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

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A Day Trip Out in Brighton

Shopping in Bournemouth

I went shopping this morning in Bournemouth with my friend Karen who I’m staying with this weekend.

First stop for me was Sunrise Organics which I had found online when I was looking up vegan options. They had a great selection of products, including fresh vegetables, perishables, dried foods, snacks and chocolate and beauty products.

First I picked up a breakfast sandwich from Amy’s Kitchen to have tomorrow before my long journey home. I love these and their great if your missing a “McBreakfast”.

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I then saw this blue cheese from Risella. I hadn’t seen it before and I really like their smoked mozzarella so thought I’d give it a go. The proprietor was also singing it’s praises so I’m looking forward to trying it.

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I then saw something I was really excited by! Vegan Egg from American company, Follow Your Heart. I have seem so rave reviews online about this product, previously unavailable in the UK. I have also tried their vegan mayonnaise which is so good! I know a couple of stores in London are stocking it, but I’m glad I’ve saved myself a trip as I expect they’ll sell out fast as the man in Sunrise Organics also said.

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After our lunch at Mad Cucumber (see my review here) we headed over to Molly’s Den to get our vintage shop on!

Molly’s Den is an emporium made up of lots of different stalls under one roof selling everything from furniture to crockery to toys to clothes.

The first thing I liked was this dress for £7. I love the colour and I really like this style of dress that ties up at the back.

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I then tried on this fabulous coat. It was a bit snug, but as my parka is on its last legs with a rip near the hood and a zip that pinged off when it caught in an escalator a couple of weeks ago I thought that would see me out until the spring and this could be my target coat for next winter.The tag inside says “made in Paris” and I don’t think I’d find a coat of this quality for £28 brand new.

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The last clothing item I picked up was this 60’s dress. It didn’t have a size on it but for £5 I thought you can’t go wrong! It just needs a bit of sewing on one side where the tie goes round.

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I also bought a couple of presents so won’t post them here. I’m glad I’m travelling home by train and could only buy what I can carry else I might have spent a lot more!

Plumes x

Shopping in Bournemouth

A weekend in Brighton

I decided to spend my Birthday weekend in Brighton so we could eat lots of yummy  vegan food, have a good rummage in the flea markets and vintage shops and being only an hour outside London it is easily accessible by train.

We arrived at around 13.30 on Friday to a drizzly and windy Brighton, not that we were expecting much from a weekend in late February and headed straight to VBites for lunch. You can read all about it here.

We then headed to the White House where we were staying in Kemp Town which you can read about here. After we put our bags down and settled in we headed to the pier to have a look at the amusements and what was going on before it got dark.

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We were treated to a wonderful display by some small black birds. They were flying in formation getting very close to the sea and then flying over the pier. More birds kept arriving to join in and there must have been over a thousand in the end. Everyone on the pier were taking pictures and it a great spectacle we were glad we got to see.

After this we headed back to the  hotel to get ready to go out for dinner at Purezza. You can read what we thought about it here.

After dinner we went back to the hotel and I was very pleased one of my favourite shows was back on TV – Googlebox! This is not a guilty pleasure and I am unashamedly a fan!

Saturday we got up and headed into town. We didn’t get very far before we came across a flea market on St James Street that we had a good look around. We considered visiting the Pavilion, but we had both been before so we instead headed to the Lanes. We looked round a antique weapons shop that had lots swords and guns in it. I think there get a lot more visitors than customers as most of the items on display were very expensive. We then had a good look around Choccywoccydoodah and their amazing examples of chocolate work.

We then went to the North Laine area where we went around another flea market and I may have bought a present for someone.

I bought a vintage dress in To be worn again which I was really pleased with. It fits really well and I love the colour and the length. Sorry my head isn’t in this photo, its difficult to get the whole dress in without covering my face!

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We had lunch at Burger and Cocktails, I think Ollie was craving meat as he had a bacon cheeseburger and I went for a kale and avocado salad.

