Vegan Adventures in Amsterdam

We decided to visit Amsterdam to celebrate our anniversary this year. As my Husband doesn’t like flying we took the ferry from Harwich in Essex to the Hook of Holland and got a train to Amsterdam via the Dutch Flyer service.

I booked our accommodation through Air BnB which was a first for me. I liked the idea of having a fridge to put my plant based milk and the option of making breakfast and snacks in our own kitchen. Most apartments are more suited for 4 or 6 people sharing so some places were out of our budget for just the two of us. I was thrilled when I saw this listing for a romantic houseboat! It was a few stops on the tram from the centre and really was idyllic. Our host Henk welcomed us and explained everything and even showed us some bikes we could borrow if we wanted to ride into town. 






They was also a supermarket opposite which had lots of organic and vegan offerings. I got some Oatly barista for my hot drinks and we picked up some Taifun hotdogs and a fresh french stick for lunch along with some snacks.

I had already had a look on Happy Cow to see what vegan food options there were and I was glad to see they weren’t in short supply! For our first meal we went to Terra Zen, a Caribbean Japanese fusion restaurant in the centre of Amsterdam. It was very quirky with a large table you sat around with fellow diners and one chef running it all. We both went for the Jamaican plate which had vegetables and faux chicken in a lightly spiced coconut sauce with rice. The food was really tasty and the atmosphere was very laid back. I wouldn’t recommend this place if you are on a tight time schedule, but we were happy to chill and take our time on our first evening.




On our second we spent some some time sight-seeing and visiting museums, if there are any places you really want to see I would recommend you buy your tickets online in advance to guarantee entry. We weren’t aware of this so we are unable to see Anne Frank’s house and had to queue for a while to get into the Van Gogh museum. 
Also if there are any restaurants you really want to visit I would recommend making a reservation. We tried to get into Meatless District on Saturday night and it was fully booked so we booked for the following evening. Luckily I knew that The Dutch Weed Burger Joint was close by so we had our dinner there. The weed referenced in the name is seaweed and it features in almost every dish on the menu. My Husband went for the burger which is soya based and comes in a green bun while I went for the Seawharma wrap which was marinated seitan based, we also shared a portion of fries.


It was a messy affair which required several napkins but it was all very tasty! Unfortunately their hot water was out so I couldn’t enjoy a hot drink after our meal so I decided to take a brownie home to enjoy later. It was really rich and fudgey and went down well with a cup of tea and a good book.


Sunday was our anniversary so we decided to go out for brunch. I had seen on the map that Brunchroom was only one tram stop from the boat and although they weren’t completely vegan they did have vegan options. When we first arrived we were informed they may be a wait for a table but then the host realised there was a table free so we were seated straight away. You have an order form that you fill in and give to counter with your options. I went for banana, peanut butter and maple syrup. My Husband had his first non-vegan meal of the trip so this is a good place to go to please everyone. The waffle was light and fluffy and I was definitely full until dinner time!


After brunch we visited the Botanical Gardens and I must say this was my favourite part of our trip. We got to see some amazing plants in the various greenhouses and the butterfly house was particularly special. The gardens are situated just west of the zoo and are €9 each to enter.












We past by Vega-Life a clothing store so I had to pop in and see what they had to offer. They had lots of vegetarian shoes and T-shirts as well as a beauty section, cookbooks and some chocolate I picked up a Thumbs Up bar to enjoy later.


We arrived a little early to our dinner at Meatless District so enjoyed some drinks while we perused the menu. My Husband went for the seitan burger which tasted very smokey and almost hotdog like. He said he preferred this burger to his one from the previous night. I went for the battered broccoli with radish and samphire. It was very enjoyable but there was so much broccoli it beat me and I had to leave a couple of florets. They must have battered a whole head of broccoli there was so much!




As we were pretty full we got dessert to go. I chose a carrot cake and my Husband had the chocolate hazelnut tart. Both were fabulous!


