Green Bay

When I was in the Netherlands, visiting Groningen, I went to the newly opened supermarket there and it’s 100% vegan! So amazing.. to know you can have everything what they sell. You don’t need to read labels and worry that there are any animals products. I said to the man at the till that I wish they had this in London too. And he answered: there is! How did I not know about this? A vegan supermarket in London and I didn’t even hear anything about it? So a while ago I went there and it was lovely. Not sure if you can actually call it a supermarket though, because it’s very small. The one in the Netherlands is also not very big, but bigger than Green Bay. Still, it was very nice!

Green Bay is located on a corner, in a lovely looking building. I like the colours outside their logo and the window stickers. Neutral, simple and attractive. Even though it’s fairly small, they did their best to fit in as many products as possible. Though it’s not comparable with VeganZ in Berlin for example. They have granola’s and cereals, cheeses, seitan, tofu, soups, kombucha, snacks, beauty products and lots more. It would be nice if they would also do veggies and more every day products etc. So it would actually be possible to get all your groceries from there. I think at this stage, that is maybe not possible yet. I’m sure that in the future, if more people turn vegan, Green Bay can expand.

I do think, we as vegans, have to support stores like this. It’s a shame it’s a little far from me, though the bus in front of my flat does go here. I went twice now, but I feel like I should go more often. By supporting this, we vote for vegan supermarkets. It would be a dream come true if there would be supermarkets like VeganZ here in the UK and all over the world. This is the way supermarkets of the future will look like. So, even though you live far, try to go as often as possible. You can just buy things you need anyway. Like nutritional yeast, tofu, granola, snacks etc. It’s not that hard and not that more expensive to get it from here. Show your support by consuming from the right companies!

WHO? Green Bay.
WHERE? 228 North End Rd, W14 9NU.
CUISINE? Supermarket.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (small, but well organised with nice products)

Did you go yet? What did you buy and do you agree with me by spending our money in the right place? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

Lola’s Cupcakes

img_7668I actually never go into bakeries and cake shops, because they never really have vegan options. And that’s apart from that I’m not a huge fan of cake that is not home-made. Though, the last time when I was in Westfield and I was on my way out, walked past Lola’s Cupcakes and it made me curious. They were already tidying up, but I quickly introduced myself and asked if they had vegan options. I was very surprised that she said yes! ..and she didn’t only say yes because they had 1 vegan cupcake, they actually had lots of flavours: Coconut and passion fruit, lemon and raspberry, chocolate.. oh yes! There was only one vegan cupcake left (lucky me!) and that was the ‘pistachio and cherry’. She gave it to me and I promised to write about it. So here we go..

img_7667Like I said before, I’m not a big fan of cake that is not home-made. I was a little sceptical about this one too. I was sitting in the bus on my way home and I was looking at the box and asking the cupcake: will I like you?! When I got home I was quite excited to try it though. So I opened the little box. They give you super cute boxes btw.. I thought: even if the taste will not be that good, I’d get one just to have a beautiful looking cupcake in a cute box. Haha! First impression: I had to admit that it looked very tasty. With the green pieces of pistachios and the chocolate.. + it came in a shiny golden case. Taking my first bite I was pleasantly surprised! The cream on top was very fluffy and had a lovely structure. Also the cake itself was very good. The cream is very very sweet though, but the cake is a lot less sweet, so together they’re perfect. It would have been too much if they were both that sweet. I ate it all and I actually really enjoyed it. The only thing I didn’t like that much, was the cherry in the middle, but that is more personal taste I think. I started to read about Lola’s Cupcakes and it turns out they also do big vegan cakes. So if you do not like baking, but you still want a nice vegan cake, I think this is just perfect. Also because you can order them online, super handy!

