Hello everyone, and welcome back to Gluten Free Hannah!
Last weekend I had a lovely day out at the seaside with my family. The main reason for the trip was to take my dog to the beach – he’s nearly three years old now and has barely left Leicestershire! So, last Saturday we packed up a few things and headed off to north Norfolk.
Picnic on the Beach
We arrived in Wells-next-the-Sea just after lunchtime and headed straight for the beach. Although it was busy, there was plenty of space so we sat down and opened up the picnic.
Since becoming gluten free, the one thing I’ve not yet been able to ‘replace’ is a sandwich. I’ve not yet found a gluten free bread that I love, and so far, I have been getting on without needing a loaf of bread. That’s not to say I haven’t found alternatives, such as panini rolls, or sandwich thins, but most of the alternatives require some heating and didn’t seem very practical to pack as a picnic.
Instead I made myself a pasta salad. Using gluten free fusilli pasta, a tomato and basil sauce, some tomatoes, red pepper and spinach, and topped it with some cheese. It was very enjoyable, but that was maybe helped by the setting!
Along with my pasta, I had some vegetable crisps, fruit, a couple of biscuits, and some prosecco. We spent around five hours on the beach, and had such a lovely time.
A Stroll along the Harbour
Next, we wandered in to Wells, to have a walk through the town and maybe find somewhere to eat. It was about half past 5, and there were already queues outside the door of the fish and chip shops. There are two popular fish and chips shops in Wells, French’s and Platten’s. While French’s can provide gluten free chips, it can’t guarantee gluten free fish. Platten’s, however, does do gluten free days. On their website, it says the gluten free days are Friday and Saturday, but when I rang ahead to double check, they told me that it had changed to being a Wednesday instead. I was a little disappointed at this, as when at the seaside, with the smell of fish and chips filling the sea-salty air, you can’t help but want some!
Next stop was a pub called The Golden Fleece, where they did offer a few gluten free options, although mainly steaks. After deciding I really wanted fish and chips, we only stayed for a drink.
The Best Part of the Day!
Thankfully, I had done some research a couple of days earlier and found a fish and chip shop that could guarantee gluten free meals on any day, but it was about half an hour drive from Wells, in a town called Thornham. As it was the only place that I had found to offer gluten free, we made our way there – and I was not disappointed!
Although not on the beach front, it didn’t seem to matter. Eric’s Fish and Chips was charming – a white washed building, with a neon sign and a row of green and white striped deck chairs outside the front. There was plenty of seating available, both inside and out, front and back. As we were with my dog, we found a bench at the back, which was just about in the last of the day’s sun. Inside has a rustic, but charismatic atmosphere, and the décor suits it perfectly.
Sitting inside means the Eat-In menu, whereas outside is classed as Takeaway, either one you go to the bar to ‘Plaice your order’ (their pun, not mine!).
As for the gluten free choice, Eric’s can offer most of their menu gluten free, except the sausage and anything in a breadcrumb, like a fishcake. I opted for the traditional cod fish and chips and I was more than impressed. It was absolutely delicious. The batter was light and crispy and the chips were incredible, and not too greasy. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
I would highly recommend Eric’s Fish and Chips, it was such a wonderful experience, and they didn’t make it feel like gluten free was too much hard work. I didn’t have a limited or restricted menu, it didn’t make me feel like I was being awkward or fussy, it was just an enjoyable meal out without being highlighted that I’m gluten free. It’s safe to say I will definitely be returning to Eric’s soon!
Let me know where your favourite gluten free seaside restaurants or takeaways are, if they are all as easy as this was then I’m looking forward to experiencing some more!
Until next time,