On our last day we stopped in at Vegabond for some food before getting our train to the ferry. I had the summer rolls with a spicy peanut sauce which were really fresh tasting and delicious. We then enjoyed a donut each and I had a chai latte with oat milk. The donuts were good proper fried donuts and they tasted amazing! I also picked up some sweets for my work colleagues while I was there as all the ones I had seen elsewhere had gelatine in them.



There were some places that were recommended to me which we didn’t get a chance to visit as there as only so many meal times in a four day visit! But I know if we decide to go back to Amsterdam there will be lots more options for us to try!


So that was our trip to Amsterdam! Have you been? What did you enjoy most and where did you eat? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

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Vegan Adventures in Amsterdam

Podcasts

Bit of a different post today. My friend Charlie was asking what podcasts I listen to, so instead of just giving her the list I thought I’d share them all with you too.

The first podcast I ever listened to was the famous Serial which was recommended to me by my friend Jo. If you haven’t heard it, it is about a journalist who investigates the real life murder of a teenage girl in the 90’s and whether her boyfriend who was jailed (and is still incarcerated) for the crime really did it. It is very gripping and you’ll want to binge listen to it and then Google for updates! This series came out a few years ago and after I finished listening I left podcasts alone for a while until I completed couch to 5k and thought I would need something to listen to when I was running.

I saw an article on Standard Issue Magazine which recommended a few and I started from there. You can download podcasts from the Apple podcasts store if you are an iPhone user, but as I have an Android phone I use the Podcast Addict app, which has worked well for me.

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Bad Fat Broads is hosted by KC and Ariel and is “the bad fat bitch perspective on everything important.” (iTunes wouldn’t let them bitch in the title hence the broads). They don’t post as much as they used to but their back catalogue is worth a listen to for an intersectional look at fat issues.

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Made of Human is made by comedian Sofie Hagen and she introduces the podcast as –

The Made of Human Podcast, also called MohPod, is about connection. I sit down with a lovely person and we talk about life. I want to find out how to cope with being an adult person. I want to find out how to deal with all of the confusing bits of life. All of the hurtful bits of life. I want to sit, for just an hour, with a great person and learn from them. And – if they have no idea how to ‘adult’, then that will be absolutely okay – at least we will have an hour of feeling like we’re not the only ones in the world.

I’ve been introduced to lots of different creators who have appeared on the MohPod and sought out their work afterwards because of it.

Sofie was also one of the original host of The Guilty Feminist with fellow comedian Deborah Frances-White. Each week has a theme, a challenge around that theme, a guest and a guest co-host (from the time Sofie moved onto MohPod). GF is recorded in front of a live audience so you can also buy tickets to see the show in person if you are so inclined.

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A spin-off from The Guilty Feminist is Loud Voices which is a collection of comedy pilots written by and starring former guests or co-hosts of the podcast.

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Deborah also hosts Global Pillage which she started as one of her Guilty Feminist challenges. You can also see these as live shows and take part in the panel show about diversity by playing as part of the hive mind.

Global Pillage is a brand new comedy panel show podcast all about idiom, culture, customs and norms. All the oddness of humanity is explored in this hilarious new show where TWO TEAMS OF COMEDIANS take on the HIVE MIND OF THE AUDIENCE. This show is about the diversity of human experience. Come with us as we pillage the globe for the strange but true ways of the human race.

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Another panel show is Do The Right Thing which describes itself as –

An award-winning panel show podcast where the teams must work out the right thing to do in any given situation. With Danielle Ward, Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Michael Legge and special guests.

And it’s very funny!

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I first heard Chris Gethard on MohPod, Chris is an American comedian who has own show on American TV and has featured in a few sitcoms but I was previously unaware of him. Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People (shortened to Beautiful Anonymous) is a great podcast and its wonderful to hear from ordinary people and their sometimes extraordinary stories.

1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred. That’s the premise behind Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People. Every week, Chris opens the phone line to one anonymous caller, and he can’t hang up first, no matter what. From shocking confessions and family secrets to philosophical discussions and shameless self-promotion, anything can and will happen!

