Review – Afternoon tea @ Terre a Terre

My cousin Katy and I enjoy spending time together in Brighton so when she said she had never been for a full afternoon tea we decided we must go for her birthday celebration and Terre a Terre hit the spot.

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I had visited before for dinner with my Husband in February for my own birthday which you can read about here.

We were seated in the front of restaurant rather than the main dining room so we could feel a little bit of a breeze on a very warm Sunday afternoon.

We both had the vegan afternoon tea, which started with the savoury plate.

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The Thai rice balls were definitely the most flavourful and not like anything I’ve tried before. I do love a good Chinese bun and this marinated tofu one did not disappoint!

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For our first dessert tier we had –

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I loved the sorbet, an unusual addition on an afternoon tea and the sweet dukka really set it off.

On tier two there was –

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The alcoholic milkshake was a lovely addition and Katy was really taken by the peanut caramel truffle.

Lastly we had –

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The scones were really nice, not dry at all – helped I assume by the tea soaking! The coconut cream tasted quite acidic to me, almost like coconut yogurt. We had this all washed down with some very fragrant Jasmine tea.

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The service was a little bit slow on getting our savoury course out but we did overhear our waiter complaining to the kitchen so we were assured this wasn’t standard. At £22 each I think this was great value for money. We had our taste buds tantalised and we were well and truly full by the time we left and managed to roll ourselves back up the hill to the train station!

I would definitely recommend this tea for any celebration or just a fab day out!

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Plumes x

Review – Afternoon tea @ Terre a Terre

Round up of the week’s food 160814

I’ve had a great week watching some amazing Olympic performances and enjoyed some lovely food.

On Monday I was planning on trying Fry’s falafel burger as I had bought some the week before. However I soon discovered my Husband had scoffed the whole packet so I had to settle for a traditional burger instead!

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On Tuesday I went swimming with Mum and she had made a lovely lentil shepherdess pie served with asparagus.

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On Wednesday my brother came over and we had sausage and mash. My brother said he really enjoyed these Dragonfly Foods Soysages and he’s not great love of soy/tofu based stuff so this was a high accolade indeed!
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On Wednesday we had a lazy dinner of bits and pieces as we were feeling really hot.

On Friday we had arancini made with a red pepper risotto. I usually have panko breadcrumbs in the cupboard and they give such a good crunch.

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On Saturday I met my cousin Katy in Kent with my Mum to visit the FRIEND Animal Sanctuary which you can read all about here. We stopped in at Lakeside shopping centre on the way home to get some lunch. We had pie and mash from Sainsy Pie and Mash they do a root vegetable pie and a soya mince pie. We all went for the soya mince one. Katy and I both love bubble tea so we were pleased to see an outlet at Lakeside. I got a pina colada which was lush!

For dinner I made a teriyaki and ginger vegetable stirfry, I also got a pear and lychee cider from Aldi by Swedish brand Alska which are clearly labelled vegan.

Today Katy and I headed down to Brighton to have afternoon tea to celebrate her birthday tomorrow. I will write up a full review later but here’s a taster!

I am now very tired and have felt very emotional watching Max Whitlock win two individual gymnastics titles (Floor and Pommel Horse)!

Hope you have a good week!

Plumes x

Round up of the week’s food 160814

Vegan Perfumes

Along with cruelty free beauty products, perfumes are another area where vegans need to tread carefully.

You can look up your fave perfume to see whether they comment about being cruelty free or containing animal ingredients although some are particularly quiet on the matter. Also if the perfume is from a fashion house you may want to consider whether they use animal products in their fashion lines (fur, crocodile/snakeskin, leather, silk, wool).

Luckily there are a few brands which are completely cruelty free. Lush have a range of great smelling perfumes and they mark which are vegetarian and vegan.

My fave perfume brand however are Eden Perfumes. They are based in Brighton and are completely vegan and cruelty free, they analyse popular brands and make vegan versions for a great price! I couldn’t put it better myself so I have taken the following from their website to show you.

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I received the similar to Lady Million by Paco Rabanne for my birthday and I have just bought the similar to Classique by Jean Paul Gautier. They have a nice big spray so you need a couple of spritz to be smelling delightful! My only criticism would be that they only do one size, I think a larger bottle would be good especially if you are buying it as a present for someone else.

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Do you wear vegan/cruelty free scents? What are your favourites?

