Why it is great to be wheat free / gluten free in Bournemouth

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See also the Bournemouth and Poole list of places to eat gluten free most recently compiled with short reviews.

And peruse the gluten free Southbourne map.

It certainly isn’t great to be gluten free but we are so grateful to live in Southbourne in Bournemouth where we are fairly well catered for and brilliantly so when it comes to shopping.

In Southbourne high street, Southbourne Grove, are three places worthy of mention. First is Earth Foods which is a health food shop that caters brilliantly for food intolerances with chilled and freezer sections too. Up the road from Earth Foods is Whitmore Butchers who have a small gluten free selection and it includes baked goods. In the street opposite Somerfield/Co-op there is Pierre’s Patisserie who stock a freezer full of gluten free pies and sweet stuff. Andrew prefers the Baked to Taste pies from Pierre’s which are more like quiches as with Clive’s pies from Earth Foods he finds there is too much pastry for his liking. If you go for a stroll to the sea then on the cliff top you’ll find Cafe Riva who sell those delicious Honey Buns congo bars for £2.

If you fancy fish and chips it is a quick drive to Browns Fish and Chip shop in Somerford on the outskirts of Christchurch (near Sainsburys) as they offer gluten free batter – a bit greasy for our tastes but a real treat for a celiac. Andrew goes for onion rings and pea fritters. Be warned the portions are huge. They sell the Honey Buns congo bars too for £1.50.

Eating out is not so great for a gluten free vegetarian. In fact it is much less stressful eating out in Lanzarote! However in Southbourne we are blessed to have one of Boournemouth’s top restaurants L’Assiette and they cater superbly for special diets if you give them notice. In Southbourne’s main shopping area The Larder House will do a gluten free pizza from scratch in their wood fired oven with advanced notice. Their base is great but their toppings are always weird in a bad way with presentation that looks as if something died on your plate even if vegetarian. Conversely in central Bournemouth with notice Valentino’s will also make you a fresh pizza and their toppings are much better but the base is impossible to cut with a knife so you have to tear it not to risk your cutlery flying across the restaurant.

Also in central Southbourne round the corner from Barclays is Hungry Husky Cafe with a chap who does delightful gluten free sandwiches, rising to the demand from celiacs. Ludos Lounge used to be good and was a favourite of our in-laws (she is a celiac) but management changed and they don’t like it there any more in terms of food quality or service.

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3 thoughts on “Why it is great to be wheat free / gluten free in Bournemouth

  1. Pure Bake Cakes in Westmoors are a cafe that do EVERYTHING gluten free – no worries of contamination! Paninis, cakes, fry ups, anything!! Also Natural Bourne Grillers on Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, is a steak and burger restaurant, bring your own alcohol, which does everything gluten free as an option. Also chains such as Bella Italia and La Tasca are good at labelling their foods and Bella Italia do their own gluten free pizza bases and pasta. I used to be a student in Bournemouth so have sought out some great places – have full write ups on my blog! Love your site, will be adding you to my blogroll!
    Sarah x

    • Hi Sarah. Thanks for the tips and adding us to your blogroll. I’m delighted to find out Bella Italia do their own gluten free bases and as we have Andrew’s celiac mum staying you have solved a problem for me of where else shall we take them. Pizza and pasta will make a nice change from Christmas food and leftovers too so thanks for that excellent recommendation. We find Natural Bourne Grillers in Bournemouth is superb for meat eaters but can be lousy for veggies as pasta is ofter undercooked and dry or jacket potatoes too hard and poor taste. It’s amazing the new vegetarian burgers are okay as the chef confesses he doesn’t even taste them! That’s why we have not included them on our blog. For gluten free meat eaters they are hard to beat though. If the chef tried some of the non-meat options himself I am sure he would work to improve them and we’d all benefit. It’s taking care of all the details that makes somewhere a success. Natural Bourne Grillers is one of the places so close to being great I want to get hold of it and give the menu design and frontage a make over to give it more kerbside appeal as that would draw more punters in. They are crying out for a Ramsay type to give them a kick up the … to take it to the next level. Marta x

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