Doughnut Time

When I first went vegan five and a half years ago I really missed doughnuts. I had tried some baked doughnuts at vegan events but they are just cakes with holes in my opinion!

Doughnut Time is an Australian doughnut shop who have opened up in London. I knew they had stores in Shoreditch and Shaftesbury Avenue, where I visited, but looking at their website they also have stores in Notting Hill and even London City Airport. Doughnut Time aren’t an exclusively vegan company but they have all their vegan options clearly marked.

I bought my friend, Maxine, a box of vegan doughnuts when she was recovering in hospital in December but didn’t sample any myself. When I was seeing a show at the Apollo Theatre this weekend I knew I had to get down to the nearby store to pick up some doughnuts.

The staff were really friendly and when I said my first choice, which was a vegan doughnut, they asked if I wanted separate boxes for vegan and non-vegan options. I told them I would only be having vegan options so it wasn’t an issue!

First up I tried the “Pump up the jam”, now I didn’t think there was such thing as too much jam in a doughnut but this is verging on it! This doughnut is quite heavy due to the jam and messy to eat, but syrupy and delicious!

My Husband had the “Cornelius Fudge”. He really enjoyed it. He did say it was slightly greasier than a non-vegan doughnut but this wasn’t a issue for him. He loved the addition of the hazelnuts too.

We waited until the next day to try the next two. We shared these having half each. The “Houston, we have Biscoff” is a vegan dream! Vegan coffee glaze, topped with caramel buttercream, chocolate drizzle and a Lotus biscuit on top

Last but not least we have the “Sia Later”. This is a red velvet doughnut with a vegan cream cheese frosting and freeze dried raspberries. This one was a little too sweet for my Husband and me and I probably wouldn’t get it again.

There were five vegan options so we missed out on the “Berry Seinfeld” but the menu is updated regularly so there are always new doughnuts to try!

Have you tried out any doughnuts from Doughnut Time? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Doughnut Time

Gallery Cafe February 2018

I have visited the Gallery Cafe in Bethnal Green quite a few times and have blogged about it in the past but this was my first visit since they decided to go fully vegan at the beginning of 2018.

The Gallery Cafe is situated in St Margaret’s House, a charity supporting the local community and with 100% of the profits going back to the charity you not only get a tasty meal but a warm fuzzy feeling too!

My Mum and I were going to a gig in Bethnal Green so it was the perfect excuse to visit.

My Mum had never tried jackfruit before and wanted to sample some so she went for the tacos which are described as “Pulled jackfruit slow-cooked in our homemade smoky barbeque sauce in soft shell corn tacos; served with a crunchy red onion, carrot and cabbage slaw and a tangy lime, ginger, garlic and chilli ceviche; topped with fresh coriander

She was rather taken by the blue corn taco and described the dish as “lush”!

I was toing and froing between the sweet potato masala and the gado gado chao with the latter winning out. It is described on the menu as “Our unique Indonesian mixed-vegetable stir-fry with a punchy peanut and lime sauce; served with tempeh, brown rice and fresh coriander“. The sauce definitely did pack a punch and the tempeh was so tasty. It really hit the spot on this freezing cold day and the vegetables were perfectly cooked.

I’m excited to go back to the Gallery Cafe to try out some more of their dishes.

Have you visited the Gallery Cafe recently? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Gallery Cafe February 2018

The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker

The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker in Islington recently went vegan so my monthly dinner companion Jo and I thought we’d take advantage of their January deal of 241 mains if you bring something for the food bank.

They serve a mixture of burgers and toasties with chips or salad. We both liked the look of the chorizo one which came with jalapeñoes, refried beans and cheese. The jalepañoes were a bit too spicy for me so I picked them out but overall it was a great toastie and I definitely want to return to try some of their other options. I went for fries with mine while Jo went for the healthier salad option. Jo said she thought her salad might be a bit more interesting than just leaves in a vegan place but sadly not.

The service was prompt was we done in 45 minutes but not ready to head home at 18.15 (!) so I did a little search for cocktails nearby and we ended up in The Ladybird Bar, they had a happy hour offer of 241 cocktails on those marked on the menu with a ladybird so we both went for a twist on a piña colada and enjoyed it thoroughly. So with all our offers we had a lovely meal and a cocktail for £11.50 each! Not bad for a Tuesday night!

