingredients and methods they use in producing their delicious chocolate. Her love for chocolate and it's creation is inspiring. Deirdre suggested a choice of chocolates, brownies and double chocolate cookies all of which were heavenly and of course gluten free. What a surprise to find such a dedicated and passionate Chocolatier to kick start my birthday trip to Belfast and this was all before breakfast! 
If you're in Belfast you have to go check out Co Couture Gourmet Artisan Chocolate and try out their gluten free brownies and more you'll be delighted you did ;-) 


Co Couture
http://www.cocouture.co.uk
7 Chichester Street,
Belfast,
Co Antrim
BT1 4JA
T: 078 8889 9647

 
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On a recent trip to Kilkenny I tried out Yindees Downtown Restaurant based on great reviews and a love of Thai food.  Located right beside The River Court Hotel on John's Street (great hotel by the way). After a long day's shopping in Kilkenny, we popped in to book a table, greeted with a warm welcome and looked forward to our meal. 

Yindees have an extensive Asian menu, fantastic Early Bird selection and most importantly cater amazingly well for coeliacs. Everything is clearly highlighted as gluten free on the menu and they can adapt most dishes to a coeliac option. The staff were very friendly and welcoming, in particular Paul was so helpful going through the full menu in detail to ensure I was comfortable with my gluten free order. This patient approach is so important to a coeliac, to feel we are not rushed or a nuisance when asking about gluten free options is a sign of great customer service. 

For starters I had the Tom Yum soup, which was perfectly spicy with lots of chicken. The Thai Panaeng Curry with rice for main course was delicious and a good size portion. Accompanied by a lovely bottle of red wine, this was a relaxing and extremely enjoyable meal....so much so we booked it for the next night!! Again, the following night, professional friendly service and delicious food all round. 
If you're spending a few days in Kilkenny, this is a really excellent restaurant and not to be missed.  I'm already looking forward to the delicious curries, wonderful ambiance and next time I'm definitely trying one of those fabulous cocktails ;-)  


Contact details: 
Yindees Downtown
John Street, Kilkenny City, Kilkenny

Telephone: 056 779 4614


 
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A while back I received an e-mail from 'Aine' who wanted to let me know about a relatively new coeliac friendly takeaway that opened in North Dublin - of course when I heard it did Gluten Free Pizza I just had to make a trip to try it out for myself.  
Firehouse Pizza are based at 11 College View, Ballymun, Dublin 11 - just up the road from IKEA and with a Fire Station themed venue there is lots to look at while waiting for your pizza. Firehouse Pizza take extra measures to prevent cross contamination and state that "all coeliac pizzas and toppings are prepared in an especially dedicated kitchen area.  All coeliac pizzas are cooked in a dedicated gluten free oven.....".  
The menu has extensive gluten free options, basically all pizzas are available with a gluten free base - thin and crispy the way I like it. The "Buy One Get One Free" offer is excellent and they also provide a "half n half" so you can try two options on the one pizza, such a great idea. Generous toppings and each pizza comes with a garlic dip. They also provide the following toppings free of charge; Fresh Chilli, Fresh Garlic, Jalapeños, Anchovies, Dried Chilli Flakes. The Smokey BBQ chicken wings (also gluten free) for starter are particularly tasty and very good value at €6. If you have a sweet tooth the Gluten Free Homemade Rocky Road dessert at €4 was enough for two people, delicious and came with a rich chocolate sauce. 
A tip for those of you who may be travelling a distance for a collection, ask for your pizza half-cooked, so you can finish cooking at home (this way it won't be overcooked). 
A wonderful Pizza takeaway for coeliacs with friendly staff who understand our gluten free needs. Looking forward to my next trip to Firehouse Pizza ;-) 

http://www.firehousepizza.ie/menus/

11 College View, Ballymun, Dublin 11
t: 01 8620999
e: info@firehousepizza.ie


 
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I recently returned from a lovely few days in Athlone, a great part of the country and now so easily accessible on the N6. It was a few years since my last visit and I wondered if the delicious gluten free Indian meal I'd enjoyed the first time could be repeated. To my delight when we turned onto The Docks in Athlone, Mother India was still there situated on the corner.  A cheerful invite at the door immediately made us feel welcome. We hoped to get the window seat upstairs overlooking the Shannon (best seat in the house!), however as it was already reserved we sat in the cosy room downstairs. There is an extensive and varied menu at Mother India, which immediately gets the taste buds going. The mains of Chicken Tikka Karahi-chicken cooked in medium sauce fresh garlic, ginger with a touch of yoghurt & the Chicken Balti-a typical Punjabi dish prepared in a karahi with spices, garlic, ginger and finished with a touch of yoghurt were complimented by freshly cooked Pailu rice, which was delicately flavoured with herbs and spices. Both dishes were perfectly cooked and aromatic, just as I remembered from our previous visit if not better. Following our main courses and bottle of wine we finished with a favourite of ours, which we first tried at Mother India, a traditional Punjabi tea prepared with spices, milk and sugar. Again this was just how I remembered and a really nice way to finish off a spicy meal.
The staff were helpful with any gluten free requests and prices are very reasonable. They also have a thriving take-away available.  Once again a great gluten free experience at Mother India and I'm looking forward to my return visit soon.

