Gluten Free Breakfast

gluten free breakfastWe have several friends who are gluten free and a big issue is eating out. Does it or doesn’t it contain gluten? It’s all about de-coding the menu. So we decided to create a Gluten free breakfast menu to take away the guess work.

We’ve added Chia Pudding – gluten free oats, mixed with black chia seeds and soya milk, soaked overnight to plump up and topped with fruit. A super-food and a filling treat – that’s just a starter!

We’ve expanded the range of organic GF cereals. We always stocked Maple Sunrise (Nature’s Path) as that’s a firm favourite and we’ve added Multi-Grain High Fibre Flakes (Nature’s Store) as well as making our own muesli.

For the hot breakfast that follows, we’ve also thought about vegans and vegetarians so their gluten free breakfast includes Lentil and Buckwheat slice. Making sure that meat-eaters don’t miss out, some great sausages.

We’ve tried baking GF bread, but it’s never quite as good as the Waitrose version ;)

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German Christmas Market back to Birmingham

German marketsThe largest Christmas market outside Germany is in  Birmingham 

Since 2001 the Frankfurt Christmas Market has become bigger and better. It’s a day out with nearly 200 stalls to explore. If you’re peckish, there’s plenty of food (for vegetarians and meat eaters too) and drink – from beer and gluhwein to non alcoholic hot chocolate and hot chocolate with a cheeky Baileys.

So the top tips if you’re visiting the German Christmas market

  1. Take the train. It saves trying to find that car parking space, negotiating the underpasses and ensures you can imbibe.
  2. Stay the night. If you’re not local, rather than day tripping, find somewhere wonderful to stay :)
  3. Bring a bag. The stallholders provide lovely paper bags, but it’s easier to carry home the goodies in  larger bag.
  4. Take a handbag with a zip. All large events encourage pickpockets! Make sure your purse and wallet are out of sight and secure.
  5. Dress warmly. It’s less of a fashion parade and more of a total comfort meets ‘I have the funniest hat’ event.

It’s a wonderful day out – we often go there at least twice, stocking up on German biscuits, cakes and some lovely gifts.

And book early! This year the market runs 22 December, open every day from 10am to 9pm.

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Lichfield Food Festival

lichfield food festivalBy popular demand the food fair is back. For two days in August, the Lichfield food fair is back. Across this very small city a range of venues will host cookery demonstrations, sampling and showcasing speciality food.

To make the event slightly more interesting for chaps, it’s combined with a real ale trail.

Not to be missed!

For more – read here

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January – the diet month

Flahavans Porridge OatsThe New Year heralds the promise of a fresh start. Whether it’s a diet or exercise, here are some diets you might consider!

 Dairy Free Breakfast

One of the fastest ways to lose weight is simply to remove dairy from your diet. It’s not impossible, but can be challenging. This means a diet without milk, butter, cheese, cream, yoghurt or milk products.

The ideal dairy-free breakfast includes

  • Juice (with no added sugar)
  • Fruit
  • Home-made granola or luxury muesli served with soya milk
  • Porridge made with juice, soya milk or water
  • Eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms
  • Pancakes made with soya milk

And don’t forget to check the bread! Lots of bread contains milk powder and butter. At Pipe Hill House we use soya milk and soya margarine. It makes tasty bread that’s idea for a diary-free diet.

Gluten Free Breakfast

Avoiding carbs or bread in particular has become popular in recent years. The issue is that gluten features in so many products from cereals to bread and even in sausages. Plus, an alternative can be to add extra sugar.

  • Juice (with no added sugar)
  • Fruit
  • GF Cereal with fruit
  • Eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms
  • Omelette

 Lower fat breakfast

The nirvana in January, the lower fat breakfast. It can be tempting to opt for scrambled eggs on toast, but with the added butter and some places add cream, this has the opposite effect!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and those who avoid it take longer to lose weight. A healthy breakfast includes:

  • Juice (with no added sugar)
  • Fruit and zero fat yoghurt
  • Home-made granola or luxury muesli served with soya milk
  • Porridge – it’s really a super food!
  • Aga egg on toast

Of course bacon and sausage cooked in the Aga have no extra added fat and can be a delicious start to the day!

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The only AA 5 Star Gold Bed & Breakfast in Lichfield city

AA 5 StarWe’re delighted to announce that we are now the only AA 5 Star Gold Bed & Breakfast in Lichfield city.

It’s really important for us to get an independent grading. We think we’re great, our guests think we’re great and woo hoo! So does the hotel inspector!

We’ve written about our gold stars before and we were amazed at the level of detail the inspectors undertake. So far our inspectors haven’t been Ruth Watson or Alex Polizzi, but believe us, they are just as scary.

We don’t know who they are as they

  • arrive unannounced
  • have a huge report and checklist to go through
  • explore everything (and measure the stairs!)
  • read the entire ‘Guest Information’ book in all rooms.

The AA have also provided us with great advice and been very helpful with suggestions. We often thought it might be the perfect job. And it would be, if all you did was review 5 star gold B&Bs. But the formidable team also have to stay in 2 and 3 star places that aren’t always happy to see them!

We value the independence the AA brings. It keeps us on our toes as you never know when the inspector calls…

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