5 PLACES TO EAT IN LONDON (GLUTEN FREE FRIENDLY)

I'm not sure there's anybody in the world that loves food as much as I do.

OK, bold statement and potentially not true having seen many documentaries about many people eating so much food that they can't actually physically move anymore but you get the gist, I really, really, really love food.

I also have coeliac disease which means I can't eat any kind of gluten and that my friends, can be a bit of a pain in the arse - literally.... #noshame #vilebuttrue - for someone that thinks about food 99.9% of the time. 

But recently I've found a little cluster of restaurants that are not only so good for gluten free, but generally are frickin amazing in every single way and I'd thought I'd share the love for any fellow foodie/coeliacs/greedy beasts out there because I couldn't recommend each place enough.
If The Ivy's had a membership card or some kinda sassy equivalent to airmiles, I'm pretty sure I'd be owed all the rewards/avo on toast a girl could eat. It's a favourite with a lot of PR's/brands so the The Ivy Soho brasserie is pretty much a second home, and now we have a branch at Tower Bridge I am completely prepared to become a fully fledged member of The Ivy appreciation society. But jokes aside, there's a reason it's so popular... the decor (which is the most dreamy, pinterest worthy, incredible thing ever) and the food. Which always comes up quick - winning!! - and is always incredible.

For us coeliacs/gluten freers there's a good amount of options and the waiters/waitresses always have amazing knowledge too so never feel afraid to ask about cross contamination, ingredients etc. My personal fave is the Avocado on gluten free toast because it tastes like an absolute dream (the pomegranate is a babe'in touch fyi!) and I obvs always go for a side of poached eggs because Avo without eggs is like Ant without Dec!

OMG COELIACS I AM SO EXCITED TO TELL YOU ABOUT LEADBELLY'S.

OK, and breathe.

But, basically, Leadbelly's is great for a few reasons. Number 1 - because it is oh so close to where I live and basically where I live is the most boring place on earth so I am so damn happy to have some instagrammable and ridiculously tasty places close by!

Number 2 - because the vast majority of the breakfast/brunch menu is gluten free.

BRB while I cry of happiness, Instagram it and then eat my weight in waffles.

So Leadbelly's is wonderful. It has gluten free waffles (which come with all kinds of toppings), it has avo on toast, it has full english kinda breakfasts. It has it all, and it also has the dreamiest pinterest worthy interiors to top it all off too!

PS there was also once a super hot waiter in there so it's worth visiting for that alone #PrioritiesAlwaysInPlace
Potentially one of my favourite new finds, Barbecoa is a stunning Jamie Oliver restaurant chain based in London (I went to the Piccadilly branch but there's also one at St Pauls). It's not new but it's new to me and honestly, after I visited the first time - with DadNextDoor in tow - I have genuinely been so excited to go back each time. Essentially, Barbecoa Piccadilly is the most stunningly luxurious looking restaurant that serves up the most insane meat, dreamy cocktails, all with such an incredible buzzing atmosphere. To look at, Barbecoa is extremely decadent but what I love most is that it's not in any way pretentious. For me, you'll find nowhere better to have the most stunning roast dinner in the sexiest surroundings. (Can you call interiors/decor sexy? Pretty sure you can!)

I honestly couldn't recommend Barbecoa enough, they were also able to make the roast dinner totally gluten free, only missing the yorkshire pud (which yes is the best bit but we can't have it all guys). If you're in the Piccadilly area, go and check it out, I promise you won't regret it.
I do love a good sit down for 3949294 hours putting the world to rights kinda meal but I also just sometimes need some quick on the go, incredibly tasty meals and this is where Crepe Affaire comes in. I struggle with crepes. Mostly because I love them so much and I generally can never have them. So when I found out that the absolute babe of all babes Crepe Affaire had comes up with a gluten free option with lots of topping options too, obvs I ran down faster than you can say greedy beast to check it out.

I went for bacon and maple syrup because I know how to win at life (well, food choices) and omg they were divine!!! The actual crepe itself is surprisingly soft and not too dry at all, lots of flavour and just the perfect quick snack on the go. I was also mega impressed that most of the fillings for "normal people" were also gluten free so you don't feel like you're missing out at all.

Highly recommend.

*attempts to stop salivating just thinking about bacon maple crepes*
Whether you are coeliac/gluten free or not, if there's one place to put on your must visit list, please make it the Conrad St James for afternoon tea. From the incredible service, to the champagne greeting, my afternoon here with MumNextDoor was one of my all time favourites. The hotel itself is just stunningly beautiful, decadent, luxurious and just somewhere you could happily sit and people watch for hours. And whilst you're sitting and perving why not do it with a shed load of cake getting sloshed merry on champagne? Ok, so... the gluten free option comes with bread roll type sandwiches which were really really good. It didn't fall apart or taste like sawdust and the fillings were OH MY GOD SO GOOD. Coronation chicken being a personal fave but that's just me and my curry loving self. The cakes were an absolute dream. Each one beautifully presented and incredible tasting, my personal fave was the chocolate loaf that dreams were made of.

