Today I was invited to the Bluebell Tearoom in Stirling by owner, Lisa, to try some of the gluten free treats they have to offer. I don’t often find myself in Stirling these days so it was nice to have a reason to return to this pretty little town where I spent my four University years…oh the memories!
The Bluebell Tearoom opened last September (2010) and as far as I’m aware it’s the only tearoom in the area that does gluten free options. My mum and I enjoyed a fantastic lunch here.
Gluten free options include most of their soups, fresh gluten free bread with any sandwich filling, tarts and a selection of cakes. I went for the red pepper soup (soooo tasty!), gammon, cheese and chutney on gluten free bread and lemon polenta cake (very light and flavoursome) for dessert. Everything was delicious. The bread wasn’t amazing but it was good and they are working on trying to perfect the recipe. I think that gluten free baking probably involves a lot more exact measuring than ordinary baking and getting the perfect balance between each type of flour takes a lot of practice.
Gluten free lunch at a tearoom run by a woman who is herself coeliac was a lovely experience. Not only was it nice to speak to someone else who understands what it’s like to be coeliac but there was no anxiety over whether the staff understood the seriousness of it or the threat of cross contamination. Whenever they have a gluten free order all of the utensils and the cutting board are thoroughly cleaned. If you want your gluten free bread toasted they don’t have a separate toaster but they do mention this fact to customers who order gluten free toast to give them the choice of whether or not to risk it. I personally would never. Cross contamination is a serious heath risk for coeliacs.
The Tearoom is situated on the first floor of Wilkies which is on King Street in the city. Wilkies isn’t a store I would ever wander into as it’s aimed at a more mature client group let’s say so I’m really glad I got to check this place out. It’s a friendly wee place, the staff are lovely and the food is tasty and gluten free. What more could a gluten free traveller ask for?
I should also mention that Birds and Bees in Causewayhead, Stirling, also does a bunch of gluten free options clearly marked on their menu. I remember Birds and Bees from when I was at University in Stirling. Who knew I would turn out to be coeliac but I’d still be able to eat here. The world is a crazy place! Gluten free mains on their dinner menu include peppered chicken, jambalaya, satay chicken and mexican chilli beef. This place is at the top of my list for next time I’m back in Scotland.