My Blog

Super quick intro if you have made it to this part of my site I appreciate it. I admit I am new to this so I would appreciate any feedback you guys have!

This section is where all my posts and reviews on the latest foodie spots I have visited. I will also be including reviews on store bought products that I have come across throughout my journey. All links to places/products will be in the title of each post so just give it a click if I have tempted you;)

I have always really enjoyed writing so this is my stronger point; my food photography is yet to be improved fair to say I am weaker in that aspect of my content. I love to visit new places and it excites me to always try something new, I am not one of those people who orders the same dish at that same restaurant or the same drink at the coffee shop, I venture out P.S sorry if you are that person, BUT that’s just no fun!

REVIEW: THE BOTANIST, MARLOW

Heya guys, I’m back with a new review, so much going on this year it is super hard to stay consistent with content, but I’m happy to post again! This review is super exciting to write, it is already making me want to go back here as it was exceptional!

This stunning resteraunt in the heart of Marlow (but has many other restaurants in other regions) is so botanical (hense the name), with its beautiful dishes and amazing cocktails your in for a treat if you visit here. I have visited several times and NEVER have I been disappointed once, the vegan options are varied which always is a good start to me. So I think it’s time I actually review them as the service is ace and the workers are so friendly from door to table.

On this occasion I opted for the Moving Mountains burger, as I know this brand of vegan burger is a winner, I had it served with sweet chilli fries. Ok, so I cannot explain to you how insane this dinner was, the burger was deliciously flavoured and is by far THE ABSOLUTE BEST vegan burger I have tasted so far (it beat the actual vegan place I last reviewed). Funny story, as I started eating the burger I honestly thought it was accidently meat 😀 this was because it also had pulled jackfruit on top which wasn’t mentioned in the menu and it all tasted like pulled pork and beef, my boyfriend started to get worried and I nearly just nearly had him try it…damn! (he’s not vegan at all). After asking the waiter she reassured me there was no meat whatsoever and that it’s just that good! I was astonished, so yes it was the perfect burger and those sweet chilli fries topped it off so well as they were sticky and slightly sweet. Now you are probably drooling and wondering what this looks like so the best image I got is below….

Here is a summary of this place:

Price: Looking around £15-£20 per head depending if you have 2 courses, could be more like £30 if your having cocktails/drinks etc. I think higher price end but happy to pay as you get what you pay for here!

Service: Outstanding, friendly staff who are super happy all the time!

Cleanliness: Super important right now during COVID but anyway it is always clean and never found or seen anything in food

Food: Delicious, cater for all diet types, such a variety of food and presented so nice. They use a lot of garden accessories for dishes which is super different and cool.

Atmosphere: Nice lighting, plenty of seating and it’s comfortable. I would say it is always slightly chilly whenever I have been but bearable!

https://thebotanist.uk.com/

REVIEW: BLACK GOO BREAKFAST

I am back with another review, yes another for BLACK GOO! As you know their cakes are insane, but how about brunch/breakfast? They have you covered. It is delicious, filling and not underwhelming at all I promise especially for us vegans:) So I had this one over at the Berkhamsted café but this is available at Tring too.

Now for me, I know how hard it can be to get a satisfying vegan breakfast without it tasting or looking gross, I can confidently tell you that this is now the 2nd BEST one I have had (Wild Strawberry Café does come first at the moment!)

Here we have it…. the Vegan Goo^^ in all it’s glory! What can you not love? Bubble n squeak, beans, hash brown, shrooms, tomato, toast, avocado and falafel; all alongside a cup of tea. Atmosphere here is great, awesome music in the background and it’s at the top of an antique shop which is a good workout for the legs;) Hopefully if in need of bfast/brunch places, then head here!

REVIEW: VEGAN SPARTAN

Honestly so excited to share this review on this resteraunt. It’s based in Hemel Hempstead town centre, to which I never knew it even existed. Better late than never right? Also got an awesome deal as we ate there on a Monday during the 50% off scheme 😀

Price range: £20-30 per head depending whether you get dessert and nice drinks.

Atmosphere: Super spacious, enough room between each table, really clean and smart inside, friendly staff. Quite a few families here which I was surprised but also so happy kids were eating plant based foods!

Service: Everything was presented well however service was really slow especially on our desserts, I understand it may be because of the whole Covid scenario atm though. I liked they bring you water without you even having to ask!

