Bristol Viva! Vegan Festival :)

Ciao peeps! I had a lovely spontaneous day out on Saturday, visiting the Viva! vegan festival in Bristol. There were two floors packed full of food, treats, gifts and informations, and it was very encouraging to see it so busy with people of all ages πŸ™‚ It was far too busy to take photos, and I spent most of my time eating and awkwardly standing around, but here is a link to the event page, in case you want to go to their future events:

https://www.viva.org.uk/festivals/Bristol-2017

I will content myself with posting a photo of a lovely Bakewell tart, which was from The Vegan Cakery and which I enjoyed with a cup of tea when I returned home πŸ™‚

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Also, just a couple of new finds in my local Tesco: vegan cheesy dorito-like chips (which are great with salsa), and vegan Ben & Jerry’s has finally arrived too!! There were three flavours available, and I chose chocolate fudge brownie:

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Bath wanderings :)

Ciao peeps πŸ™‚

The city of Bath has been very nice to wander around this week; the Christmas market is in full swing and there are a lot of pretty lights up around Southgate…

Aaaaand… Zizzi has finally opened a branch here!!

Jacob and I found out and went for a delicious meal on their opening day. They have a few new additions to their vegan menu, including two pizzas and a pudding, pictured blurrily below:

Yesterday we had a day out in the city, exploring the market and looking out for presents. We went to The Green Rocket for lunch where, again, there were a few new seasonal items on the menu. I had a pie with a side of onion rings, and Jacob had his favourite burger with some sweet potato fries:

I also wanted to mention a simple recipe that Jacob invented and which I think is absolutely delish: fry some Fry’s beef-style strips and then add a jar of Asda freefrom bbq cooking sauce. Let it thoroughly cook and serve with vegetable rice (we use Uncle Ben’s just for ease). Not the healthiest thing we’ve cooked, but lovely for a treat πŸ˜€

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THE NORTH!

Ciao peeps!

I recently returned from a few days up north near Manchester seeing family. Sadly we had a funeral, but it was nice to also catch up with a lot of people I haven’t seen for a long time.

I was slightly concerned about the food situation before I went, as none of my family are vegan. However, it turned out to be fine, as everyone was very accommodating and made sure I was well catered for πŸ™‚

I also spent a few hours in Manchester, going around the Christmas market and visiting one of my favourite places, Afflecks (a department store for quirky, alternative clothes and products). The Northern Quarter of Manchester is quite vegan-friendly (including the famous V-Rev vegan diner), and I found a little place called Go Falafel, which is just down the road from Afflecks and provided me with a very substantial lunch! Afflecks is also very vegan-friendly with, not one, but two 100% vegan cafes. I got a delicious slice of banana and caramel cake from one of them.

I also want to mention M&S: they have been well-known for being not very vegan-friendly for a while now, but they seem to have upped their game… Even in a small M&S food hall in a Birmingham service station on the way home, I managed to pick up all these goodies:

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Their new vegan sandwich, a snack pot of hummous and carrot sticks, crisps and many many sweets (letting the healthy meal down a bit there!) Jacob has always wanted fruit pastilles to be vegan, so I was pleased when I found these πŸ™‚

And now a few randoms, as per usual…

Sainsbury’s now do a ready-to-cook vegan pizza by The White Rabbit Pizza Co. – I was sorry to discover that I wasn’t keen on this, because it is also gluten free and had a bit of an odd texture and could have been more flavoursome, in my opinion. However, I am pleased that a quick and easy pizza option has been introduced for gluten free vegans! Sorry for the awful quality photo:

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I enjoyed a lovely dessert, though! This lemon cheesecake from Food Heaven is just delish, and is also from Sainsbury’s (although I’m sure it’s available in a lot of places). I just took a photo of the packaging, as we had already demolished the cheesecake by the time I remembered… expert blogger that I am.

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Lastly, something from today: I was shopping in Bath and went into Pret for a snack. I bought their new vegan Christmas sandwich and a mint hot chocolate (which is totally vegan if you ask for it to be made with non-dairy milk, as there is no powdered milk in the hot choc powder, unlike in a lot of other coffee chains) πŸ™‚ Both these things were really yummy, and I would recommend very much.

