Tag: london

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.



Please follow and like us:
144

Last week I won a Twitter competition with Equinox Kombucha – all 4 of their booch flavours, some 9bars and 2 tickets to Taste of London in Regents Park!

I took my friend Eleeshia who blogs over at Conscious Glow! We went after I finished work on Saturday, the evening session at 5:30! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great (sooo much mud) but I was super happy to find there was lots of vegan goodies.

The restaurant options were a bit lacking – two options at Amico Bio and a possible option at Vanilla Black but I wasn’t super hungry so I wasn’t too bothered.

First we ended up at Pip & Nut! I’m a huge fan of these nut butters and I’d been searching for the crunchy maple peanut butter in vain for a little while. We had a couple of samples there! I ended up picking up two jars of the peanut butter and their plain cashew!

Thai fruit stall! They had loads of different thai fruit including rambutan, lychee, mangosteen and DURIAN! I’ve only had durian once and it was frozen with sticky rice – my husband and I shared it in California. It’s definitely an interesting fruit experience – like onions, garlic and custard. There wasn’t any samples here to try unfortunately! I did have some mangosteen and longan!

Next we headed over to Plenish to say the secret word and get our free Plenish Water! The ladies there asked us if we wanted to take a photo with their backdrop and props and we said sure! We also tried some samples of their cashew milk which was beautifully smooth!

Next we snagged some sundaes at The Coconut Collab stall! I had chocolate with strawberries and chocolate syrup! Eleeshia had mango with blueberries and granola. Delicious! Just a shame the weather didn’t quite match up.

Obviously we had to swing by the Equinox kombucha stall since they were so kind to send me the tickets! They had cocktails but I don’t drink alcohol so I just got their Wild Berry kombucha on tap! Delicious!

Juice samples at BFresh! The Strawberry Fields juice was great!

Hippeas chickpea puffs! It’s always great to check the ingredients on a packet and see “VEGAN” written on it. The Hippeas team gave us a packet each to take with us!

Everything I picked up at Taste of London! Fresh mangosteen, Plenish Water, Pip & Nut butters, Hippeas and some free basil seeds.

A pretty successful and fun evening! Thank you to Equinox Kombucha for providing the prize!

Please follow and like us:
144

Afternoon tea is a British institution and Fortnums does it extremely well. Imagine my delight when they did a vegan selection! They also do dairy and gluten free, gluten free and a bunch of other special diet options. It’s always great to see vegans and other special diets represented in main stream places.

I went to Fortnums with a very good friend of mine who had the classic version so you will see some of her food in the photos as well.

Dikom Golden Butterfly

I’m a bit of a tea snob and the tea menu at Fortnums is fantastically long. I went for a Single Estate Assam called Dikom Golden Butterfly. It was beautifully smooth tasting with a slight hint of caramel. I ended up drinking two teapots worth during our time in the restaurant.

Obviously, eating afternoon tea at somewhere like Fortnums is not going to be cheap (£40 for their own classic blends and £44 for a single estate tea like mine) But I’m happy to report that they will refresh any of the plates for you as many times as you like. We had extra sandwiches and scones and left feeling completely stuffed!

The Vegan afternoon tea menu

The sandwiches

 

I started with my sandwiches. The char grilled pepper with salsa verdi was easily my favourite and asked for a refresh! I’m not a huge fan of cucumber but I actually enjoyed the sandwich very much. The bread was light and fluffy and not at all dry – previously when I’ve had afternoon tea you could tell the sandwiches were not fresh due to the bread being dry.

The scones with dairy-free butter

Next the scones! Slightly warm and pillow-y soft. I’m completely aware that many people are scared of vegan baking and I was so happy to see I got scones! A lot of the time vegan baking can be dense and cake-y but these scones were super light. The dairy-free butter was great as well. I had some of the scones with Fortnums strawberry jam – which you can’t really go wrong on!

The final tier – seasonal fruits

I know many people would be unhappy with a fruit salad to top off their afternoon tea but for me it was lovely. After eating all the carbs during the rest of the tea it was great to have something light to finish on.  There was also a lot of fruit I’d never tried before like starfruit and dragon fruit. I’m not a big fan of melon usually but I really enjoyed it here and made my husband proud!

Enjoying our tea!

At the end of our tea we were offered more cake – sadly none of it was vegan but I took a slice of Victoria sandwich home for my mum. We also got to take home the jam and lemon curd.

The service throughout was impeccable, we were offered numerous refreshes on our tea and food. The only thing that bothered us was the tea room was FREEZING so we had to keep our cardigans on the whole time! I would definitely come back!

