Tag Archives: Cornwall

A Numbers Game

Tomorrow’s Tubiversary marks:

20141207_12421712 NG-tubes and the accompanying tube changes, which included…

2 tubes pulled out by accident and 3 that broke unexpectedly;

4 pump backpacks worn out and replaced (and number 5 will be needed soon);

approximately 70 Feeding Friends stickers and 60 strips of Tegaderm used to keep that tube firmly stuck to the side of his face;

and at least 3 other tapes tried, tested and rejected;

1 Christmas, 1 Easter and several birthdays survived and celebrated;

11026157_10152614450811123_382817830123987117_oNearly 1 whole school year achieved with only a few days off;

1 week away in Cornwall enjoyed;

4 weekend trips planned, packed for and successfully negotiated;

5 safe foods and 2 safe oils identified and back in his diet, resulting in…

…around 15 new recipes adapted and perfected…20151121_162110

4 new kitchen gadgets invested in and well-used…

…and impressively 16 restaurants found to be amazingly able and willing to accommodate the trickiest of dietary requirements

 

Not forgetting:

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M's daily batch of medicines

410 litres of E028 pumped

12 daily medicines reduced to just 3;

nearly 3kg of weight gained

5cms of height grown

 

And including:20141216_121143

12 months of stock counting, and rotating, and checking, and ordering

52 weeks of new syringes and dressings

365 days dealing with pumps beeping – …on…off…start…stop…blockages…settings…errors…”just becauses”!

8,760 hours of making sure Pictures July 06 019the tube is tight enough, taped enough, in the right place enough…and not getting caught on anything

525,600 minutes of longing to be able to hold or stroke or kiss that precious little face without the tube getting in the way

Countless tears shed, hugs shared and frustrations vented

 

All amounting to…

One year of the best health ever

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Risotto – the M-friendly way!

This could come as something of a surprise to some of you, especially when you consider that rice has been a staple ingredient for us since February, but until recently I really hadn’t thought of making a simple risotto for M. We love risotto in our house, which really makes this lack of regard inexcusable: the children have been eating my home-made version since they were tiny and yet I hadn’t ventured down this particular route in my meal creations for him. Keep-It-Simple-Design-SimplicityJust as with the gnocchi – although risotto is absolutely nothing like as complicated to make a those Italian masterpieces – I’ve been keeping to the mantra of “easy meals are best” for weekday evenings and somehow risotto had escaped my attention.

Our dinner out at Trewithen brought this meal back to the forefront of my consciousness, when I enjoyed the most mouth-wateringly delicate and delicious flavours of their prawn and smoked salmon risotto. The perfect balance of strong flavours and the creamy deliciousness of the dish reminded me of just why it has always been a firm favourite of mine and I determined then and there to see if I could create a M-friendly version that might make the grade.

Taking inspiration from the Trewithen marinade for the chicken, which won such huge acclaim from M that I ended up asking the chef for his recipe, I created my very own nod to a stock as M is obviously not able to eat any of the stock-cubes readily available on the market due to their long lists of ingredients. 20150909_173602I cooked off some sage, thyme and parsley with a little salt and pepper in some Cornish rapeseed oil until an aromatic smell arose from the pan and then added the arborio rice and chicken, before adding my final ingredient of rice milk and leaving it all to simmer in my usual “one pot” approach to risotto.

The end result smelt, well, good enough to eat and I was keen to see how my young gourmand rated my first attempt at a M-friendly risotto. He said little, but the resulting request for seconds really told me everything I needed to know and so another recipe has been added to the 7Y2D repertoire!

Gnocchi revisited

Last year I wrote about my quest to create an all-time favourite of mine in a format that would not only meet all our then allergy needs, but that I also hoped both M and G would enjoy. I successfully tweaked some easy recipes to create an instant winner for dinner-time in our household: gluten-free gnocchi and their sweet potato counterpart. For very many reasons I haven’t ventured back to this delicious meal since M started his elemental diet at the end of last year, not least because it is really time-intensive and when cooking 3 different dishes for a single meal-time is the new norm, simple is often best.

