A Day Trip Out in Brighton

Yesterday I went spent the day out in Brighton with my cousin Katy. Technically I think we’re second cousins once removed. (Our Mums are first cousins and our Nans are sisters). I’m six years older than her and have always seen her as a little sister, especially as she is the eldest out of her first cousins. We haven’t seen a lot of eachother lately due to life getting in the way so it was lovely to spend the whole day with her doing fun things!

I started my day at my cousins’ Dan and Amanda’s house. They are always very accommodating and have dairy free milk in for me (and usually vegan cider!) I was impressed with my own vegan detection skills in the shower when I randomly picked out a vegan shower gel from their extensive range! I’m not sure where this one is from, I think it might be Superdrug. It was white chocolate based and smelled amazing!

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I met Katy at Eastbourne station. I saw a cafe I hadn’t noticed before inside the station so decided to grab a coffee while I was waiting. I’ve found independent cafes in Eastbourne lacking in dairy-free milks in the past but I was pleasantly surprised that Bella’s Secret offered both soya and almond milk. I went for a soya chain latte and thoroughly enjoyed it!

The weather wasn’t fantastic and it was a bit showery on the train ride over so we decided our first stop had to be a cafe for a hot drink. I wanted to try Black Mocha as I had met some friends there last time I was in Brighton but they had sold our of vegan cakes. We had a vegan snickers and an orange, raspberry and pistachio cashew cake with two of the signature black mochas. The snickers cake was really rich and sticky; I think it was a good idea to share both cakes as the pistachio one was really fresh and cut through the richness of the other. The coffee was quite strong but with the sweetness of the chocolate in it I didn’t need any extra sugar.

We then had a look around the shops in the North Laine area. I picked up some sausages from Brighton Sausage Co. It’s a bit of an odd place to be selling vegan sausages but if you head in the door (try not to look at the meat counter!) there’s a fridge on the left that houses the animal friendly ones. There was only one packet left and the guy working in there said they had two deliveries a week and often sell out within 20 minutes!

We had a look in a Chinese supermarket and I picked up some mock curry chicken, mock roasted duck and some red beancurd. I’ve never seen red beancurd before so I’m looking forward to trying it out.

I promised myself I wouldn’t spend a fortune in Infinity Foods but as we were thirsty we needed to pick up some drinks. I was blinkered again and tried not to get tempted so headed straight for the drinks cabinet. Katy got a Fentimans rose lemonade and I had their elderflower. I really like it as it’s not as sweet as some other elderflower drinks.

I picked up a lovely tea towel with a Highland Cow on it, but unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the shop. I also saw some lovely pictures and lampshades that I loved, but that will have to wait until I have enough space to put them in!

We had a great root around To be worn again. I tried on a couple of dresses which didn’t fit right. If I had a sewing machine (or space for a sewing machine!) and the skills I’m sure I could have done something with them, but they were a bit pricey to take a risk on. Katy found some stonewashed short dungarees that looked great on her so at least one of us left happy!

We headed to rootcandi for lunch. I had seen lots of photos on their instagram feed and from other vegans I follow who had been there. I’m going to write up a full review but here’s the pictures. We had a beetroot burger with courgette fries and a dhal with rice, naan and raita. It was all delish!

We skipped dessert as I had seen an ice-cream parlour offering vegan options and wanted to try it out. We usually go to Boho Gelato for our ice-cream needs but as we’ve been there multiple times we thought we’d give Gelato Gusto a try. Katy had blood orange and mojito which both tasted really fresh and citrusy. I went for lychee and rose and cherry cola. Lychee and rose are two of my fave flavours separately or together and this sorbet tasted really delicate. The cherry cola packed more of a punch so I tried to eat the scoops one at a time. Next time I think I’d try a blackcurrant and elderflower combo. They also had vegan brownies so it was nice to see multiple options.

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Our last stop before rushing back to the station to catch our respective trains was to Pearls for some bubble tea. They had a sign saying the milk option were dairy and lactose free but not vegan. I enquiried and the lady serving said it contained an egg derivative. Not great but at least it was clearly labelled. I went for black lemon tea with half sweetness (as we’d just had the ice-cream) and tapioca pearls. Katy had lychee tea with strawberry pearls.

I always love a day trip to Brighton  but with so many vegan friendly places it’s a tough decision between trying something new or going with old favourites!

What are your favourite places in Brighton? Let me know in the comments!

Plumes x

A Day Trip Out in Brighton

Review – Afternoon Tea by The Vegan Ronin

On Sunday I went for afternoon tea prepared by Jhenn, The Vegan Ronin. If you haven’t seen my review of her Japanese Supper Club you should check it out. When I saw the list of her upcoming events I knew I wanted to try out her afternoon tea.

I was supposed to be going with my Mum but unfortunately she had come down with a heavy cold. The good thing about supper clubs is that they are social events so it doesn’t matter if you go alone as you will be happily chatting aware to the other guests in no time!

