Netherlands – The Hague

So 2 weeks ago I was in the Netherlands, visiting family and friends. I often go around October, just before Xmas, because you know what it’s like with Xmas, always so busy. Also Xmas still looks so far away in October when the last time you saw everybody was back in May. This year I also wanted to go because my best friend had a baby just before the summer and I still didn’t see the beautiful boy. Such a happy reason to go, even though there was also a less happy reason I really wanted to go. My grandpa was in the hospital and my grandma has to go to an old people’s home, because of her very severe Alzheimer. I always make sure I see my grandparents whenever I can. I went for a week and planned in al my most important visits. My mum also got her hands on some cheap train tickets and she treated my sis and me on a city trip day. It took us a long time to decide what city to go, but we finally decided on Haarlem (the city where my whole family is from), to then decide in the train that we’re going to The Hague instead. Haha!

The Hague is the city where all the Dutch politics are happening. I’ve been to The Hague 2 times already, but I never went with the purpose of hotspot hunting. We got on the train in Assen and lucky for us, it goes straight to The Hague from there. The first 50 min we had to stand, because it was so busy, but it’s never boring with my mum and sis (and Jace, my nephew came too!). My google maps was a bit all over the place and wasn’t planning on sending us into the right direction, but luckily there are a lot of signs and so we found the city centre soon. Nobody was hungry yet, because my sis brought a snack for in the train. So we first decided to go for a drink, but on the way we found this very nice shop, that we forgot about the drinks. The shop is called Søstrene Grenes. The colours and the materials in this shop make you feel super greedy. I bought a small silicone facial sponge. It will be so useful and it’s something that will last. No waste = win win! I also bought a very delicious drink, some black cotton yarn and a little bar of chocolate from iChoc.

After this shop we were hungry and so we walked to Foam for lunch. It was at least a 10 min walk from the shops, but I can already tell you that it’s so worth it. It was actually a really nice walk, because you pass all the politic buildings and ‘Escher in the Palace’ (The Escher Museum). I really wanted to go to this museum, but I was the only one and majority wins. I will go another day, by myself or with somebody who I can share my enthusiasm with. Definitely go when you have the chance though! Now about Foam. It already looks so nice from the outside and even nicer when you walk in. It’s a long narrow space, but with high ceilings and a little garden in the back, with lots of lovely daylight. We all went for a different latte (Turmeric, Hazelnut and Matcha). Foam is all vegan and so it took us a while before we were able to make a choice for lunch. My sister went for the pancakes, my mum for the BLTA sandwich and I went for the quesadilla. The food was wohw! In my opinion my mum won, because her sandwich was to die for! If I wasn’t planning on eating anything else that day, I would have ordered it to take away. I will come back for this sandwich (as I’m coming back for the Escher museum anyway), haha! The staff is super friendly and easy going. Their desserts look delicious too, so I ordered a take away pecan biscuit at the till and then we left. The biscuit was very yum btw!

On our way back to the shops we popped into a health shop called Madal Bal. We bought some chocolate here and then we walked towards all the politic buildings. There was a time when I followed politics and I found it was fascinating. But since I moved to the UK and find most politics one big corrupt lie, I don’t bother anymore. Despite of that, I do enjoy looking at the beautiful buildings. My mum and sis never seen it before and so it was nice to show them. Jace wasn’t interested at all and decided on a nap. We did some more shopping. We visited a nice EkoPlaza, where I bought some seitan and a drink and my mum bought a really nice salt light that I truly love. After some more shopping and scoring a nice gift for my grandma, it was already time to go back. Time goes so fast! But before we headed back to the station, we wanted to visit the Vegetarische Snackbar (Snackbar from the Vegetarian Butcher). It was also quite a walk, outside the centre. It’s the opposite from the The Hague HS station. But omg! It was so gooddddd.. A snackbar is something very Dutch and it’s as popular as a pub is in the UK. It basically is a cafe where you can buy chips and snacks. Snacks that are mostly meat and cheese based. The Vegetarian Butcher opened a snackbar where everything is vegetarian and also a lot is vegan! We again didn’t know what to choose and so we decided on nearly half the menu. It was so good, I don’t have words for it. The chips are good, but the snacks are so so similar to the original, that you truly wonder why we keep torturing and killing animals (there isn’t a good reason anyway!). This vegetarian snackbar is the only one in the Netherlands, but we all agreed that there should be one in every city and of course that all snackbars should be like this one. When paying, we also bought both cake options (carrot and chocolate). We ate these in the train and they were so good too. Very moist and strong flavoured. Whatever you do, when in The Hague.. go to the Vegetarische Snackbar!

