Hackney Downs Festive Vegan Market

This weekend Hackney Downs Studios hosted Fat Gay Vegan’s three day Christmas Vegan Market extravaganza so we certainly couldn’t miss out.

My Sister-in-law Gemma decided to drive so we missed the pushing and shoving on the bus, tube and Overground and parked near the downs.

We started off with a mulled wine to warm us up. I’m more of a mulled cider person but this went down in a treat in my travel cup.

We were hungry so we quickly headed over to Temple of Seitan. They had two Christmas subs on, I went for the beef wellington with bacon, mushroom duxelles and mustard and Gemma had the chicken with stuffing, cranberry sauce and crispy onions. Both were delicious and the hot English mustard really cleared my sinuses!

After that we needed something sweet and I had been looking forward to having Vegan Delice’s fresh hot doughnuts. We went with one lot with chocolate and nuts and the other with raspberry sauce and both were fabulous!

I also bought my Husband an Oreo cupcake and I enjoyed this gingerbread person with a cup of tea later at home.

I’m already a convert to bamboo toothbrushes but Gem had to pick some up for her and my Brother. This enterprise started as a uni project and is now a full blown ethical business that plants a tree for each toothbrush sold.

She also picked up some make up as a present and was gifted a little extra too! I won’t show the items in case the receipient sees this!

Viva La Vegan were selling Eden Perfume on their behalf so I brought my empty bottle to get a refill (and a discount!), I went for 78 which is similar to Paco Rabanne’s Lady Million.

I also picked up a candle from Vegan Bunny. I had seen these as Gemma had got some for her birthday in October. I love rose scents so I had to go for the rose blossom variety, I also loved the jasmine scent which I might go for next time.

I also grabbed one of Fat Gay Vegan’s tote bags which I love as the text can be read up-side-down as well. I also caught up with the man himself and congratulated him on his recent appearance on the Chickpeeps podcast which I would recommend you listen to straight away!

We finished up with some cheese fries from Club Mexicana. These are gooey and crunchy but don’t leave you feeling heavy and greasy like dairy cheese does.

We had a fab time and it was lovely speaking to all the vendors and being introduced to some new ones.

Did you go to the market this weekend? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

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Hackney Downs Festive Vegan Market

Vegan Chalk Bomb & Broadway Vegan Market

Today I took part in the Worldwide Vegan Chalk Bomb with my Sister-in-law and our new friend Meredith from Vegans of East London. People took part in events all across the world to spread the vegan message. You can check out everyone’s work by searching the hashtags #veganchalkbomb and #veganchalkchallenge on Twitter and Instagram. We set up camp outside Shoreditch High Street Overground Station and got to work. A fellow vegan who was working so couldn’t join us brought us cupcakes from Vida Bakery to spur us on!

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After all that chalking we were getting hungry so we decided to head over to Broadway Vegan Market which was holding its first event. We decided to walk and had a lovely time nosing in the cute little shops along the way and even got chatting to another vegan lady who was working in one of the shops.

It’s seems like it’s another day another vegan market at the moment and I’m definitely not complaining! Every Saturday you can choose between Broadway Vegan Market and Hackney Downs Vegan Market (or go to both if you’re being greedy!) and tomorrow (1st October) sees the launch of Walthamstow Vegan Market.

Many of the traders were also at Vegan Nights a couple of days previously (which I wrote about here) so I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to try.

I chose a noodle salad from Eat Chay which came with Korean barbecue pieces and chick’n and lemongrass pieces. It was really great and the vegetables made it really fresh tasting.

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My Sister-in-law chose to order from Spice Box (after much deliberation!) and got this box of tandoori cauliflower, jackfruit tikka masala and sweet potato curry. I tried a little bit of each (of course!) and it was damn tasty!

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I couldn’t go home without getting something for my Husband so I picked him up a pizza slice and a chocolate walnut brownie from Vegan Sweet Tooth.

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There were loads of other lovely looking stalls and I hope to make my way round a few of them at upcoming events!

