This week my marvellous husband had a birthday, I suspect he would rather I didn’t disclose his age so let’s just say – he is older than I am.
Look at his lovely face.
If you are a regular reader you will know that I am a Coeliac, so we decided to pick somewhere that I would easily be able to eat at. We had heard a few months before that River Cottage do a gluten free night once a month, so we figured Neil’s birthday would be the ideal opportunity to give it a go!
River Cottage Canteen & Deli, Plymouth is situated in the very lovely Royal William Yard. It is one of 4 River Cottage Canteens set up by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The website states:
Our award-winning restaurants in Axminster, Bristol, Plymouth and Winchester showcase the very best produce from our spiritual home in the South West.
Our regularly changing menus boast a wide selection of freshly prepared seasonal, local, organic and wild food. And as you would expect virtually all of our supplies have been locally sourced by Hugh and his team of head chefs.
One night per month (I think specifically it is the third Wednesday of the month) the a la carte menu is made completely gluten free. I couldn’t really find out much information beforehand about their gluten free nights, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect.
We booked a table in advance as I didn’t know how popular it would be and when we arrived I got the impression that alot of people there were there for a regular dinner and the fact it was all gluten free wasn’t why they’d chosen to come.
We were seated in quite a nice spot and the views out of the windows over to Mount Edgecombe are very nice. The waiter checked we were aware that it was a gluten free night we were, that was why we booked. Duh (to be fair, he didn’t know that).
Firstly, I have to say that the sheer choice was amazing. I’m very used to having a very limited choice as a Coeliac and this felt really special. It was difficult to decide what I should have!
I was feeling fancy so I had a glass of Prosecco, Neil had a mocktail – an apple and ginger Mojito.
For our starters, I had baked Cornish brie with pickled vegetables, Neil had a charcuterie board. The brie was amazing, I could have eaten a bucket full of the stuff and the pickled vegetables that accompanied it were very tasty. Neil tells me that his starter was very tasty.
For the main, I picked the pulled pork bap, it’s not often I get to have a nice burger – gluten free baps can be pretty unpleasant, so I was hoping this would be worth it. Neil went for roast pollock with leeks and chorizo potatoes.
The pulled pork bap came with chips – they were very tasty. The pulled pork was to die for and the bap itself? It was one of the nicest gluten free rolls I have had, it was soft and not at all heavy like some gluten free bread can be. Neil tells me that his fish was “proper nice”
We both decided to have desert, I picked the chocolate brownie with vanilla cream and butterscotch sauce and Neil had honey and almond cake with a rhubarb compote. After about ten minutes, the maitre’d came over and apologised that there was a bit of a wait on deserts as the kitchen was really busy (a table of about 20 had not long arrived). We were given a cup of tea and an americano on the house to apologise for the wait.
I went for the brownie because I didn’t fancy anything else on the desert menu. The brownie was really nice, not at all dry and the cream was very, very nice. Neil says his desert was very moist, tasty and the sauce was really nice.
I love Royal William Yard and it feels like the perfect setting for the River Cottage Canteen. The atmosphere inside is really nice and relaxed, I love how it has been designed, it’s not too fussy, the food is tasty, the prices are not too bad. Our waiter was really friendly, service wasn’t too slow and I didn’t feel like we were rushed.
Neil says you wouldn’t know that each dish was gluten free. They certainly haven’t compromised on the flavour or taste of anything which makes a real difference when you struggle to eat out as a Coeliac. The fact that you actually get a really big choice of meals was really nice too.
We had a lovely meal and we will definitely be going back for another gluten free night.
Have you been to River Cottage? Are you a Coeliac who struggles to eat out? Let me know below.