\"Safe\" restaurants in the UK?

Posted on: Fri, 10/29/2004 - 10:39am
kylaC's picture
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Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

Hi,

I'll be traveling for business in the UK (London and Dublin)...and I've never been there before. Anyone have any restaurant experiences -- good or bad -- to share? I'd appreciate any advice!

Thanks!

Kyla

Posted on: Mon, 11/01/2004 - 11:56pm
williamsmummy's picture
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Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

what exact allergies do you have?
sarah ( from UK)

Posted on: Tue, 11/02/2004 - 3:57am
kylaC's picture
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Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

Hi,
I am allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.
Kyla

Posted on: Tue, 11/02/2004 - 7:02pm
williamsmummy's picture
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Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

I think you need to keep to the same rules as you do now at home.
If you are planning to eat in the hotels restaurants, let them know about your allergies before your visit.
A carvery meal , where its simply roast meat, roast potatos and veg, is a good safe option.
For these reasons,
1) you can see the food.
2) most dishes have seperate spoons.
3) if nuts are going to appear, they will in traces, in the stuffing, or yorkshire pudding.
4) be careful about the bread basket!!!
Nuts nearly always turn up with the sweet course. So you would have to ask the chef etc , but more than likely it will be fresh fruit salad for you!!
As for exploring outside hotels, well, fish and chips arent too bad, if you check the following,
1) that curry pukka pies are not heated in the oil.
2) that they dont fry battered snicker bars and mars bars ( yes , disgusting, dosent happen often, its more a northan thing than a south thing , but its worth checking.
The oil is safe , on RARE occasions there might be a sign saying cooked with peanut oil. this is refined peanut oil, that is to say that the peanut protien has been removed or changed during refining.
My son has eaten this oil and so has one of my friends from the anaphylaxis campaign( the food safety officer) and has no trouble eating foods cooked in this oil.
This is of course one of those comfort choices , and is up to you!
We often have fish and chips when we cant stand the thought of another happy meal!!!
Yes , mac's is ok! ( so is burger king)
A pizza resturant that is allergy aware is pizza express, they have a web site, and we have had a couple of meals there and they have been OK with nut allergies.
If you are dashing around and want to buy a sandwich, Sainsburys supermarket does have some that dont have nut traces. ( we cant eat them because of the egg!)
As you would do at home I would avoid chinese, indian, thai, malaysian resturants.
If you are with a group of people and they all want to go to a resturant that you know is risky, it might be worth asking if you can bring your own food. Sometimes once you explain the severity of your allergy they dont mind you doing this!!!
I hope this helps, feel free to ask any more questions.
sarah

Posted on: Tue, 11/02/2004 - 7:17pm
Nick's picture
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Joined: 11/01/2000 - 09:00

You should be fine eating at Pizza Express ([url]http://www.pizzaexpress.co.uk[/url]) (or .com). They have always been safe for me with my nut & sesame allergy.
Be sure to mention your allergy when you are first greeted. They are very helpful. The menu is marked where there are any possible nuts / nut oils etc. (very few items). If you stress your allergy, they will get "chef" to prepare your meal away from the others and usually "clean up" well beforehand.
Good luck! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Wed, 11/03/2004 - 10:43am
kylaC's picture
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Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

Thank you both for your posts and tips. I appreciate it all.
I am extremely careful here. In fact, I just generally don't eat out that much. Avoid asian, thai, etc. totally. Go to the same places (Olive Garden, McDonald's, Wendy's, Pizza Hut, most steak places, etc.), but always mention my allergy even if I'm ordering the same item off the menu that I've eaten 10 times before.
I'll also go with the same approach I use here -- "trust my gut". If I inform a restaurant of my allergies and don't get a "warm fuzzy" feeling from them and feel like they take it seriously, I won't eat there. This means I'll have to go to a grocery store there and find some easy backups for times like that.
Such is life.
Thanks so much for your responses!
Kyla

Posted on: Thu, 11/04/2004 - 9:48pm
Nick's picture
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Joined: 11/01/2000 - 09:00

klyaC : as RyansMum said in the thread "Happy Holiday in the UK" ... our labelling here is generally pretty darn good.
Most restaurants will do their best to accommodate you if you ask at the outset. In SOME - especially in London - there may be an initial "language problem" if the staff don't have English as their first language, but that can usually be overcome fairly easily.
I live about 30 miles north of London, so the restaurant staff locally are generally not quite so "cosmopolitan", shall we say. ;o)
Most menus have the items marked if they are likely to contain nuts - although they still have the "CYA" bit that they "can't guarantee that ....".
In addition to those restaurants already mentioned, I also feel safe in the Yates chain of pubs - which do a good range of food at good prices.
Enjoy & be safe.

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