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Standard Issue moved from being an online magazine to a podcast earlier this year (you can read about the reasons why here). There have various regular features such as Jen’s update on women’s sports and Hannah’s reviews of Disney movies as well as guest features by various contributors.

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Another magazine type podcast is BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour. WH is on everyday with additional late night WH occasionally so I’ll admit I don’t listen to every episode but I like to have it on subscription so I can dip in when I see something in the blurb I’m interested in.

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Another one from the BBC and another one I’ll only listen to if it’s a subject I’m interested in is BBC World Service’s The Inquiry – The Inquiry gets beyond the headlines to explore the trends, forces and ideas shaping the world. They take a subject each week and have four expert witnesses who look into the subject and come to some kind of conclusion. Recent episodes have questioned “How do you end a civil war?” and “Can you teach robots ethics?”

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A podcast from another news outlet and that’s SRSLY the pop culture podcast from The New Statesman. Each week Caroline and Anna dissect popular books, films, TV shows and music in a more academic way than people sometimes do, they encourage listeners to get in on the discussion by contacting the show and recommending them subject matters to review.

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I have been a fan of Russell Brand for a long time so when he started doing his latest project “Under the Skin” as a podcast I was right on it. Russell is currently studying Religion in Global Politics at university and I think he started this podcast so he could just interview thinkers, authors and professors and not have to read their books! He describes it as – Under the Skin asks: what’s beneath the surface – of people we admire, of the ideas that define our time, of the history we are told. Speaking with guests from the world of academia, popular culture and the arts, they’ll help us to see the ulterior truth behind our constructed reality. And have a laugh.

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Prince Harry was the first guest on Bryony Gordon’s Mad World where he spoke about his own mental health so you may be aware of it. Bryony speaks to a range of people about their own struggles with mental health and what they have done to become and remain mentally healthy.

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Another one that sounds quite serious is Griefcast hosted by Cariad Lloyd. Cariad interviews a fellow comedian about a particular person in their life who has died and how they were affected by the grief they experienced. Cariad’s father died after a short illness when she was 15 and it interesting listening to peoples stories when in western culture it is sometimes a taboo subject.

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You couldn’t get away without a couple of vegan podcasts being recommended! These are from the UK’s biggest vegan charities Viva! and The Vegan Society which will update you with all the latest news, views, interviews and going-ons in the vegan world.

So that’s what I’m currently listening to. What are your favourite podcasts? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Podcasts

Joey’s Kitchen @ Haunt

I’d seen Joey’s Kitchen at a couple of events I’d been to but I’d never taken the opportunity to try them out until now.

Haunt is a funky little vegan bar and restaurant in Stoke Newington, they have their own fully vegan food menu but every Tuesday they let Joey’s Kitchen takeover.

I’d looked at the menu earlier in the day and decided on the cheese toastie as I had predicted my Sister-in-law would go for the macaroni cheese. I also liked the look for the Oktoberfest special but as neither of us are big beer drinkers we didn’t think we’d get through the stein of beer!

You pay at the bar when ordering and then the food is delivered to your table. Gemma went for this oat hot chocolate to begin with and it was really tasty.


We had the sandwich and mac and cheese to share with a side of home fries and slaw each. The sandwich was really gooey with the cheese and I added some of the slaw to my half to get the full experience.


The mac and cheese came with chicken style pieces in a spicy barbecue sauce with cut through the thickness of the cheese sauce.


We weren’t finished there though! We shared a cherry ripple baked cheesecake for dessert. There wasn’t much of a cherry flavour as I think the rich dollop of chocolate on top was the strongest flavour. The base was really crumbly and the cheesy bit had a nice texture.

We couldn’t leave without letting the hubs get in on the action so we got him a toastie to takeaway!

I really enjoyed our meal and thought it was reasonably priced, I’ll definitely be back on a Tuesday for Joey’s Kitchen and we’ll have to try out a different day to taste their regular menu.

Have you been to Haunt or tried Joey’s Kitchen before? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Joey’s Kitchen @ Haunt

Glorious Veg!

