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 🙂

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 🙂

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) 🙂 Both these things were really yummy, and I would recommend very much.

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Bye for now 😀

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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 & eateries page:

Busaba Eathai

I used to eat here as a kid, during trips to London 🙂 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 🙂

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!) 😀

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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 😀

Laaandan nosh!

We’re back from our two nights in London, and now have a few days relaxing before going to Edinburgh! 🙂 It was a very eventful few days, and my top achievements were managing to navigate London transport without any hitches, and plucking up the courage to sing a karaoke song in front of a room of strangers for the first time 😀

Obviously we could choose between a huge variety of vegan-friendly eateries (ahh how refreshing!), and took full advantage of the lovely food available…

I’ll do a little itinerary of where we went and what we had:

Wed 3rd August

  • Took the National Express from Bath to London Victoria and travelled to our hotel to check-in.
  • Popped into Subway before going to see The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre (wooooo spooky noises)
  • Ate at Sagar vegetarian Indian restaurant, then went for a couple of cocktails 🙂
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Poori (giant puffed bread)!
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Chickpea channa masala, vegetable pilau rice and green salad

Thurs 4th August

  • Got the bus to Highgate and walked through Waterlow Park through to the Cemetery (we came across a tiny café where we assumed we wouldn’t be able to get anything, but it transpired that the waiter was vegan too, and got us some bagels!!) So unexpected and funny 😀
  • Had a tour of Highgate Cemetery (wooooo more spooky noises)
  • Got the tube to Mildred’s restaurant in Soho, which was amazing!
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Summer burrito, tofu burger, best sweet potato fries we’ve ever had, oriental broccoli
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Raw chocolate cheesecake and salted caramel truffles (and Jacob!)
  • Did some sightseeing around Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and the London Eye
  • Went out for drinks and karaoke with a friend of ours whoo lives in London 🙂
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All set! 😀

Fri 5th August

  • Checked out of our hotel and got the tube to Victoria Station, where we got lunch at Pret A Manger (Ironically we happened to walk right past the Veggie Pret in Soho the day before, but we didn’t go in cause we were going to Mildreds! Only in London would you pass up a great vegan-friendly eatery to go to another one!)
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Mushroom and avocado sushi, and acai berry granola pot
  • Got the National Express back home 🙂

We have already planned our next trip to London: a meet-and-greet with Meat Loaf, of all things!! It’s only the musical kind of meatloaf we like 😀

Theatrical times :D

Wow I can’t believe the theatre show I was in is over! I really miss it already and am excited for when the film is uploaded onto YouTube! It went very successfully and it was great fun to perform in Novato Productions at The Mission Theatre again 🙂 The past couple of weeks have been insanely busy, what with the intensive rehearsals, three show nights and making more arrangements for our house move in mid-June.

So I don’t end up writing an entire dissertation (yet!), I will just post about a few foodie highlights which have happened recently.

Firstly, we paid another visit to The Stable for some vegan pizza, as I enjoyed it so much when I visited with my theatre group. Apparently there was an event there a short time ago, where all the vegans in Bath went as a group for a meal 🙂

I’ll leave out the photo of Jacob eating salad…

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Kidding! 😀

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Next, a couple of my favourite meals we’ve had recently. Sadly, a lot of stuff I’ve had over the rehearsal period has been easy, quick snacks suitable for taking to the theatre dressing room, but has nonetheless included some yummy things, such as a pitta bread wrap from Pret A Manger 🙂

Here’s a stir-fry I made using Fry’s beef-style strips, button mushrooms, green pepper, and noodles and black bean sauce from Sainsbury’s:

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Also, a burger meal using Linda McCartney burgers, fried onions, ketchup, seeded buns, salad, avocado and spiced potato wedges 🙂 omnomnomnom!!

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Lastly, the other day I had a lovely catch-up with a friend in town, where we met in Costa and I ended up getting a strawberry cooler made with soya milk! I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to get one, but I did and it was scrumptious for a sunny day 🙂

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Something else which made me happy was seeing this book near the entrance of Urban Outfitters, which was full of reasons to be vegan and some useful recipes:

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The sceptical side of me was very aware that it was probably there only because a lot of people seem to view veganism as a fashionable dietary choice, which people only adopt to be hipster or whatever… :/ But honestly, I don’t really mind why people become vegan; surely the very fact that people are choosing veganism, and educating themselves on reasons for doing so, then that is great news? Particularly if they then do it for life 🙂

The fact that veganism is getting so much attention at the moment is fantastic because, even if it is ridiculed by some people because they feel threatened or defensive, it is still better than not getting any attention at all, because then more and more people will become aware of it and hopefully do their research and make dietary changes for the better 🙂

Ciao for now, everyone! The next time I post, I may well be installed in my new house 😀

Surprise finds :)

Ciao peeps! Today’s been a busy but enjoyable one, completing all my assessment work (now done!!) and then going into town for nosh and other things.

Thankfully I had lunch before walking up to uni, as it had slipped my mind that the cafe is currently closed because somebody broke into its cash machine over the weekend (!!). Don’t know why they bothered; we’re students, there won’t be any money in there…

Anyway, by the time I had walked up the massive hill, done three hours of work, and walked back into town, I was famished. I remembered reading on the Facebook Vegan Supermarket Finds page that Pret A Manger does a few vegan options, so I headed there and bought this yummy sandwich (I stupidly forgot to take a picture of the label, but I know it contained avocado, kale and some delicious spicy sauce etc.):

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Nice things in bread

I have heard a lot of people raving about some new sweets from Marks and Spencer, called “Sticks of Summer” spicy fruit sticks, and I’ve tried twice now to get them, but they’re currently out of stock :/ However, I had geared myself up for sweetie goodness, so I got a pack of gelatine-free Percy Pics instead 😀

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Pigs without the pig 😀

There was one last nice surprise of the day when I found a load of new organic vegan chocolate bars in Sainsbury’s 🙂 They’re not the cheapest, but as a treat they look fab!

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