One of the unexpected highlights of our holiday in Cornwall came right at the end of the week as I was browsing the farm shop at the Lost Gardens of Heligan before we headed home. I came across gnocchia packet of Bionita ready-made and gluten-free potato gnocchi and immediately snapped it up. I couldn’t wait for the perfect opportunity to try them out at home with G and that chance finally came last week, whilst M and I were both fighting off persistent heavy head colds, the peril of going back to school when you have a compromised autoimmune system. The prospect of slaving over a hot stove at the end of a long day really didn’t appeal and these gnocchi seemed to be the ideal option for a quick, easy and delicious meal.

20150909_173840Just as with the “normal” version, these gnocchi take just 2 minutes to cook in boiling water and I served them simply with a sage butter with sweetcorn and pine-nuts that was just as quick to prepare. Within 5 minutes, a steaming bowl of aromatic gnocchi was sitting in front of G and she loved every mouthful of this revisited classic. The packet is easily enough for 3 or 4 meals for G as gnocchi really are surprisingly filling and, as it states that they should be used up within 3 days of opening, I’ve popped the pack into the freezer until the next time. My fingers are now tightly crossed that they prove to be as good from frozen as the ones I made from scratch last year.

On the beach

Vettriano,_Singing_ButlerNaturally we couldn’t have travelled all the way to Cornwall for our summer holidays and left without spending some time on the beach. We were definitely busy enjoying our numerous day trips, but we were determined to squeeze in some beach time too and I’m so glad that we did. The weather might not have been as gloriously hot and sunny as either Portugal or Florida, but we certainly didn’t let some damp starts or chillier winds stop us enjoying all that beautiful Cornwall has to offer from a beach point of view. Due to some strange twists of fate, our week away happened to coincide with the travels of a mix of old friends and godparents, which meant we enjoyed our beach days in the company of others and journeyed between the Cornish coasts to visit them all.

Swanpool, near Falmouth – We were introduced to our first beach by G’s Godmama and her family. It was an unexpected stop as the forecast had been for heavy rain and we had actually arranged to spend the day with them at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. However, by the time the sun had come out and appeared determined to stay for more than just a few minutes, we mutually agreed to abandon the museum as a rainy day pursuit and head to the beach for a couple of hours instead. 20150823_163118Situated less than 10 minutes drive from the central car-park near the Maritime museum, we made our way to Swanpool and parked a little way from the beach itself and tackled the remaining journey by foot.

To G’s dismay, we were completely unprepared for a trip to the beach and so she had to settle for paddling along the shoreline, rather than going for the swim she longed to do. She happily spent the next couple of hours building sand-castles and splashing through the waves with Mike and her Godmama’s youngest son, H, whilst M and their middle son D clambered the rocks with his dad John. As our children and husbands entertained themselves and each other, Godmama C and I soaked up the sun and caught up on a year’s worth of news and gossip in person. And once their family decided to pack up and head back towards their North Cornwall house, we enjoyed a last few lingering moments together before our own journey back to our base in Fowey,

ReadyMoney Cove, Fowey – When investigating on-line all that Fowey and the surrounding area has to offer before heading down there in August, I discovered this fantastic website that told me the top 8 beaches in the Fowey area. Heading up this list was ReadyMoney Cove, a place that appealed to both Mike and me, so imagine my delight when my old school-friend, Jo, told me that she and her family were also staying in Fowey that week and 20150826_132107suggested ReadyMoney Cove as the perfect place for us all to meet up.

We parked at the main town car-park and walked around 15 minutes along the coast until we reached the furthest point accessible on foot and arrived at this beautiful small beach. Donning their new wetsuits, picked up as we travelled down the M5, my intrepid pair took to the waves with their bodyboards for a few minutes before declaring it too cold and instead headed off to investigate the rock-pools, armed with buckets and some fishing nets borrowed from Jo. The sun was not quite as warm as our afternoon at Swanpool, but the children enjoyed our morning at the beach and were more than happy to sit on the sand and munch their picnic lunch before going back to the hotel swimming pool for the afternoon.