You can book afternoon tea at Fortnums online here and follow them online on Twitter @fortnums

Please follow and like us:
144

I’m putting these two places together because they are both in BoxPark in Shoreditch!
I’ve been wanting to go to BoxPark for ages, mostly because all the photos of the food I’ve seen from there have been jaw droppingly delicious looking.

First we stopped by Cook Daily for lunch (upstairs in BoxPark, unit 55). I had the Full English and my friend Ratha had the Rainbow. Each bowl is £8. My bowl came with a free cup of tea and Ratha got an iced pea flower tea! The pea flower tea is purple and tastes delicious! The man behind the counter also told us it was a natural anti-depressant. Our food was ready in 3 minutes – my kind of fast food!


A sign inside that made me smile!

The bowls are all posted up on the wall – you just pick the one you want! 

Full English Bowl

The Full English comes with tofu “egg”, vegan sausage, mushroom, tomatoes, spinach and homemade brown sauce on rice. It is ridiculous. Easily the best tofu scramble I’ve ever had. The portion size is great too – I was completely stuffed. I’ve never actually eaten brown sauce before but if that’s what it tastes like I’m now a convert. I can see why everyone was raving about Cook Daily. I’ve already decided I’m going back to try all the other bowls.

Ratha’s Rainbow Bowl – stir fried veggies and tofu on rice and the pea flour tea with lime!

After we stuffed ourselves at Cook Daily we went downstairs to East London Juice Co (unit 35) who I have been Instagram stalking for a while. I’m a big fan of juice and smoothies and all those magical nut milks that people make so I’m on a personal quest to go to as many London juice places as possible. I also wanted to see if they had any of their nut milks in the fridge but they only had their Killer Sunrise juice & the charcoal lemonade. I’m not a fan of pineapple so I gave it a miss!

Update!

The lovely folks at East London Juice Co recently contacted me by email to let me know that they’ve moved from Boxpark!

Their new location is at 100 Shoreditch High Street, Ace Hotel. You can find them online at www.eastlondonjuice.com

I ended up getting one of their Lux smoothies, the Chocolate Acai which was wild Balinese cacao, acai berry, date, banana, coconut, chia seeds + activated house mylk. Absolutely delicious! It was my healthy dessert after Cook Daily. East London Juice Co had a nice relaxed vibe about it that I really liked – I’ll be back – hopefully to get some of their nut milk and bottled juice!

You can find Boxpark at
2-10 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6GY

Find Cook Daily online
@kingcookdaily on Instagram

Find East London Juice Co
@eastlondonjuiceco on Instagram

Please follow and like us:
144

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!

Chips
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

Please follow and like us:
144

This Sunday I hit up Vegfest with my friend and fellow vegan, Ratha! It’s the second time we’ve been to Vegfest. Here’s a selection of photos from our day.


rawLicious

Really tasty raw  date and cashew snackaroons!

Vegusto

One of the only things I brought back this time was a block of the No-Moo Piquant cheese – delicious!

Moo Free

Bute Island Foods

Massive fan of Bute Island’s ‘Sheese’ which is sold at Tesco! (Try the smoked!)


Vega

I drink Vega One for breakfast almost every day – can’t say enough good things about them. A big plus was getting to see Brendan Brazier talk about plant-based diets for athletes!

Ms Cupcake

Being fabulous as usual! I hear they completely sold out not too long after we left!

Sea Shepherd

These guys are absolutely amazing and I made my only other purchase from them! If you’re wondering what they do check out : http://www.seashepherd.org.uk/


Rebel Kitchen

I’ve used Rebel Kitchen’s Mylks in recipes here before. They are damn delicious, try the Chai if you get a chance. I just wish they came in bigger cartons!

Lush

Lifefood

Soypresso

Soypresso needs to hurry up and get over here from Germany. AMAZING soya based coffee drink. Tasted damn delicious.

(I forgot to take note of this stalls name but I’m including them anyway because LOOK AT ALL THOSE VEGAN CHOCOLATES!)

Koko Dairy Free

Tried their strawberry coconut milk for the first time. Tasted a lot like Nesquik from my childhood, thumbs up!

Pudology

I’ve wanted to try Pudology for about 100 years it seems. They did not disappoint. The Millionaire’s Pud is soooo dang good. Next Ocado shop they’re going in the trolley for sure.

The Chocolatier

Water ganache chocolate. Tastes incredible. I got some salted caramel spread here last year and it was delicious.

Ombar

Try the Coco Mylk!

Vego

Vego tastes like the inside of a ferrero rocher. I think I squealed a bit when I tried it. There was definitely a lot of “omg omg.”

