Fish and Chips at The Real Food Cafe

Born and raised in Ireland, I do love a potato. I appreciate that’s a stereotype, but whatever. I’m not fussed about what kind of potato or what way it’s presented. I’m partial to a boiled, fried, wedge, mashed, croquette, roast, baked, sweet – whatever! But my all time favourite is a chip. I LOVE chips.

Although this technically isn’t a Glasgow related post, it’s for anyone who fancies a day-trip up West in the direction of the highlands.

My boyfriend and I randomly went for a drive earlier this year on a miserable, wet and windy Saturday. We just wanted to get out of the flat for a little while. We kept driving up past Loch Lomond and before we knew it, we’d been gone half the day. I was starving, he was starving and we were both starting to get Hangry (hungry/angry). I was pretty worried food-wise because we were in the middle of nowhere and lets face it, getting a gluten-free lunch when you’re out and about in Glasgow can be difficult enough, let alone when you’re pretty remote.

We drove into Tyndrum because Russell needed to pee. Always. The Real Food Cafe is on the left as you drive in from the Glasgow direction and I genuinely thought it was a mirage. In the middle of nowhere, here was an amazing establishment with a sign advertising their gluten free food and award winning fish and chips. I hadn’t eaten batter in half a year so I was excited to say the least.

When we went inside and i’d calmed down, I had a look at the menu and was surprised (and bloody delighted) to see that not only was there a gluten free menu but the cafe is actually accredited by Coeliac UK, so you know you’re definitely not going to cross-contaminated in a place like this! I ordered the fish and chips and it was amazing. maybe the best batter i’d ever tasted and the portion was HUGE. I’ve added a pic below in case you think i’m just making this shit up. Russell isn’t coeliac but he assured me that the normal fish and chips were also insanely good too, so the entire family will be well fed.

The BEST gf fish and chips
The BEST gf fish and chips. OK, I know the picture isn’t great but if someone had told me i’d be starting a blog when I took this picture 6 months ago, maybe i’d have made it look prettier!

The staff were lovely, it was lashing rain outside and there was a warm cozy fire inside. Honestly, this place is like a godsend. If you’re in the Tyndrum area, it’s most definitely worth a visit, and if you’re travelling towards the Highlands at all, it’s totally worth a detour. It’s close enough (in Highland terms) to Glencoe and shur isn’t that where all the tourists go anyway?

AND, did I mention they do cakes? Gluten free cakes? (And normal cakes). I had the tastiest salted caramel chocolate brownie i’ve ever had. We were so stuffed after the chips though that I had to save the cake and eat it in bed on Sunday morning. Don’t judge.

The brownie to end all brownies
The brownie to end all brownies

All in all, it was a random but really rewarding trip into the highlands. We drove to Glencoe (lol, tourists) and stopped off at Glen Etive along the way. That’s maybe my favourite glen in Scotland. Russell kayaks, so i’ve seen a lot of them, believe me. Here I am recreating a scene from Quantum of Solace, movie fans.

It definitely wasn't this foggy when Dame Judi and Daniel were here....
It definitely wasn’t this foggy when Dame Judi and Daniel were here….

We’ve been back to Tyndrum and the Real Food Cafe a few times since our first visit and it never fails to disappoint. Here’s a link to their website if you fancy checking the place out yourself – I promise they’re not sponsoring me to write this, I just think amazing food places doing good things for coeliacs should get some credit!

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Hello World

Cue cheesy blog title… Can you tell this is my first time here? I’m new to blogging so please be kind!

I wanted to tell you all a little bit about myself and my Gutinstincts. I’m currently 24 and I think I may be having a mid life crisis (quarter life? Mid sounds a bit pessimistic), so I’ve decided to set up a blog to talk about my thoughts and feeling – loljk, I’m here to talk about food. I love food but recently my relationship with food has changed.

A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. It was a pretty unexpected diagnosis (from my point of view) because I didn’t think I ticked all of the boxes. I was never bloated after food, didn’t vomit after eating an entire tiger loaf and a tub of  jalapeño hummus from Morrisons, rarely had any other er, bowel explosions so to speak or stomach cramps. I was the picture of health. Apart from being seriously tired. So tired that I just went to bed at half8 most nights (life and soul of the party right here).

I had moved from Ireland to Scotland when I started uni a few years ago and still live in Glasgow now. My concerned mother (via Skype) did the thing you should never do when there’s maybe something wrong with you. She googled my symptoms… And google determined I was dying (calm down Google), anaemic or coeliac. One blood test, one tearful endoscopy, two months of waiting and one letter from the NHS (telling me to completely change my diet as there’s no other cure) later, here I am. I’m one year in so I know the basics now, and I know what works (and definitely doesn’t work) for me and my gut! It turns out that going gluten free means that your insides do get better, and I’m definitely less tired. However, if I do accidentally get glutened these days, my gut isn’t shy about letting me know about it. It’s carnage, but we’ll get through it.

It’s been a tough and challenging year and in a way, I feel like I’ve been going through this on my own. Don’t get me wrong, my friends and family have been wonderful, but no one really understands the frustration of really really really wanting to eat one of the Krispy Kremes someone brings into the office but literally not being able to have a single bite, or the fact that I get teary in  Tesco because all I want to do is grab a sandwich for lunch because I got stuck in a ridiculous meeting that ran over and have another one in twenty minutes and don’t have time for faffing! Sigh. Hopefully I can find people in the blogging community going through the same thing and coming to grips with their own gut instincts? It would be wonderful to hear from you if you are, please don’t be shy. Future blog posts will feature food and restaurant reviews and far less of my life story and whinging – I promise!

Goodnight lovely bloggers.

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