New York highlights

So, it’s been about a year since I blogged and I realised I never did get round to writing my NY highlights so here goes:

Food
Glaze Teriyaki – a great, low budget gluten free option. This felt like a really cool, no fuss place to eat with a really good vibe and even better when you can relax knowing they have gluten free options.

Tu-Lu’s Gluten free bakery – the food from here was SO good. Easily the best gluten free cakes and doughnuts I have ever eaten. I really wish they would open one in the UK!

Sprinkles cupcakes – they have a cupcake ATM!!! What can possibly beat that?! Also worth noting that it dispenses gluten free cupcakes.

Shops
Top Hat This is a great little shop which is worth checking out. I found a great purse in here which i’ll cherish forever. It’s not huge and some of the things can be a little pricier than other shops but it’s a great independent shop with quality goods.

Sights
9/11 Museum – this is such an unforgettable moment in World history and I think that this museum is a really well thought out way to ensure that the truth of 9/11 continues to live on through generations. The content of the museum can be harrowing which is no surprise but it brings home how desperate the people involved and who lost their lives must have felt. The 9/11 fountains are also worth a visit and a touching way to remember those who lost their lives. Please remember that this is a memorial and smiling selfies are really not appropriate!

Top of the Rock – I have done Top of the Rock and Empire State and I prefer Top of the Rock. It means you get an unrestricted view of Central Park which really allows you to appreciate the size and beauty of the park.

Statue of Liberty – this is one of my favourite things to visit in NY. Go and visit the Museum and have the audio guide. Listening to the audio guide really brought home to me what the Statue of Liberty symbolises and has meant to people for so many years. Lady Liberty is so iconic and I can’t quite believe I’ve actually seen her in the ‘flesh’. Lady Liberty represents freedom, liberty and was the first thing many people saw when coming within touching distance of the USA for the first time in hopes of a better life and new beginnings. Well worth a visit!

The high line – I love this concept. It is so great to walk (without stopping at traffic lights at each block) from one area of NY to another. You can take in the views and enjoy a leisurely stroll. The high line seems to get longer and longer every time I visit NY which is great.

There are of course so many other highlights in NY; Bryant Park, Battery Park, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Central Park, Empire State Building, 30 Rock, Flatiron building, Brooklyn Bridge, Intrepid Air Sea and Space Museum, NY Library, Times Square and so many more – all of which I would recommend seeing/visiting.

I absolutely love New York City and think that it is impossible to run out of things to do so I could go on forever but wanted to give you some of my highlights.

Rome (Gluten free)

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Rome, Italy – not the first place you look to go to if you’re unable to eat gluten! When my friends decided they were going to Rome and invited me along, I jumped at the chance. Everything was booked and then I realised that eating in Italy might be in a bit of a problem. Having never visited Italy before I was desperate to go and sample the culinary delights that Rome had to offer. All I can say is, thank goodness for the Internet!

I researched gluten free rome and came across some really great websites and blog posts:

http://www.eatingitalyfoodtours.com/blog/gluten-free-rome/

http://selectitaly.com/blog/rome/gluten-free-restaurants-in-rome/

http://www.zestbakery.com/blog/eating-gluten-free-rome-italy

I printed lists of restaurants from the above blogs/websites and prepared my friends for the daily hunt.

Our first day consisted of miles of walking and enabled us to take in sights such as Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and the Vittorio Emmanuele Monument. Our wandering had enabled us to stumble upon a vegan gelato bar, CamBio Vita. The lemon gelato was amazing and I wish I could have taken it home with me! Also trying to avoid lactose and dairy where possible meant that a vegan gelato bar was perfect!  Dinner that night took us to Trastevere and Mama!Eat where the entire menu is available gluten free. There could not have been more choice!!!
image (Photo courtesy of one of my travelling companions)

Day 2 of Rome sightseeing took us to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Palatine. We went back to Trastevere for dinner that night via the Basilica de Santa Maria. We ate at Ristorante dai Sandri di Trastevere. They took gluten free so seriously at this restaurant that I was given a different colour knife and fork to everyone else and the waiter was insistent that neither of my travelling companions use their cutlery any where near my food. Here I sampled both gluten free pasta and pizza. The Pizza was without a doubt the best gluten free pizza I have eaten and I don’t think it will be beaten.
image (Photo courtesy of one of my travelling companions)

Day 3 took in the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. We knew that we had a day of walking ahead of us so decided to stop for lunch at La Soffitta Renovatio. Again, the entire menu was available gluten free. I could not leave Italy without eating gnocchi and this was my opportunity and my god was it good!!! At La Soffitta Renovatio, a little flag is placed into your food if it is a gluten free option. Things like this can only help to reassure you that they are taking it seriously. After hours and hours of walking, we needed to find somewhere for dinner which is where my trusted printouts were vital. We walked, despite being beyond knackered, in order to spend our last night in Rome eating in a less run of the mill restaurant, Casa Bleve. My printout had led us their only to find a notice on the door saying they were closed for summer holidays.

‘Not to worry’ I thought, despite wondering how much further my legs could carry me, ‘there’s another restaurant on my list that is close by’. We dragged ourselves to Quinzi e Gabrieli only to find that they were also closed for summer holidays. We decided to walk back on ourselves and stop at the first restaurant we found and that I would just have to spend my last night having a salad or something equally as average but gluten free. We found a restaurant nearby called Pummarola & Drink and so we all decided upon our dishes and I asked if the escalope was gluten free at which point the waiter, who had been very attentive, said that they could give me any of the pasta dishes as gluten free dishes. Thankfully I was able to spend my last meal in Rome delving into a huge (the biggest portion we had had) plate of spaghetti and eating at a restaurant with wonderful service.

I was so thankful to the individuals that posted their gluten free Rome experiences online for me to use as a guide, the Italians for being nothing but accommodating and my stomach for allowing me to spend my long weekend in Rome without any problems!!

I loved Rome, the people, the historic feel, the enthusiastic language, the beauty, the architecture, the glamorous outfits of the Italian ladies and without a doubt the gluten free food! I could never taste that it was gluten free and enjoyed every single mouthful. Now I just need to go back to experience the Trevi fountain, minus the scaffolding, and of course to experience culinary delights at Casa Bleve!!