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 – Big V London 4/08/2017

I was in Southwark today so headed to Borough Market to get some lunch. Borough Market is a massive food market with loads of different traders. It can be a bit meat/fish/cheese heavy in places, but there are a few vegan gems.

I haven’t been to Borough Market on a Friday before so I was excited to try Big V London who are there on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (they are also at other markets so check out their website for details).

Looking at the range of burgers online both my Husband and I were interested in the Holy Smoke but unfortunately this wasn’t available so we went for the Classic V Facon Cheeseburger.

I was impressed with the size of the burger, although I did have a little bit of trouble eating it walking along and by the end it was a bit messy! I think the patty was a really nice texture, which my Husband also liked, although not being a lover of the texture of seitan he thought the mushrooms really improved it.

I found the facon a bit too salty for my taste, and I couldn’t really taste the cheese with that and the burger sauce, pickles and tomato relish so next time I think I’d go for a classic burger.

While I was at Borough Market I stopped by The Free From Bakehouse and bought a slice of mango baked cheesecake. Unfortunately it wasn’t very photogenic after the journey home in my Husband’s backpack!

I stopped in Leon on Borough High Street as I knew Ruby’s of London were stocking vegan doughnuts and cupcakes in Leon stores in Southwark. I bought a rose and pistachio one but like the cheesecake it didn’t look great by the time we were home!

I was also impressed they had almond milk out for the tea along with the cow juice.

Have you eaten at Big V London? What did you think? Are there other vegan foods you would recommend around Borough Market? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Review – Big V London 4/08/2017

Ruby and Pickles 1st Birthday

On Saturday I attended Ruby and Pickles 1st Birthday Supperclub with my Sister-in-law. I first attended one of their supperclubs last June which I wrote about here.

Ruby and Pickles have had supperclubs all over London, for their birthday celebration they had chosen to host at Blank 100 in Dalston which was great for us East London vegans!

We had a little trouble finding the industrial style unit and could have done with a board outside or a balloon! The space was gorgeous inside and there were a few benches to sit on. 

We started with a rajma masala (kidney beam curry) taco with pickled cabbage and cashew cream. This was mildly spiced and really tasty. Everything was homemade including the tacos themselves and the cream. This definitely added to the experience. I had read about this family recipe on Sareta’s blog and I’d definitely like to recreate this at home.

Our next dish was biryani another family recipe, this time from Jasel’s family. This was again nicely spiced for my mild palette. We had this with carrot and chilli pickle (which was too hot for me!) and a raita with pomegranate seeds. There was a vegetarian raita and a vegan raita but I’m not sure if any vegetarian would object to a vegan version and I would of thought it would have made sense to make just one.

For dessert we had chocolate and chilli truffles which were coated in crushed pistachios. This were very decadent and fudgey and little bit of heat at the end was nice. 


We were also lucky enough to receive a goody bag which included this cute ceramic and mango burfi. I couldn’t resist eating the burfi straight away and it delicious.

As always the hosts were very attentive, I couldn’t believe Jasel remembered that it had been my Mum’s birthday when we had been a year previously. 

I think this meal was great value for money at £12.50 and I look forward to seeing what Ruby and Pickles have in store for the future and recommend you try it out!

Plumes x

Ruby and Pickles 1st Birthday

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

March Round Up

How have I felt?

I went and had some blood tests for the fatigue I’ve been experiencing and I’ve started to receive treatment and will continue to be monitored. I have had an appointment with a herbalist student at the College of Natural Medicine to do all that I can be to be helping myself.

What new foods have I been trying?

I picked up some new products in Sainsburys, the Quorn nuggets and the Cauldron burgers and sausages. I had the nuggets with curry udon that my Husband made. They are nice to have in the freezer for emergencies but I think I need to do a taste test to see whether I prefer these or the Fry’s ones!

I had the sausages which are tomatoey and beany with mash and veg. They are nice and a bit different to other sausages and because of the flavour not the most versatile. I haven’t tried the burgers yet.

We went down to Ramsgate for the weekend so I marinated some tempeh to have with breakfast. This was from the cookbook Baconish, I really liked the flavour but I think I’ll need to try and get the tempeh thinner next time!

I had a great lunch which I blogged about here.

I had some lemon and blackcurrant sorbet at a parlour on the front.

I completely stuffed my face at Seaside Cake Parlour in Margate and brought home some cakes too!

