A few of our guests have already told us that they are coeliac, so I want to cater for them and try to make sure they can order pretty much anything on the menu without them feeling they have to order a "special" meal iykwim.
Are there any things in particular I should avoid? I know about pasta / breads / breaded or stuffed items, but is there anything that isn't really obvious that I should avoid?
There is so much that coeliacs can't eat, including some sauces, wines, beers. There can be a lot of hidden ingredients in foods that are not gluten free. To be honest it really depends how bad a coeliac your friends are ....if some coeliacs eat a tiny amount of gluten they can react quite badly to it, whereas other coeliacs might be able to tolerate it in sauces, salads, wines, but they just can't tolerate breads, pastas, etc.
I know that's probably not much help to you but I just wanted to point out that it depends on how severe a reaction they would have to gluten that will determine what they can eat ....if that makes any sense!!
i am a coeliac and the only advice i can give you is just make sure you mention it to the hotel - and try make sure that all meals come with the option of having sauce on the side - for things like beef and salmon (the traditional choices) be careful that they dont cook the beef in the gravy - not all gravy is gluten free - make sure stuffing comes on the side and isnt plated with the food - for roast potatoes some chefs put a light sprinkle of flour on top to make them a little crispier - check if they do this.
if you are having a soup for starter check that it is thickened with natural agents such as potatoes rather then plain flour - nothing you can do about the bread etc and no coeliac ever expects this at big functions.
above all dont worry about it and there is no need to go out of your way - most hotels these days are aware that it is becoming more and more common (lifestyle choice rather then health issues) so they are adapting thier menus to suit.