This past week I went on a one day business trip to Bath, in the UK. I have never been before, but it is definitely on my list of places I wanted to visit. It was quick trip, but I had a chance to try out a cafe and a restaurant that both offer a lot of gluten free options.
1. Coffee, breakfast and lunch at the Green Rocket
I discovered the Green Rocket while walking from my hotel to the Starbucks I had seen the day before. I needed a semi-quiet place for a coffee and a phone meeting, and it seemed like a much better bet than going to Starbucks for their wifi.First of all, I always like giving a local business my, well.. business. Secondly, it seemed like it would be a bit more quiet and at the very least fewer people with laptops might be crowding the wifi.
I was right; when I arrived I was the only person with a laptop and the wifi was great. When you are having a lot of meetings that require some bandwidth, this is even more important than the coffee. Having said that, the coffee at the Green Rocket was great as well. I enjoy a cappuccino, and they did a great job.
It was still brunch time, so I took a look at the options, but unfortunately did not have a chance to sample the menu. However, I looked at everyone else eating around me and the food looked fantastic. The real notable detail here is that absolutely everything on the menu was available gluten free.
Being on the road makes eating healthy difficult enough. When you try your best to be gluten free, it gets even more difficult. Once in a while you feel like some toast, and having options beyond a banana every morning makes all the difference when you are traveling.
In summary: the Green Rocket offers good food, excellent coffee, in a nice atmosphere. The Green Rocket is actually a vegetarian cafe, and they try produce everything in-house using seasonal produce, while supporting local businesses. The location, right by the Bath Abbey, is unbeatable.
The only somewhat strange thing about the Green Rocket was a sign I spotted on top of a telephone in the larger seating area. I am going on the assumption this sign is just part of the art work on the walls, but it was puzzling nonetheless:
2.Lunch or dinner at the Giraffe
I’ve never been to a Giraffe restaurant before. Unlike the Green Rocket, the Giraffe is a chain and there are locations all over London. This is good news, because I’d love to go again and I don’t have to go all the way to Bath for it. I went to Giraffe for lunch just before my business meeting on Thursday. Very little thought went into picking it aside from it being conveniently located across from the train station, and I liked the menu at first sight.
Giraffe offers a range of food options, from a tempting appetizer menu to burgers without a bun and creative salads. The menu indicated with handy icons what is gluten free or vegan (or sometimes both). Smoothies are also part of the options.
I ordered the chicken, spiced king prawn, and mango salad. Listed as gluten-free on the menu, it still seemed more adventurous than a burger. The salad was dressed up with avocado and chopped Brazil nuts. It was the perfect combination of flavours.
It is uncommon for me to find a restaurant with more than two options on the menu that I can/want to eat. Giraffe had enough for me to come back for several more visits in the future. It is a good thing after all that there are some London locations!
In summary: Giraffe is a great pick despite being a chain. The gluten free options on the menu don’t make you feel like you are missing out. It is a safe pick if you are eating out, whether you are looking for some healthy options or are happy to indulge a little.