The scones were very good. I'd be lying if I said that they didn't fall apart as soon as I touched them with a knife but then I've literally never found gluten free scones that manage to stay in one piece (if you have, send your recommendations my way). But they were the perfect way to finish off a perfect evening. You just can't help but feel like a bit of a princess with such impeccable service and permanent refills. So yes, in case you couldn't tell, I really want you all to get your butts down to the Conrad St James because it is just stunning!

And that's it for my little foodie five. I'm actually surprised it's been so long since my last food post considering that I spend 99.999999% of my time thinking about when I'm about to eat next. I really, really hope you enjoyed it and I hope it's helpful for any coeliacs/gluten free eaters out there because trust me gal pals (and lads) I know how difficult it can be, but all 5 places mentioned here are a gluten free dream!

I'd love to know if you're loving anywhere in particular at the moment? Where do I need to eat my weight in carbs/goodness? I always love your blimmin lovely recommendations!

As always, thanks so much for reading!

xx





20 SLOGAN T-SHIRTS/JUMPERS I'M OBSESSED WITH

Sweet baby Jesus I love a slogan t-shirt. 

It started way back when I was about 17 and just starting to get into fashion. They were cool, they were chic, they were simple and they did the job. And then the poor buggers went through a bit of a rough patch when they wasn't so cool anymore and everything needed to be a bit smarter, snazzier (lol at sounding 50 years old, snazzy), a bit more statement and standout. But now more than ever the slogan tee/jumper/loungewear/everything brigade is back in full force and I for one am enjoying it more than Kanye enjoys a night in with just Kanye.

So I thought I'd scroll through some of my favourite online stores - you know, all in the name of being a good blogger - and pick out 25 slogan pieces that I can't get enough of right now/am hoping you'll all enable me to buy every single one.

[Insert upside down smile/"You think I'm joking but I'm not" emoji here]



MY TOP 5 FAVES

Here's a few reasons why I love Slogan tee's more than Grey's Anatomy and why I think they'll become a statement in your wardrobe too;

  • They tend to be either sassy or cute af and those are two traits which I can get on board with.
  • They're simple and comfortable and mostly cosy so why wouldn't you want to feel like you're wearing loungewear when out and about?
  • A lot of the time they say the things you probably wouldn't say out loud/reflect how you're feeling without you actually having to say it. My current faves? "Boy, bye", "The Future is female" (sensing a theme here? #PromiseIDontHateAllMen #JustEveryoneOnBumble)
  • THEY ARE COOL AND MAKE YOU LOOK A BIT LIKE AN EFFORTLESS TUMBLR GIRL (if styled right).

A BIT OF AL'WHITE'


Blazer - Primark / T-shirt - Next / Skirt - Primark / Shoes - Primark / Bag - Mulberry Zipped Bayswater in Rosewater (couldn't find a link for this shade but have linked similar)

THE JUMPERS


I have a lot of favourites - hence 25 because I couldn't narrow it down to 5 or 10 because... indecisive - but one of them is definitely the one I'm wearing in these shots. It says Bonjour Baby and it's actually from the loungewear section from Next and I'm bloody obsessed because it's comfortable and cool and will hopefully attract french men and as it's so simple, it goes with everything!

The rest of the outfit is a random concoction from my BFF's Primark. The blazer is a boyfriend/oversized style tweed blazer and I honestly cannot stop wearing it (so I hope you like it because it's going to be plastered all over my instagram for the rest of time). The shoes are some simple skates but how did I forget that they just go with everything and always look cool? Now I understand the crazy skate bandwagon from 2015 (anyone else remember that, or just me?). And the skirt is potentially one of my all time favourite Primark buys. The burgundy means it's perfect for the upcoming Autumn months and length is a brilliant of mix of "not too nun-like" but also not too "look at my vagina"... a classic mix if you ask me.


- A FEW OF MY FAVES ON INSTA @ElleNextDoor -
Anyone that follows me on Instagram would've no doubt seen that slogan t-shirts/jumpers paired with a skirt (and now a blazer because WHEN DID IT GET SO COLD?) have formed the vast majority of my wardrobe for the last few months and that ain't about to change any time soon. Which made me think that maybe I should invest in the higher end options that I never used to think I could justify but all of a sudden am manically scrolling down Net a porter.... because it's like, will I wear it to death? Yes. But is it still £200 for a simple t-shirt? Yes, yes it is. I think I'll still be sticking to my babe'in high street options for now but here are a few higher end options if any of you fancy treating yo'self!


THE HIGH END ONES


And that brings me to the end of my slogan fangirl. It's funny isn't it, how we can get obsessed with the most simple, basic things but I seem to be finding myself in a constant "searching on ASOS for new slogan tees" black hole lately because, well, they just make me feel good. They're fun and they make me smile (especially the Primark Love Island versions which I was oh so close to buying in bulk) and I don't think that's so much of a bad thing.

