Tag: dining

This was my last blog post coming to you from London! This past Sunday I flew to Los Angeles to join my husband and start my new life. The blog will remain the same and I’m hoping to have more time to post – these past few weeks have been a whirlwind of packing and goodbyes with very little time for blogging! Expect more Los Angeles/USA related vegan stuff in the future!

One of the special things I’ve done during my final week was to visit Claridges for afternoon tea with my mum. We’ve also been to Fortnum and Masons for my mum’s birthday last year but we both agreed this experience was vastly superior!

There are 22 teas to choose from. I chose the Himayalan First Flush and mum had the Single Estate Afternoon Tea. You’re also able to have a glass of champagne or wine but because I don’t drink we declined to have one.

The Himayalan First Flush was delicious – a very bright and clean tasting tea which needed no sugar or milk! I definitely tasted the apricot.

One thing I really liked about how Claridges serves their tea – their teapots only hold enough water for one cup at a time. This means the tea isn’t overbrewed. The wait staff are very attentive and notice very quickly when your cup is empty – we both ended up drinking five (!!) cups of tea during our tea.

The first course was the sandwiches. For the vegan option the sandwiches are:
Mushroom with pinenuts, tomato and olive spread, cucumber and olive spread, hummus and peppers and roasted butternut squash with caramelised onions. The little one on the side was an avocado mousse on a savoury scone with crispy onions on top.

My favourite sandwiches were the mushroom and the butternut squash. I was pleasantly surprised by the tomato one – I normally hate raw tomato but this was delicious! The avocado mousse had a pretty strong lemon taste so I was glad I chose to eat it last. Of course if you wanted you could ask for as many sandwiches as you wanted!

The next two courses were served together. You can see my mum’s vegetarian option on the top in the first photo and my vegan option on the bottom of the photo.

Two vegan scones, one with fruit and one plain. The jam – called Marco Polo was incredible – spiced with tea and spices. One of the wait staff said it was made in France and they had been using it for their afternoon tea for the last eight years! It was available for sale at the end of the meal for the not-so-cheap price of sixteen pounds!
There was no cream alternative for vegans so soya spread was served alongside the jam. I wasn’t too bothered about this but I know it might be an issue for vegans looking for the authentic “clotted cream” experience.

The scones were very well baked – nice and crunchy on the outside but soft and pillowy on the inside. They are quite small but we liked that! When I asked for another scone I was brought one that had clearly just been freshly baked – it was still hot from the oven!

The dessert portion of the tea consisted of a coconut tapioca pudding with mango and kiwi, a tofu chocolate mousse, a ginger spiced brownie with fresh fruit and a chocolate.

 I started with the tapioca as I wanted something lighter after the scones. It was a nice pudding but nothing crazy. After I decided to have the tofu mousse, I figured it would have some kind of fruit inside to contrast a bit with the richness of the chocolate but it was actually just solid mousse. It was very rich tasting – a great dessert for all those tofu haters out there. After working my way through the mousse I definitely couldn’t fit in the brownie and the chocolate so I ended up asking to take them home with me. Claridges boxed up my vegan things seperate from my mum’s vegetarian desserts and I’m sure many vegans would appreciate the gesture.

When paying the bill we were both given a boxed piece of fudge – which unfortunately isn’t remotely close to being vegan. It would be great if they offered a piece of decent quality dark chocolate to their vegan diners at the end of the afternoon tea.
That however, was my only criticism! Since this was a gift I wasn’t allowed to know the price but I think we can assume it was quite a lot!

You can find Claridges at Brook St, London, W1K 4HR, online, on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.

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It’s been a really long time since I wrote a restaurant review. Probably way back during Vegan MoFo! I think its mostly because I’ve been going to the same old favourites recently.

My friend and I decided to try out Grainstore in Kings Cross last night. Their menu has a few things for vegans that are marked but I was encouraged by their Twitter staff to enquire about more options with our server on the night.

We arrived at Grainstore fairly early around 5:20 and were told that dinner service didn’t start until 6pm but we were welcome to sit in the bar until it began. A fresh mint tea and a bit of a chat later, it was 6pm and we were seated almost instantly. Everyone was very friendly and smiley! As someone who works in front facing customer service, I appreciate smiles so much!

Our server was absolutely lovely. As someone who is slightly socially awkward, I find it hard to bring attention to the fact that I am vegan as it puts me in the spot light. However, asking our server about the vegan options was a breeze – she pointed out all the things that were suitable and explained what they would sub or take away.

The menu. Some vegan options are clearly marked.

Focaccia with Olive oil and Dukkah
Our starter. The bread was light and airy, the olive oil had a great flavour and paired really well with the dukkah. You can’t really go wrong with bread and oil!

Sprouting seeds & beans, miso aubergine & potato wafer
This dish was made vegan for me by removing the crispy chicken skin. The miso aubergine was salty and smokey and I loved the crunch of the mixed sprouted seeds! I also thought this dish looked really beautiful.

Garlic Wilted Spinach
This was one of the vegan marked dishes on the menu. I absolutely love spinach and I could have eaten double the amount I had here. Just the right amount of garlic, so delicious!

I can’t bear a soggy chip! These were super crunchy, hot and tasty.

Coconut & Kaffir lime green tapioca, sweet potato, banana crisp
This was the marked vegan dessert on the menu so I obviously had to try it. I think it’s part of the vegan covenant that when there’s a vegan dessert you have to order it. Our server also informed me that I could eat the sorbets – I was very tempted by the peach and passion fruit flavours! This tapioca is very light and refreshing, the taste of the lime leaves comes through well but not in an overpowering chemical way. The banana crisp I admit I left behind. I still haven’t quite gotten to grips with eating bananas!

One thing that I found slightly confusing about the Grainstore was their drinks menu. I don’t drink alcohol at all so I’m always looking for soft drinks. I couldn’t really find them on the menu and ended up having to ask if they had any. We both ended up with really delicious tasting apple juices so I’m glad I asked!

The final icing on the cake of our experience of the wonderful customer service at the Grainstore was when we came to pay the bill. Earlier on in the meal I had asked for my sprouted beans to come as a main but it had arrived much earlier than my friend’s food…so I ended up waiting for hers to arrive. This wasn’t even remotely a problem because it was a salad but our server decided to take both desserts off our bill as an apology for bringing out my food too early! I thought that was incredibly generous!

I’ll definitely be back at Grainstore in the near future, there’s plenty more vegan things to try on the menu!

You can find Grainstore at

Granary Square
1-3 Stable Street
King’s Cross
London N1C 4AB

020 7324 4466

Online @ Grainstore.com

On Twitter and Instagram @GrainstoreKX
and on Facebook here

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