Eating Out Help (and other helpful organisations)

Eating out with allergies is a challenge, however there are a number of restaurant and pub chains that make a real effort to accommodate different allergies.  I plan to include those which I've found particularly helpful and if you have some good experiences that you are willing to share then please contact me (contact me page) and I'll post them on here.

The problem with eating out with allergies is the loss of spontaneity, it is worth checking a restaurant's website in advance or calling to see what they can do to accommodate your specific requirements.  In soya allergy cases it may mean avoiding Chinese restaurants completely as soya can be airborne and often is a problem when found in as high concentrations as in Chinese food.

I'll also include here organisations which have been helpful in other contexts too. 
  • JD Wetherspoon: I was surprised to find this chain so helpful, however on their website they have a menu planner where you can select the things to avoid and it creates a personalised menu that you can choose from.
  • Table Table: We have been to a couple of restaurants from this chain and found that they are very accommodating, they have a menu list detailing the allergens, even down to the ketchup - very useful - and are happy to consult the chef if unsure.
  • Tyme: These are very similar to Table Table - linked to the Premier Inn hotel train and are very helpful, not only holding an allergy list, but also having a number of choices on their menu that are dairy and soya free.
  • Harvester: Similar to Table Table and happy to accommodate different allergies.  There are even a number of items from the salad bar that my son can eat, including croutons.
  • Nandos: I've not visited here myself but have been informed that this restaurant chain is very helpful with respect to allergies and is happy to accommodate individuals avoiding dairy and soya.
  • McDonalds: Surprisingly McDonalds hold allergy advice on their website and my son has had no problem eating here.  We also had a great experience at the Olympic park McDonalds - they were not doing the usual menu and the only thing my son can have was unavailable, but the member of staff sorted something else out for him and made sure it was appropriate - not bad fr the largest fast food restaurant in Europe!!
  • Burger King: Also have allergy advice on it's website breaking down all of the meals and again my son has had no problem eating here.
  • Taybarns: This is an all you can eat buffet restaurant and I never dreamed that I'd be able to take my son, however they list all of the allergens in each product on their website and recommend that if you have allergies you tell them at the start and they will cook anything you would like specifically in the kitchen to ensure no risk of contamination.  Their pizza bases are dairy and soya free and they made a special one for my son without any cheese!  We were really pleased with the support.
  • Coventry Village Hotel Pub and Restaurant: In Coventry we have had really good assistance in both of these locations, where there was nothing marked on the menu however the waiter deferred to the chef and we were advised of all of the things he could make dairy and soya free, whether on the menu of not.  I am aware that this hotel chain is found around the country, however I am currently unable to verify whether they are as helpful in other locations.
  • The Farmhouse: This restaurant in Coventry had no allergy advice available however they checked everything with the chef and made a real effort to ensure my son had an appropriate meal - they even had 2 choices of sorbet for pudding and considering my son has a whole host of fruit allergies too it was brilliant for him to be able to have a pudding from the menu!
  • Pizza Hut:  ''The waitress couldn't have been more helpful, she went through the allergy advice for the entire menu and found a dairy and soya free meal (spaghetti bolognaise) on the children's menu.''
  • The Royal Oak (Brandon): ''Don't list allergies but the waitress found out about the ingredients and ensured we were aware of what my child could eat.''
  • Jam Jam Boomerang (Coventry): Have now started doing a menu catering for various allergies including, dairy, soya and gluten.
  • Santa Fe (Euro Disney): ''Were very accommodating, when explained that my child was allergic to dairy and soya they produced a variety of cakes, biscuits and bread that he could eat!''
  • The Clarendon Arms (Kenilworth): As they make all of their dishes from scratch they are happy to accommodate allergies as they know exactly what goes into their dishes.  We had a lovely meal.  They are also linked to Harrington on the Hill which gives the same assistance with allergies.
  • Rhythm Time:  My son attends these music classes and at the end of each term the children recive a snack as a treat, Lyn (his teacher) has always been really sensitive in terms of ensuring that we provide something suitable but still in keeping with the others.  Also thanks to Rhythm time for supporting this website by linking to it from theirs and therefore please bear them in mind if you are looking for baby, toddler or preschool music classes (