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We moved to Ladywell (near Brockley) in South East London just over a year ago. Just three miles from our previous place in foodie East Dulwich, but it feels like a different city. Famous now for the fabulous Brockley Market, (it was one criteria in our house search!) the area is fast becoming a destination in its own right for food. But surprisingly, it is also home to many gluten free friendly places, which I wanted to share with you in this new series:
Brockley’s Rock – Every tuesday this excellent fish and chip shop, recently awarded London’s best chips accolade, goes gluten free. Separate friers, tools and clearly labeled gluten free meals leads to safe and truly the best fish and chips I have ever eaten. Even before coeliac disease. You have a choice of fish and everything is made fresh to order. Just a shame its only on tuesdays (although good for the waistline!). Plus there is a little restaurant if you want to eat in.
Babur The “to go’ branch of this award winning Indian restaurant, the naturally gluten free menu includes gluten free onion bahjis (one of my favourites). You can choose from the inventive restaurant (a la carte) menu for fine dining at home or more conventional options from their take away. Their regional specialities such as Lal Maas (lamb with cloves) and Shugati Masala (chicken with coconut and white poppy seeds) are authentic and refreshing change from usual choices. Having lived in India I can confirm that both really are very very good. We just need to get a babysitter so that we can eat in the restaurant.
The Brockley Mess At last a cafe that has gluten free bread in the freezer! This makes their whole menu accessible, including their fantastic all day breakfast menu including Eggs Benedict and Mexican style eggs. They also excel in omelettes and fritatas, and offer jacket potatoes too. A great option during the day (close at 4pm) but unfortunately they don’t currently have anything sweet that is gluten free.
Le Querce – This Italian restaurant is run by Antonello, an ex Michelin star restaurant chef both in London and Sicily. A lovely seasonal and traditional Italian menu, they cater easily for Coelaics with gluten free pasta, and mostly gluten free main meals. The antipasti was to die for, and the homemade ice cream includes some crazy flavour combinations – the pumpkin and amaretto was divine!
The Station Hotel – Recently revamped local Hither Green pub (ok so not Brockley, but deserves inclusion given its proximity!) is a thriving pub and restaurant. Working in association with Coeliac Uk, they advertsie on their homepage that they are gluten free friendly. And they are not joking. When asked about what is safe to eat, they say ‘most things’. With gluten free pizza bases and bread available, it makes much of the good pub food such as burgers, pizzas, platters (inc GF pitta) and more to choose from. Their sunday roasts are legendary in the area and the confidence that ALL the staff have about coeliacs made for a very relaxed and enjoyable meal.
Brockley Market – Plenty of farmers and producers to choose from at this BBC Food and Farming Awards shortlisted weekly market. Featuring SugarGrain (now the FreeFrom Bakehouse) every other week, and butchers Jacobs Ladder and the Butchery Ltd gluten free sausages there is an increasing choice. However much of the food to go from Street Food vendors is out of bounds being bread based. But luckily Dosa Deli (below) come along once a fortnight.
Dosa Deli – Vegetarian and naturally gluten free, dosas are South Indian pancakes made from ground rice and lentils. They make an incredibly tasty base for the vegetarian fillings topped with seasonal chutneys and paneer. These guys make a mean authentic version and are often at Brockley Market but check their dates to avoid disappointment.