Sanctuary

>> THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED <<

I heard about Sanctuary via Instagram and when I saw the pictures I knew I wanted to go here. The food looked so good. When I did a little research I actually couldn’t wait to go here. Not only because of the food, but also because of their mentality. Sanctuary stands for: Integrity – Knowledge – Commitment – Respect – Perseverance – Honesty – Humility – Courage – Love and Passion. This I really like, but what I like even more is their straight forwardness. They say it the way it is, what I think might come across as a little aggressive to some people, but I think it’s because of my Dutch roots that I appreciate it.

It was nice and quiet when I went. I always try to visit hotspots early or late, so it’s not crazy busy, in case I want to ask questions. I ordered a burger obviously, because I love burgers. I also ordered some sweet potato fries, obviously.. because I love sweet potato fries, haha! I guess you know that by know. The burger was honestly one of the best burgers I’ve had and I made sure they knew that before I left. The whole combination was just so so tasty and I strongly recommend it. The burger itself was I think from Linda McCartney, but when I asked they said they were not allowed to say if it was. I thought this was a little weird, but ok. The burger comes with a simple salad too and I really like the overall presentation.

Sanctuary donates to the ‘Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary’ regularly, hence the name. This is so cool! Inside there are lots of pictures of the animals from the sanctuary, vegan quotes and information. Super nice! They really are vegan for the animals, but they also really care about health and the environment too. This makes it really one of the nicest restaurants in London in my opinion. I do think they could improve when it comes to the interior. The building from the outside is quite ok, but inside it’s just too dated and cheap. In my opinion the food doesn’t match the restaurant at all. I bet if they’d make it a little bit lighter, fresh and modern they’d do even better.

WHO? Sanctuary.
WHERE? 651 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5PU.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (Amazing food, great mentality, but dated interior.)

Did you try a burger of Sanctuary yet? What was your experience? Or are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about 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

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Mooshies

It’s been a while since I was here actually, but I do want to add this fabulous vegan burger bar to my hotspot list. It’s not only a fabulous bar, but it’s also located in one of the coolest neighbourhoods of London. You can find Mooshies on Brick Lane in Shoreditch! I don’t know if you’ve ever visited this place, but you should. It’s so lively and I would almost say that it feels like you’re in different world. Shoreditch is super colourful, with its graffiti on (literally) every corner and it has a great sense of freedom. I love going here and whenever I go, I can’t skip paying a visit to Mooshies.

I chose the  ‘What’s your Beef’ burger that day, together with some cheesy sweet potato fries. The burger is made of quinoa and black beans and comes with several toppings, including (vegan) cheese. Though it was busy, I didn’t even have to wait that long for my order to arrive. I like the way they serve it, in a little basket with black an white paper. What I want to say first of all.. sweet potato fries and cheese are one heavenly combo, go get them! Now the burger. The taste is very good, the whole combination with the sauce, the crispy bottom of the bun and the fresh lettuce is super yum. Personally I would have liked it if the burger was a little bit more firm though. It’s quite soft. I really like how you don’t feel super full and heavy after eating this burger.

Mooshies couldn’t have choses a better location and it’s perfectly blending in. The atmosphere, the colours.. just everything. It’s not a super big place and it’s very popular, so sometimes you do have to wait a little bit to be seated. In the meantime you can stare at the beautifully graffiti walls. The best place to sit, I think, is close to the windows as Brick Lane is perfect to enjoy watching the variety of people walking around there. I also do have to mention that the staff is super friendly over here and I felt very welcome. They answered my questions and really looked after me well.

WHO? Mooshies.
WHERE? 104 Brick Ln, London E1 6RL.
CUISINE? Burgers.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (Great colourful restaurant, yummy burgers, reasonable prices and friendly staff.)

Did you already know Mooshies? Are you planning to get a burger over here? Please tell me about your experience! 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

 

Kitchen & Pantry

I remember coming here once with my previous employer and the kids. I ordered a juice and I remember I liked it. Also I remember my dad said their coffee was really good. Though I don’t drink coffee myself, I thought they might be good in general. So I thought, let’s go here and see what else they have to offer vegans! It’s always busy here and people tend to love it, so I was curious what they would have. When I came in, one of the first things I saw was a vegan wrap in the fridge section. This was very hopeful I thought. Then I looked at the menu signs, to be a little disappointed. I could see lots of different ways to have your eggs, but no vegan options at all.

I went to the counter and introduced myself and straight away the girl walked away and the manager took her place. What was a little odd as she didn’t say anything. I asked for the vegan options, but she said she was sorry to not really have any. I was a little shocked. I haven’t been in many places where they don’t have anything. So I mentioned the wrap and she said that was the only thing. Then she started about all the vegetarian options, but that wasn’t really in any of my interest. They do a vegetarian breakfast, where you could leave out the egg, but then she wasn’t sure about the sausages. She said she also couldn’t check if they were vegan. I think this was very bad as they should always be exactly aware of what the offer.

I ordered a juice (the Cleanse) and the wrap though, to see if at least that was nice. I didn’t really like that the wrap had sugar in it, but I must say it was a very tasty wrap. I especially liked the aubergine in there. The juice was nice, but it still had a lot of pulp, coming from the ginger. It kept blocking my straw. They don’t use water or anything other than fruit in their juices, what I really like though. I also like the interior. They have many different corners and cosy seats, with sofa’s, tables to work on and many other seats. You can also sit outside. But I won’t come here again.. apart from maybe a take away juice. I think they should work on their vegan options as they are a little behind on other places.

WHO? Kitchen & Pantry.
WHERE? 14 Elgin Crescent, W11 2HX.
CUISINE? Diverse (breakfast/lunch).
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 5 (Nice seats, nice juices, but almost no options and bad informed staff.)

Did you already know Kitchen&Pantry? What was your experience? Or are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about 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

Tibits

Apparently I didn’t now about one really nice restaurant, called Tibits. No idea how I didn’t know about it, but I’m happy I do now. When my best friend Nienke, from the Netherlands, was visiting me, I thought it will be nice to go here and explore it together. I knew it was a buffet and so this way it would be a great way to try lots of different things. It was Nienke’s first time in London, so after a long morning of showing her all the touristy must see places, we went to Tibits for lunch. We always have so much fun together, but we made sure that this lunch was one to never ever forget.

So like I said, it’s a buffet. They have lots of nice food and though it’s a vegetarian restaurant, almost everything is vegan. Just make sure to check to be sure. They have many different options and they look all very yummy. I think I made sure I tried everything that was vegan. I just got a little bit of everything. When collecting our lunch we were already drooling over the sticky toffee dessert we saw, but we decided to first eat the food on our plate. At Tibits you pay by weight, the same as in Ethos. So after you get what you want, you go to the till, they weigh the food on your plate and that’s what you pay for. I think they have more reasonable prices than Ethos though. Also, after eating everything, I can say that the food is better than at Ethos too. The food was delicious actually. Then we wanted to have that sticky toffee pudding, but the problem was that all the cakes they sell separately, are vegan too. So first we chose 3. A cake each and 1 to share. But then we couldn’t choose which one.. because they have chocolate-pear, lemon, coconut-mango and apple pastry.. how can you choose? I don’t know how other people do it, because you can’t! So we ended up buying all options! Oops! Everybody was looking at us and we had tears of laughing rolling down our cheeks. Some people said they will do it too next time. The influencers we are! They were so delicious, but funny enough, the sticky toffee cake ended up being my favourite one. The chocolate one was ver nice too, as it wasn’t crazy sweet and you could actually taste the chocolate. We obviously couldn’t eat everything, but the staff was friendly enough to give us a doggy bag. Hurray for desserts!

