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What does someone with allergies look like?

Me, you...well anyone as nothing is visible unless there is a trigger.

  • 1 in 4 of us are affected by allergies at some point in our life

  • 10% of UK population is diagnosed coeliac (an autoimmune disease)

Allergies come in all shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of severity...some are not even technically allergies but it is a very confusing world out there from people directly affected or the restaurants where life can be incredibly tricky to decide what or if to put items on menus. More often than not it really is about understanding the implications of not having accurate labelling and cross-contamination.

Coeliac disease

An autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks your own tissues when you eat gluten and damages your gut (small intestine) so you are unable to take in nutrients. Although the stomach aches etc might seem insignificant, it really is about the unseen damage that causes many problems if gluten is continued to be eaten.

Those diagnosed with coeliac have an adverse reaction to gluten, which is a dietary protein found in 3 types of cereal - wheat, barley and rye including those items that have been contaminated at any part of production or eating including crumbs in the butter.


Symptoms of an allergic reaction usually develop within a few minutes of being exposed to something you're allergic to, although occasionally they can develop gradually over a few hours. There are 14 main food allergens, however, you can be allergic to anything.

Although allergic reactions can be a nuisance and hamper your normal activities, most are mild but they vary immensely from sneezing, wheezing, hives, red eyes plus so much more..

Very occasionally, a severe reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.

Labelling & Cross-Contamination Prevention

  • Accurate list of ingredients (including may contain)

  • Knowledge of ingredients and any changes to ingredients

  • Separate toaster/butter/jam etc

  • Separate tongs/gloves for transferring cake etc to plate/bag

  • Worktops/boards cleaned thoroughly between allergens

As frustrating as it is to suffer from coeliac and asthma that are both triggered by food (gluten and nuts), I feel incredibly lucky that I do not suffer with anaphylaxis (life threatening - link for more info above) as a reaction to my food allergies.

I think it is incredibly important that everyone gets to fully experience the enjoyment of food and maybe recapture a favourite that they once had therefore I continue to strive to show that in my food deliveries, cooking courses and supper clubs.

Enjoy your food whatever your story.

Jo x

P.S. please let me know what you would like to see at the table?


I am enjoying a little glimpse of normality and spring with the returning to school plus the hope of meeting up with our family and friends soon. I am continuing with delivering allergy friendly treats, it is lovely to be part of the celebrations. This week sees more birthday treats and zoom call boxes. A simple pleasure of fresh food delivered to your/their door.

I am delighted to say that all dates have been moved, both with Lovely Bread hat on and also in my other guises - Table Stories and Cooking courses. All of my events are tailored to be allergy-friendly - this means that you can socialise safe in the knowledge that you won't be eating something you'll regret!

Details as follows:

Table Stories Cichetti Supper Club - 22 May, 7.30pm

Table Stories Persian Summer Supper Club - 18 June, 7.30pm

Gather and enjoy an evening without boundaries, allergy friendly food your friends and family will love. Join us

Cooking Courses:

Allergy Friendly Cooking Courses (3 week courses) - Starts 10 May and 21 June, 7.30

Build an Edible Hamper - 30 June, 7.30pm

France - Summer Entertaining - 26 July, 7.30pm

GF Choux - 1 August, 10am

GF Pasta Making - 21 August, 2pm

GF Afternoon Tea - 27 August, 2pm

Having allergies is not as tricky as you think…learn how to prepare quick tasty and nutritious allergy friendly (100% Gluten Free), vegetarian meals using simple and seasonal ingredients. Each evening will include quick and tasty recipes, plus ideas to tweak ingredients to create new recipes. You will get to sample each week’s menu and take home recipes to make your own.

This is the perfect gift idea for the budding cooks in your life!

Book here

Private Dining *(directly or via Create 98)

I am also now cooking for private dining events in your home or at Create 98,

Please get in touch with me, if you'd like to know more.


And as always, Lovely Bread and Stuff are baking and supplying you with the best allergy-friendly goods. Easter menu is out but here is a sample of our Monday menus - follow on Instagram or Facebook to see latest menus, subscribe or get in touch if you'd like to know more:



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