Cafe Thrive – Bournemouth 2019

I often travel down to Bournemouth at this time of year to celebrate my friend Karen’s birthday. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting another friend, Becky for lunch in Southampton where we visited Cafe Thrive (which I wrote about here). Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to visit Becky on this visit but luckily for me Cafe Thrive have now opened a branch in Bournemouth!

Karen and her daughter Amy went for burgers, her son Aiden had nuggets and I had to try the jackfruit fish and chips.

Karen really enjoyed her wholefoods burger, I had a little nibble too and thought it had a lovely taste. Amy wasn’t as keen on her “chicken” burger. Aiden couldn’t tell any difference from meat based chicken nuggets.

I enjoyed my jackfruit fish and chips, the jackfruit is seasoned with seaweed to give it a fishy taste although I think it could do with being half the size!

I picked up a peanut butter blondie to have on the train home. It went down a treat!

Have you been to Cafe Thrive in either Southampton or Bournemouth? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Cafe Thrive – Bournemouth 2019

Unity Diner – Guest Post

I met John and Cathy when we started doing the Cube of Truth in Romford. Cathy had been vegetarian since the age of four (!) with John converting shortly after they got together and have now been vegan for a few years. John and Cathy take part in activism events ranging from the cubes, save vigils, protests at London Fashion Week and even braved the rain to attend the one year anniversary of Canada Goose opening in London so they could commemorate the animals who have died to make the garments purchased since it opened last year.

Unity Diner is the latest endeavour of Earthling Ed with all profits going to his campaign charity Surge. I haven’t made it to the diner yet but John and Cathy went on Friday and here’s what Cathy had to say about it…

“On Friday evening me and my husband John visited Unity Diner in Hoxton for the first time. The staff were extremely friendly and offered to go through the menu with us. We were seated in a very nice spot by the brilliant art work on the wall. We were pleased to see they had an alcohol licence so we ordered two glasses of sauvignon blanc which was very nice.

For starters we wanted to order the seitan chick’n wings and the cauliflower wings, but they had run out of the seitan so we went for tofish bites instead. Both were very nice and the cauliflower came with coleslaw and ranch mayo. The tofish came with tartare sauce, we both slightly preferred the cauliflower.

For mains John ordered the Surge burger with extra cheeze, bakon and chunky fries. I ordered the mixed leaf salad with potato wedges.

The burger was massive and very tasty and the fries were nice and crispy.

My salad was lovely and the dressing was very good, the wedges were full of flavour and came with a basil mayo. We also tried their hot sauce which is not for the faint hearted and comes with quite a kick!

For dessert John had the cheesecake which was absolutely delicious and I had an ice cream sundae with strawberry and yuzu and pistachio crunch with whipped cream.

We had a very nice evening, totally recommend it but make sure to book to be sure of gettinf a table. We will definitely be going back to try the rest of the menu as the loaded fries look amazing!!!

Cathy”

Well doesn’t that all sound fabulous? I’ve been eyeing up the weekend menu which includes chick’n and waffles as well as pancakes.

Have you been to Unity Diner? Or have you been somewhere else I haven’t featured on the blog yet and would like to do a guest blog like Cathy? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Unity Diner – Guest Post

Genesis and Beanuts Shoreditch

29th October 2018 marks 12 years since I met my Husband and four year since we got married so dinner was a must! I was looking around the new establishments that have opened recently (I’m saving Unity Diner for their weekend brunch menu!) and decided upon Genesis on Commercial Street in Shoreditch. I liked the look of their menu and it seemed like a cool place.

On the way from Liverpool Street station we walked through Spitalfields Market and came upon an Oatly van so I gladly picked up a cookie and some oat milk. Oatly have recently launched a £700k advertising campaign in the UK using the slogan “like milk but made for humans”.

We got to Genesis and I loved the whole vibe. All pink with copper notes I could definitely spend an afternoon chilling out here.

I chose a hoisin jackfruit taco while my Husband had an American woman burger containing barbeque sauce and onion rings. He added coconut cheese and put the coleslaw on the side as he’s always a bit suspicious of it! There was no need to be he loved the lot! We also got some fries with garlic mayo which had a lovely strong garlic flavour. Some garlic mayos I’ve had have barely a sniff of garlic in them!

