A First Class Gluten Free Experience

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I have been travelling back home to Leeds from London regularly for the past 3 years I have lived in London so I am a regular passenger on the East Coast train service from Kings Cross. I usually travel in standard class, which is more than fine for my 2.5 hour trip back up north, but on recommendations from my friends I have started to convert to first class and haven’t been disappointed! If you book far enough in advance (which I always do) it’s not actually that much more than standard class and with the east coast points reward scheme sometimes I even get a free ticket, which is nice.

During week nights East Coast offer a free meal with a first class ticket which includes complimentary soft and alcoholic drinks, snacks, a hot main course and a dessert. They are very good with gluten allergies, they did actually used to have a dedicated gluten free main course option marked on the menu but before my trip I checked and this wasn’t the case anymore. Here is the menu for yesterday:

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Please choose from the following:
Mains

Roasted rump of lamb served with dauphinoise
potatoes, red cabbage and a natural jus.
Accompanied with a damson jelly to
complement the lamb
or
Jacket potato with beef brisket chilli
served with salad garnish
or
Broccoli & Wensleydale flan with mixed leaves (v)
or
Succulent sliced chargrilled chicken with sage & thyme
stuffing and a sweet sun blush tomato mayonnaise
sandwich on soft malted bread or
Flavoursome cherry wood cheese with sweet
Somerset ale chutney sandwich on soft malted bread
served with hand cooked crisps

Dessert
Raspberry bakewell with hot creamy custard
or
A selection of British cheese served with celery,
crackers and a red onion chutney (v) (GF)

(GF) Gluten Free (GF*) can be prepared as Gluten Free

I was abit concerned I wouldn’t be able to eat anything so I sent a tweet to East Coast to ask advice. Apart from a bit of confusion over cornflour and wheat flour (or ‘wheat flower’ !) we found a solution;

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When I turned up for my train I had my fingers crossed that I would be faced with a crew who would be able to accommodate me and I needn’t have worried as they were lovely. They come round first and offer hot or cold drinks and snacks; I opted for a nice glass of white wine and a mini packet of Corkers Crisps which were clearly labelled gluten free, good start!

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When they took my hot food order I requested the lamb rump but instead of the dauphinoise potatoes (which contained wheat) I asked for the jacket potato instead. As you can see from the main photo above it looked amazing! The lamp was slightly pink in the middle and melt in the mouth which went well with the sweet red cabbage. The huge jacket potato on the side almost made me too full for dessert , but there is always room for dessert so I went for the gluten free cheese board (below). 3 types of cheese served with apple, celery sticks and onion chutney, they simply omit the crackers to make it GF but you could always bring your own. After a final round of hot drinks, it was nearly time to get off in Leeds and I said goodbye to the crew. Well done East Coast, now just please revert back to the dedicated gluten free main course!

Note: please always double check with the train crew before ordering as their menus change regularly. All views my own!

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