To start we had a cashew nut ball with homemade kale and chili crackers. I really enjoyed the nut cheese and although I enjoyed the crackers as well, they were a little bit too spicy for me. I enjoy the taste of chili but unfortunately my body doesn’t handle it too well!

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Next course was the sandwiches. We were treated to queso blanco and watercress, Avocado creme with cucumber and spring onion slaw, Seitan with tarragon mustard and baby kale and Coronation mushroom with mango chutney. The queso blanco  (white cheese) was soft and creamy with a delicate flavour and went well with the watercress. I enjoyed the seitan and I am a massive mustard fan but like the chili in the crackers this was a bit strong for me. My favourite was the coronation  mushroom, the sauce was really tasty and creamy and went well with the mango chutney. I also enjoyed the different breads the sandwiches were served on.

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Next up we had the traditional scones with jam and cream. The scones were still warm from the oven and tasted lovely with the homemade strawberry jam and cream. They were so good I just had to have two although at this point I was starting to feel a bit full!

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Our final course was dessert. We had a mango crumble, chocolate torte with a caramel sauce and meringue nests with blueberries and pomegranate. The mango crumble was nicely spiced and the fruit was lovely and sweet. The chocolate torte was really rich and quite bitter but this went well with the sweet caramel sauce. It was my first time trying aquafaba meringues and they didn’t disappoint. They were crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle.

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I really enjoyed all the food, perhaps a little too much as I felt I would need rolling out of there by the end!

My advice would be to serve the sandwiches as fingers so you get to try all the different flavours of the filling without too much of the very filling bread. Also the desserts could have been smaller portions, although I didn’t complain about my doggy bag of chocolate torte and extra meringues!

I would really recommend attending a supper club if you get the chance to go to one and I’m already looking forward to the next time I get to sample some great food.

Plumes x

Review – Afternoon Tea by The Vegan Ronin

Round up of the week’s food 160403

This week feels like its been quiet but I’ve actually done quite a bit.

On Sunday my Husband made this lovely mushroom risotto which I also had for lunch for Monday. Risotto is one of those meals that often tastes better the next day.

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On Monday I went to my Aunt’s for our annual Easter Egg hunt. I left the hunting to the younger ones and my Grandad and enjoyed some sausage rolls and mini dark chocolate eggs my Sister-in-law had brought.

For dinner I had some vegan egg, beans and as my Husband was having chips  with his dinner I thought why not!

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On Tuesday I had a falafel salad for lunch. Falafel House is a popular choice for my team at work, its completely vegetarian and often has queues out the door.

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On Tuesday evening I had sausage and mash with vegetables. When I added this on instagram I had comments about the lack of gravy. I’m not a massive gravy fan unless its full of mushrooms or onions and I couldn’t be bothered with all that on a weekday evening!

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On Wednesday  I bought some smoked tofu on the way home, from Holland and Barratt. Dragonfly Foods is one of my favourite tofu brands and its great when its on offer in H&B. I used this in a pasta dish with onions, peppers and aubergine pesto. My Husband isn’t usually a massive fan of tofu but he really enjoyed this meal too.

On Thursday we had an Indian takeaway. I went for saag dhal (spinach and lentils) and channa (chickpea) masala. I also had a paratha (layered bread). I’m not a great lover of rice but I was hoping to nab a bit of my Husband’s, unfortunately he had got one with keema (minced lamb) in it.

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On Friday I had lunch from a local Ghanaian eatery. Chop Pot has a few vegan options which are clearly labelled, I tried the beans as a taster but they were too spicy for me. I decided to go for the spinach and rice with plantain dumplings. It was really tasty but the heat in the spinach did grow as I was eating it and I ended up only managing to finish half. I wish I had a greater heat tolerance! However I may go back just for the dumplings. I forgot to take a picture of my food, but here’s the menu.

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On Friday we headed down to my in-laws. On Friday I had a nut burger and chips prepared by my Father-in-law.

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I got some Swedish Glace chocolate dairy free dessert from Waitrose and served it in a tiny bowl so I didn’t have too much!

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On Saturday I had a fab breakfast of avocado on toast with some Alpro vanilla soya yogurt and hot chocolate made with oat milk. It really set me up for the day!

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Saturday was Autism Awareness Day and we went to a charity “Princess Awaken” event in aid of Autism All Stars in Kent. My 3 year old niece had a great time meeting all the princesses and waving at the stormtroopers but got a little scared if they came too close! She wasn’t too sure about getting her face painted so I volunteered to go first, but even that didn’t convince her! I did get some smiles when we were walking down the High Street later on!

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On Saturday evening the family had tandoori chicken and rice, so I had mine with some Linda McCartney sausages.

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Today I went for afternoon tea made by Jhenn AKA The Vegan Ronin. I’m going to write up a full review but here is a sneak peak of what was served. It was all amazing and I am so full right now I definitely won’t need any dinner!

Hope you’ve all had a good week!

Plumes x

Round up of the week’s food 160403