Saturday, 30 March 2013

Review: Newburn Bakehouse GF wraps and other delights

A gluten free wrap that tastes good? It felt like one of those sad unobtainable dreams us coeliacs have about flour based products that are just out of our reach,  So honestly when I received a box full of Newburn bakehouse goodies and saw a wrap among them, I wasn’t actually that excited, because I just couldn’t let myself believe it would taste good, I am pleased to tell you it tasted very good, but more on that later.

Before I launch into my thoughts, let me give you some background on Newburn bakehouse, it’s the new name for a dedicated gluten free bakery owned by Warburtons, in, well Newburn! Hence the name, from what I have heard, they are very serious about producing great gluten free products and have a lot of ambition around R&D and developing longed for products for the coeliac community, yay!

So what it is it like? Its really really good, its not technically a tortilla wrap, it’s a bit thicker and I would describe the texture as in between a tortilla and a flatbread, you can absolutely wrap stuff up with it, use it as a pizza, or fold it in half as a kind of hot sandwich, that’s what I did, in a frying pan with some cheese and cherry tomatoes and it was really delicious, Jules had some and rather than his normal ‘eurgh’ face he reserves for when I make him try my GF bread, he nodded and said it was good, praise indeed!   There has been some twitter debate about the cost of them, I'm not even going into that, because frankly they are good, and like everything else in life, I am happy to pay money for good quality products, I also believe that if NB can bring prices down through increased production and economies of scale they will do so.

So what of the other goodies, I tried a seeded loaf, it was good, on a par with the Genius one which I buy every week, some breakfast syrup muffins, delicious, I am a big big fan of all the NB muffins and these were no exception.  Any duds I hear you ask? well, I have to be honest I don’t think they are there with the baguettes, I didn’t like the texture or the taste of them and so in my humble opinion more work needs to be done to bring these up to scratch with their other products.

So there you have it, a dedicated bakery, trying to meet our needs with exciting new products, embracing social media and therefore wanting to engage with their actual customers. 

Talking of which the ‘wrap’ is a limited edition product which has a campaign running on facebook entitled #saveourwrap, they want to make sure this product will have enough demand so I urge you to check out the link and make sure it becomes a permanent fixture! 

So in summary, I love the wrap, I want it saved, I have voted and I hope you will too because I need some wraps in my life! 

Save the wrap

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Bristol series - Lahloo pantry

So this is the start of what I will term my ‘Bristol series’ as I am from Bristol, and my parents and extended family still live there, I am headed to the south west every few months, when I am there, I like to try and check out new venues and cafes offering gluten free fare and Lahloo Pantry was somewhere I was excited to check out.

I finally got to find a slot in-between visiting family to visit Lahloo pantry. It's a tea shoppe/cafe in the Clifton village area where all the well-heeled and cool kids hang out, so I felt right at home ha!

We had been shopping nearby, so decided to swing by for an early lunch, it was a Friday, so busy but not rammed, downstairs there are 4 large tables with a glass wall letting in light one end, and French doors leading to a courtyard garden at the other, it's not a huge space but is modern and well designed, upstairs on a mezzanine floor are stools and high tables, on the ground floor is the counter with scrummy food to tempt you coming in or leaving.  We decided to head downstairs, there were two big groups in when we arrived, having what looked like 'creative' meetings, e.g. young people having casual chats with sketch pads and iPads, they weren’t too loud so we found ourselves a table in the corner.   Lahloo specialises in tea and has tons of different varieties, my husband and I tried a few the nice waitress recommended, and ordered a light lunch, our waitress explained in detail the gluten free options available for me, I went for the welsh rarebit on gluten free bread with chilli jam and leaves which was really yummy, a really good example of a pretty simple dish but with really great ingredients allowing it to sing, the chilli jam was amazing.  Jules had a bacon sarnie that also came with the more ish chilli jam, we really enjoyed our food but I did wish I could have some of the pastries or scones on offer!  After brunch we reluctantly got ready to leave but not before I got ready to choose my desert to takeaway, there were 3 gluten free cake options and so I chose the rose and lemon cake and a single macaroon which I scoffed in the car which was delicious! The cake was moist with an almond polenta type flavour, nutty taste, with cream cheese icing in the middle and with raspberries studded through it.  It was really good but I didn’t really get any of the rose flavour.  Overall I really liked Lahloo and think if I lived closer it would be a regular haunt.

Rose and almond cake – 8/10 scrumptious