Treyarnon Bay, near Padstow – Our final beach was the amazing expanse that is Treyarnon Bay and M was thrilled to be introduced to it by his godmother, L and her family. This time we trekked across the county to visit this north Cornish beauty spot and it was well worth the effort. Found in the same part of the world as Padstow, this was the largest beach we went to and gave the children a completely different experience. 20150827_151840G, M and their long-time pal, H, spent a glorious afternoon body-boarding, wave-jumping, rock-pool exploring and building sand defences to protect us from the approaching waves.

As well as spending some precious time with H, both children also made new friends on the beach, which just added to their wonderful time. Mike and I had a fantastic afternoon catching up with L and M before spending a relaxed evening at their campsite, sharing good food, great wine and a night filled with laughter and tales, whilst the children spent the time burning off whatever energy they had left after a busy afternoon on the beach.

 

Cornish treasure

Of course, despite rumours suggesting otherwise, our week in Cornwall did not purely revolve around places to eat and we had an amazing time exploring many of the beautiful nooks and crannies the county has to offer. This wasn’t a week for sitting on a beach relaxing as instead we crammed as many day trips in as we possibly could and spent a lot of time making some marvellous, magical memories. Just as I gave you a quick taster of the many restaurants we were lucky enough to enjoy, here is my overview of some of the best places we visited and the adventures we had during our stay:

Fowey River Trips – having arrived in Fowey in time for lunch and enjoying a great meal at the Galleon Inn overlooking the river, 20150822_144741M begged for us to take a boat trip from Fowey harbour, which sailed us past such treasures as Daphne DuMaurier’s house before heading back towards the mouth of the estuary. It was a wonderful way to see a little of the area we were visiting before our week really started and we were able to enjoy the last races of the Fowey Royal Regatta from the water too. Both M and G enjoyed the trip, which was an amazing first as M usually needs coaxing onto anything smaller than a transatlantic cruise liner! They were quick and eager to ask questions of the skipper and we were lucky enough to share the boat with some locals, who were happy and keen to explain more about what we were seeing as well as pointing out many of the birds to be spotted along the river’s edge.

Eden Project – this was M’s choice for a day out and despite our disappointment at the food offerings available and the inevitable rainy start, all in all we had a wonderful day. This wasn’t our first trip to the Project and it was fascinating to see how the environment had developed since the last time 5 years ago. The children loved spotting the different plants they knew in the biomes and M took particular pleasure in b20150824_171621eing photographed next to the rice. This summer, the Eden Project was also home to the Dinosaur Uproar, which meant there was lots for G and M to do whilst we were there. They enjoyed the puppetry displays, though both were a little nervous of the giant dragonflies when they first took flight nearby! Sadly, the wait to climb up to the Nest platform for a bird’s-eye view of the Rainforest biome was just too long for us to endure, but we did enjoy the Rainforest canopy walkway, which gave us a taste of what you could see from the very top and at least it leaves us with a good reason to go back and visit another time.

St Ives – G’s pick for the holiday was to visit an art gallery and what better place to go than the Tate St Ives? Thanks to a top tip from my ever-trusty hairdresser, I was also keen to take a peek at the fascinating sculptures at the Barbara Hepworth Museum and thought it might provoke some interest in both G and M too. We parked at the fantastic Lelant Saltings park and ride to travel into St Ives via train and not bus as we’re more used to doing in our home town. The Tate St Ives had organised a children’s art trail between the Barbara Hepworth house and the Tate itself, which asked them to identify 12 pieces of art from the partial images given and note down the artist, the name of the artwork and where they had spotted it. Two pieces were taken from the route between the two sites and provided a great opportunity to explore the art on display at each. Having found 11 of the 12 works, we stopped for G and M to take part in the creative workshop, which asked them to create sea-themed art of their own in clay.