My Husband is a sucker for an ice cream sundae so as there was one on the menu we had to get it. Chocolate buttons, brownie bites, strawberry and chocolate sauces and honeycomb pieces, this sundae had them all! It was delicious with the soft serve ice cream although my Husband did say it needed more focus!

Since choosing to go to Genesis another newly opened vegan venue was brought to my attention. Beanuts is located in Brick Lane in the site recently vacated by the vegan Buffalo Diner. They make all their own plant milks and served hot and cold food along with cocktails and mocktails. So we headed there for a couple of drinks before we headed home.

I went for a black russian of kahlua, vodka and cashew milk and my Husband had the sober version which came with chocolate.

We enjoyed our drinks and I’ll be heading back to try some of their food, I do regret not getting a portion of carrot cake to take home.

As they are calling this café a pop up I’m not sure how long they’ll be there so you’ll have to head down soon.

Have you tried out either of these places? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Genesis and Beanuts Shoreditch

Another vegan lunch at All Bar One

All Bar One on Houndsditch in London is becoming one of my fave places for a mid-week lunch with one of my work friends. It’s quiet enough to have a proper chat, the service is friendly and fast, and there are lots of vegan options, what’s not to love?

This time I decided to go for the vegan burger. It had a patty and some roasted pepper in an ancient grain bin and came with chips.

The burger patty had a nice flavour but broke up a lot and was a bit difficult to eat. The bun was really nice too and the chips were adequate.

I’ll definitely be heading back to try some of the other vegan options.

Have you eaten at All Bar One? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Another vegan lunch at All Bar One

A Week of Food August 2018

I’ve done lots of cooking this week so I thought I would share with you the meals I made.

On Monday I picked up a couple of pizza bases from Sainsbury’s so I made this one with olives, mushrooms, spinach, capers and Tofurkey hickory slices. I served it with some garlic bread and salad.

I had some tofu that needed using up so on Tuesday I decided to make this tofish recipe from the vegan recipe club. I picked up the wine and beer required in the Co-op as I know they label their alcohol and I wasn’t let down.

I really enjoyed this recipe and I think it’s the best tofish I’ve had, my Husband really enjoyed it too and as he’s not a great lover of tofu so that’s a big win!

A new grocery store has opened up near me which is great because it’s all plastic free! I picked up a few bits and used a tin of chickpeas to make houmous to add to this Buddha bowl.

On Thursday I had some leftovers from earlier in the week so I made this flat bread thing with the other pizza base, the houmous and I roasted some yellow tomatoes.

On Friday I ate out for lunch with my friend Jo at All Bar One, they have quite a few vegan options and I went with this vegetable medley in a miso sauce and added some fries on the side. I had a Seedlip Garden 108 to drink. Seedlip are distilled non-alcoholic spirits and my go-to if I see them on the menu.

On Saturday I took part in Viva’s nationwide day of action (which I wrote about here) so I was very tired when I got home.

Mum with the table ready to go!

Luckily for me my Husband agreed to cook dinner. Unfortunately Sainsbury’s vegan options seem to keep selling out so we were unable to get the Vivera kebab or the Naturli burgers. We settled for the Naturli mince to make into burgers.


Today I made seedy bread rolls and a mini loaf from a marked down mix from Tesco for 42p! I had a couple of rolls with avocado and grapes and crisps for lunch.

What vegan meals have you been making this week? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

A Week of Food August 2018

Handmade Burger Co June 2018

My friends were coming up to London from Bournemouth to see a concert so we arranged to meet for dinner beforehand. Handmade Burger have locations all around the country but only one in London which happens to be in Wembley. As I’m an East London lady I don’t get over to that side of town much so I thought I’d take this opportunity to try them out.

They offer five (count them!) vegan burgers and one veggie burger that can be made vegan.

Their milkshakes can also be made with soya milk and dairy free ice cream which I haven’t seen any other omni restaurants do this so if you know of any let me know!

I chose to have the banana milkshare. I asked for it with soya milk and the server asked if I wanted cream so I asked if the cream was vegan and she said no. I’ve noticed this in coffee shops when you order dairy free milk they’ll still ask if you want dairy cream. What is going on people?!

It was lovely, thick and made with fresh banana but I could only taste the banana when I got a chunk of that otherwise it was very vanilla due to the ice cream. I enjoyed it but would have liked a stronger banana flavour.

