Gluten free at The Beeches, Bournville

As any ‘free-fromers’ know, going out for a three course gluten free meal is usually impossible. Although restaurant’s are gradually becoming better at providing for people with allergies and intolerances, there is rarely a time when we are presented with a menu with an array of delicious choices on offer, including the all-important puds!

A friend of mine had informed me that The Beeches in Bournville had recently started doing a gluten free menu and of course, being just up the road from me, I stopped by to sample what was on offer.

I have to admit, when it comes to eating out I’m never quite sure what to expect when knowing that gluten free is on offer. There have been many times when I have been told that a restaurant can cater for my needs, only to be presented with the standard 40 page allergy listing, stapled together printout.

I was pleasantly surprised however, when I was given an identical menu to my friend upon arrival, the only difference being, that my menu clearly stated what was gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian. I’m sure anyone on special diets can vouch for how great it is to be given an extensive choice of dishes to choose from rather than just steak and spud, or the all-time favourite ‘croutonless’ salad.

For one of the first times since becoming gluten free, I was spoiled for choice. Although being dairy free the starters and puds were still off limits, I have to admire the effort that has gone into creating such a long list of gluten free meals, all of which sounded absolutely delicious.

I was pondering whether to have the Cajun red snapper or trio of beef, but in the end I decided on the crispy grilled confit duck leg with pak choi, beetroot, baby onion and red berry glaze and I have to say, I was not disappointed in my choice.

The portion size was very generous and the dish was presented beautifully, with the onions dotted around the duck and the potato served in a circular shape to add to the appeal. The sauce served alongside the duck was delicious and not too heavy for my liking. In fact, I admit to using the sauce to dunk my chunky chips into that I had greedily ordered as a side dish.

The menu stated that dishes such as the chicken liver and chorizo pate with chilli jam, as well as soup of the day could be served with gluten free bread which is a real treat. All of the side dishes were gluten free and puddings included crème brulee and strawberry cream trifle, which of course I would have happily tucked into if I wasn’t also excluding dairy.

With a choice of grilled dishes, pub classics, salads and pastas on offer, I really don’t think anyone visiting The Beeches would be stuck for things to eat as there really is something to tickle everyone’s taste buds.  I would love to go back and taste test many of the other dishes on offer and I would recommend to anyone visiting the Bournville area, as not only it is just a short walk away from Cadbury’s World, but the staff clearly know how to cater for special diets.

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