Tibits is a beautiful restaurant, in a lovely little street. It’s just off Regent Street, close to Piccadilly Circus. It’s quite a big restaurant, with seats around the buffet area, but you can also go downstairs. They’ve done a lovely job with the interior, mixing up different styles, but creating one lovely atmosphere. The staff is very friendly and helpful and it just makes it a perfect place to have lunch or dinner (or to try desserts) when in central London. Make sure to try the sticky toffee cake though, you pay this one by weight too. I’ll be back for sure.

WHO? Tibits.
WHERE? 12-14 Heddon St, Mayfair, W1B 4DA.
CUISINE? Buffet.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian)
OVERALL? 8 (Great looking restaurant, good food, reasonable prices and very yummy desserts.)

Did you already know Tibits? Are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about your experience! 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

Farm Girl Cafe

I thought I was kind of a Portobello Road expert, as I spend many many many days on this road. But when I was flying back home from Mallorca and a friend pointed out an article where the Farm Girl Cafe was mentioned, I had no idea. It turned out to be on the bit of Portobello Road I almost never go to. You have to cross a street for this bit and I actually always turn around before. Later I did guess where it was as I remember a hidden cafe when I went to a dance class with the kids I look after. I didn’t know the name anymore, but that was the only place I could think of. And when I got there, I was right. That was the cafe. Funny that I knew about it for so long, without knowing it.. if that makes sense?! Haha!

At the Farm Girl Cafe they do serve meat, but they also have a fair choice of vegan options. It was a lovely sunny morning and after a little wait (it’s a very popular place), I was able to sit outside. Their menu is on point, with a ‘V’ behind everything that is vegan. Super handy if restaurants do this. I saw crazy good smashed avocado toast passing by (a lot!), but as I always try to limit my bread intake, I chose the acai bowl. I heard it was good. I asked for a chai latte, but they are not vegan as they use honey. So the waiter suggested to have chai tea, with milk on the side. They have coconut milk, almond milk and hazelnut milk, all from Rude Health. I chose coconut. The acai came in a lovely coconut bowl, but I was a little disappointed with the presentation. They just threw everything in there.. such a shame, because you can really make it look nice with all these toppings (banana, coconut, seeds, granola, almond butter). The tea was super delicious btw, the best chai tea I’ve had! They also do a very famous charcoal latte, but I was afraid I was going to be too full. So I will come back for this for sure. They have 4 vegan all day breakfast options and 3 lunch options (from 11:00). I think that is pretty good! I have to come here more often.

What I really like about the Farm Girl Cafe is that it’s hidden. You don’t expect a cafe, but going through a porch, suddenly there is the most beautiful cafe. Lots of plants, white walls, seats outside, truly lovely. Inside it’s quite spectacular too, with the petrol coloured tiles, high ceiling and the opportunity to sit on a long table, up stairs, overlooking the cafe. There is lots of fresh fruit and veggies near the counter and that looks super nice against the tiles. They created a very unique atmosphere. The service was a little slow at times, but the staff was very friendly though. Something I didn’t like were the prices. It is pretty expensive! My acai bowl was nice, but not he best I’ve had and it lacked presentation. Still all together (acai bowl, chai tea) it was £17,50. This is a little outrageous if you ask me.

WHO? Farm Girls Cafe.
WHERE? 59A Portobello Rd, W11 3DB.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (Lovely place, good food and amazing tea, but very expensive)

Did you already know the Farm Girl Cafe? Or are you planning to go here now? You do need to try the chocolate ice cream! Please tell me about your experience! 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

The Fields Beneath

You might think: ‘where do I know The Fields Beneath from’?! It probably sounds familiar. This is because they have been in the news a lot, after becoming fully vegan cafe. They used to even serve meat when they opened their doors in 2012, but then after a while they turned vegetarian. When about a year ago the owner became vegan, he decided that it was time for the cafe to become vegan too. They slowly started to swap their things with vegan alternatives and then the last thing they changed was the milk. They hung a note on the door with that there was no longer cows milk served anymore. That note got a lot of attention, because now they were full vegan. So cool! So I had to go here of course. It’s only a few stops away with the train and the cafe is right under the station (Kentish Town West). Coming out of the station, it’s on your right.

When you come in, you immediately see all the amazing looking food in front of you. Actually you just want to have a bite of everything. I had lunch not long before, so I decided to go for a chai latte, but I couldn’t help ordering some toasted banana bread with coconut butter too. I did actually regret having lunch, because I would have loved to try one of the croissants, wraps or burgers. I will come back for sure. The chai latte was very nice. It was made with Oatly Barista, so I didn’t expect anything else. The banana bread was very good. It was very popular they said and I do get why that is. What a lovely treat!

The Fields Beneath is not very big, but there are some seats inside and quite a lot of seats outside. Even with rain you can sit there, as the railway above you will protect you from getting wet. They have some street signs as decoration, what I thought was very cool. It makes it a little industrial and fun, but in combination with the tiles on the counter it’s still very homelike. Great combination. The staff is super friendly and helpful and I felt very welcome. It’s just a lovely little cafe and I wish it was even closer to where I live. I would go here a lot (or maybe it’s good it’s not too close, haha!). In case you didn’t get it yet, I highly recommend this cafe!

WHO? The Fields Beneath.
WHERE? 52a, Prince of Wales Rd, NW5 3LN.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (Amazing looking food and a, lovely atmosphere)

Did you already know The Fields Beneath? Or are you planning to go here now? You do need to try the chocolate ice cream! Please tell me about your experience! 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

Franco Manca

I actually wanted to go to the Franco Manca on Westbourne Grove, but because I had limited time and needed to get some dresses before my holiday, I decided to go to the one in the Westfield (White City). Franco Manca must have grown a lot in relatively short time, because though I heard about it a few years ago, all of a sudden I see them everywhere. They have 38 restaurants in total now, whilst only starting in 2008. Franca Manca make their pizza’s with a sourdough base. Though it does have some gluten, it is easier to digest this way. I saw a lot of great looking pizza’s on Instagram and some good reviews. So I wanted to try this for myself and to see if they have some vegan options of course.

The waitress explained to me that you can choose your pizza (the have 6 options) and then add the topping you like. Some pizza’s already have lots of toppings, but the first pizza only includes the base, the sauce, oregano and garlic. So no cheese too. This makes it a perfect vegan pizza to begin with. They have 2 huge signs with their toppings and you can choose whatever you like. I went for the courgette, olives, onions and some spinach. My pizza was in front of me very fast. This must be thanks to the 2 huge pizza ovens. It looked amazing, quite big too! I started with the crust first. It was soft, but with a slight crisp. I expected to taste a lot more of the sourdough taste, but even though you could taste it was different, it wasn’t that obvious. The vegetables on top were perfect and very tasty. If you love garlic, then this is your pizza, because it has a big garlic taste. I liked it! The base in the middle was good from the bottom, but it was slightly undercooked on the top. This was a shame. I couldn’t finish the pizza because of this, because it was quite heavy this way.

Apart from the pizza and some small things (olives and bread) there aren’t that much vegan options, but in their defence, they do not have a very big menu. They do have one desert for vegans though, what is the very familiar vegan dessert: the sorbet. I didn’t try it though and I do appreciate that at least they have something. The Franco Manca in Westfield is a very beautiful restaurant I must say. Because of the very big windows from floor to ceiling, it’s super light and they have 2 huge pizza ovens (the red and the yellow one, here on the picture ^) in their open kitchen. I also really like their interior, it’s very industrial and it has high ceilings. I also really like the chairs, they really add to the style.

WHO? Franco Manca.
WHERE? Westfield White City, Ariel Way, W12 7GA.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (Nice pizza, but a shame it wasn’t cooked properly in the middle, great interior)

Did you already know Franco Manca? Or are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about your experience! 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

Hackney Fresh

When my friend and I walked back to the station after reviewing the Temple of Hackney we walked passed Hackney Fresh. We went inside, because it said vegan and organic. Then you just simply have to go in! It’s not a crazy big store (but also not small!), but they do have a lot of stuff. I got so excited looking at all the stuff. One of the first things I saw were vegan croissants! Real proper looking vegan croissants! Plain, almond and also some pain au chocolat. This is something what is still very hard to get your hands on. This is actually the first place I’ve been that sells croissants like this. I had to get them.. obviously! Even though I was so full from the dinner still. It’s nice to know that they’re made very locally, the baker lives above the shop. Can you go any more local? There are fresh croissants every morning (from 8:30).

Hackney Fresh is an independent family business, established in 2014. So it’s still quite new. They want to transform the way people think about fine provisions and sustainable food. They sell so many things. Several cheeses, meat substitutes, cereals, snacks (healthy and not so healthy..), croissants (!), buckets of peanut and cashew butter, a variety of plant-based milks, fresh organic fruits and vegetables, supplements, beauty products and even some very nice animal postcards. I got one with a sloth mum and baby. Because when I see a sloths I want it. At first you would say the whole store is vegan, but they actually do sell some animal products too. It’s a very very small section though. I think this is very unfortunate though, because I think as an all vegan store they would be even more attractive and very new as they’re a lot bigger as the Green Bay vegan supermarket. I think they’ll be the biggest 100% vegan store if they decide to go all vegan.

Hackney Fresh is not only a shop to get all your vegan groceries, but they also serve coffee, tea and fresh juice. So a perfect place to get a take away breakfast for example. It’s such a shame it’s not a little closer to me, because I’m sure I’d go here all the time. They actually remind me a lot of Portobello Wholefoods, where I go a lot too. I love to see places like this more as they’re super handy for if you don’t always have time to go to the Whole Foods Market and need some certain products you can’t get in the local supermarkets. I think we should definitely support places like this! They were so friendly here too btw. Lots of help and nice chats, so appreciated!

WHO? Hackney Fresh.
WHERE? 334 Mare St, Hackney, E8 1HA.
CUISINE? Supermarket.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Love the many many vegan products + love the croissants.)

Did you already know Hackney Fresh? Or are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about your experience! 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

Pizza Express

I’ve been to Pizza Express quite a lot, but that is years ago. I was very excited to discover that they started offering vegan mozzarella. So I decided I needed to see this with my own eyes and very important too: taste this! I went to the Pizza Express in Camden. The day I went it was raining and as I hate umbrellas (cuz of loving the rain), I was a little soaked when I arrived. When I came in they stared at me like they didn’t know what to do with me. I wasn’t sure if this was because of being a little wet, or because they didn’t expect customers. It was just been 12:00, maybe a little early, but I always like to go on times it’s less busy, because then there is more time for answering my questions etc. I asked about the vegan options, but they didn’t really know what to say. So I chose a table and started to look at the menu myself.

There was a special vegan pizza, but you can swap ingredients around, until you have the pizza you like. This was the only thing the guy was able to tell me. Later I was told by somebody else that the special changes every 3-4 months and if it’s selling well, they stay on the menu. This made me decide to order this pizza, because we have to support vegan options (so you know what to order at Pizza Express now..haha!). It had onion, olives, artichoke, asparagus and the vegan mozzarella. It looked nice and as I love all these veggies, it was a good choice anyway. The pizza was tasty and I definitely enjoyed it, though it’s not a pizza I directly come back for. It’s perfect for if you’re going with somebody who isn’t vegan, because then you can still enjoy a good vegan pizza, whilst not have to go to a vegan place. I’m super happy that Pizza Express made this change and I really hope they keep at least one already vegan pizza on the menu. The pizza is not the only vegan things they have. They also have a salad called ‘Leggera Superfood Salad’ and this one is vegan too. I really want to try this one too on day. Anybody who had it already?

