Oh we do love nut free beside the seaside…

I thought I would share a couple of nut allergy “firsts” from our holiday to Fowey, Cornwall at the end of June. Aside from the sun shining the entire time (our recent holidays have been near total wash outs), this was the holiday my son got to eat his first ice cream cornet and first fish and chips. I have to say he was definitely more impressed with ice cream. Here’s how we got on.

Ice cream by the scoop

When D’s peanut allergy was first diagnosed, we had an appointment with our allergy nurse where she gave us practical advice on allergic living. She talked us through things like how to order a restaurant meal and warned us of the potential for cross contamination in places like cake shops and ice cream parlours. From then on, I’ve had it in my head that ice cream cornets were on the “banned” food list. If we’ve ever bought an ice cream when we’re out and about, I’ve stuck to prepacked ice lollies, with ingredients lists I can read and from manufacturers I trust.

At home we buy tubs of Kelly’s Ice Cream. When I contacted them about their nut policy, I was advised:

“All of our ice cream in tubs (1Ltr / 2Ltr etc) is made in a nut free factory so it will be suitable for people with nut allergies. “

So when we visited Readymoney Cove, my eyes lit up when I spied a Kelly’s Ice Cream van parked at the top of the slipway. They sold ice cream cornets and had several flavours available (including vanilla, chocolate, plus I think strawberry, mint and honeycomb). I had a chat with the lady in the van, who told me she used a clean scoop for each ice cream and let me read the ingredients lists on the tubs. The box for the cones stated they were free of nuts and nut traces.

On one visit, the lady in the van warned me that bits of chocolate had sprinkled into the vanilla tub. She gave me the box to check the ingredients list and fortunately it was Cadbury’s flake, which is on the Cadbury “nut absent” list and something D could eat.

The downside is that D now thinks he can eat ice cream cornets wherever we go. Cue an outraged preschooler when we visited Restormel Castle and all they had in their freezer were Callestick Farm tubs, all bearing a may contain nuts label.

Takeaway fish and chips

We were hoping for a chippy tea when we moved house back in January but alas it didn’t happen. Having had a workout hauling buggy, toddler, preschooler and beach kit up Browns Hill, we were drawn in by the mention of takeaway fish and chips on the blackboard outside the Safe Harbour (58 Lostwithiel Street). We placed an order, having checked that there were no nuts in the ingredients and that they weren’t cooked in peanut or nut oil. (With hindsight, I should have also checked whether any peanut or nut containing foods were fried in the same oil.)

It was great to have a safe takeaway option and add another traditional “seaside-y” eating experience to our holiday.

Eating out

Ice cream aside, we didn’t do much eating out on this holiday. In fact, our only “family meal out” was at the Treloggan Road McDonald’s on the outskirts of Newquay. They were as nut allergy friendly as the Trafford Centre branch, with the added benefit of tray liners detailing the allergen information for each product.

There were several occasions where we took the easy option and brought along a packed lunch for the kids whilst Ian and I grabbed a pub lunch. However, I did ask about nut allergies at the following two pubs. D didn’t actually have a pub meal at either, but I would definitely keep both in mind for meals out on future Cornwall holidays:

The Galleon Inn, Fowey

The Galleon has a patio area with bench tables overlooking Fowey harbour. I can vouch that it’s possible to navigate a buggy through from the Fore Street entrance to the patio at the back, where the children can boat spot whilst you grab a drink. As for nut safe food, the staff advised us to steer clear of anything made on the grill but said their chilli con carne and lasagnes (meat and vegetarian) “are home made so should be fine”.

The Miners Arms, Mithian

In the age before children, we used to zoom down to Cornwall of a weekend, renting a cottage in Mithian in staggering distance of the lovely 16th century Miners Arms. These days, on Cornwall holidays, we factor in a nostalgia drive from Gwithian to Mithian finishing up at the Miners for a quick pint in their beer garden, plying the kids with Quavers and drawing pads to keep them quiet for 10 minutes. I talked nut allergies with the landlady, who told me that there were meals on the children’s menu that were nut free. When I mentioned about “may contains” and cross contamination, she said they could deal with this – I should just explain about my son’s allergies to the staff on the day we came for a meal.

For more reviews of places to eat out in Cornwall, see:

 A relaxing break…

This was our first holiday post diagnosis where nut allergies have almost taken a back seat. I don’t mean we were complacent, obviously the allergies are always “there”. However, when we were planning our days the first thought wasn’t “where can we eat”. We got into the habit of taking an emergency packed lunch each day, in case we couldn’t find food on the go.

My son was delighted with his ice cream cornet (the first time and then on every subsequent trip to Fowey) and we were touched that he had a taste of childhood normality, for something we had assumed was off limits.

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