MOTHER INDIA
The Docks, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Tel: +353-90-6498658
E-mail: motherindia@yahoo.com

www.coeliaccoach.com
"Coaching for a Gluten Free Life"


 
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The weather has been particularly cold here in Ireland over the past few months so a last minute deal to the sun was just the ticket and a great start to the New Year! Lanzarote was the destination with sun, sea and relaxing thermal spas to heat up the bones after several months wrapped up in winter woolies.  I’ve been to Lanzarote before and love the vast selection of restaurants,  fabulous seafood available and how accommodating the staff are to coeliac needs.  Lanzarote has an abundance of restaurants for all tastes: Italian, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Japanese and local cuisine.  This time I hoped to visit some new restaurants and I wasn't disappointed.

The Puerto Bahia restaurant is located in the old town harbour area. This restaurant has a very good selection of food and drink with fabulous views over looking the beautiful harbour.  Upon arrival I asked the waiter about gluten free options and produced a laminated card with details of what I can/cannot eat in Spanish.  I make these cards in advance of trips abroad to ensure I can communicate my coeliac needs in the relevant language of each country I visit.  This method has proved very successful as there is no confusion or language barriers with the chefs.  The waiter understood immediately and said gluten free options on their menu would be no problem.  Another waiter arrived and asked who is the coeliac, and served me two gluten free bread rolls before my meal. These were warm, extremely fresh tasting and such a nice touch.  The swordfish I had for my main was delicious, served in a creamy fish sauce with canarian potatoes and grilled vegetables.  Accompanied by a white Torres San Valentin wine this was an excellent start to the holiday.

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During our holiday it was my mother’s birthday and she decided to celebrate at The Indian Zaffran, Calle Juan Carlos I, Puerto del Carmen in the Old Town.  I choose my moment without her hearing and told the waiter it was her birthday and would they have a desert with a candle to celebrate. He smiled and to be honest I didn’t really know if he understood my request, never matter I thought and continued to enjoy another fabulous gluten free meal. At desert the waiters produced a gluten free almond cake with candles (one of the variety made by IKEA), such a surprise that they took my coeliac needs into consideration, after all it was my mother’s birthday!  They had requested the cake from their sister restaurant Indian Aroma and got it delivered specially.  Such a thoughtful gesture and to top this off the owner then gave us a bottle of champagne to finish off our celebrations.  We were touched by the way the staff at Indian Zaffran ensured we enjoyed our meal and how considerate they were towards my coeliac condition and my mother's birthday.  This is definitely a night we will remember and we were only half way through our gastronomic adventure.

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The Aquarsis Thermal Spa is definitely worth a trip when visiting Lanzarote.  The hydrotherapy and themotherapy treatments zone provides a perfect setting to relax your mind and totally destress.  It also acts as a workout as you are kept moving around the different zones and it works up a great appetite!  After our second trip to this Spa we decided to head for some authentic Mexican cuisine at the nearby La Cantina Don Rafael.  We had walked by this restaurant a couple of times and were attracted by it’s colourful Mexican decoration and bright coloured textiles.  Upon arrival it was buzzing with customers.  They offer an extensive menu and I fancied the fajitas but wondered would a gluten free taco accompany it.  The waiter was most informative and helpful offering advice on all dishes and how they could be adapted for coeliac needs.  The chicken fajitas included, a huge portion of sizzling chicken served with soft corn tacos, various sauces and a portion of black beans.  It was a long time since I ordered fajitas at home as there were always complications with the tacos, so this was a real treat and fantastic value. 

After a week of eating gluten free meals without any complications I only wish I had more time in Lanzarote to sample their fabulous wide ranging eateries.  I’m looking forward to coming back soon to revisit some of my favourites and discover many more.

Puerto Bahia, Avenida de Varadero del, 5, 35510 Tias, Lanzarote 
tel: +34 928 513 793     

The Indian Zaffran, Calle Juan Carlos I, commercial center Olivine nº 25, Puerto del carmen, just by the Biosphere shopping Center.
tel: +34 928 512 747

La Cantina Don Rafael, Avenida de las Playas, 29, 35510 Puerto del Carmen
tel: +34 928 513 407

Aquarsis Thermal Spa, Calle Chalana,1. Puerto del Carmen 35510, Tías, Lanzarote.
tel: +34 928 511 337  

www.coeliaccoach.com
"Coaching for a Gluten Free Life"

 
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It was great to see all the publicity recently surrounding Chelsea Clinton's gluten-free wedding cake. Chelsea has a gluten allergy so decided on a whopping nine tiers, 500 pounds and 4 feet tall wedding cake, created by New York bakery La Tulipe Desserts. Ingredients included 360 organic eggs, 50 pounds of sugar, 45 pounds of gluten-free flour, 30 pounds of butter and bittersweet chocolate, and was decorated with about 1000 sugar flowers!