Have you taken part in any vegan chalking? Or did you attend a delicious vegan food event this weekend? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegan Chalk Bomb & Broadway Vegan Market

Hot Dog Fundraiser at Black Cat Hackney

Last night I attended a fundraiser for New Hope Animal Rescue at Black Cat Café in Hackney with my Sister-in-law and one of her friends.

New Hope is run by Niall and Vet Nurse Steph and they take in animals in need, often those who require medical treatment. They are currently looking to move in order to have more room so they can help more animals, check out all the details on their website.

Vegan café Black Cat in Hackney often host fundraiser nights for charities and this one was hot dog themed. We had to book in advance and I’m glad to say they completely sold out for the two sittings they had on the night. For £20 we had starters, mains and desserts and we were well and truly satisfied with the food we were served up.

To start we had these cute canapés of houmous on cucumber which were really tasty.

Next up we had sweet potatoes with vegan cheese and onions.

There were four hot dogs on offer and we all went for the Muttley Mac topped with onions vegan and Mac and Cheese. These hot dogs were giant! I added some ketchup (I can’t have a hot dog without ketchup!) and dived in! I am not the biggest fan of Mac and Cheese but this wasn’t overpowering or too saucy. 

And if that wasn’t already enough we had cupcakes for dessert. I went for the lemon and my Sister-in-law had the red velvet. The lemon was lovely and zingy and the red velvet had a cream cheese frosting on top.

Everyone had a wonderful night and all in all £1223 was raised for New Hope! Yay!

Plumes X

Hot Dog Fundraiser at Black Cat Hackney

Hackney Downs Vegan Market

On the third Saturday of every month Hackney Downs Studios plays host to the Hackney Downs Vegan Market. I’ve been once before with my Sister-in-law and this weekend my Husband decided he wanted to come with me.

He was most looking forward to having a burger from Big V (which I’ve previously reviewed here) and some doughnuts from Dough Society.

When we first arrived we realised how many people were there by the length of the queues! Temple of Seitan were showcasing their bacon cones which lots of people were interested in.

We made our way through the market to where Big V were and although there was a long queue it went down quite quickly.

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There is some seating in the market but due to the numbers of visitors it was all taken so we went and sat on the downs next to the market while we ate our burgers.

When we returned we saw that Dough Society had unfortunately (for us!) sold out. It was only 1pm when we arrived at the market (which opened at 11 and closed at 5) but it just goes to show the popularity of events like these.

We weren’t disappointed in the sweet side though as we headed to Vegan Delice‘s stall to pick up some goodies. My Husband chose a couple of these chocolate hazelnut biscuits. I took a cheeky bite and I must say it was delicious!

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I was visiting a friend later in the afternoon so I chose a lotus caramel cupcake and a bakewell slice to share. I really enjoyed both these cakes especially the cupcake with lotus spread running through the middle.

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The popularity of events like these go to show how many people there are interested in vegan food and Sean of Fat Gay Vegan has said he’s planning on opening another market in another part of London.

I also wanted to highlight Sean’s policy regarding the traders who are at the market.

In the spirit of inclusion and for the promotion of people often overlooked/sidelined at mainstream vegan events, I have earmarked my percentage of stalls for those traders who identify as BME, LGBTQ, people with disabilities and/or as women.

To clarify, this policy ensures that at least nine out of the twelve stalls each month will be owned or co-owned by someone who identifies as BME, LGBTQ, a person with a disability and/or a woman.

Have you been to Hackney Downs Vegan Market? What did you think?L Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Hackney Downs Vegan Market

Review – Temple of Seitan

I first tried Temple of Seitan’s fried vegan chicken at the Just V Show last July so when I heard they were opening a permanent shop in Hackney I knew I had to go and get my fill!

They opened in January to massive queues as reported in the mainstream press and quickly had to recruit more staff and upscale their production.

I met up with my Sister-in-law and my Husband so we could share in this junk food feast!

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We each went for the burger which came with vegan bacon, lettuce and mayo. They also have various sauces you can add yourself. The seitan is really crispy and chewy and the bun was lovely and soft.

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I went for some coleslaw with mine, which was a huge pot. I think it could have done with been smaller and having more mayo in it!

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My Sister-in-law went for some mac and cheese. I had a little nibble and really like it. I wasn’t too saucey which is my kind of mac and cheese.