Oh I forgot another reason I went to visit the Netherlands. I still didn’t see my brother and sister in law’s new home. They moved to Groningen before the summer and I was super curious to see it. It’s such a lovely and cosy place and I stayed for a sleep over. We had such a good time. The next day I invited my sister in law to have brunch at Anat. Their flat is in such a good location, because within 20 min you are in the city centre by bike. So that is what we did and we enjoyed a yummy smoothie bowl at this amazing place. I mentioned them before in a travel post, but I will again, because it’s a must go! On my last day I visited my grandparents with my sister and Jace. We had a really good time all together. We bought some oliebollen (something else typical Dutch, we normally eat on NYE) and they were so good. But then all nice trips come to an end and so it was time to go home sooner than I expected.

HOTSPOT LIST:
Søstrene Grenes – Spuistraat 48, 2511 BE Den Haag.
Escher Museum – Lange Voorhout 74, 2514 EH Den Haag.
Foam – Frederikstraat 44, 2514 LL Den Haag.
Madal Bal – Denneweg 126B, 2514 CL Den Haag.
Eko Plaza – Grote Marktstraat 177, 2511 BJ Den Haag.
Vegetraische Snackbar – Stationsplein 5A, 2515 BT Den Haag.
Anat – Verlengde Grachtstraat 1, 9717 GD Groningen.

Have you been to The Hague yet? You should definitely go and check out these lovely places. Please let me know if you do! You can leave a comment or show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

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Bloody Mess

It’s almost Halloween!! Notttt really my thing, but I do really like to create recipes with a theme. There are a lot of Halloween recipes that are everything but healthy. That’s why I wanted to create something that looks scary, but is not scary to eat, haha! I really like the outcome, because I love chia pudding and in combination with the fruit and the cinnamon it’s so tasty. You can use any plant based yogurt, but I used the plain version of the Coconut Collaboration. I love this yogurt anyway, but especially in this recipes it just works really well.

BLOODY MESS 

Serves: 2

1 cup red summer fruit
1 tbs goji berries
1/2 tbs agave nectar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
250gr yogurt
1/3 cup rice milk
3 tbs chia seed

-Put the yogurt, rice milk and chia seed in a bowl and mix it well. Then put it in the fridge for 2 hours (or overnight).
-Put the fruit in a sauce pan and warm it on medium heat, until it starts to be like a sauce. Keep stirring. (For frozen fruit it’s about 5 min. For fresh fruit about 3 min.)
-Take the fruit off the fire and add the goji berries, the agave nectar, the cinnamon and the vanilla extract. Mix well and let it cool down.
-Mix the chia pudding before dividing it into 2 glasses.
-Put the fruit mixture on top and use the back of a spoon to draw the lines down the pudding.
-Add some extra goji berries on top if you wish.

Do you like Halloween? Will you make this recipe? Please let me know! You can do this in a comment below or tag me on Instagram. When you do, I’ll repost it! You can also use the hashtag #planetmanel if you like, so I can find your picture and comment! Thank you! X

Red Autumn

I’m sure everybody noticed the change of weather. Although this week we had some lovely sunny days, the temperature dropped, there is more wind and the nights are a lot colder (trust me, I’ve noticed since living in a van). The lovely warm summer is coming to and end and even though I love the summer, I don’t mind swapping it for autumn. I quite like the season where we can harvest beautiful food, where the trees are changing colour and you can curl up on the sofa with a book all day, without feeling you’re being unproductive. And something else I like about this season is the lovely dishes you make this time of the year. It’s time for heavy stews, hot chocolate and porridge! Yum! The recipe I will share with you today is definitely an autumn recipe. It’s perfect with a warm bowl of porridge!

RED AUTUMN

500 gr cranberries
1 cup apple juice
2 medium apples
1/4 cup agave nectar (5 tbs)
1/2 ts cinnamon
1/2 ts vanilla extract
3 tbs chia seed (for jam)

-Use only 1/2 cup of apple juice when you makes jam.
-Take the skin off the apples and cut them into big chunks.
-Put everything in a pan and bring to boil.
-When the cranberries all popped (after about 3-5 min) you can lower the heat.
-Let it simmer for about 30 min.
-For jam: add 3 tbs of chia seed.
-Put it in a container or in a nice glass jar and let it cool down before you pop it into the fridge.
-You can keep it in the fridge for 4-6 days.

Are you an autumn person? Do you get excited by recipes like this and are you going to make it? Please let me know! You can do this in a comment below or tag me on Instagram. You can also use the hashtag #planetmanel is you like, so I can find your picture and comment! Thank you! X

Sweet Reminder

Did you know that blueberries are great for your memory? So do you have a lot of studying to do for a test? This recipe will be a great breakfast or snack on the days you need it most. The dates and banana give you extra energy and the hemp seeds give you some protein. You can use frozen blueberries from the supermarket, but I prefer to freeze fresh blueberries myself. I personally think that it’s tastier this way. Make sure you use nice soft dates though. With the right ingredients, this is a super healthy smoothie + it’s super quick to make. It’s also very delicious and easy to take with you. Remember to drink this smoothie to remember!