I subscribe to a veg box from Riverford so I thought I would show you some of the meals I have made using the vegetables in my latest box. I was also lucky enough to snag some veg from my in-laws veg patch when we last there, so thought I would include these too.

I get the UK organic veg box from Riverford once every 3 weeks and this was the list of contents from out last box (sorry for the oil stains!)

And here is the veg from my in-laws, which includes pumpkin, spinach, chard, cucumbers, gherkins, turnips, beetroot and spring onions.

To start off with from the veg box I made leek and potato soup, I love leeks and this is one of my favourite soups! This did me for one supper and lunch for my Husband, Brother and me the following day. It’s definitely soup season and it’s an easy way of making lots of cheap lunches!

Next up is sausage and mash with veg, utilising the potatoes, onions, carrots, romanesco and kale from the veg box. This is another Autumn fave!

The butternut squash was used for more lunchtime soup, I added half a scotch bonnet pepper to this and although it was hot I could taste the fruity flavour from it.

Even my lazy dinners were getting in on the action, I used the last remaining potatoes to make wedges and added mushroom and onions to this dinner with Fry’s schnitzel and beans to up the veg count.

I bought some vegetable suet to make dumplings to go into this lentil stew, it also featured carrots, spinach, chard, turnip and romanesco. This again made multiple portions which I have been enjoying in the week for lunch.

At the weekend I roasted the beetroot and served it with quinoa (which had the spring onion running through it) kale and Violife’s new vegan halloumi. I love the variety of the different beetroots and the golden ones are definitely sweeter.

I have never tried fresh gherkins before so I was interested to see what these like. They are quite prickly when you are picking them and their texture is quite firm with a smaller cucumber like core. My Mother-in-law said she had seen a recipe for curried gherkins so I decided to look it up. This was quite spicy for me so I would reduce the amount of chilli powder next time although it is countered somewhat by the coolness of the gherkin. I wouldn’t eat this dish on its own with rice but use it in a thali where you are having lots of little dishes.

Next up we tackled the pumpkin, I asked my Husband to cut it into wedges so I could roast it before I pureed it.

I saw this recipe for pumpkin blondies on my blog feed so I thought I’d give it a go. I would probably bake them a little longer than the recipe says next time and the texture was a little too squidgy for my liking but the taste was lovely.

The rest of the pumpkin went to make… you’ve guessed it – pumpkin soup! This soup was a little thinner than I would usually make but the sage and pumpkin pairing was delicious.

Out of the five cucumbers I gave three away to my Sister-in-law, my Mum and my work colleague, Luke, leaving me with two. These cucumbers are a different variety to the ones you get in supermarkets, they have spikes and thicker skins which need removing and have proper seeds in them. As it’s no longer salad weather I decided to put these in a soup but I wanted it to be quite filling so I went for a recipe that included potatoes. 

So there you have it. Have you been making any dishes with the vegetables front and centre? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Glorious Veg!

Vegfest London 2017


I wasn’t planning on going to Vegfest London this year but when my Sister-in-law Gemma suggested we go I thought why not? Unfortunately we had missed the boat for the BOGOF tickets so after booking and transaction fees we paid about £14 each which I thought was a bit steep and more than I’ve paid for other vegan events. We’ll have to be more organised next time!

After the hour and half journey from East London to Kensington Olympia we arrived at 2pm and were very hungry! We headed to the food village and had a look around. There were quite a few stalls I have visited at past events but a couple caught my eye. I was interested in Dutch Weed Burger but as we’re off to Amsterdam next week I’ll save that for the authentic experience! The other stall that interested me that I hadn’t seen before was Greek Vegan Deli and their Halloumi wraps.



The Halloumi was made with tofu and the texture was spot on! I think it could have been a bit saltier but overall I was really impressed.


We stopped at the Essex Pig Save stand who are an organisation who organise vigils outside local slaughterhouses and are part of the global Save Movement which originated in Toronto. We also listened to a talk about the Save Movement later in the day.



