The Anonymous Widower

Prue Leith’s Solution To The Flour Shortage

I was watching BBC Breakfast, when Prue Leith was interviewed about the shortage of flour.

When asked for her solution to the problem of making cakes without flour, her answer was forthright.

  • She said the best thing to do, was to buy a gluten-free cookery book.
  • She then gave some ideas for cakes.

As a coeliac I thoroughly approve.


April 28, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , | 1 Comment

A Plaintiff Plea On Wake Up To Money

I regularly listen to Wake Up to Money on BBC Radio 5 Live.

One morning, they were talking to Kentucky Fried Chicken about their new vegan burgers. As a coeliac, I say Yuck! to that!

Somebody else texted the program and said something like.

I’m a coeliac, how about more gluten-free food.

In fact it was a bad week for me as a coeliac last week.

  • I found Beyond Bread had closed on Upper Street.
  • Le Petite Bretagne  closed in Dalston.
  • I spent about twenty minutes looking for a coffee and a gluten-free cake in Liverpool Street.

All this passion for vegan and vegetarian food, is marginalising those like me, who have to avoid gluten.

I’ve still got a couple of cafes in Dalston, where this is possible and I could always go to M & S and take a cake home.

But I refuse to buy an expensive coffee maker.

After Liverpool Street, I ended up in Leon in Moorgate.

Note the excellent gluten-free cake and the posh cup and saucer.

Note, that because of my stroke, I like a proper china cup or mug

I tend to avoid American-owned chains like Costa and Starbucks, as some American gluten-free practices are suspect to say the least. I used to like Cadbury’s Bournville chocolate, but now I believe it uses addictive wheat-derived glucose, I wouldn’t dare touch it.

As I said finding good cafes and restaurants that do gluten free well is becoming more difficult.

  • Carluccio’s is creaking and many that I used regularly like Glasgow, Islington, Liverpool and Westfield have closed.
  • Pattiserie Valerie is struggling and has closed a lot of outlets.
  • Jamie’s Italian has gone bust.
  • If I go a bit upmarket, there is Bill’s and Cote, but they are not ideal for a fast pit-stop.

As last week, I suspect that most coeliacs hope that Leon or others following their relaxed, quirky and customer and diet-friendly model, prosper.


These days many pensioners like me, get free public transport in their local area.

Londoners like me, get a Freedom Pass, which gives free buses, Underground, Overground, trams and trains, within the M25.

I will often get up, look at the BBC London News, the weather and other sources. I may then decide to go to Canary Wharf, Richmond ir wherever  to have a walk, see an exhibition or whatever.

London is an amazing cornucopia of delights, which is a sentiment echoed by others who live close to our other great cities.

Free public transport enables this lifestyle.

I think the various cafe and restaurant chains can tap into this lifestyle, as often one of the reason to go to a place is to have a good meal or a drinki.

If like me, you like particular chains, I believe that their web sites could be an important part in planning how to waste a few hours.

Suppose, their web site  had the following features.

  • A simple list of all their cafes and restaurant, with st most a short description like “Close to Pierhead”
  • The ability to sign up to a simple e-mail alert of new openings and closures. Note the word simple!

I believe that if I got a message saying a chain had opened in say Kingston, it might prompt me to go and have a walk and perhaps lunch, with a friend I haven’t seen for years.


  1. Lists are much better than maps, if you don’t know the area.
  2. Companies are relying too much on apps, which are OK for finding places near where you are, but are useless, if you are using the cafe or restaurant, as the resewn to go or the starting point for an explore.
  3. I believe Carluccio’s troubles started, when they abandoned their list on their web site. I told them so in strong terms.

Patteriserie Valerie has an excellent list.


June 23, 2019 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bean About Town

I liked this name when I saw it on a coffee stall outside Kentish Town station.

I also noted that the stall was selling the mandarin and chocolate chip gluten-free cake.

I’d have had some, but I had just had breakfast.

When I’m in the area I’ll check them out properly.

April 8, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , , | Leave a comment

Cake Anyone!

I’m not a cake connoisseur by any means, but I just had to put a link to Borough 22, even though I haven’t seen them for real, had a bite, or just a sniff.

As Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake! Even coeliacs and others with allergies!”

December 8, 2014 Posted by | Food | , | Leave a comment

Excellent Gluten Free Cake At The ViewTube

I went to the ViewTube today, for a tea and cake.

Excellent Gluten Free Cake At The ViewTube

Excellent Gluten Free Cake At The ViewTube

It was actually mandarin and chocolate cake, but if you didn’t like that, then there was another different flavour.

May 6, 2013 Posted by | Food | , | 1 Comment

The Arches Underneath

I had gone to London Fields station to find the E5 Bakehouse, that delivers bread to the pub next door. I hadn’t expected this line of railway arches, that had been creatively turned into small business units.

The E5 Bakehouse has a rather good cafe and I had an excellent cup of tea before moving on.  There was no gluten-free bread or cakes, but there was at the Happy Kitchen.

I bought a cake for later and it was certainly worth the couple of pounds I paid for it. They said it was a bit stale and that they would have some new ones tomorrow, which they were baking for their stall in Broadway Market.

My one problem with the cake, was that if this was a stale one, just how good is a freshly-baked one? I shall go and get another in a few days.

As I look back on my visit to this immaculate row of railway arches, I can imagine C, my late wife, swooning over that bread in the bakehouse and I was almost feeling resentful at being a coeliac.  But then I did have that glorious cake!

Good luck to all, who try to run a business in these difficult times! And especially those, in a small niche market like gluten and everything else free  cakes. Except of course quality!


January 17, 2013 Posted by | Business, Food | , , , , | Leave a comment

Twinkies Goes Bust

I read in The Times yesterday that the maker of Twinkies, a North American snack food, has gone bust. After reading their Wikipedia entry, I don’t think anybody who cares about their food will be bothered. In fact the entry, is one of the funniest I’ve seen in a long time. I particularly liked the part about their shelf life. They can also be deep-fried, like Mars bars.

November 18, 2012 Posted by | Food, News | , | 1 Comment