SWEET REMINDER

Serves: 1

300 ml water
1 tbsp hemp powder
1 ripe banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1-3 dates

-Blend the water with the hempseed until it’s milk.
-Add the rest of the ingredients until smooth.

Are you going to try to make this recipe? Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below. You can also tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Eliane

As some of you know, 7 months ago, I moved from London to the countryside. I now live close to Newbury. Very close to me is a little town called Hungerford. Hungerford is a lovely  town with lots of little shops and boutiques. My employers told me there is a very nice cafe too, where there is lots of vegan food. So I was meaning to check it out, but then so much happened. I had my pig Oliver and my van etc etc. So I never really took the time to go and check it out. Until last week. I was getting some things for my van and a new bag of food for Oliver in Newbury and very randomly I thought, lets check out that place. So I drove to Hungerford, parked the car and stepped into Eliane.

When you walk in you can straight away see all the food on you left. It’s all right in front of you, where you can properly see it. There are little signs in front of it, so you can see what it is and if it’s vegan. Almost everything is vegan, even though they’re an omnivore cafe. The food looks very good, colourful and full of nutrients. There was a lovely French lady helping me. She knew a lot, was super helpful and I think she really is doing the cafe good. You can choose 4 things for £12,95. There are also a number of treats available,with at least 3 vegan options. I’ve got them all: Mango cake, raw chocolate cake and a vegan snicker bar. I kindly got a little (paper!) take away box, as I was sure I couldn’t eat everything in one time, haha! I also ordered an organic golden milk, which is one of their specials. Another lovely girl walked with me to my table, what was super helpful. I picked a table outside, because it was lovely weather and I had my dog Nola with me. The food was AMAZING! I can truly say that this was one of the tastiest meals I’ve had. So many flavours and you can just taste that it’s healthy and good for you. I loved it! The golden milk was also the best I’ve had and I can understand why it’s one of their specials. The meal was so good and filling, that I decided to take all my treats home and eat them later. I normally do not like fruit cake too much, so I was least excited about the mango cake. Funny enough, I loved it. It was super fresh, and moist and not too sweet. The other 2 were so good too, it’s hard to choose which one I liked best, but the vegan snicker bar was heavenly though! I definitely recommend all of this food.

The outside of Eliane is very lovely and you just want to go in to take a look inside. I’m sure that’s why they put the food right at the entrance, because as soon as you see that, you want to eat it. Very clever! There are quite a few tables inside (it’s bigger then you expect) and walking all the way to the back, you can sit outside. They also do a vegan breakfast, that includes a vegetable patty, a variety of vegetables (like mushrooms, spinach etc) on heritage grain toast. I’ll make sure to try this the next time. They offer a lot of different drinks. You can choose from organic smoothies, juices, chai and matcha lattes, coffee and teas. Everything is free from refined sugar and they use organic where possible. I really love this place! It’s a shame they’re not all vegan. Maybe one day they will be.

**I want to thank Eliane for their food and many the treats they gave me!**

WHO? Eliane.
WHERE? The Courtyard, 24 High St, Hungerford RG17 0NF.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Amazing healthy food and great staff. I would have given them a 9 if they were all vegan.)

Did you visit Hungerford before and did you know about Eliane already? 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

Wulf & Lamb

Yay, finally another London hotspot and not just a hotspot, but Wulf & Lamb! I spend my bank holiday weekend in London with my dog Nola and I was staying at a lovely AirBnB in Battersea. I had a very relaxing weekend and didn’t want to force myself to go hotspot hunting as I was having a little break from blogging. Only on the last day I decided to just have a look on Happy Cow to see what is around. That’s where Wulf & Lamb popped up and the pictures made me want to go there. So just before I took the train home I crossed the Battersea Bridge to check out their brunch options. My lovely AirBnB host Isabel, who is a vegetarian (but eats mostly vegan though!), came with me, so double fun.