Food (important part): I first had a Black Velvet milkshake which was divine! It tasted similar to red velvet, I thought it would actually be black but as you can see from the image it was almost the usual red colourish, yummy though! I then just had to go for one of there burgers; the BBQ Jackfruit and pineapple burger with potato wedges. Those wedges were proper, they are honestly the best wedges I have had, super chunky and taste perfect with there ketchup! The burger was sweet and satisfying, I do want to go back to try a more metier patty type burger, however this one is good if you are after a less meaty texture. Lastly I did have an ‘After Eight’ dessert, it was a soft similar to mouse like texture and super minty and chocolate heaven. It was presented beautifully and it was rich which is how I like my dessert.

So, just to also mention I took my non-vegan boyfriend with me and even he enjoyed the food, and he is super fussy. I would definitely return and try some more items!

 

 

 

 EXTRACT COFFEE (REVIEW)

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Heya guys! Hope all is well during these unprecedented times, I thought I would do a little review seeing as physically we are unable to go anywhere to try new things… it’s all delivery and online ordering for now! Hopefully this can keep your mind occupied for a bit especially if you are a coffee fanatic then this is right up your street.

To me a good coffee is hard to come by, I am very reluctant to drinking any instant coffee or generic branded as it usually makes me react funny. I thought I really couldn’t have caffeine but just turns out I need to have the real deal, freshly grounded with no artificial nasties. Making coffee is just the little thing that you take time for you to enjoy it’s the little things right?

So I first discovered this coffee when visiting The Wild Strawberry Café at Peterley Manor Farm (posted a review on this place a while ago so check it out!) and fell in love with it. The blend at the time was a seasonal filter and was the most smoothest I ever did taste! It was perfect with a splash of oat milk and just overall super easy to drink. Soon as it was my mission to find out where this coffee was sourced and after a few emails to the café I was introduced to Extract Coffee! I ordered it straight away and can now enjoy this coffee in the comfort of my own home. Now I order once a month a different blend each time and the featured image of this post is my most recent! An amazing combination of caramel and nuts, just what it says. I love that you also get a little card with your coffee which actually explains the origin of the blend you have chosen it’s super interesting and a nice addition I think. They also sell teas, chocolate and coffee equipment if you want to be pro style;)

Check them out and I hope this was interesting for you, would love any recommendations you guys have too!

 

 

 

Leks Be Vegan

This lovely lady does some serious cooking and the flavours are INSANE! She provides a takeaway food service from home or delivers locally right to you, it’s every weekend only and it is ENTIRELY VEGAN! She creates an awesome platter of either 6 or 8 options that include pumpkin and coconut curry, brown lentil stew, mango salsa and plantain waffles, and don’t forget the Mac n ‘cheese’ pie…(plus more!!) and other times she creates one whole dish like her Popprawn and waffle combo. She definitely works hard in the kitchen and really inspires me to experiment with flavours in dishes. P.S these images are going to make your mouth drool…

I cannot recommend her enough so check out her page on Instagram by clicking the title above! Also for those of you that hadn’t seen on my Instagram I am working on doing deliveries of some sweet things, so me and Leks may well be doing a meal deal… 😉 Watch this space.

 

 

Product Review: Livia’s!

Another RARE all natural sweet treats brand, YAY! Livia’s products are in really colourful and catching packaging so I can assure you will not miss these when you next visit your local supermarket or health store.

I have tried a few types of her products now including the Million Squares, Dunx and Nugglets! I have even baked a couple of her recipes and they do not fail, they are heavenly. My favourite has to be the Dunx so far, it is a much healthier alternative to your commercial brands that are high in fat and sugar and chemically induced beyond… These dips are all nut butters and sweetened either with maple, dates or coconut sugar! You get 4 little GF oat biscuits to dunk in with the perfect amount of dip for your biscuits, who doesn’t love that combo??? I also like that you can incorporate the snacks into recipes, I made a banana bread and added in the Nugglets which you can actually check out in my Recipes tab, and it made it that bit extra tastyyy.

 

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If you are hesitant to trying a more natural sweet fix, then these should be top of your list, you honestly would not have any idea that these include NO refined sugars or dairy products (not that that’s a bad thing anyway?!) so give it a go, trust me you will be wanting more. I understand that these types of snacks do cost that bit extra, but to me you can’t put a price on health or happiness, so I say do what’s good for your physical and mental health and try something new!

You can find her range in all known supermarkets; Tesco, Holland and Barrett, Asda, Sainsburys etc. ANDDDDD she also has a shop on her website so go check it outtt >>https://livias.co.uk/shop/<< Whilst your there, check the endless recipes on there that you have free access too!