Plumes x

Vegan Perfumes

Review – rootcandi

My cousin and I had an amazing day out in Brighton this week, which you can read all about here.

Before heading down I’d seen lots of positive things being said about rootcandi and the pictures on their instagram feed looked amazing. We have eaten at their sister restaurant Iydea a number of times and always left happy so we thought we must give rootcandi a go.

It’s situated in Western Road, a part of Brighton I’d never ventured into before and did seem a bit removed from the other vegan options available in the North Laine area. Although the walk did help our food go down on the way back!

The restaurant is bright and welcoming and we were greeted by the restaurant manager Reeshi. We were taken through the menu which included four tapas set menus from all different parts of the world and the lunch menu. We decided to go for the lunch menu and wereally impressed with the number of dishes offered and most of them for under £10.

We went for the Beetroot burger which was served with courgette fries and a garlic mayo dip. As we were sharing everything we took one burger and half a bun each. The burger was tasty, chewy and moist. The fries were crispy and light and really went well with the garlic mayo.

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We also had a cauliflower, romesco and mushroom dhal which was served with rice, naan and pomegranate raita. The curry was very flavourful but was a tad on the spicy side for me and if I had it again I would ask if it was possible to have it with less chili. The rice complemented it perfectly and the naan which was infused with rosemary was a real treat!

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While we were eating we heard the manager speaking with another table and he said these were two of his favourite dishes along with the Mushroom Wellington so I think we went with right choice! We decided against dessert but I think I would definitely go for it next time.

If I was down in Brighton for longer it would be nice to come back in the evening for the full tapas menu.

I was really impressed with the food we had and for under £20 it was a bargain. I’d definitely recommend it.

Have you eaten at rootcandi? What did you think?

Plumes x

Review – rootcandi

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

A Day Trip Out in Brighton

Round up of the week’s food 160221

Wow! What a week’s it’s been! I’ve had some fantastic food and I can’t wait to share it with you. On Monday I made this gorgeous tagine using Spiced! North African spice mix. It was quite spicy for me but the sweet potatoes added a nice sweetness. I paired it with some amaranth.

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On Tuesday I started the day right with avocado on toast, you can’t go wrong really after that!

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I take part in events for Discover Risk which is an initiative from the Chartered Insurance Institute to teach students about the risk industry and what opportunities there are. I met a student through one of these event and arranged for him to come into my office and spend a day with my team to learn what we do. We took him out for lunch at Pizza Express. Most of the  boys had giant calzones, I went for the Bosco salad subbing the mozzarella for olives and taking out the honey mustard dressing. I drizzled it in some garlic oil to make up for the lack of dressing.

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The guys from left to right – Eamonn, Adam, Felix, Jordan and Michael. (Simon managed to escape this shot!)

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On Tuesday evening I kept on the Italian theme and had spaghetti bolognese topped with nooch (or nutritional yeast for the uninitiated!)

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On Wednesday I went swimming with my Mum. Her partner, Chris had made these lovely pasties, using stuffing mix, carrots and swede as the filling and serving them with roasted vegetables.

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I was trying to use up a few things on Thursday and Ollie had made some rice and peas so I paired that with a spicy Quorn burger, onion, and beetroot and ended up with pink rice!

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I had some fab food over the weekend on our trip to Brighton! If you haven’t seen the reviews of the various restaurants already you can check them out in this post.

I finished off the weekend this evening with a hash I made from potato, peppers, onions, mushrooms and Vegusto farmhouse sausages which I bought in Brighton. I spiced it up with some cayenne pepper, paprika, liquid smoke and some Italian herb mix. It was quite spicy as I think I overdid the cayenne! I really enjoyed it and I think it’s the closest I’ve come to one of my old favourites, corned beef hash. I think next time I might crumble up the sausages more to get a similar texture.

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Luckily I’ve been doing lots of walking this week to counteract all this food! Hopefully its had an effect!

Plumes x

Round up of the week’s food 160221

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

Review – The White House Brighton

When I decided to come to Brighton for my Birthday Weekend we chose to stay at the White House in Kemp Town as it had been recommended by my Brother and Sister-in-law who had stayed there in October.  On booking I informed the owner Steve I was vegan and he said this wouldn’t be a problem and they were used to catering for vegan guests.

On arriving in Brighton we were warmly welcomed by Steve, Heidi and the rest of the team. We had a lovely room on the ground floor.