WHO? Lola’s Cupcakes.
WHERE? Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, Ariel Way, W12 7GD.
CUISINE? Bakery.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (quite some vegan options + nice design/shops)

Did you already know that Lola’s Cupcakes do vegan too? Are you going to try one of these yummy treats? Please let me know when you’ve tried it! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Southbank Food Market

img_8357Today I will give you 8 hotspots in 1 article! And they’re all in the same place.. how is that?! On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on bank holiday Mondays there is a food market with lots of nice street food, behind the Southbank Centre. I’ve known it was there since very long, but I never really took the time to take a look. I was most of the time on my way to something else. From or to Waterloo station. This time I also didn’t plan to take a look, but I happened to walk passed it when I was looking for the Benugo cafe. I couldn’t help myself this time and went for a quick look. That quick look became a very long look though. As there were so many vegan options! At least 10 stalls have vegan food. I picked 8 stalls to tell you about. I just had my lunch, so unfortunately I couldn’t eat anything, but I did have a drink! Here we go..

1. ELEPHANT JUICE
Super fresh juices! And you have a lot of nice choices for a very good price. If I didn’t have lunch just before I would have gotten a nice juice here for sure. A Berry or Passion juice would have definitely taste amazing. Next time!

2. LULIN TEA
This is the place where I had a drink. I saw the words ‘Chai’ and ‘Latte’ and I decided instantly. They have lovely ethically, hand-picked and blended tea. They do a lovely vegan chai with soy milk. It was delicious! Only downside was, that they use sugar for that.

3. BREAD TREE
A market stall with big letters that write ‘Bruschetta’ is something I had to check out of course. They do yummy looking bruschetta and they have lots of vegan options. You can basically mix and match yourself!

4. CHALÉ
Ghanaian food with a very tasty looking vegan option. With kale, pumpkin, coconut and fried plantains. It’s not something you can just get everywhere. I would have loved to try this. A lot of people did, it was very busy at this stall.

5. ETHIOPIQUES
Ok. When I saw this I really regret I had my lunch already. This looked aH-mazing! Ethiopian food with so much colour and different dishes, everything 100% vegan! I know that Ethiopian food is really good. I’m definitely going to come back for this!

6. CHOCO FRUIT
In the end I came to this. Chocolate covered fruit. Oh yes! They have 3 sorts of chocolate, but only the dark one is vegan. I would have picked the dark one anyway. They let me taste it with a strawberry. Heaven! They don’t only have that, they also have cakes which are vegan.

7.LEVANTINE
When I was already on my way back I passed this falafel place, with a vegan option. The food looked really nice and fresh. Lebanese-style falafel with lots of veggies and stone baked flatbread. I love myself some falafel, so I keep this in mind.

8. HORN OK PLEASE
Opposite the falafel place I saw this Indian vegetarian food stall. And yes, with a vegan option for dal and samosa’s. I love Indian food, so this is another very good option for the next time.

I’m so happy to see so many vegan options everywhere. I guess I have to make a few more trips to Southbank! The street food market is only there in the weekends, almost all day.

OPENING TIMES:
Friday- 12:00 – 20:00*
Saturday- 11:00 – 20:00*
Sunday- 12:00 – 18:00
Monday (bank holidays only)- 12:00 – 18:00
*In the summer open until 21:00.

Are you excited after reading about all these vegan options? What would you have picked? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

EAT

The breakfast/lunch cafe you see a lot around London is EAT. I have to admit that I don’t go here very often. This is because a few years ago I checked them out and they only had 1 vegan option. But as times are changing and more and more cafes and restaurants are offering vegan option, I’d thought to give them another try. I went to the one in Southbank.This is quite a big EAT. I know the one in Westfield and that one is smaller. I think this EAT might be a good option if you’re with a bigger group (sightseeing) or with kids.

They are doing a lot better with the vegan option I must say. There were houmous-harissa sandwiches, a quinoa salad with veggies and seeds and even a warm dish with sweet potato and spinach. They also sell fruit, but nothing else to snack on. They do sell lots of non-vegan cakes and bars, so it would be nice to add 1-2 vegan options to that. I already had my lunch at Strada, next door, so I wasn’t in for a meal. Would have been so nice if they had a nice nut bar or chocolate brownie or something?! I ordered a green tea with soy milk and the girl who helped me was really friendly and nice. I really appreciated that!

EAT is not a cafe you go to for the lovely atmosphere and cosy corners. It’s perfect for a nice quick lunch though and have a little break from whatever you’re doing. I brought my laptop and wanted to do some writing. They have alright seats, but because it was very busy when I was there (I went on a Saturday, so duhh!) I didn’t have the best spot to work. But that’s ok, I wasn’t planning to stay more than an hour anyway. Though when I checked the wifi, there wasn’t any available. This was very disappointing. So I took my tea outside and started to walk to my next location. But now I know they have more vegan option, I will try one of their meals soon. They do look nice, so let’ see if they’re tasty!

WHO? EAT.
WHERE? Royal Festival Hall, Unit 4, Riverside Level 1, SE1 8XX.
CUISINE? Breakfast/Lunch Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 6 (Quite a few good looking vegan option, no wifi, could be more cosy)

Have you had lunch before at EAT? Did you like it? Are you going to try one of their vegan options soon? Please let me know if you decide to visit EAT! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Minkies Deli

Minkies Deli is basically across the road from me. It looks very nice, with the cart with oranges in front of it, but I never went here. Being so close to my flat just makes me eat and drink in my own house and I won’t go out as fast, unless I’m far away. Though I was very curious about this place. My boyfriend went to get coffee here one morning and brought some nice breads for me (yes, he’s so thoughtful). The breads were very tasty and the cups look very nice. I really like their logo, a straw in the shape of an -M. I went on a beautiful sunny day to have brunch (I had a green smoothie in the morning and it wasn’t lunchtime quite yet..).

For breakfast there are 2 options: a bagel with jam or sourdough bread with smashed avocado and grilled pepper as an option. I went for the last one. For lunch there is a houmous sandwich with aubergine or you could choose a salad, in case you’re looking for something more filling. I was surprised to see that they had 2 vegan cupcakes. A chocolate/almond one and an orange/almond one. They looked very nice, so I ordered a chocolate one. But the best thing I found out is.. they have Oatly foamable! They’re the first cafe/deli I went to, who serve this. They also have soy and almond milk btw. Their chai latte is made with a chai powder (a bit of a bummer), what contained cow’s milk (as always). I ordered a green tea and I was happy to find out they serve Tea Pigs. Good tea brand! I wasn’t expecting too much from the avocado sandwich, but I was pleasantly surprised when they put this amazing looking plate in front of me. It looked really good! The best thing?! So much creamy avocado!! The bread was super tasty (and still warm) and all together, with the touch of rocket on top, made it all very delicious. I really enjoyed it! The cupcake was very nice too. It was actually more like a brownie and it was very filling. So all together, this could have been a proper lunch!

Minkies Deli is almost completely made with glass walls. So it’s very light and open. I love that! I like the colours too, grey with bright pink. Very appealing. There are quite a lot of seats (also outside) and they have quite a few sockets as well, to charge your laptop/phone. Lovely spot to do some work! The staff was very helpful, friendly and open-minded. For example, they have milkshake they make with ice cream. So not vegan, but they were thinking out loud to make it vegan. I really liked that! It would have been nice if they had a few more vegan options though. They could offer a plant-based yogurt or porridge. Easy things to create more vegan options.

WHO? Minkies Deli.
WHERE? ‘Glasshouse’, Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 5RF. (next to Kensal Rise station)
CUISINE? Cafe/Deli.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (delicious food, friendly staff, more vegan options would make it great)

Do you know Minkies Deli? Or do you want to go now? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Benugo

img_7975When I used to live in Shepherds Bush, I went to Westfield quite a lot.. Quit often.. or let’s say, all the time! A lot of times I went to this lovely cafe, called ‘Benugo’. They served really nice food, but mostly I got this really nice green tea they have. Most of the time I went here alone, but I often met a friend there or I took my laptop with me to write the book I was writing at that moment. It was quite a big cafe and it was perfect for me. Everybody I knew liked this cafe, but sadly, one day, they closed down and it was replaced by.. Five Guys! Like.. how? This is one of the most horrific replacements ever in my opinion. Benugo has cafe’s, but some of them also have a kitchen. When I was in Southbank, I went to Waterloo Station and visited a Benugo cafe, to see what vegan options they have these days.

img_7976I looked at all the food, checking for vegan food. There wasn’t a lot of food in general, but there was a vegan falafel salad. When I asked one of the staff members, he said it just came in that day. What means, before that, they probably didn’t have vegan options. I’m glad that they decided to add this to the cafe-menu. It looked nice, but I thought it was quite expensive though. It was a small bowl, but for eating in, you had to pay almost £7! I asked if the hot chocolate was vegan and they checked for me. It was, f made with soy milk. The pack even had the vegan label on it. It had been a long time since I ordered hot chocolate.. years really! I also grabbed a little chocolate and so, all together, it was all very chocolaty afternoon snack. The hot chocolate was super nice and the little chocolate.. gosh! It was 53% cacao and it had salted almonds in it. You have to try this!

img_7977The Benugo in Waterloo Station is a bit different as it’s in front of the shops and not in a proper building. It’s a nice one though. It’s very vintage, with the stone bar, the reading lights and the wooden chairs. I said at the bar, overlooking the station, with the huge station clock in front of me. It was a nice spot. Though, because it’s not in a proper building, it’s quite cold. A lot of Benugo cafe’s/kitchens are inside a public place. Like this one, inside the station, but they’re also inside museums or even in some John Lewis warehouses  for example. I wish there were more Benugo cafe’s on it’ own though. They’re perfect cafes to take your laptop with you, to do some work and I wouldn’t go to the museum that fast to work there. A very good thing about Benugo is that they try their best to be sustainable. You’d think they’d be all vegan then, but that isn’t the case, unfortunately. Soon I will check out a Benugo kitchen and check their vegan option as I’m really curious now.

WHO? Benugo.
WHERE? Waterloo Station, 19/20 The Balcony, SE1 7LY.
CUISINE? Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (delicious (hot) chocolate, but could have been more lunch options)

Do you know Benugo already? Or are you going to try it now? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

 

Bob’s Cafe

As a nanny you go to lots of playgroups and activities. Once a week I also go to Kilburn library, to sing songs and read books. There are some lovely shops and cafe’s at Salusbury Road. I often get a nice tea at Starbucks and the farmers market is on every Sunday. There is also a cafe, called ‘Bob’s Cafe’. It stands out because of the nice blue-green colour. After the library we  (the 1 year old I look after and me) went to have lunch there. I did see sweet potato fries on the menu and as you know I really like those. So I was curious what they were like and what I could have with them.

They didn’t have a lot of choice for vegans unfortunately, but they did have a falafel burger. I thought that will go well with my sweet potato fries. I told the waiter I was vegan and that if this one will be alright if the yogurt sauce was left out. He was quite sure, but he would ask just in case. For the girl I look after I ordered toast with houmous and she could share my fries. It both came at the same time, but they gave me normal fries instead of sweet potato. So they were going to change it. In the meantime I had some of the toast and houmous, what was really good. Thickly sliced sourdough bread, properly toasted, very yummy! My fries arrived quite fast, what was nice. The falafel was really good, but when I was nearly finished, I noticed that the bread had quite a particular taste and also looked very golden brown. Then I realised there was probably egg used in and on it. If I was alone I would have said it and made a little bit of a fuss about it, but the baby was tired and we had to go home. Next time I will say something about it and order it with the sourdough bread. I’m sure that it will be very nice like that. My tummy started to feel weird on the way back and I had to lay down at home, because I felt so weird and uncomfortable. So I’m quite sure there was egg on the burger. A real disappointment!