The Pizza Express in Camden is not really big, but it has nice big windows and the possibility to sit outside (when it’s not raining..). They also have a big mirror on one wall, I guess to make it look bigger. anyway.. it’s handy for if you want to check if there are any veggies stuck in your teeth, haha! Though I was pleased with my pizza, I thought the service here was really bad. I don’t know if all of them had a bad day or something, but nobody was really helpful. There was one guy who was new (his second day!), so I can’t blame him, but the rest had no menu knowledge. I only got short unsure answers, without a lot of information. I really had to pull it out of them and then they had to ask 3 times in the meantime. And there were some other things too, but let’s not be only negative, because there are a lot of Pizza Express restaurants and I’m sure this is not everywhere.

WHO? Pizza Express.
WHERE? 85 Parkway, NW1 7PP.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (Nice pizza, few other vegan options, but not very helpful staff.)

You probably know Pizza Express already, but did you try their vegan pizza yet? Please tell me about your experience! 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

Press

I was in Soho, on my way to a shop, to get something for my brother. When I was almost at the shop I saw a little juice bar, Press! I never knew there was a Press in this street. It’s not a street where you often go to, so I was lucky to walk passed it. I didn’t have breakfast yet, so I decided to pop in. I had a quick look at the menu and at first sight, I couldn’t spot any non vegan products in their breakfast bowls or in any of the things they offered. They turned out to be almost all vegan. Just apart from the milk in the coffee and some honey (in some juices) unfortunately. You can still request cow’s milk in your coffee here. Though the girl told me that it doesn’t happen that much anymore. I hope they will ditch the cow’s milk and the honey one day, so they can call themselves a 100% vegan juice bar. Would be amazing!

I actually wanted to try the Chia Bowl, but they run out of it unfortunately. So I went for an Acai Bowl. I love acai! I also saw they had a Golden Latte and I thought it was like a turmeric latte. So I ordered that one too, but it turned out to be coffee. Silly me, because it was clearly listed under ‘coffees’. The acai bowl was super nice. It had some lovely toppings too: blueberries, goji berries, granola and almonds. It was very cold, so definitely very perfect for a hot day. The taste was very good, with a great acai flavour. The colour was define really, a beautiful soft purple! I couldn’t drink the coffee, because I really really don’t like coffee. I also didn’t want to give it back, because I didn’t want them to throw it away. I gave it to the lady behind the till in the shop I went for my brother later on. She was so happy and that gave me a good feeling, so not a waste. Press gave me 3 things to try too. One of them was a pineapple juice, to boost your immune system and to hydrate. I found out there is honey in there unfortunately, so I can’t review this. I gave it to the girl sitting next to me at the moment (I’m giving lots of things away today!). They also gave me 2 shots: Detox and Ginger Fireball. The detox shot is with coconut water, lime, ginger, aloe vera activated charcoal (super hot at the moment!) and milk thistle. I’m very excited about this one, it’s very nice! The ginger fireball one contains ginger (50%!!), pineapple and lime. It’s burning good!

Press also offers juice and soup cleanses. For the juice cleanse, you can choose different packages (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and do it 1-5 days. Prices vary from £47-£235. They offer 2 soup cleanses (nourish and energise) and you can also do this 1-5 days. The prices vary from £38-£186. They even have a service that you can get it delivered to your house, every 15 or every 30 days. This means you can do regular cleanses, without any hassle of preparing. A cleanse is a perfect way to give your immune system a boost, to increase your energy and sleep + a lot more benefits. You can find more information about this on their website, where you can also place the orders in case you’re interested.

WHO? Press.
WHERE? 6 Denman St, Soho, W1D 7HX.
CUISINE? Juice Bar.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian, but almost all vegan)
OVERALL? 7 (Very good breakfast, nice cleanses, but a shame they do cow’s milk and honey.)

Did you already know the Press? Or would you like to go there now? Please let me know when you’ve tried it! Especially when you tried one of their juice or soup cleanses! 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