If you are looking for gluten free, grain free, paleo -ish options in London, you are in for a treat!!
What a pleasant surprise when a girlfriend planned an outing for us at Craft London (near O2 events center/ East London), informed them of my diet restrictions, and they prepared an incredible multi course “Test Kitchen Tuesday” dining experience for two!! Everything was delicious, fun, inventive, novel, and gorgeously presented!! I give Craft London 5 stars!! (My friend Cheryl Anne who booked the place also gets 5 stars!💓) in addition, they planned the entire menu with no input from me other than it be gluten free. It was so fun to try such a wide variety of small plates without the stress of trying to decide what to order. I felt great afterwards, and had no negative reaction to the meal. (See fotos for Tasting menu and tomato nasturtium salad from Craft London). If possible, I recommend riding the Emirates sky car ride across the Thames on your way to or from Craft London/O2 events center for fantastic three sixty views from the City to Greenwich Village!
My latest, greatest, and currently most favorite London eatery is the Hemsley & Hemsley cafe inside Selfridges. The entire place is dedicated gluten free and grain free. Dairy free available by request. I ate there twice, my first meal was a lunch of salmon burger with salad and a “cream tea” (scone, clotted cream, jam & tea). While I was there for the first time, the girls at the table beside me ordered an “afternoon tea”, which was a 3 tiered traditional tea serving of goodies…sandwiches on the bottom, desserts in the middle, and scones on top! Fabulous!! I just had to go back on a different day and order an afternoon tea for myself! No regrets!! The beetroot chocolate cake was neck and neck with the scones for my top favorite…there aren’t words to describe how much I LOVED everything!!!! Just wish Hemsley & Hemsley would open up a cafe in SoCal! (See fotos for afternoon tea menu and treats).
I also like a convenient “go to” Italian chain called Carluccios, with several London locations (Iv’e been to the one near Natural History Museum on several occasions/ South Kensington tube station). They have an ample and tasty gluten free menu. For take-away, I recommend Leon. There is one right outside Liberty of London in the shopping district.
Over the course of several trips to London, my “safest” gluten free stand-by has been Cotto’s Italian restaurant, near Lambeth North tube station. The owner is a Celiac, and Italian. He makes fabulous gluten free bread, pizza, and pasta from scratch in a dedicated kitchen space, not paleo, just gluten free. I could go on about places to eat in London, but I recommend that all GF travellers download the “Find me GF” app and use it to discover the wide variety of gluten free dining options in a city where almost everyone seems to know what “gluten” and “celiac” means, takes you seriously, and will attempt to accommodate you. That being said, I don’t recommend the cafe on the top floor of the National Portrait Gallery for High Tea if you have gluten and dairy sensitivity. The view is lovely, and they honestly tried, but just too much cheese and very little else, nuff said! Also, if you should find yourself in Chiswick, run, do not walk, to Chateau Dessert, a lovely little tea shop that makes divine gluten free tarts and cakes…yum!! My favorite place for tea in Chiswick (other than my friend Ruth’s house!!)
I must mention our London hotel, the Radisson Edwardian Blu near Gloucester road tube stop. Location was fantastic, breakfast were amazing, rooms a bit cramped, but that’s what you get in London. Actually our 2nd stay there was better as we got a sitting room with office desk off the bedroom. Just loved the breakfast, which consisted of all the usual hot full English breakfast items in a self serve area, beautiful fruit and charcuterie boards, almond and soy milk for tea, and a fresh juice bar which included a green juice (cucumber citrus), coconut water, grapefruit, and orange with fresh diced fruits and veggies to add in. I was able to order gluten free omelettes and eggs Benedict off the menu as well. Location on west side of London was also ideal for getting to and from Heathrow. Short walk to Victoria & Albert /Natural History Museum and Hyde Park / Kensington Palace, great neighborhood walks near hotel for getting over jet lag! Would definitely stay there again!
If you go a short ways out of London to visit Hampton Court Palace or Kew Gardens (HIGHLY recommend both), on-site cafes will either have labels indicating gluten free options or you can ask to speak to a chef who will help you make a safe selection!