The Suli Box

The Suli Box (short for SUstainable LIving) is an eco-friendly subscription box to help you reduce waste and your plastic use.

I originally bought this box a few weeks ago but as we moved shortly after it’s taken me a while to retrieve it from the mountain of boxes we are still sorting out.

Like many subscription boxes you can choose how frequently you want to receive it and can choose from different size boxes. I’ve decided to go for every other month and the size that has 4 items.

The box uses natural straw for packaging the items which is a first for me, although it did end up getting everywhere! I thought the personalised message inside the box was a really cute touch.

The first items we have are some natural chewing gum from Chewsy.

I’m not a regular chewer of gum, however I do love my garlic so it’s handy to have in your handbag! The gum comes in little cubes and the flavour lasts a long while.

Next up we have a turtle bag. I already have one of these in green so it was nice to get a different colour. These bags are really strong and I love the style of them. Another great one to keep in the handbag. This was an item that I’ll be picking the straw out of for a while!

Next we have some washing powder which I’ll be interested to try out. I’m interested in trying more natural cleaning products and things like the Suli box are a great way of trying out and finding new products you weren’t aware of.

Lastly we have this delightful little package…

Which was some ginger bread soap. I do love a proper bar of soap but they do tend to take quite a while for me to get through so this will stay in the cupboard until I get through my current bar.

If you fancy trying the Suli Box out you can buy a one off box or if you subscribe you can cancel at any time.

Do you subscribe to any eco boxes? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

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The Suli Box

The Junction – Greene King Pub

It was my Brother’s birthday and he had decided to hold his annual drinks in The Junction in Upminster which is part of the Greene King chain. As we were going to be eating I took a look at their menu online and was pleased to see they had vegan options.

I originally ordered the mushroom and ale pie but unfortunately they didn’t have any left so I went for the vegan fish and chips instead. They use vbites “fish” which I have had in the past and it was very nice this time too. The chips were a bit pale but acceptable.

My Sister-in-law chose the falafel burger and was curious when it arrived with coleslaw, we double checked with the kitchen and they confirmed this too was vegan. It’s so nice to get a vegan version of the trimmings rather than just having them left off!

There was also a cherry chocolate torte for dessert but we decided to skip that after all the excess of Christmas. The menu isn’t as extensive as other chains and there is a Marston’s pub in the same road (which I reviewed here) but it is good to know if you are going to a Greene King pub you will be catered for as a vegan.

Have you tried the Greene King vegan menu? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

The Junction – Greene King Pub

FGV’s Christmas Market @Guildhall

I really enjoyed the market Sean (Fat Gay Vegan) put on at the Guildhall in the summer (which I wrote about here) that I had to go to the Christmas edition, especially when I saw the line up.

I hadn’t had breakfast so I headed down early to beat the queues. My first stop was Vausages. I had seen these folk at different events I had been to but this was my first time sampling their delights they had two Christmas hot dogs on, a Cumberland and an Apple and pork style. I went for the Cumberland which came with caramelized red onions and garlic mushrooms, I asked for it to be topped with their trademark blue garlic mayo.

Although it looks like toothpaste it actually tastes delicious! The bun was nice and soft and the sausage had a lovely flavour on the outside and I surprised to see it was filled with quinoa in the middle. I’ll definitely be heading back to them when I see them in the future.

Next stop had to be Vegan Delice. If you’ve read my posts from previous events you know I always stop by these peeps! I had to get my fave Viennese whirl as well as a peanut chocolate brookie for my Husband and I couldn’t be left out so I had to get a peanut butter and jam brownie for myself. Chanel was nice enough to let me try their raw cake which was a bit different.

After mains and dessert I had to have something to take home for later so I bought some cream cheese and lox from The Kinda Co I love their dairy free cheese and thought this one with marinated carrot (to taste similar to salmon) would be perfect on a cracker over the Christmas period.

I was pleased to see that FGV is bringing the market back to Guildhall in January and March although I am unfortunately unable to make the January date.

Its great to have a vegan market in the city especially so close to work. I would love to see this become a monthly (or even more frequent) event.

Do you work in the city? Would you welcome a lunchtime vegan market close to where you work?

Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

FGV’s Christmas Market @Guildhall

Christmas Menu @ Cafe Forty One

I’ve had afternoon tea a few times (including for my hen do) at La Suite West a boutique hotel in Bayswater but I’ve never had dinner there. Their restaurant rebranded as Cafe Forty One this year and when I saw their Christmas menu I invited my Mum out to try it.

We chose different options so we could mix and match, you could choose an appetizer or a starter so we went for both the appetizers.

