For this year’s Allergy Awareness Week, I’m sharing a range of different products and services that can help people dealing with allergies. It can be a daily challenge to reduce symptoms around the home and also to manage your allergies when out and about.
Today I am reviewing the Chef and Brewer pub, The Green Man in Little Offley, Hertfordshire.
I had heard of Chef and Brewer before but didn’t really know much about them, even thought they have 140 pubs across the country. So, when we were invited to try out their allergy and gluten free dishes I was keen to see if we could add them to our list of trusted places.
We were very impressed from the minute we walked into The Green Man and this continued throughout our visit. The restaurant is set in a lovely, light conservatory with sweeping views over the countryside. It has a garden outside that would be perfect to sit in during the warmer months.
I had already looked at the menu online and was excited to see a range of different options for the children. It was all well labelled in a detailed allergen menu and easy to see which products were safe for the top 14 allergens. The only thing that I found a little confusing and frustrating was that a couple of dishes were labelled as containing egg or milk as they were served with mayonnaise or dips. As these condiments can be easily removed, I would rather it was labelled separately so I didn’t need to rule out a dish for no reason.
After I had chosen a few dishes I rang up and spoke to the manager. As we also deal with allergens outside the top 14 it is always necessary to discuss ingredients in more detail. He was incredibly friendly, helpful and willing to go through everything with me which made me feel very confident and relaxed about the meal.
When we arrived, he came up to talk to me again and double check our needs and told me about further steps they take in the kitchen to prepare allergy meals in a separate area. It’s so great to feel like you are in safe hands when you go out for a meal and know that the staff are knowledgable and proactive about allergies.
They also have an extensive gluten free menu and I chose the Sea bass and scallops risotto from this for my main course. It was really light, creamy and delicious, and not the kind of standard pub food I would expect from a chain. Mr A has a more traditional ribs dish and I must admit it looked very tempting! J and Miss A both had the fishfingers, which were a good sized portion and they were kept entertained by some fun activity packs while they were waiting.
One thing that can be frustrating when eating out with allergies is the lack of safe dessert options. For the kids, it’s usually limited to a sorbet or fruit. So I was really excited to see a crumble on the kids’ menu that was dairy free, gluten free and nut free. That is a really inclusive dish and shows the thought that has gone into catering for people with different dietary need. Even better, they had a dairy free ice cream to go with it and both kids devoured it! I chose the vegan and gluten free chocolate torte, made with a nut and date base. The base was a bit disappointing as it could have done with being thicker but the filling was very rich and decadent, and I certainly didn’t feel I was missing out by having a free from option.
Overall, we were really impressed with the menu, food and service. It was one of the best family meals we’ve had out in ages. We will definitely go back to The Green Man in Little Offley but will also be adding Chef And Brewer to our list of safe options when we are exploring new places.
Disclosure: We were provided with a complementary meal by Chef And Brewer to share our honest experience. All photos and opinions are my own.