I quite like the interior. They created a nice atmosphere with the booths seating on one side of the cafe, the light walls and the plants everywhere on the wall and hanging from the ceiling. It would have been nice if the plants were all real though. I really like the colours and that there are a few seats outside too. People were using them, as the weather was lovely that day. It’s child friendly I would say and if you go a bit early, like we did, it isn’t too busy. The staff was 50/50 I would say. Very helpful and open-minded (just not well informed). I’m sure if you ask them to put a vegan salad together (and make sure to tell them what is and isn’t vegan) they will. There was one lady though, who looked super moody and didn’t say anything. I think she didn’t mean it like that, but it wasn’t beneficial for the atmosphere. A shame.

WHO? Bob’s Cafe.
WHERE? 77 Salusbury Rd, NW6 6NH.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 6 (nice interior, nice fries/falafel, could have more vegan options, poor knowledge)

Do you know Bob’s Cafe already? Are you going to give them a try? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Zizzi

img_0708Zizzi is a restaurant I kind of always knew was around, but never went to. I’m not sure why though. Maybe, and I’m not even joking, it’s because whenever I see this restaurant there is a Wagamama around the corner and as I love Wagamama, I always chose to go there instead. Silly, because now after going here, I’m actually very enthusiastic about these Zizzi restaurants. I went on the day I went to visit Richmond and strolled around the beautiful Richmond park. Richmond is a lovely area and it has nice shops and lots of nice restaurants. So after a long walk in the park, I sat down to choose a lovely dish.

img_0707I read about their vegan cheese and that is one of the reasons I went here. The menu has quite a lot of vegan options or dishes which can be made vegan. I went for a pizza, because I was curious about their cheese. Zizzi is one of the very few (for now, hopefully..) restaurants who offer a vegan alternative to mozzarella. I think they deserve a big compliment for this! I think it’s totally awesome that they do and it makes them very popular around vegans. Also because now you can easily go with a group ..family, friends or colleagues, this way everybody can order something they want, without they feel forced to go to certain restaurants. I ordered the ‘Winter Zucca’ pizza, with butternut squash, as I love butternut squash. It was lovely, though I found that they put a bit too much cheese actually, haha.. I feel like I’m being super difficult now. The cheese was very good though and the pizza was very yummy overall. Oh and if the vegan cheese option wasn’t enough, they also offer vegan ice cream. Super cool! Very tasty as well, I had a very lovely meal. Definitely recommend to eat here.

img_0706Something I noticed about the Zizzi restaurants, is that they are all based in lovely buildings. The one in Richmond is very nice and as far as I’ve seen, they all are in similar buildings. I like it. Inside it’s lovely too. A  lot of wood, warm lighting, a good overall atmosphere and super child/family friendly I would say. I think Zizzi’s is a very good restaurant to celebrate your birthday or to have a nice meal for any other occasion what involves eating with a bit of a bigger group. Because of the location and food that everybody likes. All Italian based. I mean.. who doesn’t like pizza? Also they have a lot of choice when it comes to the food in general. The staff was very friendly and helpful, what I always appreciate. They checked everything for me and were able to answer all my questions. Lovely restaurant!

WHO? Zizzi.
WHERE? 4-5 King St, TW9 1ND.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (good vegan options; vegan mozzarella, great locations, very approachable)

What do you think of Zizzi? Do you want to try a pizza with vegan mozzarella now? Please let me know in a comment below or show me on Instagram by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Gracelands

img_7532I went to Gracelands on a very stormy day. The storm was so crazy, that they put a table and door stoppers to stop the door from opening all the time and the storm blowing everything away inside. Luckily, you can also go into Gracalands via the back. There is a building called ‘Graclands Yard‘ and I sometimes go there with the baby I look after, for a music class. They also do yoga classes, pilates classes and lots more.. it’s worth taking a look! So I came in via the back. This way you basically come in via the kitchen, but it’s allowed to go via there any time. Very convenient in these extreme weather conditions I must say.

