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Pub Walks with Dietary Gold Standard

We are delighted that our friends at Salisbury Pubs have been awarded the Gold Award at the Free From Eating Out Awards 2016. The Alford Arms in Frithsden and The Royal Oak in Marlow have been recognised for their excellence in making it a breeze for people with food allergies to enjoy a superb pub meal – a subject close to my own heart. And as the pubs are partners of iFootpath, you can combine your meal out with a wonderful country ramble to work up an appetite before your meal…

freefromeatingoutawards2016The Free From Eating Out Awards encourage innovation and celebrate excellence in the free from food service industry, covering a wide range of subjects related to food allergy and intolerance and their many related health conditions, including coeliac disease, gluten-related disorders and skin allergies.

Take it from me, if you have a food allergy eating out can easily become a nightmare rather than a pleasure. I suffer from a long-term auto-immune condition that causes problems with inflammation and bleeding. I developed an allergy to eggs when I was in my 20s (for which I carry an epi-pen) and in the last 5 years I have also had to eliminate dairy products (milk, butter and cheese) from my diet to deal with the increased bleeding.

I can’t tell you the number of times that these dietary restrictions have led to me settling for a bowl of chips while the rest of my party enjoy a full meal. Only two months ago, I was told by a pub landlord that there was nothing on the menu that they could serve me and I was asked to leave. In 2016 – I know!

Nothing of the sort in The Alford Arms and The Royal Oak. One of the best roast dinners I have ever eaten 

and the chef even prepared a dessert for me that meets my dietary needs. And this isn’t special treatment for me because I’m part of the iFootpath team. Here is what the Free From Eating Out judges had to say…

alford arms

The Alford Arms: 'Our waitress was amazing. I was drilling her pretty hard about their procedures and practices and she was totally cool with everything. She really reassured me and I knew they were 'on it'. Huge choice for GF & DF and they are happy to make dishes for the most obscure allergies – although it is MUCH easier when people called ahead! The food was sublime. Nothing too adventurous – just really innovative, comforting country pub food. I loved their commitment to sustainable ingredients from local farmers and producers. If only every pub was like this I'd be a lot happier and I'd eat fewer jacket potatoes after muddy walks!'

royal oak small

The Royal Oak: ‘The chef had been through the whole menu and prepared a special allergen free menu for me with so much to choose from. There were some dishes that were on the normal menu but had been adapted to make them allergen free. In total I had the choice of 6 starters, 7 mains and three puds which for someone who is allergic to dairy, nuts, wheat and soya and intolerant to tomato and celery is pretty amazing. The choice of different options was almost overwhelming, the food itself was really great and I felt totally confident in the staff's ability to look after me. It is a lovely cosy, friendly pub. The lighting was just right and the staff were really attentive and helpful. What a joy!'

So why not support the innovative and progressive approach of these two hostelries with a pub walk this winter…Oh and did I mention, there are dog-friendly areas within the two pubs too! It doesn’t get better than this…

The Alford Arms and the Chiltern Hills, Hertfordshire

The Royal Oak, Marlow Common and Homefield Wood, Buckinghamshire

25 November 2016

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