For the first time in a long time, it has been quite a while since I’ve last posted, and for that, I must apologise. If you follow me on social media you may know that I spent the last few weeks in London on an impromptu work trip. While it wasn’t exactly a vacation, I was lucky enough to spend a decent amount of time there, which meant weekends and select weeknights were spent vegan-venturing, exploring old and new haunts, and spending time with good friends. As exhausting as travelling for work usually is, on this particular occasion, I definitely couldn’t complain.
On my first Saturday there I headed over to Brixton to do some exploring. Famed for its vibrant indoor markets, kitschy boutiques and alternative arts scene, there was definitely a lot to see. A few hours and an unfortunate downpour of rain later, I headed to Veg Bar for some sustenance.
In line with many of the mixed reviews I had seen online, Brixton’s allegedly top vegan restaurant wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t superb either, in my opinion.
I had the Mediterranean salad, a leek and potato soup and their version of a pesto mac n cheese which I wrapped up to go. Of the three I’d probably only recommend the pasta, which admittedly was quite unique.
VegBar is located on 45 Tulse Hill, London SW2 2TJ, United Kingdom. www.vegbar.co.uk
For dessert – it had to be a cupcake from the infamous Ms.Cupcake, London’s first and only fully vegan bakery.
Oreo flavoured, of course. I also got a salted caramel cupcake to go which was equally divine – but beware if you’re not a fan of frosting as they really tend to heap it on.
Ms. Cupcake is located on 408 Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8LF, United Kingdom. mscupcake.co.uk
Although not a vegan or vegetarian herself, I’m lucky enough to have a best friend who a) was in London all throughout my time there and b) didn’t mind being dragged along to all sorts of veggie eateries.
Together we wolfed down twin salad bowls and green juices from Whole Foods, Picadilly.
Plates piled high with goodies from Vantra Vitao on Tottenham Court Road. Pro tip: much like Tibits, this restaurant is a operates a pay-by-weight buffet-style, and they don’t accept cards so make sure you have enough cash before chowing down.
We even sampled some vegan sushi at London’s only all vegan Japanese restaurant, Itadaki Zen.
But my favourite meal that we shared, had to be the one at Mildred’s, in their gorgeous new King’s Cross location.
Rose and harissa hummus with tempeh crumbles and freshly baked flatbread to start – delicious.
A detox salad of organic beetroot, carrot, baby spinach, fennel, sprouting beans, sultanas, coriander, toasted seeds, in a lime and ginger dressing with marinated tofu, for her. And smoked tofu, fennel, apple and white bean sausages with cider jus, pan fried cabbage and peas, served on dill mashed potatoes for me. The iPhone photo does not do this dish justice, it was the perfect comfort food on a chilly Sunday evening.
We shared dessert which came in the form of a warming and cinnamon spiced apple and blackberry crumble with vanilla ice cream.
Mildred’s is located on 200 Pentonville Road, London N1 9GX, United Kingdom. www.mildreds.co.uk
A trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to the West End, something my father and I wholeheartedly agree on. We made plans to see Mamma Mia (the movie is one of my all-time favourites) and it definitely did not disappoint, although I feel the need to protest the lack of dairy-free ice cream on sale during intermission, but anyways I digress. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at popular chain Zizzi, which had to my delight, an entire vegan menu.
I opted for the vegan pizza with mozarisella cheese, caramelised onions, peppers, mushrooms and artichokes. While it wasn’t as good as Berlin, it still hit the spot and it’s definitely great to have so many plant-based options at such a mainstream restaurant.
When it comes to a weekend morning well spent, as far as London is concerned, art galleries, markets and street food are a must for me. I ventured out to the Whitechapel Gallery on one such morning and followed it up by getting lost in Old Spitalfields Market while sipping on a green juice from Press.
For lunch, I had what was by far the best meal of the trip, from the infamous Cook Daily. Located in the hip foodie pop-up Boxpark in Shoreditch, this place serves up no-frills soul-food style vegan fare that tastes incredible.
I’m still dreaming about the Yoga Fire bowl I had which consisted of aspiced chickpeas, a sweet potato veggie curry with turmeric and dhal simmered in a golden coconut sauce over a mix of quinoa and brown rice. Needless to say, it is definitely on my list of dishes to re-create.
Another winner was my first foray into Colombian street food, thanks to Maize Blaze‘s vegan option at Kerb Camden, in Cameden Market. Spiced potatoes, fried plantains, beetroot salad and guacamole over some beans and rice – tricky to eat but oh-so-satisfyingly filling.
But as we all know, when in Camden there is always room for dessert.
No shame as I indulged in this peanut butter and chocolate doughnut topped with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce from the incomparable Cookies and Scream.
While I love eating out as much as the next girl, it’s not always the most practical option. One great thing about a longer-term trip (and an AirBnB with a gorgeous kitchen) is the ability to whip up breakfast, lunch and dinner in the comfort of your temporary home.
The quintessential avocado toast made with my favourite GF bread and the sweetest plum tomatoes, made several appearances.
During the work-week, I survived mainly on pre-packed salad monsters like this one.
Mixed leaves, quinoa, chickpeas, avocado, falafel bites and some Moroccan-style hummus.
Dinners were pretty simple most of the time – think stir fry veg, pesto pasta with tofu or frankly, even just some cereal with banana and almond butter.
I did however, manage to pull the stops out and do some entertaining one evening, and whipped up a super simple Mediterranean vegetable stew (recipe to come, I promise!) for the aforementioned friend and myself.
Served alongside fluffy quinoa, artichoke and avocado salad, caramelised onion hummus and garlicky swiss chard (with some unpictured olives and Tofurky Italian sausages on the side).
I must apologise for the shoddy photography too, but alas there’s only so much you can do with an iPhone and an absence of natural lighting. All in all, it was a great trip, but it sure is nice to be home too.
Until next time, dear readers!