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Bye for now πŸ˜€

Halloween and randoms

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween, if you go in for it! I was very surprised and pleased to discover some vegan-friendly bags of hard gums and bonbons, as well as some other stuff, at a local Spar convenience store, so I ended up having a pretty sweet night (rubbish pun very much intended)

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I have a couple of randoms to mention too; firstly, Sainsbury’s now do a couple of curry sauces in their free from section! I like to combine these with some Linda McCartney pulled chicken-style protein and serve them with rice and mango chutney – makes for a very quick, easy and yummy dinner:

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Lastly, a word of advice: order an XL pizza from Pepenero in Bristol only if you and your companions haven’t eaten anything for approximately three days…

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My 24th Birthday!

Hello everyone! I am now back from my studio work (see my most recent art blog postΒ for what I’m up to now) and so will hopefully post more frequently again.

It was my 24th birthday on the 19th (eek!), and so I have some nice vegan-treat-related things to type about πŸ™‚

Recently, it has been big news that Wagamama has a new vegan menu, and so we went for a late night meal to check it out. It turned out that all the vegan items, except one, had actually been on their old menu all along, but were hidden within everything else. I’m glad they have made a separate vegan menu now, because apparently it has been extremely popular! The food was amazing; it was my first time ever eating at Wagamama and it lived up to the hype: we treated ourselves to some prosecco and three courses (although we shared the dessert cause we were so full!)

Apologies for the horrible-quality photos… We had vegetable dumplings with a delicious dip, and spicy cauliflower florettes for starter, then pad thai and ramen noodles for mains, with passion fruit sorbet afterwards to cleanse our palettes (ooh posh!)

Also, a lovely present I got, which is relevant to this blog, is an absolutely gorgeous bag from Thamon. Now I’m not often fussed about things like handbags, but just look at this one!! Thamon are a small company from Camden who make bags, wallets and notebooks from vegan ‘leather’ made from sustainable leaves. This results in unique items in various colours which have lovely subtle leaf patterns all over:

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Here is their website so you too can drool over their stuff: https://www.thamon.co.uk/

Lastly (from my birthday day itself) I want to mention Hotel Chocolat again. The nice thing about having a birthday in October is that you get to benefit from fun spooky Halloween items πŸ˜€ In this case, Jacob picked up a ‘Wingston The Bat’ chocolate box… as you do… which is full of vegan dark chocolate shapes:

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I was also very amused by this packaging, which reflects my feelings pretty accurately:

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The day after, I met up with my dad in Bristol, where we had a mosy around, visited an art exhibition, drank chai lattes and had a lovely curry from a Caribbean food stall in St Nicholas Market, to where I had never been before. There were a lot of vegan options around, and I even saw somewhere with vegan Christmas puds πŸ™‚

Lastly, one honourable mention: Pudology now does millionaires shortbread puddings. Perhaps that should be in capitals… PUDOLOGY NOW DOES MILLIONAIRES SHORTBREAD PUDDINGS!!!

Until next time, peeps πŸ™‚

Hello again, finally! :D

As I predicted in my last post, due to the busy-ness of my new job (which is going very well), things have been a bit quiet on the blog front recently!

So I’m back to do a few little updates while I can πŸ™‚

The first thing I wanted to mention is that I found a really good vegan vitamin D supplement in Holland and Barrett this week. As the weather is starting to get colder and darker, I think it is very important for everybody (particularly British people who don’t get out enough!) to make sure they get vit D. This one is derived from mushrooms, and I got two bottles on a good price deal:

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Secondly, there has been good news for people of Bath; a completely new vegan eatery has opened in the city centre, called Chapel Arts Cafe! I haven’t had the chance to eat there yet, as they are in the process of adjusting their opening hours, but I am looking forward to going there some time after 1st October, when they will be open in the evenings πŸ™‚

Lastly, I wanted to mention something that happened on social media last week, which was a strange mixture of positive and negative for me:

A well-known Facebook page, called Vice, posted an article about the jobs that would be lost if the world went vegan overnight. The funny thing was, that the top comments (including mine – see screenshots below) were the pro-vegan ones! There were lots of people pointing out the overall importance and benefits of veganism, and the fact that change is necessary, even if some people do have to transfer their skills to cruelty-free jobs.

