Your BEST gluten-free holiday awaits!
Are you sitting bolt upright? Did you even realise there's an ENTIRELY gluten-free holiday out there for you?
2 years ago, there wasn't. At least, not of the sort I'm about to discuss.
It's called Celiac Cruise (yup, no 'o') and it's run by an amazing woman whose husband and children are coeliac. I mean, I've heard so many stories of gluten-free food businesses starting up because someone suddenly gets a coeliac diagnosis but this takes things to a whole new level!
My favourite story used to be that of a local pizza place in Clifton, Bristol. I went in with my now husband (our first time eating together) and looked at the menu. The only thing I could have was mussels. As in, by themselves. No frites. And definitely no pizza.
My husband cornered the waitress. "Couldn't you do some rice or something?"
The waitress was actually really sweet and well-meaning. "Do you want to ask our big scary chef that?" "Yes," came his reply, whilst puffing up like a peacock (admittedly, he had just run a Ju Jitsu class).
But no rice came. Just the mussels. And a mental note I couldn't really eat there again.
But lo and behold, just a year later, they suddenly boasted gluten-free options. Everything on the menu could be done gluten-free. This was 2001!
You've probably guessed why. Or, at least, have a good idea. It turned out the owner's daughter had just been diagnosed coeliac, hence the menu change.
Sadly, that pizza place has now closed. But there's a Pizza Express opposite where I've eaten several times and their due diligence on cross-contact has been reassuring.
Anyway, this has nothing to do with holidays (unless you're visiting Bristol from overseas).
So back to that cruise...
I've been meaning to go for ages. I have WANTED to go every since I first heard about it. And they have so many options: Europe, Alaska, the Bahamas - yup - I'd happily travel to those places!
But something always stopped me from going...until now.
Finally, I found a space in my diary where I'm not committed to anything. So before something could sneak in (like a parents' evening or a wedding) I booked my flights and paid my deposit.
Reader: I'm off to Florida and the Bahamas.
And I'm SO EXCITED! To be in a world where everyone's coeliac. To be able to visit all the places and not worry you'll be dashing to the loo. To relax on the beach and sip beer. Yes, gluten-free beer! And (AND!) you don't feel like a leper when you order your food.
This photo, the one where I look like I'm eating for a small army, was taken in Colombia when I was last on a beach holiday. That would be 2013, btw: aka the dark ages. And ordering that food took a lot of time and trust while I went over and over my needs.
But not this time! Nope: I'll be able to enjoy the whole menu because EVERYTHING will be gluten-free. They also cater properly for any other dietary restrictions, too.
So no more solo mussels for me! The hardest part I'll have to endure will be taking numerous photos and adjustable trousers. Ah, nice problems to have.
The question is, will I see you there?
Find out more about celiac cruise here (and no, I'm not sponsored to say that!).