Tag Archive: Review

Sep 04 2014

Food: Going Gluten Free With Ilumi

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Kerala Chicken Curry

Going gluten-free isn’t as hard as it used to be, it even has its own section in most supermarkets, but talking to a number of my friends who have had to cut out cereals wheat, barley and rye for medical reasons, there are still not enough tasty alternatives especially when it comes to ready meals.

That is where my seven-day gluten-free challenge with Ilumi comes in. This amazing online food store is not only a haven for great meal options for people with coeliac disease, but their products are also great for people with nut and milk allergies. Or if like me you are looking to be a little healthier and are fed up of that bloating feeling you some times get after eating too much bread.

The seven-day plan literally takes all the worries about what you are going to eat and when, plus they are super quick to prepare in the microwave. I loved that the food was delicious, of course, but also really loved the structure and ease of the plan. As a freelancer sometimes I can miss meals because I am glued to my computer, this plan meant I ate properly for a whole week.

The plan covers brekkie, lunch and dinner, and even provides gluten-free snacks, though to be honest I really did feel full after every meal that I didn’t always need them. The only downside I could see with the plan is that in the height of summer I am not sure you would want so many hot lunches, there are a lot of soups on offer, but then again I can’t rave enough about the Butternut Squash and Tomato and Red Pepper soups, they were both two of my favourite dishes.

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Tomato and Red Pepper soup

For me though the treat of this menu had to be the tasty curries for dinner, whether it was the mild and creamy Kerala Chicken Curry, the Moroccan-style Zaatar Chicken, or the spicy Thai Red Chicken Curry. The only thing I would say is don’t bother with the supermarket-own gluten-free naan bread, so tasteless and a waste of money. I also loved the addition of the gluten-free beer, Celia. Now I am not a beer fan, so to me it tasted like any other beer, but a friend did say it was less bloating.

The weekly plan, provides all your meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well snacks and beer for curry night, for £45 and that includes free P&P to your door. All you need is a microwave. It really is that easy. It is also a great way to try Ilumi’s dishes, see which are your favourites so you could just stock up on those for nights when you are after a quick gluten-free meal.

But Ilumi is much more than the seven-day plan, the shop has everything from gluten-free gravy to stir-in sauces and even offers endorsed products such as pasta and noodles. I really want to try the Sweet Soy & Ginger Stir Fry Sauce, with wheat-free soy.

Are you gluten-free? Would you try Ilumi?

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Geng Gari Curry with Butternut Squash

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Celia gluten-free beer

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Zaatar Chicken

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Thai Red Chicken Curry

**I was gifted with a week supply of Ilumi dishes to review – but as always if I didn’t like, enjoy or think you would all love it as well – I wouldn’t share it**

Apr 08 2014

Afternoon Tea: Carmina and Lancelot, London

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Discovering a great place to have afternoon tea just off Oxford Street in London is a hard challenge, yes there is Selfridges and the big hotels but what about something more charming, inviting and relaxing? Well, I have found the perfect place, Carmina & Lancelot on Wigmore Street.

This cute and trendy cafe is really a reflection on the owners, Carmina and Lancelot, who are both warm, friendly and so down-to-earth, they really make it their business to make everyone welcome. It was so nice to see as I find that so many foodie places are part of a big chains that they have lost that friendly feel that can be so important.

As well as loving the owners, the decor of this brassiere is to-die-for, filled with books on fashion, art and travel, adorable bone china tea sets and vintage pictures – it is quirky and fun and definitely somewhere I could wish away the afternoon while chatting with friends.

I would like to say the discovery of this gem was my own, sadly it was Ngoni from I am NRC, who kindly let me tag along to review the place, but I can’t complain as it was so lovely to enjoy the cafe’s relaxed, unpretentious afternoon tea – yep there wasn’t any macaroons, no crazy theme, just good honest traditional food and it was perfect.

The smoke salmon and cream cheese and egg mayonnaise sandwiches were nice, but for me this afternoon tea was all about the delicious homemade sultana scones, fresh out of the oven these beauties were still warm to the touch, which I adore and they tasted perfect with lashings of clotted cream and strawberry jam.

As well as offering afternoon tea, Carmina & Lancelot also serves breakfast, including a great looking vegetarian brekkie, salads, paninis, daily specials and even cocktails. This is one of those places that you go in for lunch, add a dessert, a cup of tea, and then stay until cocktail time, as it really has a relaxed and inviting feel.

Carmina & Lancelot, 88 Wigmore Street, London

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**I was a guest of Carmina & Lancelot but all opinions on the afternoon tea are my own**
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