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3 unmissable dates for your gluten-free diary!

Desperate for something to look forward to? Me, too!

Ali Walsh at the FreeFrom Food Festival
Me clearly enjoying myself at The FreeFrom Food Festival!

There are a number of events that take place throughout the year that are focused on gluten-free living (heck, we may have met at one of them!). They include food and drink festivals and shows that feature gluten-free products and vendors.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

So grab your diary and pop these dates in because they're sure to put a smile on your face.

Let's start with:

Sat 18th March 2023: Bristol, FreeFrom Food Festival

The festival features a wide range of gluten-free food and drink products, as well as workshops and seminars on gluten-free living. And yup, I'll be one of your guest speakers. One of the best things about this show is EVERYTHING is gluten-free and there are so many savoury options (yes, not just sweet stuff). Last year I had a very difficult time deciding which lunch I'd go for (there's just so much choice!). The venue is the Pennywell Project, which is quite close to Cabot Circus and really easy to get to, either by car or a quick taxi ride from Temple Meads train station.

Fri 19 - Sun 21st May: London, The Balance Festival

Love exercise? There's a BIG focus here on health, wellness and fitness, which is really important for coeliacs to stave off osteoporosis. The festival features a wide range of activities - pretty much every fitness class known to man - including what looked like black teardrops hanging from the ceiling for one fitness class. I went to 'vogue yoga' with the most amazing instructor who made sure we all had great fun (definitely someone to fangirl!).

There are also seminars on healthy living with a massive variety of talks. Last year I was blown away by the quality of speakers who had a fantastic focus on mental health. The line-up includes fitness and wellness influencers, speakers and experts, who lead workshops and talks on a variety of topics related to fitness and nutrition.

There's also a marketplace with foods to try. There isn't a specific emphasis in their marketing for gluten-free but last year I could eat practically everything on offer. Not only that, but most of it was free! I was given a gluten-free lunch (delicious, plant-based & so more-ish!) as well as icecream made from orchid powder (!) and amazing snacks. There was even a free cocktail bar for VIP guests (and yes, you can be one of them; just make sure you buy the right ticket).

Mon 26 - Fri 30 2023: Florida - sailing to the Bahamas on a CELIAC CRUISE!

This is big. I mean, real big. And yes, that's not a typo, because we're off to the land where 'u's are omitted (color, honor, favor etc...) and, most importantly, we coeliacs drop an 'o' to become CELIACS. But what we miss in letters is more than made up for in the offerings because this entire cruise is gluten-free. Yes, everything specially made for you! You'll have your own dining lounge and you'll never have to check once that the food is suitable for celiacs (yup, still dropping that 'o'). How good does that sound?

Not only that but you'll be cruising round the Bahamas at the same time. What could be better?!

Basically you'll get to eat lots of food, feel totally included and meet some gluten-free heroes 'cause the team at Celiac Cruise is led by the wonderful Maureen who created the cruise because coeliac disease runs in the family.

(N.B. Can't get to Florida? The cruise also sets sail around France on 12 August.)

And the good news? This isn't an exhaustive list! These are just a few examples of the many gluten-free events that take place in the UK and beyond each year, and there may be other events taking place in your area. So! Check Coeliac UK's magazine for events happening near you, including ones for youth meet-ups. You may also find something exciting in local newspapers, magazines and social media for more specific and updated information on events happening in your area.

I'll be at ALL of these - do let me know if you're coming so we can meet! Which one appeals most?

N.B. This blog post was updated on 17 Jan 23 when it was reported The Allergy & FreeFrom Show would not be taking place.


Hi! Great to have you here...

My name's Ali and I help people on gluten-free diets have a better, easier and healthier lifestyle. 

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