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

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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

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

The Star, Lingfield

On Saturday we went out for dinner to celebrate my Mother-in-law’s birthday. We decided on The Star at Lingfield as it caters well to children as well as having a vegan menu.

Although I am thankful for a vegan menu I would like a hearty traditional dish featured such as pie or sausages with mash which wouldn’t be too hard to do.

It is however, great to see desserts and dairy free milk there for teas and coffees.

I decided on the Thai burger and went for regular fries rather than sweet potato. The burger patty was quite soft and I had to fight to keep it in the bun. The flavour was nice and quite spicy.

For dessert I had to go for the brownie with vanilla ice cream. The brownie was warm and gooey against the cold ice cream.

The only disappointment we had was that there had been races at the local horse track and the pub was very crowded with people standing in the restaurant area talking very loudly as well as frequently going outside for cigarettes causing a draft.

If you’re in need of a vegan meal in the area this is one of your only options so luckily the food was nice, but try to go on a non-race day if possible!

Plumes x

The Star, Lingfield

What I Eat In A Day Autumn 2018

As it’s getting colder I thought it would be a good time to do another “what I eat in a day” post. Autumn is a time for comfort food and snuggling down under the duvet on the sofa bingeing Netflix.

Mornings I’m still in smoothie mode. I think this is the easiest way to get loads of nutrition in one fell swoop. I might start heating up my smoothies as it gets colder. Does anyone else do this?

My smoothie is made the night before by soaking 25g of oats with a tablespoon each of cacao nibs and milled flax seed, a handful of frozen blueberries and some unsweetened hemp milk. In the morning I add a banana and whizz it up in my bullet blender. I then eat it once I get to work and this helps me last until lunch.

For lunch I had a channa roti from Baygo (I did a full review for them here) I got this free as my colleague had meal pal (an app that get you cheap meals) and couldn’t get in due to train strikes.

This wasn’t too spicy and filled me up for lunch. It did get a bit messy as the filling was quite wet. I’d definitely get this again.

For dinner it had to be a cosy meal of sausage and mash. I used Fry’s fresh sausages which are new to Sainsbury’s with mustard mash, roasted cauliflower, cabbage, mushrooms, onions and gravy.

You can’t go wrong with that really, now can you?

Recently I’ve been having a hot chocolate before bed but I was so full up from dinner I skipped that today!

What are you favourite mid-week autumn meals? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

What I Eat In A Day Autumn 2018

Kerb Meatless Market

At the end of September food market company Kerb introduced a Meatless Market to their portfolio in Devonshire Square on Wednesday to Friday lunchtimes. I managed to get down there twice this week with friends to try out their delights.

The traders are all existing Kerb traders either those that usually serve meat only offering their vegetarian offerings or fully vegetarian/vegan outfits.

On Wednesday Vegals caught my eye with their vegan bagels.

In my pre-vegan (pregan?) days I was a fan of a salt beef bagel so I decided to go for the seitan version served with cheese, pickles and mustard. It was really tasty, my only slight criticism is that the seitan is quite thick and I would prefer a wafer thin variety akin to the salt beef I remember.

Mitsu went for Eat Chay and ordered the Bao lunchbox which came with two BBQ seitan and kimchi bao buns and a noodle salad. She also picked up a fried rice for dinner.

I went for the bao lunchbox today and it was really great. Mitsu had some seitan that was quite well done but mine was cooked to perfection.

Today my friend Jo went for a stuffed ciabatta from Sugo, this one came with avocado, feta and sun-dried tomatoes although I think there was a vegan option available.

The great thing about Kerb being in Devonshire Square is that I can pop in to Planet Organic to pick up a treat to have with a coffee in the afternoon. On Wednesday I went for a cinnamon swirl and today I had a Crosstown doughnut which are now serving their vegan doughnuts in Planet Organic.

Its great that there are a variety of traders attending this market and I hope it encourages the more meaty ones to up their vegan and vegetarian offerings.

Have you been to Kerb’s Meatless Market? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Kerb Meatless Market