Great gluten free pub grub at The Brook Inn, Washbrook
While on a recent visit to the UK we spent some considerable time trying to locate safe gluten free eating options—an exercise that turned out to be somewhat frustrating. However, one gem, and only a few km's from where we were visiting family, popped up—The Brook Inn at Washbrook.
Located in a small village just outside Ipswich, Suffolk, The Brook Inn is a traditional English pub serving pub fare, but with one very important difference—a large proportion of the food served is gluten free, including the fish & chips.
The proprietor is a celiac, as is the chef's wife... how much safer can you get than that?
Items on the menu are labelled '(gf)' if they are gluten free—and of course wheat free. There is no alternative gluten containing version of the same food served to avoid potentially disastrous mix ups.
The menu is typical pub grub, including traditional fish and chips, lasagne, sausage & mash, salmon, ham & eggs etc. Gluten free bread and crackers are also always available.
And the desserts... yum! Before being forced to go wheat free I always perused the dessert menu first, then chose a main meal accordingly. The Brook Inn offers a great selection of gluten free desserts including chocolate brownie & ice cream, crème brûlée, pancakes, cheeseboard, and when we were there, apple crumble.
The chef was friendly, and when we told him we'd come all the way from Canada to eat there, was even more attentive. If it had been possible I would have eaten there every day, the food quality was good, the chef and proprietor friendly and eager to ensure satisfied customers.
The chef also mentioned that they had spent three years developing the menu so that celiacs and non-celiacs could all enjoy the same food. Celiacs from far and wide make journeys to eat at the pub, and the chef happily pointed out all the people in the pub eating who were celiacs.
When we visited the pub freehold was for sale by the brewery; let's hope that it continues to maintain its gluten free bias for many years to come—no matter who the owner.
To sum up, I can't recommend The Brook Inn highly enough. It's a great place to eat whether you are a celiac or not, and you certainly won't be disappointed with the food or the service.
Our final visit before heading to Heathrow was just as good as the first, and all the people we took there during our UK visit promised to go back with their friends... I'm still dreaming about their hot chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream.