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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Vegan Britain 2014

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From Cork I flew to London for four perfect days with Seanan. Deirdre happened to be passing through from Cambridge on her way to Belarus (random!), so the three of us had a lovely relaxed Easter Sunday bruncheon at Drink, Shop & Do. The vegetable curry hit the spot and the pineapple pumpkin coconut cake was just as amazing as it sounds. See what I mean about never “depriving” myself?

 

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I was really psyched to find a whole bay of vegan lifestyle and cookbooks at Foyles, including Vegan for Her, co-authored by fellow MSVA graduate J.L. Fields.

 

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I bet some of you guys suspect I go overboard praising vegan restaurants just because they’re vegan, and if you do, I’m about to prove you wrong.

 

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I wanted to love Vantra, I really did—and you’d think it has the perfect set up, with a chill atmosphere, a HUGE and delightfully varied buffet, and a drool-worthy juice and smoothie menu. Unfortunately the buffet options I sampled (for all its eye-catching color) were on the bland side apart from one dish (the Moroccan chickpea stew between 12 and 1 o’clock), the smoothie guy forgot my order and I had to keep asking for it (when people who arrived after I did received their drinks rather quickly), and when it did finally arrive midway through the meal it was even more tasteless than the food. I thought of taking it back and asking for what were probably missing ingredients, and I guess I should have. I’m too embarrassed to admit how much I paid for this mediocre lunch.

Ick—sometimes I really don’t enjoy being honest. So now back to your regularly scheduled dose of AWESOME.

 

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And I’ll tell you what is awesome: getting to know my lovely Penguin UK editor, Hana Osman, over a marvelous meal at The Gate, a vegetarian restaurant in Islington (with another location in Hammersmith). Seanan had spoiled me with a deluxe breakfast that morning (granola with almond milk, crumpets with sunflower spread, grapefruit, orange juice and tea), so I opted for two appetizers—potato and leek soup (above; I know it looks like sweet potato or butternut squash, I’m not sure which spice they used to turn the soup orange, but it was delicious) and a courgette flower stuffed with sweet potato (say it with me: courzhhhhette. So satisfying. I almost wish I were English just so I could get away with saying “aubergine” and “courgette.”)

 

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Dainty and fun, and a happy combo of yummy and healthy. I hadn’t had courgette (erm, zucchini) flowers since Harmony Homestead Farm! [And in case you recall the zucchini blossom fritter recipe I posted back in 2010, I’ve taken it down until I can veganize it.]

And dessert? OHHHHHHHHHH:

 

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Fruit trifle with vegan sherry cream. O YES. It was gorgeous.

 

Next time: Brighton for the evening and vegan high tea!

 

2 Comments to Vegan Britain 2014

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    May 14, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s nice that you finally had a mediocre meal 😉

    What was the cream made of? Looks scrumptious!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.