I heard the comment “I often see her in the coffee shop”. The woman was talking about me. I like coffee shops. I am particularly enamoured with those around where I live, between Allendale and Whitfield. Why do I like these so much? As a person with coeliac disease there are so many gluten-free options.
Before 2018 I wondered if ‘gluten-free’ was a bit of a fad. I lived in Toronto and around the corner from me was a gluten-free coffee shop; always busy. I did enter on a few occasions and very much enjoyed the treats. In 2018, I retired to Northumberland. In 2019 I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. I remembered, wistfully, the Almond Butterfly in Toronto.
How will life be in rural Northumberland?
Coffee and Kuriosities
One day my wife, my dog and I walked along the beautiful river to Allen Mill. I was thirsty and saw a sign saying café. I walked to Coffee and Kuriosities. I asked for a glass of water and on seeing delicious looking cakes I asked, “I don’t suppose you have gluten-free cakes do you?” Yes, Graham replied, here is the list. That’s nice, I reiterated that it was not just a cake I wanted; but something gluten-free. Graham replied that yes, this was the list of gluten-free cakes. I return fairly frequently and order cakes, or soup and scone. No problem, no gluten.
Whitfield Village Pantry
I walked with a friend through the woods into Whitfield. Here I encountered Whitfield Village Pantry. It was a lovely day, we sat outside. “I don’t suppose you have anything gluten-free” I asked. “Are you wanting cakes, or a meal” Janet asked me. I enjoyed a delightful coconut/chocolate cake, my friend had her favourite Bakewell tart and Cleo the dog was served sausages!
The Forge and Emma’s in Allendale
In Allendale I went to the Forge. Here I enjoy chocolate-caramel slice, carrot cake or other gluten-free cakes. Or I have a gluten-free toastie for lunch. And now, recently opened, is Emma’s Coffee and Sweets. A carpaccio and gluten-free lemon drizzle cake cemented the knowledge that requiring a gluten-free diet in rural Northumberland was as easy as Toronto or London.
The Elk’s Head
For dinner, there is the Elk’s Head. Gluten-free beer is available and a delightful menu which can be adapted for gluten-free with no difficulty. Sitting outside in the sunshine with a beer, or sitting inside, by the fire having a gourmet meal. Around my home in Allendale, my gluten-free food options expectations and I no longer pine for the Almond Butterfly.