A dear friend and I took the children swimming one afternoon, they spent two hours TWO HOURS in the pool while us two mums on the side struggled to stay awake in the sub-tropical heat. Post swim we all agreed a trip to the nearest coffee shop would be a good idea and knowing that Costa do Gluten Free we agreed this was the best option.
Bethany is getting close to an age now, where I have to decipher what her grunts, sighs and rolling of the eyes actually means in English. Whilst I will normally pick her up on this new unspoken language. On this occasion I bit my lip, I bit my lip because I wanted the staff to hear her sighs and grunts and clear exasperation at the un-enticing array of gluten free bakes on offer. Not because I held them personally responsible, but because she was unashamedly speaking MY mind too.
You see we, The Gluties in our group, had this to greet us as we walked through the door;
Lewis had a cheese toastie like he always does, I had a goats cheese panini (I’d regret that later) and our friends had a chocolate muffin and toasties too. Beth had … a brownie. Beth ALWAYS has a brownie, wherever we go, and she used to love them, but 7 years of brownies (and don’t get me started on jacket potatoes) does wear a bit thin after a while.
This is not a stab at Costa Coffee in particular, for the record, the same friend and I go every Thursday without fail for a latte and crumpet after aqua-size. I know what you’re thinking, what was the point of aqua-size? I’m not over weight per-say, just in need of toning…ironically I tend not to eat much for the rest of the day because despite not being Coeliac myself I blow up like a balloon on dairy and wheat…and garlic…and red meat… I digress, where was I?
Oh yes, brownies!
I did a bit of Googling before I wrote this, two reasons; the first to find and, I make no bones about it, pinch the images of all the Gluten Free items that I knew Costa’s produced, both on a day-to-day basis and seasonally. And while I’m on that subject, tisk-tisk Costa, very poor and/or non existent photography of your own products! Secondly I wanted to see what else had been written about Costa on the subject of gluten free.
In 2014 bloggers everywhere got excited, and rightly so, about the new range of gluten free products available at Costa’s. So I thought I’d Google 2015; nothing. Then I tried 2016; nothing. So, and please do feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, there’s not really been much in the way of progress in the last two years, unless you count the Christmas additions to the menu?
Some of you will be screaming at me by now saying what about the chicken wrap, the pecan pies, the Bakewell tarts, the fruit crumbles? To illustrate the situation on the day, this is what I believe Costa offer food-wise either daily or at certain times of the year;
This is what was on offer on the day we visited;
No! I’m not sure why the Pecan Pies moved position and yes, it’s bugging the hell out of me, lets just move on and try and put it behind us?
There’s another twist to the tale, Beth doesn’t like nuts, can’t stand jammy/fruity bakes and getting her to eat meat is a challenge, but in her defence, I find nearly all savoury gluten free options in cafes and restaurants to be more to the taste of an adults palette not that of an 11 year old child.
So, here we are back to the beginning of this tale, Beth-had-chocolate-brownie, washed down with a bottle of apple juice. Just like she always does.
I imagine if you’re still with me and read this far you’re either nodding your head in agreement or bored and have nothing else to do. If you fall into the first category, please feel free, no, I insist, on adding a comment below on what YOU would like to see, not just in Costa but in most high street branches of coffee shop. Like I said at the beginning, I don’t actually want to ban the brownie, if they were banned the grass would not be greener on the other side and we’d all crave brownies. I’m just suggesting more of a choice… and won’t somebody think of the children?