Somebody very intelligently pointed out that, if everybody followed that same logic as the article, no positive changes or progress would ever happen because of the jobs that would be lost or altered. For example, crime would be encouraged because otherwise police officers would be out of work, or disease would not be fought because lots of medical staff and researchers would no longer be needed. It was a very flawed and short-sighted article.

Anyway, what was positive was that my comment ended up getting over a hundred more “like” and “love” reactions than the article itself. Considering that it was not on a vegan page, I found this very encouraging and surprising. Obviously, there were plenty of hate comments and arguments that I had to debunk, as well as trolls, but overall I was very pleasantly taken-aback by the support, and I had lots of lovely replies too. My follow-up replies, where I was debunking some stuff people said, got lots of likes as well. Maybe the world is changing after all…!

Here are the screenshots of my comment (I have chopped off my profile info at the top):

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I do find social media very overwhelming, and a lot of what I see makes my very angry and upset, so I have made various steps to reduce my social media usage from now on; it is also important to look after my own mental health, as well as being an activist for positive change πŸ™‚

I will be back when I can! Ciao for now πŸ˜€

Another London outing, and new job!

Hi all! Been a little while since I’ve posted, as I am now working full-time at my new job as an artist assistant, which I’m enjoying immensely πŸ™‚

I am having to make myself lunch boxes for the first time in years! For them, I usually make a couple of sandwiches using vegan cheese or vegan meat-style slices and salad, a fruit pot, crisps, and a bit of something sweet like biscuits. Some specific items I have used and enjoyed are:

  • Tofurky slices
  • Follow Your Heart pepper jack cheese
  • Tesco freefrom choc chip cookies

Yesterday we went on a day trip to London, in which I found a vegan-friendly Indian restaurant called Govindas just off Soho Square. It is a totally veggie pace with lots of vegan options including cake! We opted for the veggie platter, which is five items and various chutneys for just under Β£7 – very reasonable:

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Afterwards, because it was very humid (as if we need that excuse!), we went to Yorica! where I got an extremely pink frozen yogurt:

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Also, a couple of things I never posted before:

Firstly, I need to recommend Vegan Egg from Follow Your Heart! Here it is in all its incredibly realistic, scrambled glory, with a lovely cooked breakfast my mum made:

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Secondly, I eat a lot of Tesco’s vegan bean burgers; they are so tasty and quick πŸ™‚ I wanted to do something different with them, so I had the genius (?) idea of using them in wraps instead by breaking them apart and adding salad and Vegenaise:

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Have I recommended Vegenaise before? Here is my review:

EAT ALL THE VEGENAISE IT IS AMAZING AND IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Okay?

I think that is all for now, folks! But if you wonder why things are a little quiet, it is because of my new job! Ciao for now πŸ˜€

My busy week in London!

Hi folks! I recently returned from my week in London, where I was part of an art exhibition at Bargehouse in London. It flew by far too quickly, but I got to make the most of my time there, which of course included going to all my favourite vegan-friendly eateries, and discovering some new ones…!

The easiest thing to do is make a list and include some pictures. Also, I will be adding some new info to the Favourite shops & eateriesΒ page:

Busaba Eathai

I used to eat here as a kid, during trips to London πŸ™‚ The lovely smell of Thai food and incense is worth it on its own, and they also had a few vegan options. The choice is limited and is quite “salad-y”, although very tasty

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Yorica!

We went here a total of… wait for it… five times during the week! As mentioned before, everything in this ice-cream shop on Wardour Street is vegan, including waffles, crepes, ice-cream, frozen yogurt, sauces, and toppings!

The letters on the sprinkles spell “PTWZMLESS” – what does it meeeeean?!

Pret & Veggie Pret

We were lucky enough to have a Pret right next to our hotel (although, considering the amount of Prets in London, that is not much of a coincidence), and it was a great place to pick up a sandwich or wrap for lunch. They seem to have expanded their vegan range πŸ™‚

Zizzi

Always a favourite, and they do the nicest olives in the world. We were craving bolognese on the second day, and their new lentil ragu did the trick!

Vitao

A 100% vegan place we discovered by accident near Tottenham Court Road station. They have a buffet every day, a bit like Tibits, and everything tastes VERY healthy! The decor is lovely, with comfy benches, cushions, chairs made out of tree stumps, and cosy lighting.