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I was impressed that the tea making facilities not only provided us with a wide range of teas, a couple of chocolate bars and biscuits but our own coffee maker too!

In the bathroom we had Orla Kiely toiletries and these were also available to buy. I had a look online and couldn’t see anywhere that said whether they were vegan or not so I stuck to what I had brought with me.

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We also had big fluffy bath sheets, rather than the small towels you get in some hotels and robes as well. I also really liked that there was a window in the bathroom so you didn’t need to keep turning the light on if you were just popping in there. Sometimes it can feel a bit clautrophobic when you’re enclosed in a small room! We had a lovely shower with an eco mode, which I hadn’t seen before, you can turn the power so far but to go beyond eco mode you had to consciously push a button in. The only change I’d make in the bathroom would be to put a shelf in the shower so I didn’t have to bend down to pick up my shampoo!

Outside our window we had a tree with a bird’s nest and it really nice watching the birds. I think there’s about 5 or 6 in the picture below.

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The breakfast room in the basement was really bright and welcoming and decorated with posters from the Brighton Line.

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I was served mushroom stuffed with spinach, pine nuts and breadcrumbs with toast and vegan sausages. I was also offered tomatoes and beans, I’m not a great lover of tomatoes and as I’m trying to reduce my sugar I skipped the beans. It was really tasty and filling and gave me loads of energy to hit the shops on Saturday!

I had almond milk with my tea and I thought the little teapot it came in was really cute.

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My husband isn’t a morning person and the team were very accommodating, making a bacon sandwich to take up to him on Saturday and toast with vegemite today.

Although there wasn’t a fridge in our room, guests are allowed to store food in the main fridge which I took full advantage of after stocking up on vegan goodies in town!

I really enjoyed our stay at the White House, the team made it feel like a personal experience and all the little touches were well appreciated.

If your looking to stay in Brighton make sure you check it out!

Plumes x

 

Review – The White House Brighton

Review – Terre a Terre

Every time I’ve been to Brighton in the past I’ve walked past Terre a terre and salivated over the menu so I knew we had to book a table for my Birthday weekend. I met up with some friends earlier in the day and they confirmed I had made the right choice and made some recommendations.

I went for the steam dreamer which was described on the menu as below.

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The vegan version had tofu rather than halloumi. I really enjoyed everything in this dish but the char sin roll and pedron pepper stood out for me.

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Ollie went for the tapas dish which included tasters from all over the menu which was recommended by my friend  Fee. He said the stars for him were the deep fried halloumi and the BBQ cheerywood smoked tofu.

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He finished off with a trio of ice creams including vanilla, coffee and tonka bean.

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I went for a liquid dessert, the chocolate orange martini which had been recommended by Fee and her husband, also called Ollie. I’m not a big drinker and it was quite strong and took me quite a while to get through!

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I really enjoyed all the food (and drink!) I had. The only negative I would say was how loud the restaurant was. It is quite a big dining room and when full of people it was quite difficult to hear each other speak, sometimes having to cup our hands around our ears to hear each other!

Have you been to Terre a Terre? What did you think?

Plumes x

Review – Terre a Terre

Review – Purezza

As soon as I heard about Purezza I knew I had to visit. A 100% vegan Italian pizzeria?! Yes Please! I have been looking over the menu all week and was glad we booked as they were turning people away when we showed up.

For starters we had a garlic bread to share. I quite fancied the farinata but as I wasn’t sure how big the portions would be I didn’t want to risk it! In the end I’m glad I didn’t as the garlic bread was huge and really tasty.

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For our mains we both chose stuffed crust quattro stagioni  (four seasons). These came with artichokes, olives, mushrooms and seitan salami. The cheese was lovely and gooey and oozy. I haven’t had a stuffed crust in years so was so glad I could try this out. I really liked the seitan salami although I think we could have done with a bit more on our pizzas. Ollie was impressed with the vegan cheese having never had it before.

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I really liked the look of the dessert menu, with a chocolate calzone and ice cream from Boho Gelato (which I make a point of visiting every time I visit Brighton). But unfortunately we were too full!

Purezza also serve salads, yogurts, cakes and pastries along with pizza all day.

I’d really recommend Purezza not only if you’re vegan but if you just love pizza! And make sure you book a table in advance!

Have you tried out Purezza? What did you think?

Plumes x

Review – Purezza