Leaf Wild

I was in London to go to an event that I was invited to, but that was for some mysterious reason cancelled last minute. I did decide to stay in London that night as I drove for hours and I didn’t feel like driving all the way back to the country side. That afternoon on my way to my beloved Portobello Road I drove passed the cafe ‘Wild Leaf’ and I remembered that a few people told me to visit this cafe. So I decided to go there in the morning. It’s located super close to the Ladbroke Grove tube station (basically the opposite of the road). It looks super pretty from the outside and I really like the whole outlook. It looks so inviting, that it makes you want to walk inside. And when you do, you will see that it’s even prettier. I love the way it is all done. Very natural, using lots of natural materials and (light) colours. On the wall behind the counter there is a very nice painted wall decoration. This was made by the talented artist Sophie Glover. It’s a great eye catcher, but at the same time it’s not ‘in your face’. I like that.

The owner of the cafe was lovely and really took the time to tell me all about the cafe. She is an interior designer (like me! ..hence why the place looks so incredible) and used to do projects with her husband who is an architect, but now she is focusing on the cafe. She is vegan herself and her goal for the cafe is to be all vegan too. For now they do have 2 things on the menu that has egg and they serve cow’s milk in beverages. I hope they make the switch quickly, even though at first it might feel scary to do so. Let’s all show them our support and order a latte! Because talking about lattes (they do matcha, charcoal, turmeric & red velvet), they do an ah-mazing matcha latte. It was the best I’ve had. Great taste! The balance is just right, between the bitterness of the matcha and the creaminess of the oat milk (Oatly Barista!). And if you have time, please order some food, because the food is so good. She ordered me the pancakes and I could have a taste of the Mushroom Toast as well. It was good I had the pancakes first, becuase otherwise her breakfast would have been all gone too. It was hard not to eat it all! Definitely go for this option when you feel like a savoury dish. The mushrooms are cooked perfectly and the bread full of seeds (which btw you can buy as a loaf to take home!), with the cream ‘cheese’ and the rocket make a taste explosion in your mouth. Highly recommended! Next time I’m definitely ordering that for myself. Oh en about the pancakes.. they don’t only look incredible, they are incredible! I felt like the portion is exactly right and the cream, the flowers, fresh fruit and the crispiness of the buckwheat all work well together. Every bite was a true treat.

Oh and when you do not have a lot of time, don’t worry, because they do a great grab&go that they are expanding at the moment. They do chia pots and overnight oats already, but they are also going to make grab&go salads. Great news! Because in the weekdays they don’t work with a menu, but they offer a salad bar instead (also take away). I definitely have to try this too, because the veggies come from a sustainable non spray company (uhh yay!). If this isn’t enough, they specialise in juices and smoothies, that are all organic. They also do freshly made kale crisps (made with cashew, sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast) and they have a big range of all vegan cakes and treats. I tried the raspberry cake and it was divine!

I think by now you understand that I’m a big fan of this cafe! But if you aren’t convinced yet, let me tell you this. They are aiming to be zero waste and plastic free! There are some things in (recyclable) plastic now, but it will soon all go into glass jars that will be reusable (the juices are already in reusable glass jars). They use organic wherever they can. This doesn’t mean that just a handful of things are organic, but about 90% of everything they offer is organic! They are all refined sugar free, but instead are making use of coconut sugar and date syrup etc. The food comes on the prettiest bespoke plates and bowls. She designed these herself and are made by Linda Bloomfield (@lindathepotter). So pretty! I really appreciate these kind of details, because it means that there is a lot of passion and creativity involved and this really shows throughout the whole cafe. They do catering, so if you have an event and need great food, I think they are a very good an original choice. And last but definitely not least.. Something that really makes them stand out is that they are all gluten free(!!). So if you have coeliac disease, are intolerant to gluten or you want to eat less gluten, then this is your place to go, because you can order everything they offer.

Now the last thing I didn’t talk about yet, but wanted to write in a separate paragraph is: coffee! Now many of you know that I don’t drink coffee myself, but I know a lot of you do. Another special thing about Leaf Wild is that they serve coffee beans from the brand ‘BrewCoffeePlus’. The owner of this brand actually works in the cafe and has some mad barista skills (I’m sure this is one of the reasons my latte was so amazing) that he’s teaching to the rest of the staff. You can choose between 2 options: ‘PB Handege’ (Forest Fruit, Blackcurrant, Rose Water, Flora and Elderflower) from Kenya and the ‘San Pascual Natural’ (Vanilla, Strawberry Cream, Cherry, Blueberry) from Colombia. As you can see, they are both coffees with fruit notes, so if you are into that, please go an try it out.

Another thing that is handy to know:
They are cashless, so bring your card!

I want to thank Leaf Wild for their hospitality,
service and amazing food/drinks.