It was a lovely sunny weekend and the bank holiday Monday wasn’t any different, so we sat outside. Wulf & Lamb is just behind Sloan Square in a lovely little, but spacious, street. I got us 2 menus whilst Isabel stayed outside with Nola. It was hard to choose as it’s an amazing menu! Isabel went for The Full Wulf Breakfast and a coffee and I went for the Fluffy American Pancakes (I secretly hoped that they had waffles, but pancakes are fine too) and a turmeric latte. At the till there are lots of baked treats, including apricot and apple croissants. I bought them for later and I can now tell you that they were so yum! Especially the one with apple. We didn’t have to wait very long before there were 2 plates in front of us with amazing looking food. They then asked me if Nola would like a whole organic vegan dog treat.. uhh yes please! How amazing is that?! Just as the food.. my goodness, the pancakes were so tasty. I especially liked it that the pancakes were on top of the syrup and not covered in syrup. It came with fresh berries and some delicious cream on the side. Boy, how I enjoyed it all. Isabel’s breakfast looked amazing too. There was something that looked like scrambled eggs, but we couldn’t quite figure out what it actually was. It looked a bit like jackfruit, but it turned out it was made of an ackee fruit. I’ve never heard of it, but it’s nice when restaurants use uncommon things that turn out te be so good. I definitely recommend these 2 options.. but I saw they also have a Wulf burger made of seitan and as a true burger lover, I need to try this. I’ll be back for sure!

Wulf & Lamb is only a minute walk from Sloan Square. It’s away from all the busy traffic, in a lovely street. You can sit inside, but with lovely weather like on the day I went, you can sit outside too. In the morning you’ll sit in the shade, but if you like to sit in the sunshine instead, you should go for a late lunch. The building and interior are simple, but classy and beautiful. I like it. I really liked to see that there was a water bowl for dogs at the entrance. As a dog mummy I really appreciate things like this and you feel more welcome to be there with your dog. Wulf&Lamb did top that up with offering the (vegan!) dog treat to Nola. It really was the cherry on top! The staff is super friendly and I definitely recommend this place.

WHO? Wulf & Lamb.
WHERE? 243 Pavilion Rd, London, SW1X 0BP.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 9 (Amazing food, great staff and very dog friendly.)

Did you know about Wulf&Lamb already? 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

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

This is my Jam

Maybe you made jam before. Or maybe your grandma or mother made it for you once. Lots of fruit and lots of sugar! Most jam I actually find way too sweet, so I almost never eat it. Whilst I was making cakes and chia puddings with chia seed, I thought I could make jam out if it too. Later I found out that it’s actually quite a thing at the moment. I created a super easy recipe for jam and if you use raw agave nectar (or you can leave it out) it will also be all raw. So healthy! What means you can even enjoy this jam when you’re on a detox. Eat it with toast, cake (maybe not when you’re on a detox, haha!), in your porridge or in your yogurt!

THIS IS MY JAM

Strawberry Jam –

300 gr strawberries
1 tbs agave nectar (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbs chia seed

-Take the green bits off the strawberries and bend with the agave nectar and the lemon juice until smooth.
-Add the chia seed and mix well.
-After 10 minutes mix again.
-Put it in a clean glass jar.
-You can keep it in the fridge for about 4-6 days.


Persimmon Jam –

2 big (very) ripe persimmons
1 tbs agave nectar (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbs chia seed

-Take the leafs of the persimmons and bend with the agave nectar and the lemon juice until smooth (You can leave the peel on the persimmons).
-Add the chia seed and mix well.
-After 10 minutes mix again.
-Put it in a clean glass jar.
-You can keep it in the fridge for about 4-6 days.

Will you make this jam? Where will you eat it with and which on is your favourite? Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Apple Feast

It’s autumn, what means the apple season is startingggg.. hurray! This means apple pies and apple compote. For that last one I will give you this super nice and simple recipe. Apple compote is so nice to make and you can eat it with so many different things. On the pictures you can see I served it with some yummy porridge. I can tell you, that this makes an awesome breakfast. You can also use it as a filling for pastries or just eat it on its own. Hot or cold.. with yogurt, extra cinnamon or on top of some muesli. Because you can perfectly keep it in the fridge for a while, you can easily make a lot in one go. So do you have an apple tree in the garden or do you know people with an apple tree? You know what to do now. I was given some very big sour apples by somebody and I think those are the best apples to use, but you can basically use any apple. With sweet apples you might want to use less sugar though or leave it out all together.

APPLE FEAST

Serves: 4

2-3 huge apples (peeled/chopped)
2 tbs palm sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup water
cinnamon (to taste)

-Put everything (except the cinnamon) in a medium sized pan and let it come to boil. Stir it once in a while.
-Let it then simmer on a low fire for 20-30 min. Until the apples are all gone soft and you have the preferred consistency (the longer you let it simmer the thicker it gets).
-When it’s finished you can add cinnamon to taste.

-This is a basic recipe. Ideas to spice it up:
*Add a little bit of ginger, nutmeg or anise.
*Instead of plain water use 1/2 cup of chai tea.

Are you going to give this recipe a try? Where are you going to serve it with? Please let me know! And I’d love to see some beautiful pictures. Please share them on Instagram by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel! Thank you! X