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We must have spent a good hour there as their creative juices flowed and they created stories behind what they had made to share with the volunteers running the workshop. G recreated her pinch-pot “werefish” she had first made during the first week of the summer holidays and M gave his interpretation of a sea serpent – “…but it’s not Nessie Mummy…” I’m still not convinced I’m a fan of modern art – give me the National Gallery any day – but it was a great way for the kids to access it and start to develop their own opinions.

St Michael’s Mount – in what now feels like a lifetime ago, I sang with my cathedral choir at the awe-inspiring St Michael’s Mount and have fond, though somewhat vague memories of that whole trip. It is a place that none of the rest of the family had been to and so was the perfect place to go back and visit whilst in the area, so to speak. 20150828_113744M was fascinated by the nature of the local tides, which means that the Mount is accessible by foot for part of the day and by boat for the rest of it and was desperate to experience both – a wish that was easy to fulfil. We arrived at the Marazion car-park fairly early and were thrilled to be able to walk across the sands and then the causeway to the Mount. The children were curious about how the tides would cause the walkway to disappear later in the day and keen to see it happen.

We started our visit at the Castle, having spotted the Giant’s heart stone on our way up the steep and rocky path. The views from the top were amazing and we discussed how difficult it would have been for anyone to successfully scale the rocks to attack. Inside the castle itself, G and M decided to attempt the quiz and were interested in talking to the numerous guides dotted around the rooms to find out more about what we could see on display. M was particularly taken by the story of the 7-foot man banished from the mainland, who took refuge with the monks and is now convinced that 20150828_131826he is the “truth” behind the story of the giant, which we later heard told by the storyteller in the grounds. Before we headed back down to the beautiful gardens, we watched from the top as the waters began to cover the walkway and commented on those brave few who were still venturing across by foot. G and M could easily have spent hours exploring the gardens surrounding the castle as they clambered up and down the winding, narrow pathways and stairs that led to nowhere. The WWII pill boxes that surrounded the coastline also captured their attention and our day there turned into an unexpectedly educational trip! We returned back to the mainland by boat at the end of the day, tired out, but delighted by our decision to visit.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan – our final day in Cornwall was spent exploring the Lost Gardens of Heligan, uncharted territory for us all and Mike’s fine choice for our adventures. I found the history and story behind the Heligan gardens really interesting and you can read more about it here. Yet again, we were thrilled to find a whole host of children’s activities available and started with the sculpture trail that led us past the stunning20150829_124054 Giant’s Head, the sleeping Mud Maiden and the ghostly Grey Lady. Pausing briefly for lunch, G and M then enjoyed time in the hammocks that had been strung between the trees before coaxing Mike and I into helping them build a den in the woods from the vast supplies available to use. They were understandably proud of the den they designed and worked on together and were disappointed to have to take it apart before we headed on to the next section.

Having dismantled and returned the building equipment, and having even enjoyed a toasted marshmallow or two courtesy of M, we wound our way through the “jungle” towards the Burma rope bridge. I wasn’t quite brave enough to stop halfway across to take photos of my intrepid duo who were following close in my footsteps as I was too worried about dropping my faithful tablet into the depths below, but was impressed that neither child was phased about crossing the jungle floor which was a 100 feet beneath them! We finished our day by the Steward’s house, enjoying the rope swing and traditional garden games that were on offer.

As you can tell, we had the most amazing week away from home, experiencing just some of the Cornish treasures that are on offer. In M’s words, “…it was almost as good as Portugal…” and he’s already clamouring for a return visit next year.

Cornwall restaurants – The good, the bad and the “could try harders”

The Trewithen restaurant in Lostwithiel set such a high standard on our very first night in Cornwall that I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that the rest of the week would naturally fade into a desultory second place when it came to our meals out. However, given the extensive food restrictions that need catering for within our family, we ate extremely well and were more than pleasantly surprised by the mix of menu options that were available for us. I thought I’d give you a quick overview of the other great restaurants we visited during our holiday and what allergy-friendly options they were able to give:

The Galleon Inn, Fowey – this harbourside pub in Fowey gives generous servings of delicious pub grub and features fish and seafood on20150822_130543 both their a la carte menu and their specials board. They were able to serve safe chicken, cucumber and peas (his food challenge for the week) for M and, whilst it wasn’t clear what their other free from offerings were, we were able to order gammon, chips and peas for G, which she loved. Although the staff were friendly and helpful, we couldn’t clarify that the chips were 100% GF, so for anyone who struggles with cross-contamination issues, I would suggest ordering a different side.

