Eating out with food allergiesBanana pancakes


About Jackie Mitchell

Jackie Mitchell is a journalist and public relations consultant with over fifteen years' experience. She works with small businesses and charities providing PR services.

With a background as a features writer in the media, Jackie has worked on national newspapers, websites, consumer magazines, trade publications and radio stations all over the UK. For some years, she worked abroad - in Australia, Hong Kong and New York. After returning to London, she worked as an account director at several major London agencies.

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June 22nd, 2014

Eating out with food allergies at a wedding


The wedding season is upon us and if you're like us, you have probably been lucky enough to be invited to one or two.

The only drawback is the food served at the wedding. If you suffer from food allergies or intolerances, will there be anything you can eat? You have a few choices - either you can go hungry because you don't want to cause a fuss or you tell the bridge or groom-to-be (whoever has invited you). It's a good idea to offer to contact the caterers or the food & beverage manager at the venue yourself to check the menu with them. Usually the bride-to-be is relieved because it's something else she doesn't have to worry about and you have the peace of mind that you have spoken to the caterers yourself and there will be something you can eat. This applies to any functions you may be attending.

Ray & I were delighted to receive an invitation to Amanda & Darren's wedding in Liverpool. The invitation included a reply card where you could specify dietary requirements so I dutifully wrote "dairy free and gluten free". This is the first invitation I have received like this - what a good idea! Mind you, we did feel confident there would be something we could eat as Amanda is dairy-free and her mother is gluten and dairy free.

On the day of the wedding the sun shone- it was glorious - and as we entered the church, the first thing we saw was the "confetti" tree where we could pick up a box of confetti, courtesy of Amanda and Darren. How thoughtful  as I had completely forgotten to bring any!

After the church service, the newly married bride invited those with any food allergies to visit the crepe tent quickly with our orders. I thought she was joking, but when I approached Original Crepes sure enough Ray & I could have dairy free and gluten free crepes! Heaven! The crepes were made with hemp milk and Doves Farm gluten free flour . The crepes are made in front of you and you can choose from an array of fillings such as Maple Sprup and Banana - yummy!

We were ushered inside where we enjoyed champagne, a speech by the best man and a speech by Darren the bridegroom via a video link - what a novel idea! In the video, he held up a sign with "applause" written on it so we knew when to clap!

Then we all boarded open top buses for the trip to the reception taking in some of the sights of Liverpool such as Penny Lane (apparently the barbers' shop is the only thing remaining from The Beatles' song).

The reception was held in the White Star Grand Hall at 30 James Street, Liverpool This building was home to the White Star Shipping Line and where Titanic was registered. The hotel opened eight weeks ago.

The reception room was beautifully dressed with spectacular floral displays - well, the bridgegroom does run a floristry business. Each table had a tall purple flower tree with name tags hanging from it. You were requested to write a special message for the happy couple and put the tag back again (which we did).

The glittery multi-tiered wedding cake was on display, which Do (the bride's mother) had made, with the top two tiers dairy-free. It was a spectacular wedding cake and as another guest said "too beautiful to eat."

Our starter was melon with berries and raspberry jus which was delicious followed by a vegetarian dairy free and gluten free crepe filled with vegetables and tomato sance and a potato cake. This was delicious and a real treat.

For dessert it was fruit salad with dairy free ice cream. Normally at events like this we skip the dessert, but not on this occasion.

After the meal and the bridge's father's speech, Amanda the bride encouraged everyone to go onto the seventh floor terrace for champagne, only it took a while as there were 100 people and only two lifts taking four people in each.

But once up there, the panoramic view of Liverpool was awesome.

When we returned to the White Star Grand Hall, the room had been totally re-arranged with an enormous dance floor and disco, where the bride and groom promptly started the dancing off.

The next day after I'd nursed my hangover, we went to the Mondrian exhibition at the Tate and as we came out, quite by chance we saw the lively colourful procession as part of the International Mersey River Festival. The waterfront was awash with visiting vessels including tall ships, Royal and Merchant navy ships, narrow boats and barges. 

The city is also hosting the International Festival for Business. Next month, from 23rd to 27th July, visiting giant marionettes from Royl De Luxe will explore Liverpool, evoking memories of August 1914




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