I never tasted fois gras when I ate meat so I can’t judge on that basis but it was tasty all the same. The carrot had a really fishy taste due to the seaweed which was really interesting. The cream cheese didn’t have a distinct flavour.

Mum chose the polenta with mushrooms which was really tasty with the polenta having mustard kick.

The filling for my nut Wellington had been creamed which was a bit different. The pastry was crisp but the mash was lumpy and would have appreciated some cooked veg rather than just salad leaves with it.

We wanted the yule log for dessert but unfortunately they didn’t have any ready as lots of people had ordered them to collect to have on Christmas day. (They must have been good then!) Instead we had the other two desserts, baked Alaska and fondant. My fondant was rich which caramel sauce and a perfectly cooked pear. Mum’s Alaska was sweet and sharp with the fruit although it had a rock hard piece of sponge at the bottom.

We gave our feedback to the waitress who said she would convey it to the kitchen and although it wasn’t perfect I think for £35 it was great value for money and I’ll be heading back there.

The afternoon teas on the other diners’ tables looked delicious as well so I may have to get one for my birthday in Feb!

Have you had dinner or afternoon tea at Cafe Forty One? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Christmas Menu @ Cafe Forty One

New Vegan Options at Yo Sushi

We often stop off at Yo Sushi when we are traveling through London as there are branches in Victoria station and Westfield City, Stratford. We stopped at the Stratford branch on our way home from Deal.

Monday is “Blue Monday” where 40 dishes are just £3. There is also “Green Wednesday” where many veggie dishes are just £2.30 each. I think all the veggie dishes are now vegan (apart from some desserts) thanks to vegan mayo and removing egg.

There was one new dish in particular I was interested in trying which was the mushroom bun. On quite a few places they do a couple of meaty buns but no veggie option so I’m glad this has been added. I had two medium mushrooms in a sticky sauce with a pickle. The mushrooms moved about a bit so I think it’d be better with one larger mushroom.

I also went for the spicy pepper cauliflower which is nice and not too spicy for wimps like me.

I also had the gorgeous fried vegetable gyoza with dipping sauce and the pumpkin katsu. I’m glad to see you can now get the tofu katsu on its own (without sauce and rice) although this wasn’t one of the 40 blue Monday dishes. I also had some noodles although I was already quite full so I didn’t manage them all.

Yo Sushi is one of the best High Street chains to get loads of vegan options. Have you been recently? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

New Vegan Options at Yo Sushi

A weekend in Deal

We love coming to Deal on the Kent coast between Dover and Sandwich and always stay in a lovely little cottage (you can book here).

I love having a whole property which means you can make some of your own food and relax in more than just a room.

We enjoyed an Indian takeaway from Dine India which did us a couple of meals. I like to get a few side dishes and enjoyed channa (chickpea) bhaji, saag aloo (spinach and potatoes), tarka dhal (lentils) and garlic mushrooms with rice.

I looked up some bakeries and was pleased to hear that The Lane Bakery had some vegan options. I had a piece of carrot cake on out first visit while my Husband enjoyed a brookie (part brownie part cookie).

When we returned I bought a lotus blondie which was lovely and moist and similar to a Jamaican ginger cake without the ginger.

When we’ve come in the past the local co-op provided us with logs for the fire but unfortunately it has now shut and the Sainsbury’s opposite doesn’t stick them so we had to venture out to the BP garage in the rain to pick some up. So I had to have a cup of tea while the clothes were drying in front of it!

We had a lovely walk along the pebble beach and it’s much warmer this year than it has been in previous years. The beach is very clear without shops and cafes and the pier has a single restaurant on it rather than the fun fairs and arcades of other piers. I didn’t take any photos so you’ll have to come and see it for yourself!

On our last evening we booked to eat at 81 Beach Street as I had been recommended via the Twitter account Deal Town. We had some nice food but unfortunately I was initially brought the wrong dish so we had to take turns at watching eachother eat. I had the mushroom casserole with pearl barley and celeriac.

For dessert I chose the banana brownie with blood orange sorbet. Unfortunately it was burnt on one side although when I pointed this out to the staff they removed the dessert from the bill.

This is one of the only places in Deal with a separate vegan menu so it’s a shame we had a disappointing time here.

We enjoy coming back here every year and see what has changed and what new things there are to explore. There is a small castle at Deal and a larger one at Walmer which we have visited in the past and you can head out in either direction to Dover or to Sandwich if you fancy.

Have you been to Deal? What did you enjoy about it? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

A weekend in Deal