We may not want a wedding cake with all those calories!! But it's wonderful to see an increased availability of gluten free wedding cakes. Some Coeliac brides have found it difficult to source cake suppliers who can adapt a gluten free recipe to a larger sized cake. They decide to go with a tradition cake rather than create a fuss and get on with other wedding plans. But this is your special day and I know when I got married it was very important that I got to enjoy a slice of my own wedding cake.

Thankfully a number of cake suppliers around Ireland are now providing gluten-free wedding cakes and like Chelsea Clinton you can "Let them eat gluten-free cake" at your wedding too!

For all your Wedding Photography & Video needs (and the photographer is very attentive to Coeliac Brides...as he's my hubby!)
http://www.tomasnevin.com

Gluten-Free Wedding Cake Suppliers:
http://www.cakesandco.com
http://www.cakesunlimited.ie
http://www.thedanesbakery.ie
http://www.cakebox.ie/

Try baking your own Wedding Cake:
http://www.odlums.ie/index.php?page=fruit-cake  


www.coeliaccoach.com
"Coaching for a Gluten Free Life"

 
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Pineapples contain good amounts of Vitamins A and C.  They are widely available - growing season is from March through to July and currently great value in Aldi & Lidl at around 79cent! Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality so why not try this Gluten Free variation of the popular Pineapple Upside-Down cake. I recently tried out this recipe using Gluten Free flour and was delighted with the light texture of the cake and how easy it was to make.

Gluten-Free Pineapple & Almond Upside-Down Cake Recipe
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 40-45 minutes

Preparation
Removing Skin: Cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple. Stand the pineapple upright and slice the skin off using a knife.

Coring: Remove the skin, then using a small circular cutter, stamp out the core.

Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4(160°C for fan ovens).
In a bowl, beat 50g softened butter and 50g of caster sugar and spread over the bottom of a 22cm round loose bottomed cake tin. Peel and core 1 medium pineapple, slice into rings and arrange on top of the butter mixture.  Beat together with a wooden spoon 125g softened butter and 125g caster sugar until pale and fluffy.  Gradually beat in 2 eggs, then sift in 100g Dove Farm Gluten & Wheat Free Plain White Flour (or any other plain GF flour mix), 1 tsp Gluten Free baking powder and add 50g ground almonds. Mix well to form smooth batter.  Spoon the mixture over the pineapple and bake for 40-45 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch. You may like to place a tray underneath as some butter may melt through loose bottomed cake tin. Serve on it's own or with whipped cream. Delicious!
Serves 8-10.


www.coeliaccoach.com
"Coaching for a Gluten Free Life"

 
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I had a great experience of a relaxed Gluten Free meal last week, so important to us Coeliacs who often dread explaining our requirements when eating out.

I first came across Mantraa Indian Restaurant a few weeks ago and after a great meal I had to return for a second visit.  They have a great value Early Bird on at the moment, providing a wide range of choice. My mouth watered when I read about the Squid Churmura, but I instantly thought it would be covered in a wheat flour batter. When I asked the waiter about this he said that a gluten free alternative could be prepared, this was no problem as they have many Coeliacs and Vegetarians come to the restaurant with different needs and everything is freshly prepared upon request. What a treat and it tasted delicious.
The main courses of Chicken Karahi and Kashmiri Roganjosh were equally delicious and the pilau rice came fragrant and flavorsome. Desert was ice-cream, which went down well after the spicy main course!

Yet again another tasty meal without any Gluten Free complications or fuss. The staff are attentive and interested in Coeliac needs, and attention to detail is carried through all the courses.
Well done Mantraa, I will be back soon!

www.mantraa.com
132 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2

www.coeliaccoach.com
"Coaching for a Gluten Free Life"

 
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A great review at the weekend in the Independent, by Paolo Tullio, for Manifesto in Rathmines, Dublin 6.

What Paolo forgot to mention is that on top of the great service and pizza twirling show, Manifesto provide almost everything on their menu as a Gluten-Free option. Fantastic news for us pizza loving Coeliacs and the choice of a gluten free tiramisu for dessert is almost reason enough to try it out!

Their sister restaurant Prego's in Lucan has been a firm favourite with the Coeliac community for some time now so it's great to read such a good review for their new addition in Rathmines.

The best of luck to Manifesto and I'll be visiting very soon!

www.manifestorestaurant.ie
208 Lower Rathmines Road,
Rathmines, Dublin 6.

www.coeliaccoach.com
"Coaching for a Gluten Free Life"

 
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Hello and Welcome to the Coeliac Coach blog.

Here you will find articles, resources and websites of interest for Coeliacs and those who are living a Gluten-Free lifestyle.

I hope you enjoy reading through the blog and of course if you have any articles you think would be of interest please do get in touch.
I would love to hear from you.

Warmest regards,
Louise

The Coeliac Coach - www.coeliaccoach.com
Contact: 00353 (0)85 1650798

"Coaching for a Gluten Free Life"