Tag: vegan

Vegan Brunch at Anna Loka, Cardiff

When I first became vegan, I honestly thought that I would be saying goodbye to some of my favourite foods. To me it was worth it, as there food should not be an excuse for cruelty. (Eggs, I’m looking at you!) However, I was very, very wrong. There’s pretty much a vegan alternative to every food I’d eaten before (which begs the question, why isn’t everyone vegan, but that’s another blog post for another time!) For example: pancakes. My favourite breakfast of all time. I can make a decent vegan pancake, using bananas as the egg replacement, but I wasn’t sure if there would be anywhere offering a vegan pancake. Thanks to Phil’s amazing Google searching, we discovered Anna Loka, a vegan cafe in the Cardiff suburb of Roath, run by quite possibly one of the nicest Welshmen I have ever met! With vegan toiletries in the loo and a discussion about protein while we were eating, it’s pretty much a vegan dream venue!

Anna LokaAnna Loka menuTea at Anna LokaVegan pancakes cardiffMiddle East Brunch Anna LokaWe found free parking, further up the road, but be aware, a lot of the streets nearby are permit holders only. It just takes a bit of looking around. The venue has a lovely feel, lovely handmade tables and a relaxed atmosphere. The menu is immense! Everything is vegan. Let me repeat that, everything is vegan. Being somewhere where you can eat everything is awesome! And the variety of food is amazing too. Having seen the menu online, I knew i was going for the pancakes, while Phil opted for the Middle Eastern brunch, which was delicious. I added fruit to my pancakes, as I often feel I should have something healthy with indulgent pancakes. Both the tea and coffee are ethically sourced and come with a choice of soya, almond or hemp milk. I’m still a soya girl when it comes to my tea, and ordered the breakfast tea. It arrived with a timer (I love when places do this. It shows they take their tea seriously!) and it wasn’t too long until breakfast arrived. The pancakes where hands down the BEST pancakes I have ever eaten, vegan or dairy based, and I have eaten A LOT of pancakes. They were well cooked, slightly crispy around the edges, soft in the middle, layered up with jam, and the fruit and yoghurt were a delicious addition, though probably not needed as I was stuffed when I’d eaten them all.

I wish I lived closer to Cardiff, simply so I could pop in to Anna Loka with greater regularity. I’d love to sample their other menus, as the brunch one was a huge hit with me. I know now where I’m going for brunch anytime I’m near Wales! If you are near Cardiff anytime this Christmas, head to Anna Loka – you will not be disappointed!

Tuesday Treat – HoodLamb

We’ve finally had a cold spell here in the UK and boy, was it chilly! I spent most of Saturday on the sofa in front of the fire with Poppy. Sadly, this can’t continue and there have a been a few times recently where I’ve thought I could really do with a warm and snuggly coat. (Plus, I love buying coats! I could quite happily have one for every day of the week!). A chilly bus duty and late end to Parents Evening have left me shivering this week, not to mention walking Poppy as winter draws near. Just over a week or so ago, Pretty Good posted a picture of the HoodLamb parka. Pretty Good share vegan, ethical and sustainable goods, so I knew that I would be able to wear it. Not only that, but HoodLamb use hemp, which is one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics we’ve got. Perfect for sustainable fashion.

HoodLamb ParkaI particularly like the fact that it’s lined with fake fur, made with recycled PET, or recycled plastic bottles to you and I. I think this is a fantastic way of reusing those horrible plastic bottles. I also like the fact that it’s got plenty of pockets, good for carrying dog walking related paraphernalia around during those dark walks. Fashion doesn’t need to be fast or cruel. I’m definitely treating myself to one of these!

Vegan Food in Copenhagen

To say I was a little apprehensive about spending a week in a foreign country as a new vegan is an understatement. I find eating out in the UK as a new vegan slightly daunting so being in a country that I’ve never visited before made me slightly anxious. I packed a few vegan friendly flapjacks and bars, just in case but I also downloaded the Happy Cow app and spent some time having a look at the different venues available. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were quite a few vegan/veggie places in Copenhagen, and even some vegan specific places.

At the airport I bought an almond, banana and cashew shake from Pret a Manger and Boots had some individual Graze boxes so I picked up a box of the nuts and a pack of Starburst to eat on the plane, as we didn’t think we would be getting any food. It turned out we did, but as we hadn’t ordered anything, there wasn’t a vegan option so I sat back and enjoyed my nuts! After dropping our bags at the hotel, we headed out in search of lunch and we weren’t disappointed. We arrived at Astrid och Aporna and had the most amazing salad. It cost about £10, but Phil and I shared it between us. It’s based in a vegan shop, which pretty much blew my mind! I could eat everything they had! They even had some Go Max Go bars, so naturally I bought a few to enjoy while we were in Copenhagen.

Astrid och ApornaI had thought that they sold vegan burgers and hot dogs, but they didn’t on the day we were there so settled for this epic salad and some chocolate cake. We noticed on the Happy Cow app that we weren’t far from a 42Raw so we stopped there for a chai latte and a juice. It was lush! On the menu, it showed that they also do a vegan burger, so we made a mental note to go back there another day.