I went to Glasgow for work and ate dinner at Mono with my friend Christine which I wrote about here.

I went to The Gate in Hammersmith and had a fabulous meal which I wrote about here.

What have I been enjoying?

I started off the month with a bang and went to see Cabaret vs Cancer Ashes II Ashes David Bowie tribute with my Mum. There were singers, dancers and all sorts of performers. It was like nothing I’ve seen before!

As I’ve previously mentioned we had a lovely weekend away in Ramsgate and stayed at a lovely cottage available to rent here.

I took part in the UN day against racism by marching in London and I shared some photos of the day here.

We went and saw the fabulous Postmodern Jukebox and I was amazed at the skills of the performers.

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I can’t believe I’ve done so much in March. It’s definitely been a busy month!

Plans for April

April will be a quieter month. I did have plans to go on holiday but unfortunately those had to be cancelled. I plan on doing some vegan activism and hopefully will spend some time with my cousin and his wife. We haven’t got any plans for Easter yet but it should be a nice break.

How has your March been? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

March Round Up

Review – The Gate Hammersmith 23rd March 2017

On Thursday my Husband and I had tickets to see Postmodern Jukebox at Hammersmith Apollo so we booked in for dinner at The Gate.

I haven’t been to the Gate in Hammersmith for a while, I usually go to their branch in Islington when seeing shows at Sadlers Wells.

For starters I went for the miso glazed aubergine. The sticky glaze was gorgeous and so flavourful. I’ve made this dish at home before and it’s one of my favourites.

There were a couple of vegan mains on the menu but I didn’t fancy either of them. I think they could easily make some of their vegetarian dishes vegan by tweaking a few ingredients. I went for the dragon salad. The marinated smoked tofu on top was amazing and I could have done with a bit more of it!

I suggested to my Husband that we have the coffee cheesecake to share but he was adamant of having his own so we got one each! This was tasty but I felt it could have had a thicker base and not so much mousse on top.

All the food was fantastic but I feel they could have had a couple of extra staff on for the number of covers there were. You have to book to get a table so they were aware of how busy they were going to be. We had to wait quite a while to place our orders for both starter/main and dessert and it’s not nice feeling edgy when you have somewhere to be afterwards.

There is currently an offer in Timeout to have a three course meal with a glass of Prosecco at their Marylebone branch for £24 if you want to check it out.

Have you been to The Gate? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Review – The Gate Hammersmith 23rd March 2017

Review – Banana Tree

I usually go to The Sadlers Wells theatre at least once a year for a show and will always have a meal at The Gate vegetarian restaurant. To get to the restaurant (and to the theatre) I always pass by a branch of Banana Tree and think I must come here when I’m in the area doing something else, well about 6 years later that time came!

My Sister-in-law and I were going to a vintage sale (more of that in a separate post!) so I suggested we go to Banana Tree before hand for some lunch. I looked on the website and they had a separate vegetarian menu and even specified which dishes could be veganised.

The labelling on the full menu was also clear when we were in the restaurant.

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I decided to have some Jasmine Silver Needle tea and it came in this really cute teapot.

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We decided to get the crispy dough to start. It came with a satay dipping sauce and was perfectly pleasant but I don’t think I would get it again. I think I would have preferred a sweet chilli sauce but my Sister-in-law was loving the satay!

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I went for the blackened monk’s vegetables for main. This had vegetables and tofu with soy rice noodles and it came with corn cakes and a sesame cracker. It was really tasty and so filling!

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My Sister-in-law went for the tamarind aubergine combo (which comes with savoury rice, corn cakes and a cracker). I had a little taste and I could definitely go for this!

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The food was great and I thought it was good value for money but now onto the service.

My tea came first, then our shared starter with my main, then five minutes later my Sister-in-law’s main but we had to wait even longer and then ended up having to ask for our cold drinks. The menu did state starters, it wasn’t like Wagamama where everything comes out when it comes out. When we got the bill my Sister-in-law’s juice wasn’t on it so we didn’t let them know as it had taken so long to come out we were happy they had either forgotten or taken it off! When we had paid and were waiting for change we saw the server who had taken our money serving other customers. We thought this was odd and were going to try to get his attention but a couple of minutes later another staff member brought it to us. The restaurant was not busy so I’m not sure why the service was so erratic. Maybe I’d try a different branch next time to see if the service was any better.

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

Plumes x

Review – Banana Tree