Kizzy’s Cookies

Tried a little bit of the chocolate chip. Really tasty!


Marking which borough  we live in and signing up for some stuff!


Big Fat Vegan Bakery

I think this stall is basically just a big middle finger to anyone who thinks vegans can’t have absolutely oodles of donuts, strudels and whatever iced and cream filled concoctions you can think of.

Jollyum

Tried a sample of the passion fruit and chocolate. Absolutely incredible! This Yorkshire based ice cream company needs to go nationwide or I’m taking a road trip up there with a freezer bag.

Our lunch from Rupert Street was this really yummy sweet potato burger and salad! I also enjoyed a lemonade from The Electric Lemon 

So there you have it. I probably could have bought more and I was slightly disappointed not to see some of the stalls I had enjoyed last year returning for this year!

Sarah xxx

Please follow and like us:
144

Now that I’ve been vegan coming on nearly 2 years (November is my veganniversary) I’ve amassed quite a knowledge of very delicious vegan restaurants and cafes in London.

When I first went vegan I spent a lot of time trawling the internet, looking at those annoying nutritional info pdfs for chain restaurants and using the HappyCow app (if you don’t have it, get it)

Here’s a list of some of the ones I really enjoy with bonus iphone photos.

Tibits

12-14 Heddon St, London W1B 4DA
020 7758 4110

Tibits is a buffet style vegetarian restaurant with a giant selection of vegan food. You pay per kilo – they weigh your plate at the counter. Mine always ends up weighing an atrocious amount – I blame the vegan onion rings!

Amico Bio

44 Cloth Fair
London
020 7600 7778

43 New Oxford St
London
020 7836 7509

Amico Bio has two locations in London and a restaurant in Italy! It’s an Italian vegan restaurant but not in the stereotypical sense that everything is pizza. I’ve had some really delicious tempura here. They also use rice mozarella in their vegan dishes which I haven’t seen anywhere else.  As a mayo connoisseur – their vegan mayonnaise is REALLY amazing – I want the recipe.

The Gate

370 St John St, London EC1V 4NN

51 Queen Caroline St, Greater London W6 9QL

I’ve already written about my great love affair with the Islington branch of The Gate here. I will repeat again though – GET THE POLENTA CHIPS!

Mildred’s

45 Lexington St, London W1F 9AN

Oh Mildred’s, how do I love thee, let me count the ways…

Mildred’s is tiny and there are always queues in the evening because all the food is delicious. I would live here if I could. Their basil mayo rocks my world.

Mestizo

103 Hampstead Rd
London
020 7387 4064

Separate vegan menu! Mexican food! Tequila bar!

222 Veggie Vegan

222 N End Rd, London W14 9NU

222 has a really nice homey vibe to it. It almost feels like you’ve gone to one of your friend’s houses for dinner.

Loving Hut

669 Holloway Rd, London, City of London, Greater London N19 5SE

There are Loving Hut branches all over the world. My local one does a great vegan “egg” fried rice, mock sesame chicken and vegan fish and chips!

The prawn crackers taste like prawn, it’s all very confusing but delicious. It’s also pretty damn cheap.

InSpiral Lounge

250 Camden High St, London NW1 8QS

Eating at InSpiral makes you feel like you are super healthy and awesome. Lots of raw food, fresh juices and smoothies!

They sell their own kale chips and other raw snacks.

Cookies  N’ Scream

The Market Hall
Camden Lock Place
London
NW1 8AF

Cookies N’ Scream is like the Valhalla of vegan and gluten-free baked goods. Their milkshakes are incredible.

They make these amazing cookie in a brownie things called Bowsers. Go visit the girls and get one!

Ms Cupcake

408 Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8LF

If you haven’t heard of Ms Cupcake then you have been living under a rock. Queen of vegan baked goods, writer of an awesome cookery book. They make Ferrero rocher cupcakes – enough said.

Honourable mentions:

These are not strictly full vegan or vegetarian restaurants or  are chain restaurants.

Riley

32 The Broadway, London N8 9SU

Riley gets a mention because of their awesome sorbets and coffees. Their soya milk lattes are so damn good. Get a chocolate sorbet, you won’t regret it.

Le Pain Quotidien 

Multiple London locations

So many vegan options here! Such a blessing. The salads are great. as well as the hummus sharing platter!

Try the pear and chocolate cake.

The Stapleton Tavern

2-4 Crouch Hill, London N4 4AU

A pub with vegan food! Hooray!

The baba ganoush here is out of this world. There’s also a really great atmosphere inside, very laid back.

