So here we are, in Canada, visiting my family and getting my annual dose of cottage living. This year we decided to take Molly to Niagara Falls. Now I know I'm prejudiced, but Niagara Falls is a truly amazing sight. The sheer volume of water, the power of Mother Nature, and the roar as the water hits the bottom of the falls is deafening. The walk behind the falls, through tunnels blasted in the 1940's is eerie, the sound of water pounding down is deafening while we peer out at a white sheet of swirling water. Of course we need to be well fed to enjoy all this spectical! This is where we get back onto the usual topic of allergies.
In we wandered to the breakfast buffet at the Sheraton to be faced with a mountain of food. The trouble was that there were no gluten free or dairy free options. No soya or rice milk on display, no labels on the cereals so we had no idea what was in them. Endless do-noughts, cakes, whipped cream for waffles, bacon and enough eggs to sink the proverbial ship. So for $20.99 all you can eat buffet - I could eat- wait for it- fruit and bacon - yes - the breakfast of champions.
Molly's face fell as we wandered around the buffet and realized that the labelling was so bad that we would have to ask about everything apart from fruit and bacon. Now the staff were friendly and helpful (a plus). But they weren't prepared for allergies. The attitude was very much that this was a special request rather than something that the deal with daily. Almond milk was supplied for Molly (found in the kitchen, and delivered in a bowl so we had major spill ages as we poured it into her bowl of cereal). And a few pieces of gluten free bread were supplied for me when I asked. But I couldn't find the energy to ask about some of the other items; it just gets exhausting sometimes. What is so hard about labelling? Is it really too much of a hassle to have dairy and gluten free alternatives as part of the buffet? Are we really limited to whatever they can scrounge out of the kitchen? It's so odd that a major hotel is so bad with allergies, especially as the supermarkets are jammed with gluten and vegan products. So much more on offer here in the grocery stores than in hotels and restaurants...come on Sheraton - catch up will you?
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Allergy UK is a great charity providing information and help for people with allergies.
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Their number is: 01322 619 898
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