Pizza Express, Falmouth – we visited the brilliant National Maritime Museum in Falmouth with G’s lovely Godmama and her family and were able to eat lunch at the Pizza Express situated across the square. We were able to order our usual allergy-friendly fare here and although the service was disappointingly slow and the food not quite as good as 20150823_163118at our local Pizza Express, we were still happy with the meal we had. A definite go-to in terms of national chain restaurants when looking for somewhere safe to eat.

Eden Project, Bodelva – following my perusal of their website and an email exchange with a very helpful customer liaison co-ordinator, we had gone well prepared with a packed lunch and range of suitable snacks for both G and M and I’m definitely glad we did. The queues in the main cafe area in the biomes were horrendously long and their staff disappointingly uninterested in speeding things up to try to reduce the waiting time. Mike and I enjoyed our tortillas and the server 20150824_171621I spoke to advised that it was possible to adapt some menu items to be both gluten- and dairy-free and I struggled to find any snacks that were readily available and obviously allergy-friendly. Given how long we did wait (close to 25 minutes for a mid-morning coffee and snack!), I’m glad we weren’t dependent on that to feed G. We loved our visit, but were disappointed by the food on offer and would take food for us all the next time.

Tate St Ives – this was the surprise success story of the week for G and we even managed an unexpected treat for M too. They had comprehensive allergen information readily available and were able to offer all of their sandwiches on GF bread. G was so thrilled, she ordered an egg mayonnaise sandwich with a helping of GF chips on the side and enjoyed every mouthful. I spotted cucumber sorbet on their dessert menu as part of a Pimms jelly extravaganza and asked if they knew what it contained.20150825_150249 The answer quickly came back from the chef that it was safe and so we were all able to enjoy a pudding. G had an orange and polenta cake that barely touched the sides as it went down and M had a couple of inquisitive mouthfuls of cucumber sorbet, although his final conclusion was that he’s not keen to try it *ever* again!

Sams, Fowey – part of a popular Cornish “chain”, perhaps best known for Sam’s on the Beach, we visited their Fowey restaurant, which I can best describe as a Cornish version of the Hard Rock Cafe! Once again, they were able to cook M-friendly chicken and cucumber, whilst G enjoyed fish and chips. Their system of no booking ahead meant we had almost an hour wait 20150825_203618for our food, but we spent it upstairs in the bar area and the time just flew by. I am not 100% certain of just how safe G’s food was, but am reliably informed that their Polkerris location can cook a mean gluten- and dairy-free pizza, an adventure for another time for us.

The Godolphin Arms, Marazion – our day out to visit St Michael’s Mount ended with a table overlooking the Mount as the sun set and we enjoyed our dinner. I knew that this restaurant could provide GF offerings, thanks to this great blog and the opportunity to give it a go and enjoy the spectacular view was too good to miss. M enjoyed a more complete dinner here as they were able to prepare rice, chicken and cucumber for him and G picked the GF burger and chips. We received great service even though the 20150828_194849restaurant was busy, but had a disappointing cross-contamination risk during dessert. Our request for lemon sorbet for M was met, but unfortunately, once he was half-way through his bowl, we discovered traces of a red sorbet mixed in with the lemon. It was immediately obvious that the kitchen staff had used the same scoop to serve his lemon sorbet, even though the serving staff had made every effort to ensure that the sorbet was safe for him. Our waiter was extremely apologetic, was very concerned about the cross-contamination risk to M, who fortunately hadn’t eaten any of the other flavour when he spotted it and spoke to the manager to ensure that the kitchen staff were reminded to be vigilant with the allergy-friendly meals.

