Because we've had such a busy 6 months with Gluten Free Living, we decided to let someone else do the hard work and have Chrismas lunch here. My 12 year old daughter is a coeliac. I booked in September and told them of her gluten free requirements so there was plenty of notice. "Not a problem" they emailed. "We will get gf bread in to go with her starter. All of our gravy is gf but chef will make a special gravy on the day to avoid any issues. Chef is hoping to offer gf Christmas Pudding but we will let you know about gf desserts in due course". "What excellent service" I thought! Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. They never did get back to me about gf desserts so when I queried them with a week to go there was nothing apart from icecream (which I suggested and came from a tub). They offered vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. They "allowed" me to take gf pigs in blankets and stuffing balls for them to put on her plate. When we arrived, I was greeted by "We tried to call you. There's no gf bread. We ordered a half-loaf but we can't find it. We wanted you to bring some of your own for your daughter". (For reasons best known to Orange, the voicemail was delivered to my mobile on Boxing Day. "Never mind" they said "We will give her an oatcake instead". Well, to sum up her Christmas meal: no oatcake materialised with the starter, no gf gravy (special or otherwise) was provided and the icecream was all vanilla. They still charged the full £27.50 for her meal and even charged for the childrens orange juices. Not good enough I'm afraid - more effort for coeliacs is needed. Incidentally, for us non-coeliacs, my mother summed up the meal by saying "It was a nice Sunday lunch but nothing spectacular".
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