The Patisserie, Colchester Zoo, UK

We recently had a slightly soggy day out at Colchester Zoo.  We had a picnic with us, but we really wanted to eat inside and warm up with hot drinks.  The staff at The Patisserie were really helpful from the beginning.  They quickly agreed to the Allergy Brothers eating their packed lunches here while we purchased food, despite the stern sign over the entrance.

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The waitress also excelled herself by bringing us a folder of all the allergen information.  This folder was unusually good as it gave the full ingredients of every dish, and full ingredients of every ingredient.  For example, it would list goats’ cheese as an ingredient in a salad, and then list the ingredients of the goats’ cheese.  This meant that we were actually able to find gluten free food for me, and a salad for the Allergy Bros.

I chose a goats’ cheese and ham salad with gluten free bread.  Unfortunately, they had run out of gluten free bread.  However, the waitress suggested some crisps as a substitution, and she had already checked the ingredients for me.  The bad news was that the Allergy Brothers ate my crisps.

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The children’s menu included a ham, grape and apple salad. The allergen folder showed that the ham was suitable for the boys as it wasn’t breaded or injected with milk protein or anything weird.  The photo is a bit blurry because I couldn’t get the Allergy Brothers to leave the food alone long enough to take a photo!  I suppose that’s a good sign. It’s such a simple combination of food, but it really makes a difference for them to be able to order food.

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So we all had something to eat while we sat on a heated veranda watching the bird show.  Job done.

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