No Cheesecake

I can’t believe it, but it is my VANniversary today!! A year ago I was so excited to sleep in my van for the first time and today that is already a year go! It’s crazy how fast time goes. Some people were concerned and thought I might not like it as much, but I knew I would and I was right. I love it! I love my van and I love living in it. I even survived the winter. It only took about 248578 layers of clothing and my little heater to keep me warm (or as warm as possible). Anyway.. I thought it was a reason for cake! Am I right? So ‘cheese’cake it is! My sister lovesss cheesecake, but to be really honest with you, I never had proper cheesecake myself. By the time they got more and more popular I was already vegan. I did have some raw types and some I liked, but most vegan cheesecakes I didn’t like. That is why I never bothered making one. But lately I see some nice vegan cheesecake pictures and then and I got inspired by ‘Wat Eet Je Dan Wel’ (Dutch blogger) who used vegan yogurt. So I looked up a few (vegan and non vegan) recipes, I did some experimenting and after a few tries and fails I created this one and it’s so good! I tried to keep this one classic, but I might do some more experimenting later to make some varieties. Salted caramel, toffee, chocolate or biscoff sounds like a good idea.. for now, it’s vanilla strawberry!


Serves: 8

250 gr biscuits (smashed)
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 Alpro Greek Style (800 gr)
1/2 cup (brown) sugar
1/4 cup butter
5 tbs vanilla custard powder
1/2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Fresh fruit (optional)

Springform cake tin (20-22 cm)
Electric mixer

-Preheat the oven at 180C.
-Mix the smashed biscuits with the coconut oil.
-Put the biscuit mixture in the bottom of a greased cake tin and use the back of a spoon to divide and push it down. Put it in the fridge for 20 min. 
-Put all the other ingredients in a bowl and use an electric mixer to mix it for about 2-3 min on high speed.
-Pour the mixture on top of the biscuit base and put it in the oven for about 60 min. When the top starts to change colour (golden brown) switch off the oven, open the oven slightly and leave the cake in there for another 20 min.
-Let the cake cool down on the kitchen counter and then put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
-Decorate with fresh fruit (sauce).

Hands up if you will make this No Cheesecake to celebrate my vanniversary with me! Show me your results on Instagrams, by tagging me or by using #planetmanel. I might give you a shoutout! Thank you! X


Comptoir V

Saturday the 25th of August was the Official Animal Rights March in London. Last year I couldn’t go, but this year I did! It was an amazing march. So much people, all united. Lovely! I went to London with my van and so when the march was over, I went back to my van and drove it to Kensal Rise. This is because I saw there was a new vegan restaurant in my old neighbourhood, just around the corner from where I used to live. I walked past it many times when they were building it. When they put the name ‘Comptoir V’ on the front, I was suspecting (and really hoping) it to be vegan. I never saw the opening as I already moved out of London by then. They opened about half a year ago. I was so excited to find out it is vegan and so I had to go an try it. I went for dinner.

First of all when you approach it, it looks super super nice. They chose lovely green colours, wood and amazing tiles on the floor. Inside it looks amazing too. Everything comes together and it looks very different from other restaurants. Their lamps and tables are so unique and really give a Middle Eastern look. The benches, the seats and just the whole lay out is made with so much eye for detail. I often think that restaurants that are creating a Middle Eastern style, look a bit dark, dated and dusty. Comptoir V proves the opposite. It looks light, fresh and super cosy. Whoever did the styling, did a really good job. It isn’t a huge restaurant, so it might be a good idea to make a reservation on busy days.

Their menu is very good. It has a lot of Middle Eastern influences. I went for the ribs and pasta though. This meant I got a portobello mushroom covered in bbq sauce on top of in garlic covered kale and mac and cheese on the side. The flavours were all very rich and strong, so it was very filling. Next time (because I definitely want to go again) I’m sure to go for a curry and some bread with (houmous) dips. I wasn’t hungry enough for that this time. I also ordered a fresh mint tea, what came in a lovely traditional tea pot and glass. It all looked so nice. I was very full after this lovely dinner, but as I was so curious about the cheesecake I got that take away. I had it the next day and I’m so happy that I did! Every day they have a different flavour and the flavour of the day was strawberry. It was so good. I can’t remember having better cheesecake in my life. The base definitely made the cake. It was so delicious in combination with the very firm top. There were fresh strawberries and mint on top and all the flavours together made me wish I had 2 pieces.

An extra compliment for the staff, that were all super easy going and friendly and really added to the atmosphere. This place is definitely a place to come back to!

WHO? Comptoir V.
WHERE? 12 Station Terrace, London NW10 5RU.
CUISINE? Middle Eastern.
OVERALL? 9 (Amazing food, great staff and very lovely ex/interior).

