Taking giant bites from crisp, stone-baked gluten free pizza while watching the last of the winter winds whip up the Atlantic ocean in Westward Ho! - I think this could be my new favourite place.
I've always thought The Blue & Green in Westward Ho!, North Devon, was in the perfect location - a glass-fronted bar and restaurant right on the sea front, with uninterrupted views and a fresh and funky vibe. But when owner Kathy called me to tell me they were launching a gluten free pizza menu, I know I had to go and try it out.
Apart from a last-minute wedding party, it was pretty quiet when Steve and I went along, and gave us a chance to really take in the views. Even on a wet and windy night it was quite a scene to admire - but I could imagine sitting here as the sun sets, cocktail in hand... perfect.
The Blue & Green reopened with a new look and menu in April this year and along with it came a lot of clearly marked gluten free options! This includes gluten free pizza - in fact, it's the first place I have been to and enjoyed a coeliac-friendly pizza which wasn't a chain like Pizza Express.
I was impressed at the range of gluten free options - there was gluten free bread for the sandwich menu, gluten free pasta and a fish pie that sounded amazing - that is definitely next on my list to try!
I got really excited when I saw the calamari was gluten free for starters - this is the one dish which always gives me serious food envy when I go out for meals with other people. So Steve and I both ordered it for our starter, with a pizza each for our main course, of course!
There was a bit of confusion - despite being marked gluten free, the waiter came back to tell me unfortunately that was a mistake. But he then popped back to the kitchen and told me actually the chef would make me some especially. Not sure what happened there, but I was happy nonetheless!
The squid was very nice, with that yummy, chewy texture and some tasty garlic alioli - though it would have been good to perhaps have a little more mayo - I tend to drown my food is sauces sometimes!
I couldn't wait to get onto the pizza - and when it arrived it didn't disappoint! I had ordered a jerk pulled pork pizza (with extra pepperoni, obvs) and it looked delicious when it came out.
I was really impressed with the base - it was the perfect consistency, a little bit crunchy around the edges with that slight chewy bite. It came with its own cutter so I could slice it up and gobble it down! The toppings were generous and the pork was very tender. I liked the crunchy of the peppers too!
Steve had a (not gluten free) chicken-topped pizza (I can't remember the exact toppings) and really enjoyed it too.
I was feeling pretty stuffed so didn't opt for dessert - instead I had a nice decaf latte which rounded off the meal perfectly for me. I did ask and it turns out the dessert menu is pretty standard for gluten free - ice cream and panacotta. While the desserts I spied on other tables did look delicious, I just wish restaurants would offer us one gluten free option which isn't ice cream, sorbet, panacotta or brownie!
The Blue & Green is the kind of place I wish had been around when I used to go on family holidays to the seaside. To know you can go somewhere for a decent meal, at a decent price, which serves all the favourites - pizza, steak, pasta, sandwiches - and plenty of gluten free options would have saved a lot of stomach growling and tantrums!
It's great to see independent restaurants really trying to create interesting and diverse coeliac-friendly menus - The Blue & Green gets a big thumbs up from me!
To find out more about The Blue & Green and view their gluten free menus visit their website here. Booking would be advised in the summer - it gets busy down in Westward Ho!
*I was offered a meal for two in exchange for this review, but the views expressed are still my honest held opinion.