“I can still eat pizza right?”
That was my first question when my doctor broke the news. Her response? a big fat ‘nope.’ In my mind, I’m thinking about how I used to say I will always eat whatever I want and stop restricting myself so I do not end up binging again. After overcoming an eating disorder I need to start restricting again?!!! I have just been diagnosed with Celiac disease.
And Just 3 days after my diagnosis I was about to go on a two-day break to Gozo. We had a voucher to stay at the Duke boutique hotel in Rabat given to us by Kinds Malta.
My boyfriend and I are both starting new businesses at the moment and we really needed this short break as we have been finding it difficult to find time for each other. I wanted to cancel our Gozo trip as I felt unprepared but my boyfriend insisted we needed the break. I am glad he convinced me to go because we had an amazing room with a jacuzzi and a huge comfortable bed and amazing bathroom.
Unfortunately, we did not have what I would call a lovely view as our hotel was overlooking a public parking lot but that is not something we can fault the hotel about. We received a discount card to shop at the Duke Shopping complex, a free bottle of water as soon as we checked into our room. There is free wifi throughout the hotel and we could also book massages and spa treatments. The only downside is that the hotel does not offer free parking.
When you’re a coeliac, the all-inclusive buffet can turn the perfect holiday into a nightmare. This was my first experience of being in a hotel as a celiac and I have to admit I was terrified. As soon as we arrived my boyfriend asked the polite woman at the desk whether gluten-free choices were available at breakfast. To which she promptly replied that it would absolutely not be a problem. She even recommended a couple of restaurants that would be safe for us to dine at throughout our stay in Gozo.
We had lunch at the Duke complex itself. The restaurant called Hog which came recommended by the receptionist at The Duke. I had some lovely pasta. We informed the staff that I was celiac and they took extra attention when serving us.
The following morning we went down for breakfast quite early. When we arrived Jason was at the desk. One of the most polite people I have ever dealt with within the hospitality industry. He brought the chef to our table to explain to me gluten-free options. The chef made me toast with mushrooms and tomatoes which was amazing as well as gluten-free pancakes.
I was also advised that the bacon and sausages at the buffet were also gluten-free. The following day I asked for eggs benedict which was also served on gluten-free bread.
I am very grateful to The Duke boutique hotel for making my first ‘travel’ experience as a celiac an easy-going one. I highly recommend them both for short or long stays.