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My Husband got a “two piece” as well although there were three pieces in the container – bonus! I really liked the taste of the strips on their own as well.

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They were also selling peanut butter, chocolate mud pies so we had to get some to take home. These were soft gooey and delicious.

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I will definitely be going back to Temple of Seitan hopefully in the not too distant future.

Have you been? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

Review – Temple of Seitan

Review – Vegan Peasant Supperclub

On Thursday my Husband and I attended Vegan Peasant Catering supperclub at The Grand Howl vegetarian cafe in Hackney.

The cafe’s windows were steamed up and they had their shutter half down so we walked past it before we realised that was the place.

When we arrived we were offered a glass of Prosecco which went down very well and soon the canapés were coming out.

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The aubergine was definitely my favourite which wasn’t a surprise and I am a huge fan of ghanoush. I hate grapefruit with a passion but the it was only a sliver and added a nice citrus burst which cut through the rich cream cheese. The ricotta was pleasant but I don’t remember tasting any fennel.

The dishes were placed on the counter and it felt like a bun fight to get in a grab one, not always being successful and having to wait for the next tray.

Next to come out were the bowls.

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The gnocchi was divine with gorgeous tomatoes and mushrooms. I had big leaves of basil which just added to the gorgeousness.

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The other bowl was my fave dish of the evening. Roasted veg with a sinus clearing horseradish sauce, what’s not to like!

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The desserts were bite size like the canapés and I think I could have done with a bowl size portion! The buttery biscuit with cream and fruit was lovely although I think the cream could have had a bit more flavour. The fudgey brownie squares were rich and intense.

This event was like a reception I would say, in that it was standing. This was the aspect of the evening that I found least enjoyable. We were there about 2 and a half hours and my Husband and I ended up leaning against the wall. It was also very warm and I had to step outside for a bit to cool down.

The meal was good value for money at £25 including the Prosecco and I left feeling satisfied without overly full.

We also got chatting to another who works close to me so we’re going explore our working area for vegan lunch options.

Vegan Peasant said they are starting monthly events with the next one at the end of March. I think this standing style isn’t for me and I would only go to a sit down event.

Have you been to a Vegan Peasant event? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

Review – Vegan Peasant Supperclub

Review – Black Cat Cafe Hackney

I went to Black Cat Cafe yesterday with my Sister-in-law Gemma after we’d visited East London Vintage Fair. I had been there once before with my Husband. I tried looking through my blog to see whether I wrote a review last time but when I checked my instagram I realised we went two weeks before I started my blog!

Their website states – “Black Cat Cafe is a 100% vegan, cooperatively run space in Hackney-London that aims to promote an ethical lifestyle”. I really love the interior of the cafe and wish I’d taken some photos. There are as many tables crammed in as possible and it has a very “collective” type feeling, there are magazines that can be read while you’re in the cafe and extensive collection of books for sale from vegan cookbooks to political tomes. “Zionism in the age of the dictators” particularly caught my eye. The menu changes on a daily basis depending on what produced is sourced.

I love a good soda float so I have got a cola float both times I have visited. The only thing that could have made this better was if they served root beer!

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For food I went for the seitan plate which came with seasoned seitan with a dollop of mint yogurt dressing, sourdough bread and a selection of salads. The seitan was really meaty and chewy, ,I’m not sure what brand they used and the salads were all tasty, I especially liked the slaw.

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My Sister-in-law went for the health bowl, which came with houmous, violife cheese and a few more salads. She said she really enjoyed it and it was very filling.

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I had to treat myself to one of the cakes and I went for the coffee and walnut. The cake was rich with coffee and I think it also had poppy seeds in it.

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Black Cat also have a deli fridge, with vegan cheeses and faux meats as well as a huge range of drinks and chocolate on offer. I picked up a few snacks and treats to take home to my Husband which he was very pleased about!

Black Cat was very busy both times I have visited but I think that added to the atmosphere, it feels like there’s a lot going on and there’s a buzz about the place. I would really recommend visiting if you are in the area.

Have you been to Black Cat Cafe? What did you think?

Plumes x

Review – Black Cat Cafe Hackney