Gluten free in France – is it possible?

Gluten free in France – is it possible?

I was speaking recently with a friend who told me that her niece is celiac, which means her body reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

She advised me that subsequently this means her niece never visits her in France as they feel it’s too difficult to plan where to buy groceries, and dine out.

Is it even possible to travel gluten free in a country famous for croissants and baguettes?

I am not gluten-intolerant myself, but I do know that in many countries I have visited, gluten free products are easily sourced and readily available at most supermarkets.

I have dined at many restaurants that offer gluten free options on their menus, as well as other customer-driven changes to menus such as Paleo options, dairy-free desserts and vegan meals.

image: calibrianj.com

image: calibrianj.com

Does France cater to tourists with allergies, food intolerances or dietary restrictions?

France is not a well-known dining destination for celiacs, lactose-intolerant tourists or visitors with food allergies.  You may even feel underwhelmed if you’re a vegetarian or vegan.

Major supermarkets here in France do have a ‘bio’ selection, though it usually quite limited.

It is improving vastly though, and an increase in bio / organic stores and niche restaurants has meant an extended range of products for allergy sufferers, or foodies like me who want to decrease their consumption of processed foods.

Would you believe you can now find gluten free versions of artisan breads, delicious-looking French cakes and sweet treats like chocolate brownies and biscuits?

Why am I blogging about gluten free options in France when I don’t have any food allergies or intolerances myself?

My friend’s niece has inspired me to research and write this blog post – in English – for locals and tourists alike who may visit the French Riviera (and France!) and need to find restaurants or stores that sell specialty products such as gluten free foodstuffs, wholewheat baking goods, vegetarian, vegan and/or organic food.

image: 3littlepiglets.com

image: 3littlepiglets.com

Special note: My blog post is a source of information only – I am not an expert and you should ask questions of any suppliers or companies mentioned to confirm their products suit your particular needs. I have researched a lot and included as many website links as possible so you can contact the companies directly if you need more information. Please note all websites link to third party sources and therefore the information is subject to change at any time.

Bio / Organic Stores on the French Riviera

These stores sell organic food, allergy-free products, and natural health and beauty products. These stores are your best option to locate products that may be easily found abroad like chia seeds, coconut oil, spirulina or essential oils.

  • biocoop.fr They have a retail store in Juan les Pins with fruits, vegetables, health and beauty products including suncreams and essential oils, cereals. It is at street-level and accessible for persons with reduced mobility.
  • lavieclaire.com Bio shops with locations across France. French Riviera stores are located in Beausoleil, Cannes, Golfe Juan, Grasse, Villeneuve Loubet, Mougins, 2 stores in Nice, and Saint Raphael.
  • Le Panier Vert, is a bio shop in Antibes on boulevard Maréchal Foch stocking breads, health supplements, seed mixes, organic wines, fruit, vegetables, baby food. Their website link isn’t working currently as at August 2014 but they are open during normal business hours.
  • naturalia.fr A well-stocked store in Antibes Old Town open Monday through to Saturday. Fruits, vegetables, specialty cooking ingredients – flours, cereals, grains, nuts. Health products.

Supermarket Chains in France

Other Stores in France

  • La Maison du Sans Gluten is located at 12 rue d’Hauteville, 75010 Paris. They stock a range of gluten-free specialty breads including bagels, buns, brioches, sandwich breads…they even sell gluten-free beer which I would be interested to try!
gluten-free beer - image courtesy of La Maison du Sans Gluten

gluten-free beer – image courtesy of La Maison du Sans Gluten

  • mangersansgene.fr has information about their store based in Aubagne, with gluten-free, nut-free and organic products on offer. They also have an online store which is found at a different web address of www.mangersans.fr (in French)
  • Marks & Spencer, a British chain, has a store in Beaugrenelle shopping mall, 3 rue Linois, 75015 Paris, selling a range of gluten-free goodies such as cookies, pasta, bread, cakes.
  • GlutenZen offer breads and pastries via their website link (click on the link to access)

Online stores

Ooshop is the online offering of Carrefour (French chain of supermarkets) with gluten-free products including pastas and desserts. This link should go through to the correct page, or search ‘sans gluten’ on their homepage to view products.