The Malt House Harvester restaurant, Exeter – I’d been wanting to give the Harvester restaurants a try for a while and our return home gave us such an opportunity. I love the salad cart that’s available and knowing that both rice and chicken are almost staples to the menu, I felt confident that it could work. On announcing our allergy requirements on arrival, I was handed a massive and somewhat unwieldy ring binder containing their allergen information, which took me a good 10 minutes to navigate. I eventually was reassured that the chargrilled chicken breast would be fine for M and he was able to have basmati rice and cucumber to accompany it. G picked the baby back ribs with chips which appeared to be both GF and DF and enjoyed selecting her salad from the cart. The ordering process may have taken a little long due to the complexity of their allergen information, but the meals at the end made it all worthwhile.

The Tremendous Trewithen Restaurant, Lostwithiel

We knew this year would be a very different holiday to our last one in Florida or our more regular stints in Portugal, but Mike and I were looking forward to a week off work and hopefully grabbing some last moments of sun before September arrived. As it turned out, we had far more sun than we had originally expected, or as the forecast had suggested and even managed to visit some of the beautiful Cornish beaches as well as our other planned days out. Aside from the weather and the inevitable question of whether we’d get everything in the car (we did – just), my biggest concern was whether we’d be able to enjoy some family meals out during our week away, an integral part of any of our holidays and not least because I was desperate to have some time off from the kitchen and the need to constantly find new ways to tantalise M’s temperamental taste-buds. The time taken beforehand to search out possible restaurants that would be able to cook for M and G proved to be time well-spent and we found some amazing options that we would happily recommend to anyone, food-allergies or not.

Our all-time favourite restaurant and the one we would visit again at the drop of the proverbial hat, was the truly amazing Trewithen restaurant based in Lostwithiel, the ancient capital of Cornwall. I had discovered this restaurant during one of my many sessions on Google (don’t ask me how as I’ve struggled to find that original review again!) and had started the ball rolling by sending an email enquiry to find out if they could cater for M or not.email

This was the fantastic and prompt response I received from Paul, owner and chef, and immediately prompted Mike to ring and make a reservation for our first night there.

Excited by the prospect of a meal that we were confident would be prepared with M in mind, we arrived ahead of schedule (practically unheard of in the 7Y2D household) and were seated in their charming back dining area. The restaurant is set over the 2 floors of a 17th century townhouse, which gives it a cosy atmosphere and you feel like you’re eating amongst friends. The menus arrived at our table and here was the first big tick of our evening. 20150822_190031G was presented with their Junior menu, which had been carefully annotated just for her to show which options could be made both GF and DF as she needed. As she spent time perusing the dishes, M was informed that the chef was busy preparing his dinner – a small touch, but such a thoughtful one as it helped him to feel as much a part of the dining experience as the rest of us. We were given baskets of delicious bread with a variety of butters, oil and vinegar to enjoy whilst we chose our meals and G was thrilled to receive her very own serving of GF bread and DF butter. We had taken some rice crackers for M to nibble on as we enjoyed our starters and, having been informed that they cooked with local rapeseed oil, we asked if he could have his own mini dish of rapeseed oil to dip his rice crackers into – a request that was instantly met and received his great approval.

20150822_194030To our delight, so tempted was G by the menu in front of her, she decided to try something new and picked their Tomato and Basil soup to start, followed by the GF penne pasta with a tomato sauce and goats cheese; and I don’t think I have ever seen her plate empty quite so quickly when out for dinner. M’s meal was equally successful and he enjoyed a “mountain” of rice, strips of cucumber and a beautifully marinated and succulent chicken breast. The waiting staff were knowledgable, polite and helpful throughout our meal and at no point did we feel that our requests were too much trouble for them to handle. The meal was such a success that when asked if we should come back again later in the week, M’s response was an immediate “..of course!..” Even better, we heard what has to be one of the quotes of the week from M that night in response to Mike’s question of whether he wanted to come back because it was “posh”.

Well yes Daddy, of course. Who doesn’t like posh restaurants?

