A pub restaurant which caters to those with allergies and special dietary requirements has scooped a top award for being the UK’s most allergen-aware eatery.
Frithsden’s The Alford Arms was judged as serving the best allergy-friendly food – both in the pub dining category and overall – in the country at the inaugural FreeFrom Eating Awards this month.
The venue, one of a small chain of Home Counties pub restaurants,was commended for its gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and soya-free options, after one of the prestigious competition’s judges ate at the Alford Arms as a mystery diner.The incognito customer said in his report: “I am hearing heavenly choirs!
“As someone with multiple serious allergies, I have never been so well fed and cared for.
“They prepared me a special menu with multiple choices of excellent fresh, imaginative and delicious food, and checked it with me three times, yet on the night I was treated like any other guest – absolutely no embarrassing fuss.”
The Frithsden pub even beat off stiff competition from national Italian chain Pizza Express, which offers a full, Coeliac UK-accredited, gluten free menu with dairy and soya-free options though out their 400 nationwide restaurants.
Claire Chidley, trainee manager at The Alford Arms, explained their restaurant offers a dairy-free and gluten-free menu to guests, each with a wide range of tasty options.
She said: “The main thing for us is to make it a nicer experience for customers who may have difficulties with their diets
“Having dairy-free and gluten-free options makes eating out a hassle-free experience for some of our customers, who don’t have to be made to feel uncomfortable when ordering in a group.
“If there is anything more specific in their needs, we will always help them with it.
The awards coincide with the new allergen declaration regulations coming into force this December.