Have you been to either of these places before? What did you think? Where else should we try out in Islington? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker

Review – Aubaine

I wasn’t previously aware of French restaurant chain Aubaine but I saw on a post from Veganuary that they were having a vegan menu for January and as there is a branch close to my office I knew a lunch there was in order.

I enlisted my friend Jo, who I usually have a monthly dinner with, but as she has now moved into my office we can extend this to lunch dates too!

The vegan menu was small with two starters and desserts each and three mains, but it looked well thought out.




I chose the cauliflower to start which looked really pretty when it arrived. It was nicely spiced and I loved the addition of the pomegranate. The salad also had garlic oil on it which always goes down well in my books.

For mains I was spoilt for choice. As I had had a mushroom bourguignon at the weekend I decided to go for the burger. The patty was really thick so I ended up buying round the edge first before taking a proper bug bite. It was very tasty and had a nice burger sauce too. The bun tasted sweet like a brioche which was nice as I haven’t experienced a vegan brioche bun before. Unfortunately the fries were a bit soggy so I ended up leaving half, which wasn’t too much of a hardship as I was pretty full.

Despite this fullness I would have considered a dessert with the brownie catching my eye but as the service had been pretty slow we decided to just grab the bill. The vegan menu is a fixed price of £12.50 for two course so is really great value for money. I hope the options stay available beyond January!

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

Plumes x

Review – Aubaine

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

So Pure Café

Mama Plumes and I arranged to spend our pre-christmas day out at the Winnie-the-Pooh exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. Mama Plumes had an offer for a £10 three course lunch from Timeout so we decided to head there before the exhibition. If you’re not already signed up to the Timeout emails I would recommend you do as they regularly have offers from veggie and vegan restaurants.

So Pure Café is a veggie café situated in Triyoga on the second floor of Kingsley Court. I wasn’t previously aware of Kingsley Court which sits between Regents Street and Carnaby Street. The space was really nice and looks like a lovely place to just hang out and have a hot drink. As it’s off Regents Street this is very handy if you are attending the Canada Goose protests.

For starter we both went for the tomato, chickpea and coconut soup which was so tasty and lovely and warming on a cold day.

For main I went for the smashed avocado on toast (the only vegan option) and Mum had the tart. Both were really tasty and I loved the seedy bread.

We both went for the matcha and spirulina protein ball out of the three available for dessert.

Our meal also came with a Nix and Kix carbonated drink and we both chose the peach and vanilla which was great and only 50 calories. This whole lunch was very virtuous and I’d really recommend you go there if you are in the area.

Have you visited So Pure or the Winne-the-Pooh exhibition? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

So Pure Café

Christmas Lunch @ Bill’s

I had two days of Christmas company do’s in a row and after the abysmal display from Ipswich Town FC (basically just a plate of vegetables for both lunch and dinner) I knew things could only improve when we went to Bill’s in Shoreditch for our team Christmas meal.

I had pre-ordered the 3 vegan options for starter, main and dessert, no choice but better than some years where you have to ring up in order to negotiate a vegan option.

To drink I had a hot elderflower cordial. I’ve been suffering from a cold the past couple of weeks so this was really nice.

For my starter I had ordered mushroom soup, unfortunately mine and my colleague’s soup were both cold so they had to be sent back. Once they returned the soup was lovely tasting and the bread with it was great too.

For main I had the vegan roast, again the vegetables weren’t incredibly warm. I enquired about a vegetarian gravy and the waitress took so long I was almost finished by the time she came back. The roast was really moist and flavourful though and I think a lot of effort has been put into that.

For dessert I had the rice pudding brulee. The sugar had a good crack but the rice was a bit claggy and didn’t have much sauce. Saying that I did manage to finish it.

I think this dinner looked really nice on paper but was decidedly average on eating. I’ve never eaten in a Bill’s before and this just may be the pressure of the Christmas period and all the work meals going on. It’s not the worse Christmas meal I’ve had as a vegan but no where near the best.

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

Plumes x

Christmas Lunch @ Bill’s