 

 

Black Goo Coffee

I am so excited to share this post with you all, there are only 2 of these cafes and I have been to both. One in Berkhamstead and one in Tring, they both had equally good service and my experience was lovelyyy. Also a shout out to Sasha who is owner of the Tring café and her Instagram keeps me going especially through this isolated time!! >> Black goo Instagram<<check it out.

These guys seriously know how to serve a slice of cake, I strongly advise all other cafes to step up their game and start doing wedges… Also coffee here is great if your a coffee connoisseur or like to think you are like me:D Both cafes have the same menu but always have a different display of freshly bakes sweet treatz on the counter that makes you drool as soon as you walk in. They cater to vegan, gluten free and vegetarians and both have an awesome interior, really swanky and some awesome music whilst you enjoy brunching, breakfast or tea. Without further ado images below WARNING: do not blame me for the hunger pains you may experience from looking:

Both times I visited I had a vegan choc cake (chocoholic) but they were both different and both scrumptiously soft, rich and indulgent. The sweetcorn fritters were also giant and so tasty, they had a crisp outer with a soft and fluffy centre. They were topped with an sweet onion jam and some balsamic on the side, which all paired perfect.

Product Review: Deliciously Ella products

Okay, so I absolutely love the products that Ella has made. I have tried a variety of her products and I also listen to her podcasts over on Spotify which are really inspirational. I have also invested in her app which you can now get on Android and THIS MAKES ME SOOO HAPPY!!! She has a huge recipe section, a wellness section and her podcasts, its only like £10 a year or 99p per month! All of her products are completely natural, no nasties and this is so so hard to find nowadays as everything has some kind of chemical/preservative in; and for someone like me who has a really sensitive stomach, I do not react well to refined sugars or added chemicals in foods. Also all of her products now come in eco friendly packaging too!

My absolute favourite of her snacks is the Double chocolate caramel cups and her Almond butter salted caramel cups. They literally ooze as soon as you bite into them and I find them super moreish. A lot of the time you can find them along with the other sweet snacks in the reduced section so I grab loads, they are in the majority of supermarkets now; Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Holland and Barret. I really want to try and recreate these…

Next up is those energy balls and bars, plenty of options to choose from, I don’t have a fave bar as they are all amazing! They are satisfyingly chewy and fill you up as they are packed with GF oats, perfect with a cup of tea. My fave nut butter ball is the hazelnut flavour, again loaded with fibre and decent amount of protein, which is a great healthy snack and not to heavy.

There is also a range of breakfasts i.e Granola, Muesli, Oats, along with a range of freezer meals too! Again these have no added preservatives, it’s all completely natural which is how you would make at home, also packaged really snug and colourful!

So I suggest you get yourself over to the website as you can order some snacks to try there or keep your eyes peeled on your next food shop! Instagram link to >https://www.instagram.com/deliciouslyella/<

Let’s talk nut butters…

Afternoon/Evening or Morning to you guys! I figured this is a really good topic to blog about and a good discussion P.S this is just my opinion and I do not expect everyone to feel the same way! Do you like nuts?

I live a fully plant based lifestyle and have been very much committed to this for a couple months now and prior to this I was vegetarian however I always limited dairy intake as much as possible. People often get concerned how you get protein into a plant based diet; now there are plenty of different substitutes that we can discuss however todays topic is the use of nut butter. Before turning my diet plant based I would hardly ever have any intake of nuts or especially nut butters, now I can say I am completely addicted and I consume some type (mainly peanut butter) every.single.day NO JOKE. I love it, now I don’t mean the kind that you get which is creamy and has a load of stuff added to keep it to last and makes a creamier texture. I mean the real deal 100% nuts only! This is the healthiest way to eat it as there is nothing added (always check the label), you can also tell from the consistency of the butter because a natural form will be darker in colour as it’s more raw, more runny and you usually see speckles even if its smooth which is where the nuts were ground down/roasted. It also has a much more distinctive taste, it won’t taste sweet as no sugar has been added which is something teh brand Sun Pat would have added for example. So, nut butters are an awesome protein source, yes they contain high calories (I don’t count) as nuts naturally do, however there is nothing better than consuming natural with no additives. Few pros below:

  • Nut butters are soo versatile; I use them in baking, smoothies, hot drinks, straight on the spoon, stuff dates, on crackers/bread and SO much more.
  • They offer a healthy proportion of unsaturated fats and protein. The lowest proportion being peanut butter as peanuts have the lowest amount of calories as opposed to almonds and cashews.
  • You can make it at home to save money too! All you do is roast the nuts you want for 10-15 mins, peel as much of the skins off (optional) using paper towel or just your hands and then you place into a food processor and in about 10 mins you have a nut butter!