I'd love to know what pieces you're obsessed with at the moment? Are you a slogan tee/jumper/anything girl? I always love hearing your thoughts!

As always, thanks so much for reading!

xx


A SUMMER OF FRIENDSHIP, FOOD AND DRINKS AND A LOT OF FUN!

I try to be the kinda girl that takes each day as it comes. Apart from the odd hope and dream and plan of action (lol at sounding like a pageant queen, world peace gal pals, world peace!), I'm a big fan of being spontaneous which is why all year I've had absolutely no plans for the summer. I've been travelling non stop since January so a summer holiday wasn't 100% necessary (you know what I mean, when you've been working all year and you're like HI SUMMER GET ME OUT OF THIS COUNTRY NOW)... all I knew was that this summer would be my best yet. Because I am surrounded by the best people, I am obsessed with my job, the option to up and leave at any point is always there, and I guess more than anything, I'm just content.

As it happens, this summer was my best ever. And I did travel, all over the place actually. But most importantly I spent more time with my best friends than ever before. I prioritised laughing and eating (my favourite things in life) and chilling with a good ole drink now and then (Mortimer's Orchard English Berry cider fyi, because find a better, more refreshing drink than that dreamy cider on a hot summer's day and you're a better person than I am). I dated (lol for having more hilarious stories in one summer than my entire life), I laughed until I cried and almost made myself an ab.

I just, well, lived. And as much as you might read that and be like "who is this tree hugging, deep af twat?", sometimes it's easy to just float by, existing rather than actually living isn't it? 

This summer was the summer I decided to have the time of my life!
I don't have a favourite season - because I am the least decisive person on the planet - but I do have a favourite time. It's that time when winter has been long and cold and Spring has finally arrived and it's progressing to the beginning of summer. It's the time when all you want to do is be in a pub garden with friends preferably in a little tea dress with no jacket, nattering away and putting the world to rights. For me, that's the start of summer and how I always see it continuing. I recently stumbled across The Orange Tree in Totteridge, a stunning little (well, actually not so little at all) pub restaurant which is not only so ridiculously cute, but it's the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of London without actually leaving. It's a Mitchell's and Butler's premium country pub and that's exactly what it is, premium. It feels so light and airy and luxurious and modern inside but still has the same cosy feel as sitting by a fire in an old fashioned country pub. It also has a great outside area too which accommodated my group girl chat sessions perfectly. But it's not just the vibe and the atmosphere and the decor that made The Orange Tree somewhere I wanted to return to... it was the fact that they had Mortimer's Orchard English Berry cider (I wish you could taste things through a screen) and the most beautiful food. OMG THE FOOD.
As much as my life on the outside sometimes appears a little bit insane, the most important things to me really are the simple things. The sitting down with an incredible sunday roast and an ice cold drink (more on this later) with your favourite people. The food at The Orange tree was almost too good for words. The lovely manager (who's name I have so annoyingly forgotten!) spoke me through the menu and let me know that a lot of the dishes could be made gluten free - so a big fat thumbs up from coeliac Sally over here - so we decided to go for the Scallops (to die for, just to die for), some duck pate for the girls who don't lose their mind with gluten and a Beef roast which quite frankly was the best roast I've eaten (soz Mum). Seriously though, it was so, so damn good that I struggled way past the point of full to make sure I demolished it all. #NoRegrets

All topped off with a drink that deserves so many heart eye'd emojis that I almost can't cope... the Mortimer's Orchard English Berry cider.
Anyone that's followed me on Instagram for a while will now that I am a die hard Mortimer's Orchard cider girl. The original cider was my drink of 2016 (and most of 2017) until they released the new English Berry flavour which is the most delicious, refreshing drink ever. It's fruity and full of raspberry and blackberry flavours but not at all sickly sweet. True story, a very cute little couple next to us asked what the drink was and when I described it they ordered one themselves (and we all know how bad my descriptive skills are), they then proceeded to say 34030583 times how lovely and refreshing and perfect for summer the drink was which obviously melted my heart because OLD PEOPLE [insert love heart emojis here].

But yeah, it's easy and it's simple but for me, good food, the tastiest drinks and your favourite company is all I need to be happy. So of course, I had to round off an epic summer doing just that!
What does summer mean to you? Sometimes it feels like I sit and waffle on (which, you know, is exactly what I do) and you guys so kindly listen but I want to know what you think, how you're feeling. What do you love about summer? What drink do you look forward to sipping away at with friends and family? Where do you like to go? I want to hear everything you get up to. Also let me know if you've tried Mortimer's Orchard English Berry cider because if you haven't, you absolutely need to!!

As always, thanks so much for listening to my rambles, I hope your summer has been as magical as mine has!

xx


This post was sponsored by Mortimer's Orchard but all photos and thoughts and extreme love of insanely incredible cider, my own.

© the Elle next door

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