Mildreds Dalston

Mildreds in Soho is an institution. Opened in 1988 they were serving vegetarian and vegan food long before it was trendy. In the last couple of years they have been setting their sights on world domination, first by opening branches in Camden and Kings Cross and just this week they’ve opened a branch in Dalston, which luckily for me is just a bus ride from work!

When I heard they were opening Dalston I knew I had to go, so I invited my friend Jo who I have a monthly dinner date with. It also helped that they are having a 50% off promotion for the first two weeks! 

The restaurant is really light and modern with huge windows, we arrived just before six so it wasn’t too busy yet (by the time we left there was a queue of people waiting to be seated!)

We started with drinks, I went for a Turkish Rose which had almond syrup, pineapple and cranberry juice and Jo went for a Kumquat Mojito.

We chose a few small plates for starters. I love miso glazed aubergine so that was a must! We also had some vegetable dumplings and houmous and flat bread. It was all so tasty!

For mains I carried on the Far Eastern theme and went for the Vietnamese Mock Duck noodle dish. The duck was well flavour and had a good texture and I loved the fresh vegetables and dressing that came with it.

It was a drizzly, wet evening so Jo went for the Mushroom and Ale pie with chips and mushy peas. The mushroom filling was really rich and we both felt this would have been better paired with mash rather than chips.

We were starting to feel a bit full, but when there’s vegan desserts you just have to go for it! I went for pandan panna cotta with lychees which was just stunning. Lychees are my favourites so as soon as I saw them in the menu I knew that was the one for me. I also love the subtle flavour of pandan.

Jo went for the vegetarian (rather than vegan) Sicilian Lemon Cheesecake, she said it was quite sharp but had no issues polishing it off!

We were looked after splendidly by our server Theo and I would never have guessed they had only opened the day before.

We had a fabulous time and I’ll definitely be heading back.

Cheers!

Plumes x

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Mildreds Dalston

Hot Dog Fundraiser at Black Cat Hackney

Last night I attended a fundraiser for New Hope Animal Rescue at Black Cat Café in Hackney with my Sister-in-law and one of her friends.

New Hope is run by Niall and Vet Nurse Steph and they take in animals in need, often those who require medical treatment. They are currently looking to move in order to have more room so they can help more animals, check out all the details on their website.

Vegan café Black Cat in Hackney often host fundraiser nights for charities and this one was hot dog themed. We had to book in advance and I’m glad to say they completely sold out for the two sittings they had on the night. For £20 we had starters, mains and desserts and we were well and truly satisfied with the food we were served up.

To start we had these cute canapés of houmous on cucumber which were really tasty.

Next up we had sweet potatoes with vegan cheese and onions.

There were four hot dogs on offer and we all went for the Muttley Mac topped with onions vegan and Mac and Cheese. These hot dogs were giant! I added some ketchup (I can’t have a hot dog without ketchup!) and dived in! I am not the biggest fan of Mac and Cheese but this wasn’t overpowering or too saucy. 

And if that wasn’t already enough we had cupcakes for dessert. I went for the lemon and my Sister-in-law had the red velvet. The lemon was lovely and zingy and the red velvet had a cream cheese frosting on top.

Everyone had a wonderful night and all in all £1223 was raised for New Hope! Yay!

Plumes X

Hot Dog Fundraiser at Black Cat Hackney

Hackney Downs Vegan Market

On the third Saturday of every month Hackney Downs Studios plays host to the Hackney Downs Vegan Market. I’ve been once before with my Sister-in-law and this weekend my Husband decided he wanted to come with me.

He was most looking forward to having a burger from Big V (which I’ve previously reviewed here) and some doughnuts from Dough Society.

When we first arrived we realised how many people were there by the length of the queues! Temple of Seitan were showcasing their bacon cones which lots of people were interested in.

We made our way through the market to where Big V were and although there was a long queue it went down quite quickly.

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There is some seating in the market but due to the numbers of visitors it was all taken so we went and sat on the downs next to the market while we ate our burgers.

When we returned we saw that Dough Society had unfortunately (for us!) sold out. It was only 1pm when we arrived at the market (which opened at 11 and closed at 5) but it just goes to show the popularity of events like these.

We weren’t disappointed in the sweet side though as we headed to Vegan Delice‘s stall to pick up some goodies. My Husband chose a couple of these chocolate hazelnut biscuits. I took a cheeky bite and I must say it was delicious!

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I was visiting a friend later in the afternoon so I chose a lotus caramel cupcake and a bakewell slice to share. I really enjoyed both these cakes especially the cupcake with lotus spread running through the middle.

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The popularity of events like these go to show how many people there are interested in vegan food and Sean of Fat Gay Vegan has said he’s planning on opening another market in another part of London.

I also wanted to highlight Sean’s policy regarding the traders who are at the market.

In the spirit of inclusion and for the promotion of people often overlooked/sidelined at mainstream vegan events, I have earmarked my percentage of stalls for those traders who identify as BME, LGBTQ, people with disabilities and/or as women.

To clarify, this policy ensures that at least nine out of the twelve stalls each month will be owned or co-owned by someone who identifies as BME, LGBTQ, a person with a disability and/or a woman.

Have you been to Hackney Downs Vegan Market? What did you think?L Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Hackney Downs Vegan Market

Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

On Sunday I had an impromptu visit to Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Brentwood for their Summer Barbecue. I can’t believe I’ve never been before as this is my nearest sanctuary, but I’ll definitely be a regular visitor now.

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Hopefield is a non-profit organisation which rescue abandoned animals.

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They have a lot of farm animals as well as exotic animals who have been bought as pets and their owners did not have the specialist knowledge to look after them properly.

