Leon: Gluten Free Restaurant Hero

The bright lights of leon

The bright lights of leon

I just want to feel ‘normal’. What is normal? I’m not too sure. But when I go out to eat at a restaurant it can be a nightmare trying to unravel if a dish has gluten in it. Although my friends & family are more than supportive, I can’t help but feel like it’s a bit of a drag for them also. Asking the waiter/ess about a dish, going back and forth to the ‘kitchen’ to ask the chef. Choosing something else & the same scenario being repeated until you can actually find a dish that is suitable. It doesn‚Äôt help when you have waiting staff that has a ‘I-would-rather-be-elsewhere’ attitude to boot, who don’t understand the implications of your dietary requirement & that sending them on countless visits to the kitchen isn’t your way of making them work for that tip.¬†Nay, I have a medical condition.

Anywho (little rant out of the way!) you can imagine then, when you find a place which¬†has a very clear menu with tons of dishes marked as ‘gluten free’ you can feel rather elated at your discovery! To top it off, these are tantalizingly tasty meals & pretty healthy. You feel like you’ve hit the jackpot! No more worrying & fussing over a menu, easy ordering & a lovely filled belly at the end. I’m a true believer in spreading the word about these gems, & my ‘Gluten Free restaurant Hero’ is without a shadow of a doubt Leon. LEON people!! It’s awesome.

The company itself seems pretty darn cool…. I love folks who are, as I call them ‘a purple cow’ Different and unique: not trying to reinvent the wheel, just reshaping it to create improvements¬†.

Well done Leon, you rock!!

Leon. mmm. Wrap (not GF!) but a hearty salad that is!

Leon. mmm. Wrap (not GF!) but a hearty salad that is!

My chargrilled chicken salad. With rice.

My chargrilled chicken salad. With rice.

Lovely Leon Meatballs

Lovely Leon Meatballs

Chorizo sausage, salad & rice. Awesome combination!

Chorizo sausage, salad & rice. Amazing combination!

I will add, that it does appear restaurants in general are slowly taking note. I’ve seen more are now displaying a ‘gluten free’ section on the menu’s (even if it is only a handful of dishes). As the saying goes ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, so it’s a good place to start. My other argument is, if a restaurant can offer the same dish but as gluten free, by substituting a couple of components: why am I being charged extra? (happily, you won‚Äôt find this the case at Leon) That’s pretty unfair if you ask me. What gets my goat the most though, is those whom cop out totally by saying ‘all of our dishes may contain nuts or gluten’. This is just lazy. Lazy I say!

Note to all food establishments: Take heed of Leon, they’re onto something mighty fine.

Leon, You are my gluten free, go to, restaurant heroes: & I salute you!

Mmmm, anyone for Leon tonight?!

 

We're going on an adventure

Morning Sunshine!

SO…after much anticipation, hours of preparation, a mammoth packing session, a ridiculously long rush-hour-busy Heathrow taxi ride, 2 plane journeys and another short drive….we arrived at our friends place on the warm isle of Grand Cayman! All in all nearly a 24 hour trip, Phew!¬†That makes me feel exhausted just writing it down. I think it was pure adrenaline that got us through our marathon travels, for the 2nd time this year! My darling boy only sleep for 3 hours out of the whole trip, resulting in a countless number of walks around the plane cabin. In contrast my other darling boy (aka. the old chap), fell asleep at absolutely every opportunity! Our first night’s sleep was without any jet lag interference (oh, the difference a good night’s sleep makes!). And with this view greeting you as you stumble out of bed in the morning, every sleep deprived and travel exhausting moment is worth while………

What better 'welcome to Cayman' could you ask for? The fuzz in the pic is our insect screen.........

What better ‘welcome to Cayman’ could you ask for?
The fuzz in the pic is our insect screen………

Our sun rise morning beach stroll…

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sunrise2_Fotorsunrise1_FotorA Fantastic start to our Vay-Kay (gotta get with the americano lingo). Watch out world, here we come!

 

Welcome to…HELL

If you’ve had enough of heavenly bliss…..Go to Hell!

Hell...The Cayman Islands

Hell…The Cayman Islands

Welcome to hell my little lovelies! I’ve just realised it’s halloween so this is a very suitable post. This is a tiny little district in West bay, that has a blackened and jagged rock formation.¬†Hell’s intriguing formation, which resembles the charred remains of a hell fire, is a weathered form of the local rock called ironshore & has been estimated at 1.5 million years old. The formation looks like volcanic rock but it’s made up of very hard limestone, once white, now blackened by a surface coating of the algae which are secreting acid and eroding the rock into these unusual shapes. There are various theories where the name came from but all are folk law.

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It’s pretty cool, you can send a postcard from here & it’ll be post stamped ‘Hell’.

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And finally….. am i an Angel in disguise… or a little devil?! You decide!

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Happy Halloween!!

Missing In Action….holiday time!

Oh me, oh my! It’s been too long since i did my last post. I feel like a naughty child who hasn’t done their homework (No, the dog didn’t eat it)! I’ve been totally consumed in organising my little family for our intrepid adventures across the pond to the incredibly beautiful Cayman islands. And since arriving, i’ve just not had the enthusiasm to do, well, much really (hey, what are holidays for?)!¬†I’m planning on writing a more detailed travel post, as I’ve got so much to say but just too tired to get into the nitty gritty now.