I chose the sweet potato and bean burger. The patty was really nice and I loved the mango relish. I had to cut it in half to eat as otherwise I would have got into trouble. I paid for the extra vegan cheese, I’m not sure what brand this is but it didn’t melt and didn’t have any flavour so it wasn’t worth it!

I had rosemary chips to go with it. The salt was in really big grains but apart from that these were tasty chips.

I wouldn’t rush back to Wembley to try HBC again but if you have one in your area it may be worth checking them out.

Have you had Handmade Burger? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Handmade Burger Co June 2018

Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner May 2018

For our last meal of our Camden mini-trip we decided to head to Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner in the Stables Market for an early lunch before heading home.

I couldn’t see a full menu online but from reading reviews it was classic American with burgers, hot dogs and macaroni cheese available.

They do a great meal deal for £10 for a main, fries and a drink so my Husband and I both went for this option, him with a burger and me with the Reuben sandwich and a side of mac & cheese.

I’ve never had a Reuben sandwich, vegan or otherwise but this definitely won’t be my last! Wholemeal bread packed with vegan pastrami, cheese, sauerkraut, pickles and Russian dressing this sandwich spoke to my heart! I love pickly flavours so the combo of sauerkraut and pickles was a big plus for me! My Husband was also impressed with the number of pickles in his burger! He did say the bun was a little dry but the patty was really juicy.

The mac and cheese came with vegan bacon and sour cream on top. This was a decent mac and cheese. I’m not into mac and cheese as much as some people are but I think Rudy’s version would definitely be up there.

The portions are generous so we saved half to have for dinner later, definitely getting your money’s worth!

I saw someone else order a hotdog and that’s what I’m going to go for next time!

Rudy’s has a nice corner unit with seating both inside and out which is an added bonus as most places in Camden Market are just stalls or have a couple seats at the counter.

Have you sampled Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner May 2018

A Vegan Lunch in Old Street

Today I met up with my friend Mitsu (of the newly revamped To Happy Vegans) for our regular lunch. We decided to branch out of our walking distance area and I jumped on the tube. Two stops and 15 minutes later I was queueing to order in Arancini Brothers. Their Old Street branch has gone vegan for January (and beyond if it proves popular) so we had to get in on the action. I went for the BBQ mushroom burger and Mitsu had the chick’n wrap. As the burger is arancini based it is a fried rice patty, it did get a little messy with both barbecue and burger sauce but I soon got to grips with it! I will definitely be returning to try some of the other items on the menu.

I would have got some paprika fries to accompany my burger but I was saving room for cake!

Cupcakes and Shhht are a café based in Elephant and Castle who currently have a pop-up stall inside Old Street tube station. 

I thought a brownie was in order so I chose the hazelnut one out of the three available and Mitsu ordered a strawberry cupcake.

Back in the office it went down very well with a cup of coffee. The texture was lovely and fudgey and who can go wrong with hazelnuts (unless you’re allergic of course!)

Both places also had Instagram competitions where you could win food if you posted a picture of your grub and tagged them in it. I would be very pleased to win the 12 cupcakes on offer!

If you’re in the area I would definitely recommend rocking up to both Arancini Brothers and Cupcakes and Shhht for a splendid lunch. 

Have you tried any of their offerings? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

A Vegan Lunch in Old Street

Café Thrive – Southampton

As I was visiting my friend in Bournemouth this weekend and we were planning a shopping trip to Southampton I asked my Twitter friend Becky, who lives there, if she fancied meeting up for a coffee. She is a long term vegetarian so suggested we had lunch at Café Thrive where she regularly hangs out when doing her free lance work.

When I arrived it was quite busy and there were only spaces along on the window, but I quickly saw there was also an upstairs seating area so I nabbed a table and ordered an almond matcha latte while I waited for Becky to arrive.

The matcha latte was really creamy and I almost thought they had put dairy milk in it, but Becky reassured me the café was 100% vegan.

I had a look through the extensive menu (which Becky is slowly working her way through on a weekly basis!) I decided the wholefood burger with chips was in order and Becky went for the meaty burger.