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I then had a little splurge in one of my favourite shops, Infinity Foods and got a few treats for once Lent has finished. I am a bit worried after six weeks with hardly any sugar I will have lost a taste for it!

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Ollie really want to go on  the Brighton Wheel, I wasn’t too enthusiastic as I am not a lover of heights but I was a good sport and agreed to go on. It was a very windy and our pod was rocking quite a lot. It turned out Ollie was the more scared out of the two of us and even the commentary by Steve Coogan couldn’t comfort him!

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After that I headed to Black Mocha (formerly Chocaffinitea) to meet up with my friends Fee and Ollie. Fee and I went to primary (elementary) and secondary school (high school) together and have now known each other over 26 years! We don’t get to meet up very often, but I always enjoy it when we do. I ordered a pot of Earl Grey tea although the signature black mocha comes highly recommended. I must give it a try when I’m not fasting from both coffee and sugar!

 

Fee and Ollie bought me some lovely sounding tea for my birthday and it gives me an excuse to buy a tea strainer!

I headed back to the hotel for a shower and freshen up before we had dinner at Terre a Terre. I really enjoyed it and you can read my full review here.

Today we packed up and took a walk along the prom on the way back to the station. It was extremely windy and the waves were really crashing as they came in. We managed to get on a train with about a minute and a half to spare and had a good journey home. All in all I had a lovely birthday weekend and would recommend anyone to spend a weekend in Brighton.

Plumes x

A weekend in Brighton

First Charity Shop Clothes Shopping of the Year!

I am quite proud of getting to the last weekend of January before buying any clothes for myself. So I am one twelfth through the year and I’ve kept to my new year’s resolution of not buying any brand new clothes!

I did buy a vintage jumper for my cousin Amanda when I went to a Pop-up Vintage Fair (you can read about it here) and I got a few non-clothes bits in my first charity shopping trip of the year.

My Husband and I visited my cousin Dan and his fiancee Amanda last weekend. On Saturday we left the guys with the PS4 and Rocket League whilst Amanda and I went into town.

Amanda is a lover of charity shop shopping so its great when we get together. We are the same size which has its positives in terms of borrowing clothes but sometimes I get quite jealous when she spots something we both love first when we’re on the charity shop trail!

I bought this skirt for work from Shelter for £3. The tag says “Epilogue” which is not a brand I have heard of. It’s a nice length and works really well with my ankle boots.

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I’ve been looking for some flat black shoes for a while. It is quite difficult finding shoes in charity shops, first you need a style and colour you like, then there’s the size and I have the additional requirement of no leather. I was very happy when I came across these in the Oxfam shop for £7. They were slightly big but I think this will be sorted with a couple of in-soles.

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I came up trumps in the Mind shop. There were quite a few things I liked the look of so was in the changing room for a while! Firstly this dress from Next for £5.50 I really like how the butterfly pattern covers the whole dress and the material felt lovely.

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I also bought this Next t-shirt for £2.75. It’s quite long, but not long enough to wear with leggings so I think I will keep this for when I can get back into my jeans! This, again, felt really soft and looks like it’s barely been worn.

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The third thing I bought in Mind (which I forgot to photograph!) was a London 2012 Paralympics DVD. My Husband and I were lucky enough to go and see some of the events in 2012. We saw Swimming, Table Tennis and my Mum joined us to see the athletics where we saw David Weir win Gold. He is from my Husband’s home town and we were so proud when we saw a local post box painted gold in his honour. I hope watching the DVD will bring back happy memories and get us in the mood for Rio in the summer!

Have you made any good charity shop finds recently? Let me know!

Plumes x

First Charity Shop Clothes Shopping of the Year!

Pop up Vintage Fair at Old Spitalfields Market

Yesterday before the theatre and food, Mum and I went to the Pop up Vintage Fair at Old Spitalfields Market near Liverpool Street. The Vintage Fair is there on the third Saturday of every month. I was interested to see what was available as part of my no new clothes challenge.

