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Caffe Nero

Caffe Nero, Chester, Cheshire

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19 Eastgate St
01244 320216
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All the nationwide coffee shops seem to be getting on the band wagon with gluten free, with Costa (which we reviewed in Liverpool) and Starbucks (reviewed in Sheffied and Wolstanton) both offering a wrap, brownie (and in costas case a few other cakes) and some drinks, Caffe Nero soon followed suit. I don't get to visit Caffe Nero very often so I grabbed the chance while I could in Chester.

Compared to the other two in terms of eating they sort of fall in the mid range. Instead of a wrap they actually offer a sandwich, and one most people are likely to eat, a nice ham salad. Which was out of stock when I wanted one. Typical. From reports I have heard I believe it is quite nice, but unfortunately I can't judge that for myself. As for cakes though, they definitely beat Starbucks brownie, but maybe fall on par with Costas few options by, like everywhere seems to, offering a gluten free chocolate brownie and also a very delicious raspberry and coconut slice.

Having researched before entering the packed cafe I didn't ask what was gluten free drink wise, I learned the hard way a few weeks ago that anything containing their frappe mix is off limits, narrowing cold drinks down to any that are fruit or just milk based. Their delicious chocolate and coconut frappe and new strawberry and cream among others by far off limits unlike frappes at Starbucks. The same thing goes for hot frappes as well as cold, their website is good at stating what it gluten free, with every drink which is gluten free marked with those words. Iced lemonade, fruit boosters and iced lattes are all safe in cold drinks, lattes and hot chocolates are all marked as gluten free online in hot drinks, giving some variety to drinks.

On this visit I chose a orange and raspberry fruit booster which I had already checked online was gluten free, it was very refreshed with a unique but lovely taste, I can't recall ever seeing orange and raspberry combined in a drink before, it was something different and enjoyable.

When it comes to cakes the brownie I found a little dry when I ate it a while ago, but if you are in a fix it is nice, however their raspberry and coconut slice is beautiful, definitely something different that is tasty that I haven't seen anywhere else, reminded me a little of a bakewell tart but with coconut rather than almonds.

Overall I would have to say I would go back, from other peoples reports I believe they are knowledgeable and will check the book and advise on what can be eaten or drank safely. I would like to try their sandwich, something which Costa and Starbucks lack, at least these seem to acknowledge that sometimes we want something plain not something only a minority will probably eat (Starbucks, looking at you when I say that!), even Coeliac children are likely to eat a ham sandwich!

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