WHO? Leaf Wild.
WHERE? 156 Ladbroke Grove, London, W10 5NA.
CUISINE? Very diverse, healthful.
VEGAN? No! (Vegetarian, but almost vegan). 
OVERALL? 8 (Amazing food (!), great service and very lovely ex/interior).
*I would have given them a 9 if they were all vegan. 

Did you know about Leaf Wild 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

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Pichi

Pichi is a brand new cafe in a very new building. The building was build and finished whilst I walked past it every day and so I saw a lot of the proces. The cafe was one of the first businesses in the building. It used to be Union Canal Cafe, but recently it changed to’ Pichi Bar&Cafe’. When you come inside you actually first want to look around you. There are so many things to see. There are a lot of plants (incl. a beautiful cactus in the back) and fresh flowers everywhere. It’s really different from any other bar or cafe I know. They have an open kitchen, so you can see where the things are made. The ceilings are high and there is an easy going vibe.

Coming inside you have a big bard of food in front of you. Sandwiches, snacks, cakes.. and there is a sign above the bar with further things you can order. They have quite a lot of vegan options. There is a vegan sandwich, with avocado, humous, tomato and rucola, wat looked very fresh and yummy. You can also get toast with jam, peanut butter or marmite (or make a combination). You can go for porridge, like I did. You can choose out of 4 (!) different types of milk: oat, almond, soy and coconut. I went for the soy and I got asked if I like some maple syrup on there too. Yes please! It came in a perfect portion, with blueberries and goji berries. It was delicious and pretty perfect. If you want to just go for a latte and a snack, they have lots of things for that too. You can choose between a matcha latte (what I ordered and it was very yummy! Could have been a little hotter maybe, but the taste was delicious), a turmeric latte and a beetroot latte. Again you can choose with what type of milk you want it. As a snack you can go for the energy balls or you can get something pre-packed. They cell the crispy veg and fruit from Emily or the coconut curls from Ape.

The cafe is located in a what unusual place, as it’s not near a shopping street or any shops at all. There is the Sainsbury’s XL across the road and a Anytime gym, but that’s it. It’s right next to the busstop. Bus 23, 52, 228 and 452 will stop there. It has the name in big colourful and playful letters on the front windows (seriously, you’re not be able to miss it!). It’s a very big cafe with a very obvious model bohemian style. I like it a lot. There are several  big long wooden tables, a bench with tables, a sofa with chairs and some lose tables and chairs. You can basically sit from whatever you prefer. Because it’s so light and big it’s a perfect working spot. It’s not very far from me, so I’m sure I’ll make use of it. You can also sit outside, what is perfect when it’s a lovely sunny day.

WHO? Pichi Cafe&Bar.
WHERE? 332 Ladbroke Grove, W10 5AH.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Love the space and style and quite a lot of vegan options.)

Did you already know Pichi? 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

 

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

 

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

Yumchaa

img_5656A while ago I planned to visit ‘Rawligion’, to make it one of my hotspots. As I lately plan to work on my blog outside my flat, I was looking for a cafe near Tottenhamcourt Road, where I could write some articles. So I found Yumchaa, what looked really nice. When I arrived there, it turned out that ‘Yumchaa’ was right next to ‘Rawligion’, such a nice and especially handy, coincidence. It was a lovely day that day, with lots of sun and a blue sky. With the graffiti in front of me and the BT tower in the distance I had a strong Berlin-feeling. I was excited to go inside, because the pictures I’ve seen were very appealing.

img_5727It looks like a spacious cafe when you’re standing in front of it, but when you’re actually going inside you can see it’s very big for a cafe. It’s amazing! I loved it instantly! There is so much light coming in through the glass ceilings. I think that is what I loved the most. All the chairs and tables are different and vintage. It’s an organised mess. I won’t like this style in my own house, but for a cafe I just find it absolutely beautiful. The counter is made of old wooden shelfs, what really adds to the industrial/vintage atmosphere. It was very quiet when I came in, what was nice, because I could choose almost any table I wanted. I chose a nice big table near the wall, with lots of daylight.

img_5728The girl who served me was really nice and helpful when I asked for vegan options. On the counter is a big selection of tea, which you can smell, read about and then choose from. What a great idea. Another great thing: they only use loose tea. It’s all about tea here and how to make it taste most perfect. There are also a lot of treats on the counter, with 3 vegan options. Yay! I chose the ‘sour cherry with hazelnut’ cake and (of course) I ordered a chai latte to go with that. They make this in a special filter, what is super cool. I was a little bit too late to take a picture of this process, what means you better go and check it out for yourself. The chai latte was super yummy and pure of taste and the cake I had, was very yummy too. The girl told me they were img_5724thinking about offering more vegan options. You can also have a light lunch here and there was actually only one option for vegans. It would be amazing if they could add some to that. I sat and worked here for a few hours and had a lovely time. I’m very sure I’ll come back here. This is definitely one of my favourite cafes from now on.There are 5 other locations in London though and after seeing this one, I’m very curious about the other locations. Next time I’ll probably check out one of their other locations. You can find all the other locations on their website. It’s a very nice website too and you can buy and learn all about their tea. They even deliver. And it’s free for all UK orders over £35. Delivery tea, how great!