img_7530I ordered a Chai tea with soy milk and an organic porridge with fruit compote. They  normally make it with cow’s milk, but I asked if it was possible to have it with almond milk and that was totally fine. They were super easy going. I was very curious about the fruit compote. The tea came first and I did have to wait a little longer for my porridge though. It was a little busy, must have been all people who tried to find shelter from the storm. It was worth the wait though, because the porridge looked lovely and it was very tasty! I really liked that it was made with whole rolled oats. This way it’s a bit more chewy. I like my porridge like that. It makes me think about the way my grandma makes it. The fruit compote was super tasty too. It was pear, grapes and maybe even some other fruit too. It had these yummy winter spices, what was a super nice combination with the warm porridge. The tea was from Pukka and I like that tea a lot. Lovely breakfast all together! You can also get salads and I’m sure they can make you something vegan in case you’re there for lunch.

img_7531Gracelands is quite a big cafe. It has lots of big vintage tables and chairs and it is perfect for if you want to take your laptop and work for a bit. It’s quite close to my flat, so I might have breakfast here more often and work there in the morning. Because of there are children classes and a play corner for children, there are a lot of mums and nannies with their children. So be prepared for that though. On the other hand, if you have children yourself, it’s a lovely cafe to go to! The style is very vintage and I think it’s a very nice style for a cafe. The front is already very nice, with the colours and the little lights hanging in the windows. They sure created a nice atmosphere. I think they could have done even better though, as here and there it does look a bit messy or something. The staff is very friendly and the food is nice, so worth a go!

WHO? Gracelands.
WHERE? 118 College Rd, NW10 5HD.
CUISINE? Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Very nice porridge and Pukka tea + good for families or working)

Do you know Gracelands already? Or are you going to try it now? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Holland&Barrett

img_7762I remember when I just moved to Hemel Hempstead, 5 years ago, and that I discovered Holland&Barrett. It was the first health store I went to and when I got home from my shopping trip, I called my mum to tell her that there is a really nice health store just 15 min walk from my house. Not knowing at that time that Holland&Barrett is the leading health shop in the UK. Because let’s face it.. Holland&Barrett is everywhere! I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of this shop. Just in case you didn’t know what I’m talking about or if you’re curious what I normally get here, I thought I make it a hotspot. Also.. how can a health store like this not be on my blog yet?!

img_7764Because my previous job was very close to Portobello Road, I mostly went to the one located there. It’s not a very big one, but they have a lot of vegan products though. Now, I most of the time go to the one in Westfield. They moved (to the opposite side) a while ago and now it’s much bigger and newer than it used to be. So there are 2 things I especially go to Holland&Barrett for. That is for the brand ‘Fry’s’ (I mostly get the traditional hamburgers) and the ‘BooTea’ detox tea. I don’t know other shop where they sell these 2 things and they’re simply the best when it comes to burgers and detox tea. And then when I’m there anyway, it might happen I also get things like: Vio life cheese, Provamel yogurt, coconut oil, plant-based milk, B12 supplements, snack bars, Moo Free chocolate and nuts/seeds. They have so many good products. Though, they also have products I think are really bad. For example (and I really don’t get this) quite a lot of their dried fruits etc, of their own brand, have sugar in them. Such a shame!

img_7763One of the absolute best things from Holland&Barrett is their discounts and sales! Because at first you think they’re quite expensive. Only if you look at the things on sale you can get so much stuff for really not too much money. Half price on my detox tea for example, but also on a lot of supplements and on big bags of nuts/seeds.. all great things, you normally pay a lot of money for. They also have ‘penny sales’ for example, where every second product is only 1p! How great right?! They always have some sort of sale going on + when you’re a member you get very nice coupons too. So make sure you get the H&B customer card and go shopping (you can also shop online)! Another thing I totally love about Holland&Barret is that, in the emails you get with discounts, veganism and vegan products are often highly promoted. On pancake day for example, they send a vegan pancake recipe. So cool!

WHO? Holland&Barrett.
WHERE? Westfield White City, Ariel Way, W12 7GG.
CUISINE? Health store.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (good products, amazing sales, lots of stores around)

I’m sure you know Holland&Barrett already, do you like them? Let me know what products you get at H&B! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X