Some time ago we were invited to address a meeting of the National Trust Catering and Retail Managers in Northern Ireland and the meeting took place yesterday, Friday 27th September in the Trust’s NI headquarters at Rowallane, Saintfield, Co Down.
The invitation came about because we had been talking to the NT about the lack of Gluten Free food on offer in some of their properties and they recognised that more and more visitors are requesting Gluten Free food and the Trust is prepared to rise to the challenge!
Now we don’t give medical or nutritional advice but we do have a pretty good idea of what a sufferer is looking for when he or she visits a National Trust property so we used the opportunity to paint a picture of life on the Gluten Free diet.
From the feedback we got we know that this helped the Catering folk realise just why Coeliacs and people on a strict Gluten Free diet need to look for suitable food when out and about on day trips and visiting places like a National Trust property!
We had a very positive meeting and we will continue to liase with the Trust over the coming months as they make their plans to improve their range of Gluten Free offerings.
Today, Saturday, Tina and I visited her favourite National Trust property at Springhill House in Moneymore near Magherafelt where the Trust has developed a new Reception area incorporating a very useful self-service Café.
Apart from a couple of special events over the next few weeks Springhill is closing this weekend for the Winter but the Café had a few Gluten Free items on offer so that was a pleasant surprise (and they didn’t know we were planning to visit them! In fact we didn’t know we were planning a visit until Saturday morning when I noticed they were closing for the Winter!)
We believe that more Gluten Free items will be available in the new year in the Trust properties so watch our website for more news on this development.
The new Reception building and Cafe at Springhill House, Moneymore.
Tina with Sherrie Henson and Rachel Ferguson from the Springhill House staff.