Tibits

Again, always a favourite, we came here about five times as well! The fact that they have added a new chocolate pudding was possibly the most important moment of my week:

Temple of Hackney

We were determined to make a pilgrimage to this new vegan “fried chicken” place, and it was definitely worth getting lost on the tube when we tasted how good their “chicken” and mac ‘n’ cheese is. Problem is, you want to order everything on the menu!! I ended up having a wrap as well as the mac ‘n’ cheese (which came in a tub and was a thing of beauty). We made it with five minutes till closing time, and it was still really busy (which is all the more satisfying considering it is next door to a deserted butchers shop!) πŸ˜€

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Lola’s Cupcakes

At most tube stations, they have a selection of about six vegan cakes, which are yummy although a bit pricey! Worth is as a treat, to take away the stress of the underground πŸ˜€

Frustration, food, and finds!

Lots to write about this time, so brace yourselves πŸ˜€

Firstly, a couple of cool things I forgot to mention earlier:

Linda McCartney pulled-pork style burgers are now vegan! This was a big victory, as the only ingredient preventing them from being vegan before was a bit of honey, and lots of people were contacting the company asking for it to be replaced/taken out. Just a few weeks later, it was!

Vegeburgers from Schwarz Bros are vegan too (and very nice), so that’s a useful option to have with chips after a night out πŸ™‚

I’ve had a bit of a tough time this week as, on Sunday night, I happened to tune into a programme called “Oink: Man Loves Pig” which contained a lot of upsetting and frustrating moments, including slaughterhouse footage and people being massive hypocrites… Basically, I had a bit of a vent on facebook, because it was late and I had nobody to talk to in real life, and had immediate backlash from several “friends” who were getting defensive because I had the audacity to remind them that animals are killed. 😦

Anyway, I’m not going to dwell on it here because, as I’ve said in the past, I want to keep this blog a positive place. If you want to see any of my rants, they’re more likely to be on the Thoughts, FAQ & MythbustingΒ page!

But I saw this meme and it cheered me up immensely:

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HAHAHA πŸ˜€

Right, on to food.

This was lovely roast my mum made, using Fry’s steak-style pie:

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Sainsbury’s has had another addition to its freefrom chilled section – mac and cheese!!!!!! Which is delicious! I was never a huge fan of mac and cheese as I tended to find it a bit samey and heavy, but this was lovely with a bit of salad:

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And lastly (notice the improved quality picture, with Jacob’s phone), our favourite roast at The Green Rocket:

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One final thing: I don’t write about cosmetics as often as food BUT I have to mention Superdrug as they are fab at labelling all their own-brand products, most of which are vegan. I will also be getting a new supply of make-up when their B. range is back in my nearest store. (Their e.l.f. range is also vegan!)

This salted caramel shower and bath soak smells AMAZING! 10/10 would recommend. Unless you hate sweet things. Or showers. Or baths.

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London and other bits

Hellooo people!!

Sorry it’s been a while again, so I have a few weeks to catch up on! Friday was mine and Jacob’s second anniversary, and we went to London for the day to see the final version of Bat out of Hell the musical (which was AWESOME!!). While we were there, we ate at two of our favourite vegan-friendly places in the West End: Tibits and Yorica!

Usual messy plate-full-of-everything-imaginable:

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Sadly I forgot to take a pic of my Yorica! frozen yogurt, but it was rainbow candy flavour with several types of sweets and sprinkles πŸ™‚

A few other bits:

We have also been to Las Iguanas a couple of times, as they have several vegan dishes. If I’m honest, the chilli was a bit TOO spicy for me, but their mushroom fajita is yum

Vegan waggon-wheel (the instruction printed on it is unnecessary!):

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Salted caramel ice-cream, which was perfect in the heat wave we’ve just had in England:

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Lastly, Jacob and I have cooked with each other a few times recently, and here are the treats he’s made: a Fry’s ‘chicken’ pesto pasta, (with vegan sparkling wine from Harvest) and a pizza:

By the way, if it’s of interest, please do keep checking my Thoughts, FAQ & MythbustingΒ page, as it is constantly updates with ramblings; I find it’s a good way to consolidate my many thoughts and get them out of my head πŸ™‚