Now in my experience I am always on the hunt for a good deal on nut butters as they can be super expensive and I go through ALOT of it. I actually buy my peanut butter in 1kg tubs a time…proper addict LOL. However I really like almond butter and have found that this type is incredibly more, retailing at about £17-20 a kilo!!! Peanut butter only comes in at £6 or less a kilo! Shocking right? So each nut has its value. I notice all the usual brands; Meridian, Pip&Nut and Whole Earth can get pricey so I looked elsewhere. I can officially say the best deals you can get are from protein brands and sometimes whole foods sites. I have found the best deal and am finally able to buy almond butter in 1kg tub without being ripped off!!!…

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My Protein has an amazing range of the pure nut butters. The almond butter coming in at only £10.77 per 1kg, whaaaaat?! The peanut butter coming in at £5.77 per 1kg which again is cheapest I have ever seen. The quality is no different to other branded versions and sure is 100% natural. Fast delivery and customer servicr response is super quick even during these COVID-19 times. I suggest you head on over there and stock up.

I just had to share this with you guys because I want to help especially those nut butter addicts out there, so I hope this helps!!

Let me know your thoughts:)

 

Farmacy (Notting Hill, London)

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates

THE most immense, entirely vegan restaurant that I have visited so far. It has a beautiful, earthy interior with all the greenery and plant feels you could want to make you feel grounded. I love that the kitchen and bar is open so that you can see all the goodness being made and you get all the smells that come along when being served. Their menu is huge, it is definitely worth picking multiple items especially if your indecisive like me.

The artichoke pizzetta was sliced into squares already for you so tuck innn. It had a thin stone baked base and had delicious flavours that were very earthy. Next up was the tacos, these were so vibrant in colour and even the taco shell was an ashy blue colour but tasted exactly the same as a normal one! They were beautifully presented with the side of guac and corn. I did share with a friend btw (apart from desserts) <<number one reason I wanted to visit. The chocolate torte was so rich I ate up every last crumb as per my face below you can see this was my fave part! Nothing compares to how strong and flavoursome the coconut ice cream was, I really want to recreate this dish.

The teas came in super cute glass pots that you could see through, and the same with the hot drinks, I had a malty warm maca drink with my dessert and it was soo moreish..

I will 100% be returning. P.S they have also opened up a restaurant in New York!

The Cartshed Cafe

This simple yet beautiful café is in the heart of numerous trail walks and nearby woodlands. It is a great stop for lunch when on a walk, and everything is so fresh! It is a cosy converted barn with a lovely array of fresh pastries and cakes on the counter and numerous produce items like coffee, tea that you can purchase. As soon as I walked inside this barn I felt at home, I couldn’t wait to enjoy a tea and cake..

I actually started with a small lunch which was avocado and beetroot hummus (I’m obsessed with atm) on toasted sourdough, with a warming mug of rooibos tea. P.S Rooibos is a caffeine free tea and is actually much better for you than most teas, you can add some milk or have it plain.

I really have a thing for cute mugs and crockery items, especially the chic/rustic look.

Sadly I didn’t get an image of my vegan chocolate cake and turmeric tea but I can assure you it was just as delightful as I expected.

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The Wild Strawberry Cafe

I visited this café in October and also did pumpkin picking; their pumpkin patch was huge so I deffo recommend you go here next Halloween!

Hands down I must say I had the BEST full vegan breakfast here, nowhere else has been able to top it! The tofu scramble is perfection I need to try and make this at home! I also had the perfect cup of coffee or 2 I should say to accompany my breakfast, they change their blend seasonally as they do with their menu; this info is also on their website so stay tuned if you want to see what produce they have in! I actually decided from the day I visited that I would be buying the coffee for home which is on this link >>https://extractcoffee.co.uk/<< Honestly sooo good. I obviously had to have some cake afterwards which was a chocolate and cherry torte of some kind, it was YUMMY!

The entire setting of this café is adorable, it is actually in a big yurt! However due to the time I visited we managed to sit outside which was lovely. It seems to always be busy here and reviews are 10/10. Did I mention they actually have a farm shop to?! It’s called Peterely Manor Farm and if your reading this during COVID-19 then right now they are doing click and collect farm shop and takeaway afternoon tea, lunch hampers and more!!! (I actually had the vegan afternoon tea to takeaway 2 weeks ago and it was incredibly tasty, but it’s just not the same having it at home…) I cannot wait to return when normality is back!

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