I have a rather wonderful friend who, when I broke the news to her that I would no longer be able to indulge in her delicious homemade loveliness, made it her mission to find ways for me to still have delectable food, in amazing places, without suffering the inevitable consequences of eating the dreaded gluten!
With this in mind she took to google and set out to find a gluten free cafe or restaurant, and wow did she deliver!
Having stumbled across (I use this phrase purely for blog writing – she stumbles across nothing and researches effectively everything!) a place in Canterbury called Oscar and Bentleys, the fact finding mission began.
Firstly, their website is exactly what every newly diagnosed coeliac hopes to see. Check it out at http://www.oscar-bentleys.co.uk.
This little restaurant claims to be the home of ‘Glamorous Gluten-Free Food’, sounds like a dream to me! My lovely friend had called ahead to book us a table and confirm the claims that I would, really and truly, be allowed to order absolutely anything from the menu! having had this confirmed by the incredibly helpful and excited staff, we booked in for lunch.
We spotted the cute decor instantly as we rounded the corner, and I couldn’t quite contain my excitement as I read, re-read, and read once more for good measure, the menu outside. Wonders such as ‘hoisin duck wrap’, ‘battered fish and chips’ and ‘cheese and bacon burger’ filled the menu. Any of you who are gluten free will know that these are the automatically ignored items in normal menus! But no, not in Oscar and Bentleys, everything is made lovingly gluten free and it’s all fair game.
As we walked in we were greeted by a smiley, bubbly waitress who showed us to our table. You couldn’t help but notice the vast display of cakes behind the counter, the yummy looking food everyone was tucking into and the happy vibe of the place.
Having perused the menu and ordered ourselves rose lemonades, I settled on the Oriental Platter for my main. My lovely friend went for Lamb Kofta and we spent the wait for the food discussing the merits of every item on the menu, along with a restaurant who’s primary focus was to cater for the gluten free.
To start with we had a cheeky mozzarella garlic bread, which I must say tasted better than any I’ve ever eaten!
When the main course arrived it did not disappoint. Beautifully presented and tasting even yummier than it looked, it was the best meal I’ve had since being diagnosed! I’m sure this is a combination of the scrummy food and the total trust that there would be no gluten whatsoever lurking in my lunch!
I must admit that my lovely friend had a big helping of food envy with her koftas, and I couldn’t blame her…my oriental platter was truly incredible: prawn toasts, grilled pineapple, sticky chicken skewers and spicy fish cakes with a delicious dipping sauce. This said the koftas and flatbreads were pretty divine too!
Being a pudding girl at heart, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the desert menu, and whilst there were a host of scrummy sounding pud’s, my eyes headed straight to the Sticky Toffee Pudding. It did not disappoint. I was in pudding heaven and will be making many return visits just for the cake and coffeehouse offer!
Our whole meal (including drinks and a tip) came to just £22.00 each. I think this is an exceptionally good price for the wondrous food, experience and the peace of mind that comes with this gorgeous little piece of heaven!
If you, or someone you care about, is living life without gluten, I cannot recommend enough a trip to this beautiful little place in the heart of Canterbury!
A very big thanks to my lovely friend for finding Oscar and Bentleys!
Little Miss GF x