  • parallerg.com Based in Lyon, products for diabetics and also those looking for dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free etc (in French)
  • rizen-sans-gluten.com Offers over 800 gluten-free products (in French)

Dining out French Riviera

  • chezhelen.fr Chez Helen, situated in Antibes, offers vegetarian and bio meals including lasagnas and salads.
  • Le Comptoir is located in central Nice, a few minutes from Nice-Ville train station and offers organic and gluten-free food including menus of the day, vegan cakes and desserts.  They have takeout options and cater for private events, yachts, and film crews.
(image: Le Comptoir, Nice)

(image: Le Comptoir, Nice)

  • nicelifeinternational.com Nice Life International Café near Nice Port dishes up vegetarian and health-conscious meals including salads, juices and stuffed vegetables
Summer salad - image: Nice Life International

Summer salad – image: Nice Life International

  • sortirsansgluten.com Website detailing gluten-free places to eat in Antibes, Cannes, Nice and Saint Laurent du Var.

Dining out Paris

  • biospherecafe.fr/en  Biosphère Café is a gluten-free patisserie/creperie/caterer in Paris. They have some tasty looking food on their menu including tiramisu with salted caramel, and raspberry cheesecake (in French and English)
  • Exki with many Paris locations including Montparnasse and airport sites, offer natural foods, with gluten-free options clearly marked on their menus.  Gluten-free dishes include spinach risotto and an Asian-inspired vermicelli with vegetables and wasabi.  Their website gets bonus points for usability showing opening hours for each location, and even a search function for wheelchair-friendly accessibility, baby change facilities and Wifi.
  • helmutnewcake.com 2 locations in Paris with gluten-free offerings
  • lebiodadameteve.com Le Bio Adam and Eve, is an organic cafeteria and self-serve restaurant offering items like soba noodles with vegetables, smoked tofu salad and Thai chicken salad (website in French)
  • noglu.fr I’m a fan of NoGlu (no gluten)’s modern website and the menu looks enticing even to a non gluten-intolerant person including sandwiches, quiches, foccacias etc. They also make cakes on pre-order  (website in French)
image: NoGlu

image: NoGlu

  • There is a great ‘Gluten Free Guide to Paris’ map on Pinterest, you can see it here

 Miscellaneous websites

  • Niépi, niepi.fr, is the first lifestyle and cuisine magazine in France on how to live a gluten-free lifestyle (in French).
  • happycow.net Vegan and vegetarian-friendly website with list of French regions and locations of organic stores
  • foodilly.com A helpful recipe website with search functions for allergies. For example, ‘low-glycemic index’, or ‘no lactose’.
  • glutenfreejetset.com – A great resource with travel tips for celiacs, including a brilliant article about gluten-free policies on 80+ airlines.
For information on gluten-free policies on 80+ airlines head to www.glutenfreejetset.com

For information on gluten-free policies on 80+ airlines head to http://www.glutenfreejetset.com

Note: Celiac is the American, Australian and NZ spelling; coeliac is the UK and Irish spelling, coeliaque is the term used in France.

Have you found this helpful for your travel planning to France? Please share this article on Facebook, write me a comment below, or retweet on Twitter. Thanks for reading.

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Children’s parties and workshops in Antibes with Accent Party

Where to go for children’s parties and workshops in Antibes

There are numerous holiday programmes for children of school age, and museums often schedule workshops during the year but there is a lack of venues for families on the French Riviera who may need a space for children’s parties or organised activities.

Accent Party, located in Antibes, is filling this gap in the market by offering a venue of 80m2 for children’s parties and arts and crafts workshops.

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What Accent Party offers

  • A safe, clean venue for children’s parties including themed decorations, activities, music, toys to play with, dress-up costumes, balloons and options for cake and bon bons.

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  • Themes they can arrange include Star Wars, Pricesse Sofia,  Violetta etc and if you have a particular theme in mind you are welcome to discuss it with the owner who is very approachable and open to suggestions.

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  • A microwave for reheating baby food, and a high chair
  • Onsite toilet facilities
  • Baby change table
  • Tea and coffee facilities and armchairs so parents can relax during kids parties

Salle

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  • There is ample carparking on the street, and as the venue is situated at the end of an industrial road there is no road noise or bypass traffic
  • Holiday workshops – demand is high so book in advance – include decorating crayon pots, making puzzles etc

partytables

  • New loyalty programme* where each child receives loyalty points to be redeemed in the future on reductions in hireage for parties or a free creative workshop *conditions apply

For more information, prices and bookings visit them at www.accentparty.fr

Like them on Facebook: Accent Party

7 reasons why joining Twitter can suck

So, my blog is ticking along nicely and I am gaining new likes on Facebook and learning more about Twitter and other social media channels daily.

imagesCAZYWSM5I got to thinking about what it’s like to be a newbie to the Twittersphere and how daunting it can seem initially – it’s true it can seem baffling, so here are my 7 reasons why joining Twitter can suck.

 

 

1.   Feeling inadequate alongside influential people

It’s not confidence-building to first join Twitter and see other people already have 150,000 followers.

