For our fifth anniversary back in January, Greg and I headed off to Brighton for the weekend. The land of Zoella and many other bloggers, Brighton is a very trendy place to go and shop at the moment – however, it’s also the home of some truly amazing places to eat, gluten-free or otherwise.
A comprehensive Google before we set off brought up a whole array of tantalising options: Italian food at Purezza or Morelli Zorelli; Indian cuisine at The Chilli Pickle; vegetarian food at Iydea or Terre a Terre; organic, plant-based dishes at Eat Nakd – just to name a few! I actually had a choice of coeliac-friendly places to eat – more than that, a choice of well-reviewed, exciting places to eat! There was even a list of possible eateries to be whittled down.
These photos actually predate Brioche for Belsy or any intention of starting this blog – I was just so thrilled by it all that I photographed everything for posterity anyway. Luckily I did, as I can now share some of my gluten-free finds here (presented in alphabetical order and in no order of rank)!
Café Rendezvous & Gallery
24 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AG
This café/art gallery was actually an impulse visit on Sunday morning; it wasn’t listed on any of the gluten-free guides I found before we came. However, it’s conveniently situated right opposite PANDORA (another favourite of mine) and so we wandered in when it started raining.
As it turned out, they had a whole gluten-free menu, including scones, sweet and savoury pastries, cakes and smaller sweet treats. This is what I mean about Brighton – we picked a random cafe, and it still turned up trumps with the gluten-free options. They also offer GF afternoon teas!
I only wanted something really light as I knew we were going for a proper lunch later, and this GF macaron fitted the bill perfectly. It came beautifully presented with a little swirl of cream and a chocolate curlicue, too!
We had the place all to ourselves, as well. The atmosphere is a little quirky (couldn’t you tell from the bright green table?), in a very endearing way, and it was an entirely charming interlude in a rainy Sunday morning.
2 Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AD
The first place we tried while we were in Brighton had to be The Creperie, which is a 100% gluten-free restaurant and officially accredited by Coeliac UK! Amazing. The feeling of just being able to go in, not even having to ask, and to be able to pick anything I wanted at all was so good. The Creperie, as you might have guessed by its name, is a casual, seafront little eatery that specialises in pancakes and wraps, with waffles and ice cream also on the menu.
The atmosphere was lovely and cosy. There weren’t too many people in there, even though it was pretty much bang on lunchtime, so it was nice and relaxed. You can watch the chef make the pancakes behind the counter of the restaurant as you come in (he made it look so easy!) but there are more seats in the basement. He personally brought down our food when it was ready (which was very, very quickly!). There was a black and white silent film playing on a projector on wall (The Artist, according to Greg).
My gluten-eating boyfriend went for the spicy Fajita galette (no photo, though, I’m afraid!). He found finishing the generous portion of chicken filling a little heavy-going, but said that the pancake itself was absolutely delicious and that you’d never know it was gluten free.
My Mushroom Medley galette, on the other hand, was just right. It was filling without being overkill, which is a common plus-point when it comes to vegetarian food.
I was pleasantly fully by the end of it (and yes, I certainly did eat all of it!), and would have been completely content to forego dessert.
Nevertheless, I was just too over-excited by the gluten-free dessert menu. (It’s crazy how being coeliac changes your attitude to what’s so ordinary to everybody else; I saw a cafe advertising gluten-free options when I was just walking through town the other day and actually shrieked ‘LOOK!’ in the middle of the street. It was loud enough that a pigeon flew away. At least three people turned around, ready to come to my aid. It was embarrassing. I digress.)
So we got a sweet pancake to share, as well, with fresh strawberries and cream. Opportunities like this don’t come by too often when you’re coeliac – you can always make room!
12 St James’s Street, Brighton, BN2 1RE
Purezza is a vegan Italian restaurant that also offers a lot of gluten-free options, with coeliac-friendly pizza bases and pasta. Their website blurb demonstrates their gluten-free credentials, confidently writing about the evils of gluten and cross-contamination, and reassuring customers that they’re fully clued up. Much like The Creperie, it’s very casual and relaxed in tone. The inside looks almost like a canteen, and wasn’t at all what I was expecting from a vegan restaurant; clean and contemporary-looking.
The only negative? Just across from us were a bunch of American students, who were doing their utmost to discuss their various health problems in the most elucidatingly graphic detail possible. It was mostly ignorable, until one boy launched into particularly well-embellished account. Greg and I, locked in a silent pantomime of horrified looks, glanced over to see whether his fellow diners were also resisting the urge to rugby tackle him to the floor. But, no – either the girls he was with would make a killing at poker, or they were genuinely enthralled by his tale of digestive woe, amongst other things.
Luckily, he did manage to get off the topic by the time our pizzas arrived. And he’d have had a tough job putting us off our food. It was delicious! I went for the Portobello Road pizza, with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, wild rocket with vegan mozzarella and tomato sauce. I had been curious about the vegan cheese, which I’d never had before, but there was no compromise on flavour – I’m not sure I’d have known if I hadn’t been told.
Their website notes the lower calories count of their pizzas compared to the regular thing, too, at between 480 to 620 calories a go – it certainly tasted as indulgent as a pizza bought from anywhere else. ☺️
Thank you, Brighton!
We left feeling like we’d only scratched the surface of what Brighton had to offer in terms of gluten-free and veggie options – but there’s only so much you can scoff in one romantic weekend away. But I’d love to come back for longer and just to spend the week eating…!
Food aside, Brighton itself was a really fun little weekend away, too (especially when it wasn’t raining…!). We stayed along the seafront, with a nice walk along it to the town centre. We did a spot of shopping, went to see La La Land (Greg fell head over heels for it, and still lovingly hums showtunes from the soundtrack) and lazed around in the lovely little apartment we’d rented. But, yeah. The FOOD.
In short, I can’t wait to be able to do gluten-free Brighton part II!