Steph’s story: Holiday in Gran Canaria with a nut allergy

Steph travelled to Gran Canaria in May 2014 with her nut allergic son. It was their first abroad holiday post nut allergy diagnosis. Here’s her review of the nut allergy friendly Lopesan Villa Del Conde, Meloneras

I wanted to let you know about our holiday to Gran Canaria, with my 8 year old son (M) who is allergic to almost all nuts and sesame.

The holiday was was fantastic and went without incident (although the airline – Thomson – weren’t the best – more below). I’d more than recommend the hotel we stayed at – Lopesan Villa Del Conde, Meloneras. I was dreading the buffet breakfast and evening meals – but the attention that the restaurant staff gave to M’s allergies was great. After a day and a half they knew him by sight, had a note in the kitchen of his allergies – and one of the chefs would give him a personal tour of the restaurant pointing out exactly what was safe for him to eat. And there was never an evening where he couldn’t eat what he wanted – except perhaps once or twice when pistachio ice cream was next to the vanilla, and so we gave it a wide berth in case people had been a bit casual with the scoops.

We had Allergy UK translation cards with us and used them everywhere we ate – what a Godsend they were, and made everything a million times easier. Plus I think that the sight of the card made the whole issue seem rather official and serious (of course it is serious – but you know what I mean!) so waiters in cafes that we visited were very helpful and double checked menu items with the kitchens to make sure they were safe. So all in all we had a great holiday that turned out to be a lot more relaxing than I had anticipated.

I was disappointed with Thomson airlines though – they had no record of M’s allergy despite being informed by the holiday company, and the rather dismissive stewardess on the inbound flight just said, “does he have his epipen?” when we told her! Practically speaking though, this didn’t cause a problem as we took snacks and bought pringles that M could eat if he felt a bit peckish; we hadn’t ever intended to have the airline food. Last week we did get an apology from Thomson after I made my concerns known to Sovereign, the holiday company… hopefully it might make a difference next time, or to someone else in the same boat (or on the same plane!) as us.

Thanks so much for the review, Steph!

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