Last weekend, I spend a long weekend in London with my best friend Steffie. And as always, when I have been on a trip, I write about the hotspots that I found there. This time about eating low FODMAP and gluten-free in London and I can tell you, that went quite well ;)
We left on Saturday morning and flew to London from Eindhoven. We flew back on Monday evening, so we had three full days in London. And oh it was s nice to travel with a fellow foodie. Steffie and I are exactly the same when it comes to food and with her, it never matters that I think and talk about food the entire day because she loves it too. She is one of the few people that doesn’t pull a face when I start talking about cake after we have just finished our lunch or who drags me towards a bakery window to stare at the cakes, just as I always do to other people. She even got quite used to my difficult dietary prescriptions and we tried lots of delicious things together.
We immediately started our first day with shopping, in shopping mall Westfield. It was our third time together in London and we had seen most of the tourist attractions before, so this time our trip was mainly about shopping and eating. Looking back it was a very good idea that we planned to go shopping on our first day because the weather was very very British. It rained non-stop for the entire day.
We had lunch in Westfield at a place that we wanted to try since our first time in London. Yo Sushi, a sushi restaurant where the sushi comes by your table on a conveyor belt. You pick from the belt what you want and the sushi’s are priced by the color of the plates. I always find sushi a great option to eat. On the menu it says which dishes contain gluten and lactose and if you keep an eye on the other ingredients yourself, you can eat low FODMAP quite easily. If you are in doubt you can always ask. I usually choose the most ‘clean’ sushi’s. For example the maki rolls with salmon or tuna.
In the evening, we had dinner at Jamie’s Italian because I knew they serve gluten-free pasta there. I picked, very safe, the pasta carbonara because this usually only contains egg, bacon and parmesan. This version had some leek in it, but they left it out for me. I had a great meal!
The next day we started our day with breakfast at Beany Green. This breakfast and lunch restaurant is situated at several places in London and almost all their breakfasts (especially the ones with bread) have a gluten-free option. I took poached eggs with salmon on gluten-free bread. I didn’t eat the spread because it contained onion and I spread a little bit of avocado on my bread (1/8 avocado is low FODMAP). Very good!
After our breakfast, we took a free walking tour through London. I usually think tours are incredibly boring, but this one was really fun. The guides are locals and they tell you lots of funny stories about London and show you hidden places. They really make an effort. As the walking tour is for free they have to earn their money from tips. A great and cheap way to get a tour because you can pay what you think the tour was worth for you.
Of course we had to take a stupid selfie with Ben
After the tour, it was time for Humming Bird Bakery. It had been on our list for several years and this time, we finally went there. I saw on their website that they had gluten-free red velvet cupcakes, so that was an extra reason to go. Note: when I pick restaurants I usually don’t check if they have lactose-free options. This is because I always take lactase pills with me on holiday (you can read my article about what lactase pills are and where you can buy them here). If I eat something that contains lactose, I take a lactase pill. This gives me a lot more opportunities to find places to eat and that is great. Oh and the cupcake was amazing. I think it was the best cupcake I ever had. Definitely worth a try!
In the afternoon we shopped a bit more in Oxford Street because we didn’t find many things we liked the day before. Afterwards, we went to have lunch at one of my favourite place in London: Camden Lock Market. A food market where they serve food from over the entire world. This place always makes me a bit melancholic to the time where I could eat everything I liked, but luckily I did find some foods to eat. Admitted, they were not the best low FODMAP choices because both things I ate were quite fatty, but they were both very good.
We started by sharing some halloumi fries. Simply fried halloumi with a bit of yoghurt and pomegranate seeds. I don’t know if they were entirely low FODMAP because I didn’t ask, but there are low FODMAP things to be found at Camden Lock Market. At some stands, they have gluten-free bread and they sell gluten-free cakes. Make sure to ask what the ingredients of the cakes are because sometimes they add dates or honey to gluten-free bakes. After the halloumi fries, I bought nachos from a lovely guy. He wanted to give me some salsa to taste and when I told him I couldn’t eat garlic and onion, he felt very sorry for me. He baked fresh gluten-free corncakes especially for me (he gave old ones that he had already prepared before to the other customers) and he made me nachos with only lettuce, pepper, parsley, melted cheese and sour cream (I took another lactase pill with this meal). On top of that, he also gave me a discount because he felt so sorry that I couldn’t try everything. It was so sweet. When people make such an effort it really makes my day.
We ate a lot this day. I mean, we had only three days in London and our list of things to try was looong. Later in the evening, we went to Honest burgers for a burger. I read that they serve gluten-free burgers here and when I have the chance to have a burger I will. I got a very tasty burger without onion on a gluten-free bun with rosemary fries on the side. Mmm.
On our last day we went for an over-the-top breakfast (lots of things to try, I told you). We visited the Breakfast Club. I was a bit disappointed by the low FODMAP options. I read that they had gluten-free bread, but in the restaurant, I learned that all they did was serving their eggs benedict on roasted pumpkin instead of bread. It seemed like a very weird combination to me, but it was actually very good. They did use butternut pumpkin which is limited low FODMAP, so I didn’t eat all the pumpkin. And I must admit that I was slightly jealous of Steffie’s gigantic pancake stack.
After our breakfast, we didn’t need food for a very long time. We decided to have a late lunch, so we could do lunch and dinner in one because our flight was during dinner time. Of course, we couldn’t leave London without trying fish and chips. At Hobson’s Fish and Chips they serve gluten-free fish and chips, so we went to try that. A huuuuge battered fish with sweet potato fries on the side (not low FODMAP, but I tolerate them). They also had normal fries. Steffie and I both thought the batter didn’t have so much flavour,but I think that is often the case with fish and chips. At least, we both could remember having the same thought when we ate fish and chips in other places. If you want to try gluten-free fish and chips, this is a must try! Note that battered fish and fries together contain quite a lot of fat. I choose to not eat the entire crust of the fish because I know that my stomach reacts badly to too much fat.
And that was our trip to London! Luckily eating low FODMAP and gluten-free wasn’t impossible and I ate loads of good things.
Have you ever been to London? What are your tips?