WHO? Yumchaa.
WHERE? 9-11 Tottenham St, Fitzrovia, W1T 2AQ.
CUISINE? Tea Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 9 (beautiful atmosphere, great tea/cake, could have more vegan options)

Do you know Yumchaa already? Are you a tea drinker and do you sometimes work outside your house too? Please let me know if you decide to visit Yumchaa! 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

Cable Co

img_6455I’ve got a new job since mid January. This means I’m taking a different route to work. So now, every morning, I’m walking past this really nice cafe called ‘Cable Co’. It looks really nice and I wanted to check it out. I live very close to here and so it was easy. I also decided to take my laptop, to do some work there. I found out that it works much better when I work out of the house. Working in my own flat and next to my lovely bed is just not my thing. Haha! So on a Friday morning I went here to see what vegan options they have to offer. I was pleasantly surprised.

img_6492I asked what vegan options they had and they sell 3 types of energy bombs. I chose the coconut one, but they also have a nutty one and one that’s called ‘breakfast’. She also told me that they make the porridge with almond milk and so if you order it without the honey, it’s vegan. Perfect, so I ordered that. One of the best things was that they make their Chai latte with a syrup, what means there is no milk powder. As Chai lattes are my favourite, I ordered that too. I was very lucky finding a spot next to the window and a moment later there was a nice bowl of porridge in front of me, with an even nicer Chai latte. The porridge was very tasty, though I do like it to have a little bit more runny. The taste itself was good though. It would have been amazing if they offered agave nectar, but I must day that I didn’t really miss sweetness that much, thanks to the fresh berries on top. The energy bomb was yummm!

img_5621One thing why my eye caught ‘Cable Co’ is because it’s nice atmosphere. It’s black from the outside, with simple, modern, white letters. It’s not a very big cafe, just a few tables and seats. It’s quit industrial, what I like. Though I did have a very nice spot, the seat wasn’t that comfortable. It was a very small wooden bench. Or maybe my bum is just to big.. haha! It’s ok to sit there for a while and chat, but for working a little longer I’ll make sure to pick another seat. I really liked that the staff being very helpful and they kindly answered my questions. They also have another location called ‘Wire Co’, around the corner of the West Hampstead Underground station. So if you live around there, you might want to check that one out and let me know what that one is like. Check out their website for more information.

WHO? Cable Co.
WHERE? 4 Bridge House, Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3NR.
CUISINE? Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (delicious chai latte and nice porridge + vegan cake option)

Do you know Cable Co 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

Sweet Things

13275057_1155879487789486_370846958_oYes I love Starbucks. A lot! But.. I sometimes also like to sit somewhere really nice and pretty. And one of my favourite places to go then is ‘Sweet Things’ on Blenheim Crescent in Notting Hill. Inside they created a nice light, slight industrial atmosphere, what also makes it a very nice cafe to do some work or to have a meeting. Of course it’s in my favourite area and so it’ll also be nice to just take a little break whilst strolling down Portobello Road. There is also a ‘Sweet Things’ in Primrose Hill. I’ve never been there, but I do like to go there to see what it’s like over there. It should be nice after a nice walk in Regents Park, which is a lovely park.

13271840_1155878197789615_2242912_oAnd they, surprisingly, have quite a few vegan things, like a quinoa salad, granola/porridge with almond, soy or coconut milk(+yummy toppings: raisins, cranberries, pumpkin sees) and smoothies. What’s not on the menu, but what you could order as well is a bagel with smashed avocado and tomatoes, jam/peanut butter or when you’re into it, Marmite. I mostly go for a green tea (what you get in the cutest little tea pots) with soy milk and a peanut butter flapjack. So overall there is something to choose from and it makes it possible for vegans to have breakfast or lunch there, which is great!

13230962_1155878317789603_71141716_oThe staff is very friendly and helpful, what I always highly appreciate. So if you have a request, a question or anything else, I’m sure they’re willing to help you in the most friendly way. Another lovely thing about ‘Sweet Things’, is that they do cupcake classes. Great to do with a friend, as a couple or for a hen party! unfortunately they will not be vegan. You could maybe request a vegan cupcake class, but I’m not sure if this is a possibility. You never know though, as the cakes you can order and customize yourself online can be made vegan!

Do you know Sweet Things? Have you been in one or maybe even both of them? Are you going there now after reading this? Please let me know or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X