I wasn’t planning on buying anything due to the other things we were doing in the day but it was great to have a look around. There were a few jewelry stalls which had some nice pieces including Roccabella who are a natural jewelry company. They had real leaves which had electroformed and finished with precious metals. There was a card stall, ipapyrus who had gorgeous handmade pop up cards. You really must check out their amazing work on the website where they have cards for every occasion and even pop up London landmarks. There were also a couple of stalls with some lovely vintage crockery. My Mum said most of it was similar to what she used to have.

There were quite a few “vintage style” stalls which had lovely new clothes but of it was unfortunately do not fit into my remit. I can’t remember the name of the one stall I did actually buy something from and I forgot to pick up a card! The stall owner had some great looking pieces and I’ll be sure to seek her out next time I go to fair. I can’t show you what I bought as it’s a present for someone, but will do after I’ve given it to them!

The last stall I went to wasn’t part of the vintage fair and is there every Saturday and Sunday. Enienay had some lovely upcycled pieces including dresses and tops. From the website –

NINA DAVIES (née Dewey) HAS WORKED UNDER THE LABEL Enienay since graduating from her MA in 2003. Enienay spells out the letters in her name; n-i-n-a becomes EN-I-EN-AY.

Everything she makes previously existed as a forgotten something. Taking unloved garments, she drapes them round a mannequin, to cut and pin, twist and sculpt. Each piece is approached and reconstructed by Nina individually.

Nina also via her Etsy Shop be sure to check her out.

Plumes x

Pop up Vintage Fair at Old Spitalfields Market

First Charity Shopping Trip of the Year

Today Mum and I went round our local charity shops before our weekly swim. I do visit them occasionally but looked at today as a scouting mission for my year of no new clothes.

We went in 6 shops in total and I was impressed by how organised they were. There were lots of staples so I’m sure I’ll find something when I’m in need.

I tried on one skirt but unfortunately it didn’t fit. I’m also trying to mindful about my clothes shopping. There was a lovely dress, but I have lots of lovely dresses and a few which are a bit tight so thought I’m better off concentrating on getting into those then buying more. I also saw a lovely patterned skirt but as I love a pattern I don’t really have many plain things to wear with it so left it on the rail. I wanted some flat shoes but there weren’t many flats at all. Maybe people keep hold of them and just give away the heels that hurt their feet! Also most of the shoes seemed to be leather which I can understand when looking for good quality second hand but doesn’t help little old vegan me!

I didn’t leave empty handed though! I bought a salt shaker for 50p in the St Francis Hospice shop, as we only have our big container of salt which isn’t great when we have guests. I bought my husband a DVD game of the TV show “24” still in cellophane for £2.99 in British Heart Foundation. We love a board game and I always keep my eyes peeled for them in charity shops. He has looks at the reviews online which aren’t glowing but I’m sure if nothing else we’ll have a laugh playing it once and it might go back to the charity shop for someone else to give it a go! I also bought a book by Niger Slater on British food culture again in BHF for £1.75. I love watching Nigel make his simple suppers even if most of them aren’t vegan and really enjoyed reading his autobiography of his early years “Toast” (which I still need to lend to my Sister-in-law!) So hopefully I’ll enjoy this one too. I’ll have to watch buying second hand books as well as I have about 3 lined up on my Kindle I need to read and I have to study for my exam in April. I’m also trying to declutter the flat so definitely don’t need any more!

I joined a group on Facebook run by the lady who inspired me to do this challenge Jen Gale (@makedoandmendyear on twitter and blog here) which I hope will provide lots of helps and tips throughout the year.

Apparently most people give up on their new year resolutions by 10th January so I’m doing well not just with no new clothes but no clothes at all!

Plumes x

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First Charity Shopping Trip of the Year