20150826_192901Our return visit couldn’t come quick enough for our impatient duo, who asked almost every day whether tonight was “the night” for going back there and that evening didn’t disappoint either. We persuaded G to try something different and she picked GF, DF fish, chips and peas, which were declared the “most delicious ever” and was able to have dessert of DF vanilla ice-cream. For those of you battling with the need to eat dairy-free, you will understand just how excited I was to see this on their menu as we generally find the puddings are either GF or DF, rarely both and usually not something our little Miss Picky will eat. As for M, well that night he ate like a king and I still have absolutely no idea where he put it all! To accompany his plate of safe foods, the chef had also prepared him some apple ring crisps and deep-fried sage leaves and M was in seventh heaven. He not only cleared his plate, but asked for more and the kitchen was more than happy to cook another chicken breast for him as quickly as they could. 20150826_192854I had taken a dish of home-made safe apple crumble with me for M to enjoy, but had no need to produce it at the table as they had lemon sorbet on the menu, which proved safe for him to eat. Our waitress was fantastic in writing down the ingredients for us so that we could check it was 100% safe and the look on M’s face as he slowly swallowed that first mouthful was simply magical.

And really, I need say no more. The restaurant impressed us from the start with their obvious understanding of food allergies, their knowledge about cross-contamination risks and their attention to the fine details which meant both children really could enjoy an excellent 3-course meal with all the “twiddly bits” on offer too. I loved that the menu was carefully annotated to meet the food needs of every individual customer and that the ingredients in the dishes were listed, so you knew exactly what you were eating and there were no hidden extras. They happily swapped my mashed potato for rice on our second night and willingly went that extra mile when we asked if they could cook more for M. They were even happy to give me the recipe for the marinade used for his chicken, so I can attempt to replicate the dish at home. A big thanks to Paul, Claire and the rest of their team, who made our meals during that week an unforgettable experience. I don’t know when we’ll be back, but we certainly intend a repeat visit if at all possible and they well deserve the phenomenal 20 out of 10 that M awarded them!

Countdown to Cornwall

This time last year I had holiday-planned to within an inch of my life and had experienced amazing support from the folks at Virgin Atlantic. We had arrived at Disneyworld Florida, were impressed by the positive approach to M’s restricted diet shown by all and were loving our days in the sun. It really was a trip of a lifetime and we’ve all been reminiscing a lot about where we were and what we were doing this time last year.

Our plans this year have been much less grandiose and much closer to home. When we first started thinking about our summer holiday plans back in November, all we knew was that M was going to be going elemental sometime soon and would have a NG-tube in place. We didn’t know if it would still be there by the time this summer rolled around and had no idea what he’d be able to eat or how we’d all be coping with the change. We toyed with the idea of a holiday in Portugal, a favourite destination of us all, but just weren’t sure how confident we would be if we needed to travel abroad with a tube in place.  20150812_172857Of course, with the benefit of hindsight and nearly 9 months experience, I am sure we would have coped just fine, but the uncertainty of all we’d be dealing with meant that instead we opted for staying in the UK and so we are now on our countdown to Cornwall.

Our front hallway currently resembles a storage facility as I pull out ready for packing, not just clothes and beach essentials, but safe food supplies for both G and M and, of course, everything we’ll need for M’s tube feeds. We have each chosen a day-trip we’d like to do whilst we’re there as well as researching the beaches surrounding Fowey, our base for the week. Mike has spent time looking at various “wet-weather” options as there’s no guarantee of sun in the UK, even in August, and we have been able to pencil in a day with G’s godmother, Godmama C and her lovely family as they will be holidaying there too. We might be staying in a self-catering apartment, but we’re also hoping to venture out to eat and my time has been spent trawling the internet looking for allergy-friendly restaurants and emailing to find out whether they will be able to accommodate M’s current food needs. cornwall-mapThe great news is that a couple have already replied to tell me that they are up for the challenge and I can’t wait to try them out and share our reviews of just how well they did for both M and G with you all. Even better, thanks to timely posts from fellow bloggers such as The Intolerant Gourmand and dedicated websites like Can I eat there?, I’ve been given some great top tips for making this a holiday to remember.