I bought some pig earring to support the group so after my Hunt Sabatours pawprint earrings these are my second activist earrings!


I’ve featured Vida Bakery multiple times on this blog and that’s because they’re blooming amazing! This time I went for their Oreo brownie to take home and share with my Husband.



I also picked up a peanut butter mini loaf from Ruby’s of London for us to share which was gorgeous.


Another cake stall that looked fabulous was Cupcakes and Shhht and I look forward to trying their wares in the future.



My Sister-in-law picked up some Vegenaise from the Follow your heart stand and I went for their cheese shreds for pizza which were discounted from their RRP of £4.49 to £2, bargain! Our friends managed to snag the last Vegenaise and told us they had sold over 400 jars that day!


I picked up this peanut bar from Perkier after trying some tasty samples for 70p.


I wanted to buy some vegan clothing, but as I’m trying to buy as few brand new clothes as possible I wanted something that was really useful and I would get a lot of wear out of so I went for this sports bra and crop top for when I’m running from Vegan Rex.



When we entered we were given a copy of Vegan Life Magazine and I was pleased to see it was the current issue!


Lastly there was a display of vegan art which was really lovely to see.



Did you go to Vegfest London? What were your highlights? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegfest London 2017

Guest post – Fab Fudge 

It was my (vegan) Sister-in-law Gemma’s birthday in the week and after getting a great discount on her main present I thought I’d top it up with some fudge from Fab Fudge. They produce dairy fudge but also have an extensive dairy-free range. 

So over to Gemma to see what she thought…

“It was a nice surprise to get something I hadn’t tried before for my birthday from Plumes.

I had never actually heard of fab fudge before so I was intrigued to try there “luxurious artrtisan fudge”.

I got two flavours, chocolate orange and creme egg.


I must say the choclate orange was my favourite, the fudge was soft and creamy and I had devoured that pot within two days.


It was a lot softer in texture than I was expecting but I actually prefer it over regular fudge. You could still taste a subtle coconut flavour in the background of the fudge but who doesn’t love coconut based foods!

The pots had nice packaging and clear labelling. They were packed with a generous amount of fudge inside and the right sized pieces.


This is a pretty luxuriously product so ideal as a nice gift for birthdays and Christmas.”

Thanks Gemma!

I was also impressed with the price of these pots, which were £2.99 each and with postage at just over £2 this is a really affordable gift or treat for yourself!

Have you tried Fab Fudge? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Guest post – Fab Fudge 

90 Degree Melt

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This week my friend Jo and I went out for our monthly dinner to 90° Melt in Stepney which has been on my “to do” list for a while.

They describe themselves on their website as a vegan and vegetarian restaurant serving American comfort food.

At 90° MELT, we have combined TAPAS style dining with AMAZING Grilled Cheese sandwiches, (or as we call them – MELTs) so our customers don’t have to choose!

But it does not end with Grilled Cheese, that is just a start!


We chose the Waldorf and the Mexican for our sandwiches, as these are tapas they are slightly smaller than regular ones but just as tasty.

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We also chose the buffalo cauliflower wings and potato wedges. The cauliflower was really good but the sauce on top was a bit spicy for me. The wedges were from massive baking potatoes and both these dishes were bigger than I was expecting.

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We went for the lentil salad to add a bit of greenery. When we first arrived I asked that we had the “vegan version” of everything. When this arrived it came covered in feta so it went back to the kitchen to have the feta replaced with extra lentils.

At this point I was well and truly stuffed but Jo soldiered on and ordered a vegan brownie with (non-vegan) mascapone. I tried a bit from the mascapone free end and it was rich and gorgeous tasting packed with walnuts.

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I went for a ginger masala chai made with soya milk which had a great kick and wasn’t too sweet.

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All in all I was really impressed with 90° Melt and thought it was great value for money. I’ll definitely be returning!

Have you been to 90° Melt? What did you think? Or if not what would be in your ultimate vegan cheese toastie? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

90 Degree Melt