The Perfect Retreat allergy friendly cafe in Chesham, Buckinghamshire is possibly my favourite cafe in the world EVER because you can get wheat, dairy, soya, egg and nut free cakes which taste amazing.
Lucia, who runs this little cafe with her daughter makes all the cakes herself and is a complete genius. She even makes sandwiches, bread, sausages rolls and pastries – all gluten and dairy free and on request she will make things egg free and freefrom any allergen you have.
She completely ‘gets’ allergies. Her cafe is a haven where people with allergies can feel normal and also know that there will always be something safe and tasty to eat and drink.
This is me earlier in the month on a sneaky afternoon treat with my friend Chris. My eyes look so sore and swollen in this photo – this was during the fortnight of wheat harvest hell so we were escaping the flying allergens for the afternoon.
Just look at that cake! It was wheat, dairy, soya and nut free chocolate cake and it’s almost as big as my head!
Chris, who isn’t allergic to any food had the gluten free carrot cake and I think she enjoyed it. She said, “My carrot cake was absolutely delicious”.
I usually phone a few days before I’m going just to run through my allergies with Lucia so that I can be sure there will be cake suitable. When we got there I could choose from THREE cakes, but this huge chocolate cake was just screaming, ‘eat me’, so there was really no contest what I would choose.
I enjoyed the cake so much that I went home with HALF the cake in a box to eat at home. I wish I’d bought the whole thing and frozen slices but I thought, what if someone with allergies goes in after we’ve left and there is no cake left for them?
Husband who can eat any cake devoured his slice.
Always phone up before visiting
The first time I went there a few months ago with Jenny, The Lunchbox Doctor, there was gluten free cake but it had one of my allergens in it so I couldn’t indulge.
Jenny had a huge slice of cake (jealous!) while I ate a sneakily smuggled Frank Bar and by some clever leap of fate I also met Kate that day. She was there with her daughter and we got chatting, she was ordering freefrom cake too for her son and daughter; the whole family are very allergic and her son has Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (EGID).
This is Kate’s son, the most allergic boy in Chesham enjoying cake at The Perfect Retreat who has lots of allergies. I gave Katy my spare Frank Bar because she’d never tried them before and both her and my daughter loved it! As you know I am not good at sharing my freefrom goodies but when I am sharing my favourite products with people who will genuinely love, enjoy and benefit from them I love sharing. Another Frank Bar convert.
I was sad that day, and Lucia was sad too that I couldn’t eat cake. She had sold out of the dairy free cake that I could have had, she said “Just phone me before you plan to visit to let me know what you can’t have and what cake you would like and I will make a cake you can eat.” So I did. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.
Lucia mixes all her own flour using different wheat free grains and uses rice, oat and coconut milks and creams and makes everything from scratch. There are no nuts in her kitchen and she only uses dairy if people ask for it in their coffee. It really is a very safe place to go.
I am definitely going back and soon. My stomach is growling just thinking about that cake.
If you have allergies and live near Buckingshire you MUST go to The Perfect Retreat in Chesham. Please help support this amazing place, it is one of the few cafe’s that really welcome people with allergies – http://www.the-perfect-retreat.co.uk/
Has anyone else been there? Where else do you recommend? Have you found another freefrom cafe?