A 6 inch-deep fresh-cream strawberry sponge enters from the kitchen, born aloft still glowing, by the owner,
'I don't suppose you do anything Gluten Free as well?'
'There's this,' she says, pointing at the strawberry vision. 'Then there's that, and that and that.' Lots more pointing from her, drooling from me. None of the cakes declare they are gluten free - a wise move as most people think GF cakes are like most GF bread - dry and unappetizing. But cakes are often better Gluten-free - think lemon drizzle polenta cake, gooey chocolate brownies, think fresh cream strawberry sponge, fruit slice.
'And a Gluten Free bacon sarnie?' I ask, wary yet hopeful.
'On special uncut fresh Gluten Free bread brought in from Bakewell. For some reason not on sale to the public.' She shows me the loaf. Well I've obviously died and gone to heaven. The bread is thick, soft, brown, and the bacon thick, not too salty & served with a tiny jar of chutney, a delight. With a pot of some red herb tea with passion fruit in an intriguing loose lead/peel filter, providing 3 cups, I am rendered very cheerful by this unexpected feast and go on to spend a fortune in the garden centre as a result. Then I return for pudding. Yes, strawberry sponge Light, huge, just the sort of stuff that wheat-eaters get offered in every cafe invented, .washed down with a caramel hot chocolate. Divine.
How can I describe the feeling of pure luxury this little cafe provides for the Gluten Impaired? We are an annoying, increasingly frustrated. but growing part of the population, and cafes in Derbyshire have yet to realise that our money banks just the same as the Wheat Eaters'. In fact our cash positively leaps out of purses and wallets in a frenzy of delight if offered anything other than a rice-crispy slice.. My husband has recently given up going out for a coffee and a bun. Not because he's Gluten Impaired, no, because I am. He can literally no longer bear the pathetic disappointment on my face when I'm told, 'Sorry duck, it's all wheat.'
The inevitable bag of ready-salted crisps that sits beside his three-stack cream cake reduces his own pleasure to guilty disappointment, and we never return.
So, if you are Gluten Impaired, get over to Bamford, and visit this gem in Hope Valley.
See you there, with my old man next time.
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