So there we have it. Most of the vegan places I’ve eaten in the last two years-ish in London!

Sarah xxx

Please follow and like us:
144

Today I went for my second visit to Raw at La Suite West!
La Suite West
41-51 Inverness Terrace
London
W2 3JN

The restaurant is part of the La Suite West, a boutique hotel with a minimalist design. What makes La Suite West different is it’s restaurant : RAW, a vegan, sometimes gluten-free and sometimes raw food experience. Glancing at the evening menu I’ll definitely be coming back here.

Both times I’ve visited RAW I’ve had the afternoon tea. There’s something infinitely appealing and charming about a vegan afternoon tea!

Afternoon tea menu, each course comes one after the other on separate plates

Darjeeling 2nd flush in a Jing teapot! 

You can choose from a selection of loose leaf teas or coffee prepared to your liking (ask for soya milk – today they automatically gave us cow milk…) I chose the Darjeeling 2nd flush. Beautiful tasting tea, very light and great to have black. The staff are more than happy to refill your pot with more hot water if asked.

On a side note – After the cow milk appeared on the table I took a look at the brunch menu of the restaurant and I was intrigued to see eggs and beef available. On my last visit to the restaurant I wasn’t aware they served any animal products at all. The brunch menu did not look very friendly to vegans (a porridge and a fruit salad), a bit bizarre considering the restaurant is called RAW.

The first thing to arrive is the selection of finger sandwiches:

I was not a fan of the tofu scramble sandwich or the aubergine. The tofu scramble lacked real flavour and ended up with a squishy bland consistency. The aubergine was slimy but chewy. Most of our party ended up leaving this sandwich. However, the butternut squash, hummus and the portbello (the best one in my opinion) were delicious. I’d have happily swapped the tofu scramble and aubergine for any of those three!

Next the scones with coconut whipped cream and strawberries!

The scones! Great scones, slight flavour of almond which I loved. The coconut cream was light and fluffy this visit, last time a little slimy and separated. There is also Tiptree strawberry jam! I very much enjoyed this portion of the tea.

Finally the trio of cakes

Mini Chocolate and Coconut cake, Mini Passionfruit Bavarois, Mini Orange and Date raw cheesecake

Passionfruit bavarois, massive thumbs up! Light and creamy, almost like a solid pana cotta. I was really interested to know how it could have been made. The little biscuit tasted of cinnamon, like a christmas biscuit. Very enjoyable. The raw cheesecake I also enjoyed immensely but I am a big fan of raw desserts in general. The chocolate cake I found a little bitter, I thought it could have done with something else a little sweeter to balance it out.

All in all, a very pleasant experience and a happy vegan belly. I’ll definitely be coming back to try the evening menu (Wild spinach gnocchi..um hello!!!)

You can follow La Suite West on Twitter here

Please follow and like us:
144

Today I was going to make you all something amazing. Then I woke up feeling like I’d been run over. So, instead here is a review of one of my favourite vegetarian restaurants.

A selection of  vegan mezze dishes.

THE GATE
370 St John St, London EC1V 4NN

The Gate has two locations. One in Islington and one in Hammersmith. I’ve visited the one in Islington five times. It’s a vegetarian restaurant with extensive vegan options, just a short walk from Angel tube station. The menu operates on a seasonal basis so whenever I go back there is always something new to try. It’s one of my favourite places to bring non-vegans and vegetarians because there’s so many options. Obviously no meat here, but they do offer dairy. I find a lot of times when people are “afraid” to try plant based food it’s good to give them the option of having a bit of cheese on top!

The Aubergine Schnitzel (vegetarian)



Recently I went with a big party for a 60th birthday and we all had the set menu for what I thought was a very reasonable price. £20 for 2 courses and £25 for 3.  The staff are very attentive and polite and the restaurant itself has great atmosphere. There is great attention to detail in the dishes themselves (I hope my Iphone shot photos will illustrate this).

Vegan berry & apple crumble with ice cream.

I’m big on desserts. My sweet tooth is strong. One of the things that irks me a lot of the time about vegetarian restaurants with vegan options is that they seem to forget that we don’t just eat fruit salad. Thankfully The Gate knows this. There are plenty of vegan dessert options and vegan cream/ice cream!

Vegan tortillas (from the set menu)

Vegan Spicy polenta corn cake

Vegan plantain fritters

Most of the main dishes at The Gate will set you back around £10-15 so it is not cheap compared to other vegan/vegetarian establishments. However, I believe it is completely worth the money and my five visits speaks for this anyway.

One word of advice : get the polenta chips. You will not regret it!

Sarah xxx



Please follow and like us:
144