Well before even thinking of moving to England, I dreamt of visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Like basically everyone, I’ve been obsessed with the books and films for my whole life. And one of my longest running crushes is on Emma Watson.
Although I’ve lived here for over a year and a half, I had yet to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour. But, this weekend, my friend Clementine is down south from Glasgow for her last visit before returning home from her year of studying abroad. We are both big Harry Potter fans (again, who isn’t?), and I knew we would have a fabulous time geeking out together over the whole thing.
The experience was… well, overwhelming! In a good way. I kind of babbled to Clem a lot at the beginning. I remember saying “I’m dying” and “I am going to vomit” a lot at first. My hands were in full-anxious mode, hovering near my neck and mouth, which is my characteristic nervous gesture. But, I eventually calmed down and became completely entranced.
Naturally, I brought a camera along, and snapped a whopping 229 photos! I have very kindly narrowed it down to a (still whopping, but) more manageable 25. Yes, this post is image heavy, but I think it is worth it.
If you have a chance to go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, do it. I loved every minute!
Monday night I got home from work, and straight into my running gear. I hadn’t been running in about a week, since I’ve been babying my right knee a bit after it was acting up. I stuck my phone on charge for a little bit. Realizing I felt super hungry, I checked my health apps on my phone and noticed I’d eaten a small lunch. And Runkeeper informed me that I’d only rested my knee for 6 days.
Armed with excuses, I decided to skip the run and treat myself to dinner at Coggings & Co instead. I’d heard rave reviews about them and their gluten free burgers, and as an added bonus they are a 4 minute and 30 second walk from my flat. It just made sense to go there.
To drink, I got a raspberry lemonade. My meal was the burger with cheddar and bacon with chips cooked in beef dripping. I did not have dessert, and I regretted it immediately, because affogato was on the menu, and that is one of my favourite things ever.
I already mentioned not being able to order one of my most favourite indulgent treats, so it is a safe assumption that I quickly filled myself with this burger. It was juicy and had plenty of cheese and bacon (without feeling overloaded with grease).
I’m not 100% sure, but I think their gluten free buns are provided by the Sussex Bread Company. This is a dedicated gluten free bakery in Worthing. Now, Sussex-based restaurants listen up: if you aren’t using Sussex Bread Company for gluten free buns, I want you to ask yourself “why do I hate my gluten free patrons so much?” These guys are the undisputed KINGS of the gluten free bun. And Coggings & Co are winning major points in my book by providing these beauties at no extra cost.
I’m used to paying extra, and I know that gluten free food can be costly, but it is so refreshing to find a restaurant that realizes that some of us do not have a choice when it comes to not eating gluten, and that it’s not always fun to end up paying way more than your friends for a less than superb meal.
Let’s be honest, there’s only one problem with this place and, again, it’s that I can get to it from my bed in under 5 minutes. I’m going to need to start running a lot more to make up for such yummy food with such easy access!
Since becoming celiac, I’ve missed out on a lot. At trendy restaurants, I’m often restricted to salads and sides. I cannot go to amazing food blogger events because, more often than not, I would not be able to eat to the offerings. And with the trend of pre-packed snack boxes and full weekly meal boxes, I’ve been feeling quite left out.
So, I was pretty excited to learn about Snackly, a gluten free snack box. Now I can get lovely treats delivered to my work, and try different gluten free snack products. Yay!
It arrived looking very nice and even included a handwritten note. Awwww. Such a cute touch!
The snack box is £8 per month and includes 6 snacks, which is a decent price when you consider the cost of most gluten free foods. They’re sent out once per month, and I can’t decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, these gluten free snacks will not last me a whole month. But on the other, I suppose I shouldn’t be eating them all within two days anyway! Whoops…
None of the things in the box were anything that I had tried before, so I have included mini reviews below:
Ginger cookies are one of my favourite things, especially in gluten free because they always taste really close to their gluten counterparts. These ones from Kent & Fraser, though, are my new favourites! Other ginger cookies I’ve tried have had the crunch initially, but end up being gummy and chewy toward the end. As if there is a bit too much of a gum stabilizer in them. And it can be a little off-putting and strange. This is not the case with the Kent & Fraser variety. They’re crunchy throughout. I am basically in love with them.
These were pretty yummy. They were a bit on the dry and crumbly side, which can happen with gluten free cookies, but they weren’t dry to the point of being like eating sand. They had a bit of a honey taste to them which made them stand out from the M&S chocolate cookies, which are similar.
I was a little iffy on these. At first I was not super impressed, and found them to be a bit dry. But, I do like a good savoury snack, and I found the pepper taste to be rather interesting as I kept eating. In general, I think they are something I would buy again, maybe with a hummus dip to help out with some of the dryness.
I opened this up in the office and offered to share it around… then ended up eating the whole block myself before anyone else could grab any. Whoops. In my head, I had translated the flavour name to be SUPER CHOCOLATE FUDGE, but it was actually a vanilla/honey fudge with bits of chocolate swirl. Personally, I preferred this to my imaginary fudge, as I can find really chocolatey things overwhelming (is this a sign that I am becoming an adult?). It’s fudge. It’s great.
I opened this first because I was fairly sure I wouldn’t like it, and… I was right. It’s not the product’s fault, I just don’t like marshmallow! I passed this on to my office mate Christina, because this product is vegan and so is she! She said she liked them, so at least this did not go to waste.
I love some dried fruit, but I usually stick to apples, bananas and apricots. I’ve never had dried pineapple or mango before. I really enjoyed the change, especially the pineapple. The crisps were really… crispy.
Overall, I really enjoyed trying new things, and I definitely discovered a few new favourites. I’m going to keep my subscription going, and I really recommend giving it a try!
As a special treat, Snackly have offered my blog readers a 50p off voucher off their gluten free snack box using the code AISYBEE.