Just quietly, that’s like having the entire audience of Glastonbury music festival follow your tweets.

Wow, I’m sure if I gain followers from family, friends and others on Twitter who like my ramblings then I might get to 1000 followers (fingers crossed).

In the meantime I have joined mailing lists for excellent and inspirational advice from people who have ‘been there and done that’ including Neil Patel at Quick Sprout and Alexis Grant.

2.   Learning Twitterspeak is like learning another language

I remember when SMS’s made communication easier with mobile phones my Dad texted me ‘LOL’ one day, and I texted back ‘Do you know what that means?’ and he had no idea – it was just something he included on his text messages as everyone else used it.

image: thebiznavigator

image: thebiznavigator

Learning the abbreviations and etiquettes of Twitter is like learning another language – how many newbies are still floundering with the meaning of RT, #FF and even the significance of hashtags? Still stuck – check out Twittonary

3.   Feeling overwhelmed with gaining followers

So, you joined Twitter and told everyone your Twitter name.  Soon all your family, friends, and work colleagues followed you.

Then you typed in keyword searches to stalk anyone related to your industry or niche and added them hoping they shared the love back.

Then – BAM! – there is a plateau of no new followers.

image: seoclark.com

image: seoclark.com

I feel grateful to Social Media Examiner for alleviating my feeling of having no friends (I’m kidding!) and who gave me the savvy heads-up to use tools such as Twtrland and justunfollow to find people that matter.

4.   Voicing yourself in 140 characters

Some days I really struggle to simplify my thoughts into a tweet and I want to tweet six paragraphs!

Simple is good though.

I just need to think of each tweet as a small slice of the ‘big picture’ pie.

For those of you who struggle like me to condense a tweet, you can create a sneaky extension to your tweet by using something like Twishort (a tool I haven’t used myself as I am trying really hard to stick to 140 characters).

5.   Crushed expectations

It’s happened plenty of times, I have been super excited to follow someone then my expectations curl into a ball and roll into the ‘Don’t go back there’ corner of Twitter.

I have followed someone on Twitter then I’ve been disappointed with boring tweets, constant retweets with no original material, or a continued hourly stream of poetic quotes about the sun, moon and stars.

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Sorry to the guy who tweets about the sun, moon and stars but I still need to read something new, funny, informative, motivating, helpful or inspiring.

6.   Being unaware of tools to help you

When you join any social media channel, it’s a big learning curve to learn all the tricks and tips.

As a busy mother working part-time and also trying to maintain my blog, it’s been helpful to schedule and manage my tweets and I stumbled across Commsaxis who had useful advice about tools such as Buffer, Plugg.io, and dlvr.it.

Thank you Alexis Grant (again!) who reminded me about the benefits of Hootsuite and Twitter lists.

Making lists in Twitter has saved me time reading my feeds and by curating people into common themes, for example Family Travel, it helps me to focus on them.

7.   Random fans

I have a new appreciation for accepting Facebook friend requests now I’m on Twitter.

My Facebook friend requests usually come from people I directly meet or friends of friends, not random people around the globe.

Joining Twitter has opened the floodgates for unknown people to follow me, and while I appreciate most followers on Twitter I have not met in person (or may never meet) there are a select few who are followers for no reason other than to hope I follow them back to increase their own followers.

Do you have any suggestions of tools or tips for Twitter you could share?

What was your biggest learning experience joining Twitter? (mine was the importance of targeted hashtags and I have been using this to help me)

All opinions in this blog post are mine.  If you like this blog post please retweet on Twitter, share  on Facebook or comment on my post. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

Top 10 posts for last 30 days are….

Someone has asked me to share what my Top 10 most popular posts were for the last 30 days – so, here you go, my Top 10 posts by number of views:

1.   Fireworks in Antibes and Juan les Pins 2014

2.  New company, Bébé à board, eases stress of family travel on French Riviera

3.  Books and Les Cabanes Bleues in Nice

4.  Rome2rio – why I’m willing to give them a second chance

5.  Mojitos & music at the Juan les Pins Jazz Festival

6.  French social customs, etiquette and idiosyncrasies

7.  Types of French restaurants

8.  5 original places on the French Riviera to pop the question

9.  Cannes – public exhibition of vintage travel posters

10.  Villa Nellcôte – a palatial mansion with a lengthy past

And if you’re interested in my Top 3 readers by nationality – number 1 is France, number 2 is the United Kingdom and coming in third are American readers.

Number 1 views from France, Number 2 from UK, Number 3 from USA

Number 1 views from France, Number 2 from UK, Number 3 from USA

Happy reading!