As any traveller knows, the lead up to your holiday requires a fair bit of ground work and preparation, with a small toddely woddely in tow that seems to triple. how? They’re so small, surely they don’t need that much stuff? Gone be the days of any ‘capsual’ wardrobe for me and travelling light. It drives me potty now when i see articles in ‘womens’ magazines preaching about how you ‘only need a few staple items’ to get through a holiday (& is it me, or do they always pack white? White + holiday + small infant = disaster in my books!) Having said that, i do pretty well in packing the ‘essentials’ and we will all use 9/10 things bought away with us. & I’ve got some nifty tips………

Packing light?! More like movin' town!

Packing light?! More like movin’ town!

My secret...vacuum space saving bags

My secret…vacuum space saving bags

So my secret to saving on space and protecting clothes against any liquid spillages/ bags getting caught in tropical downpours is space saving vacuum bags. They fantastic! & they’re an absolute bargain… from ye old ‘pound shop’!

One thing that really annoys me when you’re planning your trip at this time of the year in from the UK (autumn) you really struggle to find holiday essentials readily available or much of a selection from either the high street or online. You seem to have to search the far reaching corners on the internet for any reasonable deals. & i Found one i’ll share with you… Suncream. I love Nivea, so when looking at a leading high street ‘pharmacy’ (not shoes, but B***s!) one bottle cost ¬£14.99- so special offers, no BOGOF’s. Shock! But buying direct through Nivea, i got 3 bottles of the suncream and a bottle of aftersun for ¬£20 (& free delivery)!!! SAY WHAT?!!!! Now that is a bargain in my books!

opening my nivea treats- what a cute package!

opening my nivea treats- what a cute package!

WOW! all that for £20?!!!

WOW! all that for £20?!!!

And a cute snap form Miami Airport (don’t get me started on the whole immigration/ customs/ transit situation at that airport! thats a whole rant post in itself there..)

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My little Bear with ‘Harley’ and ‘larry’. Yup that’s right, we name his stuff. Harley the harlequin ladybird trunky and larry that ladybird backpack!

Right, off now….some lovely sunny posts to follow, make sure you keep checking back in!!

Sending y’all some sun!

 

 

 

Brighton day out

Before my little Bear was born, my beloved hubby & ¬†I would make the trip down to Brighton every couple of months. We had our favourite little cafe (that has sadly now shut down) and quite often we would make the pilgrimage just for breakfast, a walk along the sea front and a meander through the Laines (The north Laines, always the north Laines!) to then return home. It’s been over 1 year now since we were there last, and we have only made our ‘Voyage’ once since Bear’s birth…so we were overdue a visit.

IMG_2242Cyberdog (the shop on the right) Sells some out-of-this-world crazy raving clothing, in the brightest neon colours…..not our scene, but worth a visit for fun!

brighton2Ready…steady…….GO!

We park at the top of the north Laines (in a relatively unknown parking area) and if you travel through Sydney street you’ll come across a splattering of walls covered in graffiti. Now, i’m gonna put my neck on the line here and say this is art….. well, it’s a good example of when graffiti becomes art in my humble opinion!

Besides…i always have time for a bit of ‘rev run’…

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They make for funky backgrounds for some snaps..

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We were heading to Bills¬†. I was so excited at the prospect of eating here! I’d read some good reviews and they cater for Gluten free which takes out the stress for me, and saves me flapping over a menu and asking the waiting staff a hundred ingredient related questions! But Alas….. My pet hate. We entered what appeared to be a buzzing restaurant and waited to be acknowledged by the staff, and waited, and waited. If staff can’t acknowledge you’re waiting and point blank ignore you when you’re trying to initiate eye contact/ conversation, i’m out! Added to that a little tot starting to get restless we retreated back onto north road. I would have loved to have gone next door into Farm¬†but there was no space (especially with a buggy). So we went into Giraffe. Not what i wanted whilst in boho Brighton…a chain. However, with Bear becoming increasingly grumpy we needed a quick fix. I was reasonably happy in here, there was a gluten free menu and i had a yummy healthy omelette.

After brunch we continued our stroll towards the beach front

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IMG_2263Can you see that? A glimmer of Sun!!

IMG_2266Chasing the seagulls was very entertaining to someone…

Walking onto the pier, i feel as though I’ve stepped back into the 50’s era & i expect to see the ‘pink ladies’ and ‘T birds’ from Grease skipping along singing songs! Maybe because the weather was typically British and overcast, i couldn’t help but feel like the whole place needed a good spruce up…it looked very sorry for itself and just a bit drab.

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Thought I’d put this next picture in as the clouds looked pretty impressive!

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We had a surprise treat as we continued¬†along the lower promenade towards the marina.¬†There were tons of VW dormobile’s lined up! It was super busy and ridiculously hard to get many pictures but here were a few that we liked…

vw2collageThats right folks….it has a cute 3 wheeler on its trailer!!!

IVW1collageIMG_2271…Pimp ma ride….

IMG_2277‘Roo’ Beach…. we took this with a friend in mind… you know who you are roo roo!!

We only managed to get half way down the ‘exhibition’ of Vw’s before we had to make a retreat to our car. A certain little someone decided by this point it was all too much excitement for one day¬†and express this by screaming bloody murder……

But judging by this ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ picture, the fresh sea air worked it’s magic!

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