The Hand & Flowers, Marlow

I’m sure you don’t want to know the ins & outs of everything I ate at this much-celebrated ‘pub’ in the heart of the home counties; so to match the ‘no-frills’ chunky furnishings I will give you a no-frills view of how they handled gluten free.

Photo 25-02-2014 13 52 15

Pigeon, with home-made gluten free sausage and one seriously intense carrot!

The phrase ‘oh you’re really intolerant?’ makes me a bit nervous when ordering & asking about the chip fryer, but I didn’t need to worry. Toasted gluten free bread was at the ready, they’d already thought of separate butter. Sadly no “complimentary battered whitebait then no formalities” (?!) for me, but they did serve an alternative. The staff were, of course, well-versed in all of the components of the menu, immediately identifying what I could and couldn’t have, and easily adapting lots of the menu for me. It was nice not to be rushed over lunch despite the ‘2 hour booking’.

Dishes are on the rich and deeply flavoured side, and weren’t always quite what I expected, portions are by no means excessive. The Hand & Flowers carrots are intense with spices and all dishes are heavy on the seasoning. (Seriously, an intense carrot!). The signature chips are, pleasingly, on for coeliacs, although they are almost more like croquettes than chips. There are a few gluten free puddings, but I ordered the ice cream off-menu and it was to die for.

All in all, gutsy yet refined at the same time, and an (earthy, pubby) breeze for the gluten-free.

GF Nomability: 9/10

Food: 8/10

Service: 10/10

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