Did you know about Comptoir V 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

Perfume and Cheesecake

I actually never wear perfume. I never used to wear it al lot, but since I went vegan I’m not wearing any. I’m very picky when it comes to perfumes (and everything else.. haha!) and all the vegan perfumes I didn’t like. Until I discovered Eden perfumes on a vegan festival. The man asked me if I want to try, but I told him I will probably not like any (so negative of me, hehe..). He put a list in my hands with famous perfumes, because they kind of copy the scent of famous perfumes, like Coco Chanel, Prada and many more. I don’t know any of these so that wasn’t very helpful for me. He asked me what I liked for a scent and I said I really love roses. They did have arose perfume and I actually liked it. He also had one with rose and vanille he said and I’m so happy he recommend it, because I totally love it!! So I bought it. The best thing is, they’re only £18 for 30 ml. It’s so affordable, 100% vegan and not tested on animals. Check their website for all their perfumes. They have perfumes for women, men and even pets! You can order from their website or when you’re in Brighton, stop by their shop (26 Gardner street).

When I was in the Portobello Road Tesco I saw these cheesecake desserts. I never saw them before, so I decided to try them. Cheesecake is something a lot of people love and miss when going vegan, so I hoped it would be good, so I can recommend it to you. It has 3 layers. The base (bit like biscuit crumbs), the ‘cheese’ filling and a fruity top layer. My first reaction was ‘wow this is sweet!’. If you have a sweet tooth, you will really like this. It’s super sweet. A bit too sweet for my taste. The base has a nice taste though, but the ‘cheese’ is more like mousse. It’s tasty, but I wouldn’t call it cheesecake. The top layer is just very very sweet. It does have a fruit taste, but I think the sweetness ruins it a little bit. Overall I think it’s tasty, but you do need to really like sweetness. I think it’ll be nice for once in a while, as a treat, but I don’t think I’ll buy it again for myself.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

The Gate

13467255_1173405892703512_1527686130_oThis restaurant I discovered by looking for vegan restaurants on the internet. Funny that this is in Hammersmith, because I’ve been in Hammersmith so many times and know it quite well. I never knew about this restaurant though, which is established the year I was born! You understand that I had to go. It’s very close to the station, only a 3 min walk, which makes it handy for if you come from elsewhere. Because this is a restaurant you go to for the restaurant itself. Not just a quick lunch , but a proper lunch or dinner. With a group of friends, family or your lover. It’s perfect for dining, ‘staring into each others eyes’ and chatting.

13499465_1173405902703511_1619650406_oWhen I was looking for it and my navigation said I arrived I didn’t exactly see it straight away. Because you can’t really see the restaurant itself. You have to go through a ‘gate’, walk through a little garden, open a door, walk up stairs and there it is. A lovely restaurant. I felt quite excited when I saw what it looked like. This is what makes looking for hotspots so nice! It’s such a light place thanks to the huge window in the middle, what reaches all the way over the ceiling. Stunning! The rest of the ceiling is high, wooden and white, with industrial lights hanging down. I love it! The rest of the interior is dark and modern and the restaurant is quite big too. More than 50 people can sit down to enjoy a lovely menu.

13467431_1173405962703505_2093324917_oThe menu isn’t very big, but about half of it is vegan. I was there on a sunday and they have an extra sunday roast menu, where you can choose 2 dishes for £18,50 or 3 for £21,50. Overall the food is slightly expensive, but if you then compare it with what you get and where you’re sitting, I think it’s more than worth it. Looking at all the amazing things on the menu, I decided to go with the 3 courses. As I saw sweet potato as a side dish, I asked if I could have that as a starter instead of the starters you could choose from. I loveeeee sweet potato. The waitress looked a bit confused, but she said she was sure it was ok. When I got my sweet potatoes I got the confused look. In front of me was a huge sweet potato and it was almost a meal by itself. I think this is a side you should enjoy with 2 or more people. But as I’m a huge sweet potato fan and this one was just delicious I almost finished it all. As a main I ordered a burger, 13467492_1173405929370175_715421615_owhich was super delicious too. With al sorts of salads and guacamole. And last, but in this case, definitely not least.. a vegan cheesecake for dessert. It was define.. but so filling! Like I wasn’t full enough. I don’t know how, but I managed to eat it all. Must have been very tasty then.. haha! I was very full, but so satisfied after eating this lovely meal.

13467410_1173405906036844_1458137367_oThe whole time I was sitting there I was thinking ‘I’m definitely coming back here’! I’m sure this will be such a nice place to have a nice meal with other people. I really recommend this restaurant. A lovely place to celebrate your birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion. The staff is very friendly and you know how important I find that. I can’t find anything I dislike about this lovely restaurant. They also have a restaurant in Islington and 2 vegetarian cook books. If you’re curious about the cook books or you would like more information, pease visit their website!

13453424_1173405992703502_726135933_oDo you know ‘The Gate’? Did you go to one, or maybe even both of the restaurants and what was your experience? Or are you going here after reading this? Please let me know or show me using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X