I love chickens and the one with the ‘fro just made my heart melt.

There are so many horses! There were a number in the field to came up to see us, as well as those with health issues in the stables.

The pigs were having a great time basking in the sun.

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How gorgeous is this guy?

I was really interested in the tanuki, and were surprised some people had been keeping these beautiful animals as pets.

There are also an increasing number of reptiles being looked after at the sanctuary.

Spending time with these animals reinforces my vegan beliefs and why I want to end their use and exploitation.

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This is sanctuary’s longest resident and who the sanctuary is named after.

I would recommend you visit Hopefield if you are in the area or you can support them by donating online or sponsoring one of the animals.

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Plumes x

 

Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

Lush Vegan Evening

On Thursday I attended an event at my local Lush store with my Mum. I was really excited when I saw this event pop up on Facebook as my little suburb of London isn’t the most vegan-friendly.

The details on the event page were – 

We believe in fresh handmade products and making them using only vegetarian ingredients. It’s a value we’ve always held because it’s important to us, and to our customers.

With around 80% of our products also being Vegan, we’d love to give our customers the opportunity to meet up for some fresh ideas, recipe and knowledge sharing, and also a bit of a pamper. So whether you’re a life long Vegan, brand new to the diet change, or just thinking about adopting a Vegan or Vegetarian lifestyle, we’d love to invite you along.

When we arrived we were given a sticker for our name and how long we’d been vegan or vegetarian. They had a table with some cookbooks and magazines to look at for recipe ideas as well as some vegan refreshment laid out in the way of oreos, fizzy sweets and chocolate.

There was also a game to play or attributing the vegan quote to the correct celebrity (our group did rather well at this!)

We also took the opportunity to have a proper look through all their vegan products and Mum got a sample of their coffee face scrub. We was really nice just having a browse and seeing what they had as I usually just go for the same products when I’m in there.

I wasn’t in need of much so I just bought a bath bomb each for my Husband and me, I was slightly disappointed we weren’t given a discount at this event but that was the only thing I think that would have made it better.

I thought this was a great event for Lush to put on and have been a long time customer of them due to their cruelty free status and ethical campaigns. If they went 100% vegan it would be the icing on the cake!

Have you been to a vegan event a Lush? If not I would ask your local store if they’d consider putting on an event like this.

What are you fave Lush products? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Lush Vegan Evening

A weekend of Activism/Outreach

This weekend saw me take part in two vegan outreach events in Leicester Square in London. For non-uk (or non-London) people, Leicester Square is one of the busiest tourist areas in London (it’s where all our movie premieres take place) and there is always lots going on!

Originally I was planning to take part in a preparation event making signs and meeting people who are taking part in the Animal Rights March which takes place in London on 2nd September, but unfortunately this was postponed due to the weather. 

Instead I took part in the Earthlings Experience, where we show the realities of the meat industry in the UK and speak to people about their reaction and feelings towards the footage and encourage them to do more research into adopting a plant based lifestyle. 

Photo from a previous event

This was my second Earthlings Experience and my first in Leicester Square, most people were respectful and some encouraging conversations were had. There were the usual dismissers and some louts (well it is central London on a Saturday night!) but all in all I think it was a successful event and I look forward to taking part in many mote.

On Sunday I was back in Leicester Square with Surge’s Down with Dairy event. There were over 50 activists, some showing footage of the dairy industry, some holding signs, some talking to the public and we had some maning our stall giving out sample of cheese and milk alternatives for the public to try.

I took part in different activities and spoke to some great activists. While I was stood silently holding my tablet showing footage I listened to another activist so eloquently speak to a group of young men and was so encouraged by their response to his words.

I’m definitely looking forward to taking part in more events with Surge. It was a talk by Earthling Ed at the Vegan Camp Out which really inspired me to take part in more activism and it was also great listening him speak to the public at this event.

If you are vegan and haven’t taken part in any activism or outreach I’d really recommend you search for groups in your area and get involved. I know I am lucky living in London where there are events going on every week but there are lots of things going on in other parts of the country too. It’s a great way to spread the vegan message of peace and compassion and you get to meet some great like minded people!

Plumes x

A weekend of Activism/Outreach

Review – Big V London 4/08/2017

I was in Southwark today so headed to Borough Market to get some lunch. Borough Market is a massive food market with loads of different traders. It can be a bit meat/fish/cheese heavy in places, but there are a few vegan gems.

I haven’t been to Borough Market on a Friday before so I was excited to try Big V London who are there on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (they are also at other markets so check out their website for details).

Looking at the range of burgers online both my Husband and I were interested in the Holy Smoke but unfortunately this wasn’t available so we went for the Classic V Facon Cheeseburger.

I was impressed with the size of the burger, although I did have a little bit of trouble eating it walking along and by the end it was a bit messy! I think the patty was a really nice texture, which my Husband also liked, although not being a lover of the texture of seitan he thought the mushrooms really improved it.

I found the facon a bit too salty for my taste, and I couldn’t really taste the cheese with that and the burger sauce, pickles and tomato relish so next time I think I’d go for a classic burger.

While I was at Borough Market I stopped by The Free From Bakehouse and bought a slice of mango baked cheesecake. Unfortunately it wasn’t very photogenic after the journey home in my Husband’s backpack!

I stopped in Leon on Borough High Street as I knew Ruby’s of London were stocking vegan doughnuts and cupcakes in Leon stores in Southwark. I bought a rose and pistachio one but like the cheesecake it didn’t look great by the time we were home!

I was also impressed they had almond milk out for the tea along with the cow juice.

Have you eaten at Big V London? What did you think? Are there other vegan foods you would recommend around Borough Market? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Review – Big V London 4/08/2017