We both chose chips and I grabbed some barbecue sauce from the condiments trolley. The burger was really tasty and felt like a proper burger rather than a healthy version of a burger the name eluded to. The salad it came with was really nice too and had pumpkin seeds and garlic oil (which I tend to pour over everything!)

Photo credit – Becky John

After the food we still had lots of chatting to do so I ordered a Kyoto cherry blossom green and Becky had a coffee and a vanilla slice. The tea was gorgeous and really reminded me of all the “sakura” flavoured things my Husband and I had when we were on our honeymoon in Japan. Becky really enjoyed her cake and also recommended the peanut blondies.

I was too stuffed for cake straight away but I picked up a split cream doughnut to enjoy later back at my friend’s house. These were always my favourite in my pre-vegan days and it’s not too often you see vegan versions so I always pick one up when I do. I was impressed at how well it travelled in my handbag and didn’t look too squashed when I retrieved it later. The cream was thick, the jam sweet and the doughnut lovely and soft. Heaven!

I also picked up a bar of Solkiki chocolate. I previously reviewed and interviewed their owner Bob here. So I will look forward to eating this is the coming days.

A few doors down from Thrive there is Rice Wholefoods which has a wide variety of products including bulk bins, chilled and frozen items, beauty, hot food and cakes. It’s definitely worth a visit if your passing by. As I was carrying a backpack back up to London I couldn’t take full advantage of everything on sale but I’ll definitely be back.

Have you been to Cafe Thrive? What did you think? What would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Café Thrive – Southampton

Vegan Adventures in Cornwall

My friend Charlie recently visited Cornwall so I asked her if she would let us know what the vegan options were like in that part of the country.

So over to Charlie…

“So the last time I went to visit my friend in Cornwall (about 3 years ago) she said there wasn’t many vegan places to go out and eat. Cornwall hadn’t quite caught up to the idea of veganism yet. Either that, or we just wasn’t aware of what was available. 

Well on this trip, we were determined to go out and explore some vegan friendly eateries. And we did just that!

The Cornish Vegan, Truro. 

This was the first place we wanted to visit on this trip. My friend, also a longterm vegan, had heard great things about this little cafe, but had never quite made it there.

We walked into this tiny little cafe, with painting on the wall of pigs and cows. We were immediately greeted by a lovely American lady, who directed us to a quiet table and gave us menus.

Straight away I had a tough time deciding what I was going to get. The ‘TLT’ sandwich or the BBQ jack fruit burger. I decided to go with the ‘Chikin’ burger with handcrafted chips, served with salad and homemade sauces. It was gorgeous.  Reasonably priced and filling. I them choose from their assortment of homemade cakes, a white chocolate and strawberry slice, which I took home for later.

The atmosphere was lovely, the staff really chatty and polite. I would definitely visit here again.

The Stable,  Falmouth. 

The little town near the fishing lake was a place I didn’t expect to see any vegan food. But after a bit of a shopping we passed this bar/resturant with a massive sign saying ‘vegan options available’.

This place offered 4 vegan pizzas, two salads and a side of garlic bread (with vegan cheese option).

Anyone who knows me knows I won’t ever turn down garlic bread, so cheese galic bread was a definately and I choose ‘The Bute Island Blazer’ and my friend ordering the ‘The Allo Aloha’. 

The cheesey garlic bread was FANTASTIC! Really stingy, melty cheese with the right amount of garlic. 

Wasn’t sure I’d be able to fit in a whole pizza after that, but actually when it arrived the smell hooked me in. Really delicious, just maybe a bit hot for me. Having scraped off a few chillies I was able to enjoy another round of bread. Would definitely recommend. 

Nice staff. Quick service. Very satisfying. 

Warrens Bakery

When in Cornwall, you must get a Cornish Pasty! It’s an unwritten rule.

And Warrens in Hayle do 3 vegan pasties! I had the curried mixed vegatables….and it definitely hit the spot. Great for lunch if you are on the move and filling.”

Thanks Charlie! I’ve visited The Stables branch in Bournemouth and I would agree their pizzas and garlic bread are pretty special. I haven’t been to Cornwall myself but now I wouldn’t be worried there would be a lack of vegan options.

If you’ve had some vegan adventures and want to share your finds please don’t hesitate to contact me for a guest post.

Have you been to Cornwall as a vegan what options did you find? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegan Adventures in Cornwall