A Gluten-Free Guide to the London Olympics
For those like me, who must remain gluten-free, the Olympics in London shouldn’t be too difficult, although I do worry about the Olympic Park and some of the venues. The reason for this, is that I’ve been to Wembley a couple of times and the food is your usual burger and chips rubbish. The organisers say they will make it better at the venues, but I have my doubts. It’s sad really, as East London, where the Games are being staged, has a large variety of ethnic cooking, like Bangladeshi, that is very much gluten-free. Incidentally, if you like curries, all good curry houses, such as in the famous Brick Lane, use gram or chick-pea flour and are never offended if you ask. A lot of these restaurants, though don’t serve alcohol, but don’t mind if you bring it in and they will then give you glasses and a cork-screw, if one is needed. The best ones always have proper linen tablecloths and napkins.
The big Olympic Park at Stratford is at present very much an unknown as to gluten-free food, as it hasn’t opened yet. But the Westfield Shopping Centre (Eastfield to many) next door is bad, if you want a gluten-free restaurant. However, it does have two big food stores, that are always a good stand-by, if you want to buy a picnic; Waitrose and Marks and Spencer. Both have a wide selection of picnic food and gluten-free bread and rolls.
In fact, for some picnics will always be a safe way out, when on the move. The main Olympic Park, is next to one of London’s largest parks; Victoria Park and they are going to put a lot of fast-food stalls here with big screens. But even if nothing is gluten-free, there will be plenty of space to sit on the grass. In fact, there are large green spaces near to most of the venues.
A lot of pubs, like my local, the Northgate Arms in de Beauvoir Town can do reliable gluten-free food. With the Northgate, the chef is coeliac from Sierra Leone, so you can be absolutely sure.
I shall add more to this as I travel round the Games.