A phoenix from the ashes

Blimey – it’s been well over a year since I last wrote a post here – how time flies. The good news is that I’m still vegan (nearly 2 years since I started!), and it’s been a year where I’ve seen veganism becoming far more prominent: not only in my own social circles (many of my friends and colleagues have gone vegan) but also in wider society with many more vegan restaurants popping up, numerous vegan articles in large news publications, and mainstream programmes around veganism, such as Carnage. It may be that I’m just more tuned-in to vegan news and issues, but I do feel it’s become more noticeable and talked about generally.

In all honesty, I’m a lazy bugger, and it’s been so much easier to post pretty pictures to Instagram (147 times, to be precise) than to write blog posts. Terrible! From now I’m going to set myself the goal of writing a post at least once a fortnight, and see how I get on from there.

In the meantime, I need a point to this post! I think since it’s been so long, I’ll jot down a few thoughts on my vegan highlights from the past year and a bit.

 

1)    I’ve been to innumerable vegan food establishments all over the world!

For someone who ate in 15 different places in 5 days in Berlin – a place I’ve since been back to yet again – I’m not surprised that I’ve tried so many different vegan places both in London, and on my travels. Since I last wrote I’ve eaten vegan food in Pula, Venice, Thailand, Copenhagen, Berlin (again), and all over the Netherlands.  I could definitely – and hopefully will – write whole posts about some of these places, but for now a few of my favourites have been, and are:

Dou Dou – all-you-can-eat vegan Chinese buffet – Camden Town

I have to mention this place first because I legit eat here at least once a fortnight, if not once a week. Right opposite the entrance to Camden Town tube, and near where I work – it’s quick, it’s tasty, it feels totally unhealthy, and I love it. For £6.50 at lunchtime (and a little more at dinner) you can eat as much as you want. True story: somehow I once managed 4 plates. I don’t know how.

Dou dou vegan Chinese buffet plate

What The Pitta – vegan doner kebabs – Boxpark Shoreditch/Croydon

Tasty-as-hell vegan doner kebab meat in an enormous wrap, or lavishly heaped over chips, this place is super tasty and filling. AND SOON THEY’RE OPENING IN CAMDEN. RIP my disposable income.

What The Pitta! vegan doner kebab at Boxpark Shoreditch

La Buenaventura – vegan chorizo and tortilla – Boiler House, Brick Lane @ weekends

These people make the best vegan chorizo I’ve ever tasted, and the only vegan tortilla (Spanish omelette) I’ve managed to have. Both tasted just as I remember them tasting before I was vegan. Really friendly people – remembered who I was the second time I visited. Need to go back soon!

La Buenaventura vegan Spanish baguette with vegan chorizo and vegan tortilla

Temple of Seitan – vegan fried chicken – Hackney

Vegan food trend setters (and dare I say superstars?) who must have been written about to death by now. The bottom line is that their food is tasty and varied, and they’re always innovating and trying out new things at Fat Gay Vegan’s (now weekly!) vegan markets. Fun fact: was told the other day they didn’t realise they were ironically opening up next to a butcher’s shop, having looked around the property at night and signing right away.

New Temple of Seitan burger at Fat Gay Vegan's weekly market

May Veggie Home – vegan Thai food – Bangkok

One of two overseas places I’ve included here – May Veggie Home is a vegan restaurant in Bangkok that I think I visited…three times?…in my three days in Bangkok back in January this year. Not the cheapest food in comparison to some Thai street food, but I could feast on a banquet for around £10 here (and definitely over-ordered at least one).

Three plates of vegan Thai food from May Veggie Home in Bangkok

Spirit – vegan-friendly buffet – Rotterdam

Like Ethos Foods or Tibits in London, Spirit is a veggie buffet with plenty of vegan options, and oh my they were tasty. You pay by weight, and me and my friends happily went back for a second plate, to take our food total to €30 each. No regrets.

Vegan buffet plates from Spirit restaurant in Rotterdam

Spicebox – plant-based Indian food – Camden Town

Beautifully-presented plant-based Indian food, Spicebox have been travelling around for the summer but are now getting a permanent gig at Kerb Camden in just over a week! Seriously, these Camden vegan food openings need to slow down or I’m going to be bankrupt.

Spicebox vegan Indian food from Kerb street food market

2)    I went to London Vegfest

This was almost a year ago, and I’m attending again this year, but this was the first (and only) big vegan food festival I’ve been to. Out of the many, many things I saw and ate there, off the top of my head I can remember: vegan cheese samples galore (Bute Island Foods mature cheddar Sheese was a highlight), excellent vegan maki rolls from Happy Maki, tasty vegan mheats from Sgaia, interesting talks from people like Tim Shieff, and vegan cask beers 😍

Looking forward to going again in a month’s time!

Happy Maki vegan sushi being made at Vegfest 2016

 

Vegan donuts at Vegfest 2016

3)    I got (a bit) better at taking food pictures

I’m still not great at it, as I feel far too self-conscious taking photos of my food, but at least I have myself a better phone camera, and some appreciation for decent lighting. I went from taking photos like this:

Three homemade vegan tacos

To photos more like this:

Vegan hotdogs at Top Dog, Soho

Much better 🙂

4)    Fat Gay Vegan started a vegan food market right by where I live

If you’re a vegan living in London you’ll have surely heard about FGV’s super popular monthly vegan food markets, which are now becoming weekly! Now I know that I don’t have to wait a month between getting my vegan market fix, part of me feels guilty for stuffing my face with both Temple of Seitan’s huge burger and an all-day breakfast pie (and chocolate brownie) from Young Vegans all on the same day last weekend. Then again, part of me doesn’t.

A large queue of hungry vegans of Fat Gay Vegan's first vegan Christmas market

5)    There’s so many more exciting things to come

Okay so not a highlight of past, but alongside the FGV weekly vegan market we’ve got Vegan Nights @ Truman Brewery coming up soon – which has a superstar vegan food lineup – as well as Broadway Vegan Market starting on Saturday. All-in-all it’s a really exciting time to be a vegan living in London.

And I think I’ll leave it at that! There’s probably so much I’ve forgotten about, but it’s good to have started writing again! Until next time x