42 Raw juiceWe hadn’t really planned where we were going to have dinner, but while we were on our way to Tivoli Gardens, we noticed there was a Wagamama nearby. As I knew they had vegan options, I was happy to try there. After looking at all the menus of restaurants and cafes inside Tivoli Gardens, and discounting them all, we were very relieved to turn a corner and find that there was an entrance to Wagamama from the gardens! We headed in and enjoyed some much needed hearty, filling food. I asked the waitress what I could have and she pointed out a few things. I opted for the yasai steamed gyoza and yasai itame. They were delicious and I cannot wait to have them again.

Yasai steamed gyoza Yasai itameThe hotel did a pretty decent breakfast buffet. There was lots of different breads and rolls to choose from, a huge variety of fruit and cucumber! I made sure I ate as much as I could, as well as helping myself to the generous pot of coffee on the table.

Breakfast at Island Hotel CopenhagenOn our second day there, we felt much more confident about food, especially as you can search on the Happy Cow app for venues near your location. After a morning of learning at the National Museum, we headed to another branch of 42Raw for lunch. This time, we had the burger and some sweet potato fries. I’ve never felt so healthy!

42 Raw burger 42 Raw sweet potato friesIt was quite an epic meal! They do such a good variety of snacks, cakes and drinks, its well worth going to. After a quick check on Happy Cow, we noticed that we were really close to Botaniq, which is a 100% vegan cafe. It had a lovely feel, though it was quite quiet when we were there, but that suited us as we had the pick of the tables. We both opted for a slice of the cheesecake and it was light and refreshing and washed down well with a cup of chai.

BotaniqAs we’d had such a big lunch, we didn’t need that much for dinner, especially as we’d bought tickets for The Martian and knew we were going to have some cinema snacks (and they had vegan sweets at the cinema, I kid you not!) we headed to the mall next to the hotel to see what they had to offer. We opted for something from the buffet at Indiana Mexican, mainly because it was the easiest vegan option.

Indiana Mexican restaurantLook at all that veg! While it was a decent meal, it was the low point during the week, mainly because the standard of vegan food was so high.

On our final full day in Copenhagen, we headed to Christiania, mainly because we wanted to try the veggie restaurant, Morgenstedet. It didn’t open until noon, but there were quite a few of us waiting to go in. It’s a small, quirky little place, but everything except one salad (and there were about eight salads available) was vegan. I had the biggest smile on my face. I was about to order a selection of the salads, when we noticed the previous customer receiving a vegan burrito, which came with two, that’s right, two salads! Phil and I both opted for this and it was the best meal I’ve eaten! Simple, filling, healthy and delicious. I still can’t get over how good it was!

morgenstedetI wish I could eat like this all the time, but my lack of food skills and imagination definitely holds me back! This was epic and kept us going all afternoon. If you’re even in Copenhagen, this is a must visit. That afternoon, we walked all the miles so we didn’t want to venture far for dinner. We headed back to the mall next to our hotel, as we’d spotted LêLê and after a quick check of the menu, we headed over.

lele curry with crispy tofuI had the curry with crispy tofu and spring rolls, and while it wasn’t as delicious as the meal we had had at Wagamama, it was still pretty good. Despite being in a shopping mall, the restaurant was surprisingly lovely. It was near closing and was fairly quiet, just what we needed after a busy day walking around the city. Considering the food we ate was incredibly healthy and the fact we walked over 40 miles in the few days we were there, I think this is the only holiday I’ve ever been on where I’ve lost weight! Being vegan rocks!

Tuesday Treat – Good Health Box

Last week, I wrote about Earthmiles, which is a great way to earn rewards and discounts off a huge array of healthy goodies. One of the rewards I spent some of my earthmiles on was a Good Health Box. Since becoming vegan, I’ve had to change some of what I eat, mostly in a positive way, but there is an awful lot of accidentally vegan junk food out there and that’s not good for my waist line. When I saw the Good Health Box on Earthmiles, I thought I’d give it a go. I do love a good box of goodies, whether they’re paper based or delicious treats. It’s always a good way to find new products.

Good Health Box

This box arrived towards the end of a very long day in the middle of a very long week before half term. When I got home, I was proper hangry and dived straight in to the coconut flapjack, which was lush, and had the Pulsin brownie (made of fruit!) for pudding. I’d definitely have both again. I wasn’t a fan of the naked toffee nibbles, though think they’d be great in porridge or something like that. The Good Health Box enables you to pick between a vegan, gluten free, protein or health box. There are two different sizes (the above is the smaller size) and there’s also a design your own box, where you can pick your own contents, though this is only available in the larger size. Prices range from £17.50 to £32, though I paid less for mine because of my Earthmiles reward. You can get just one trial box, which I did, or sign up to monthly boxes. A great way to treat yourself to something healthy!