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.

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

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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

Drum Ruffle Truffle

World Vegan Day!! The event was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis. She picked November, because she knew the society had been founded in November 1944, but she didn’t know the exact date though. So she picked the 1st, because it’s after Halloween, the day of death. Anyway, an important day like this one, asks for healthy chocolate truffles. Truffles without cruelty, without crap.. something you can enjoy to the fullest, without feeling guilty for bit. They’re super easy to make (a little messy though) and are a great snack or treat to share. You can easily keep them in the fridge for a few days and so they’re perfect to make in advance.

DRUM RUFFLE TRUFFLE

Makes: 20-25

-1 cup cashews
-1 cup oat flour
-1 cup dates
-1/2 cup raw cacao powder
-1/4 cup agave nectar
-1/2 cup oat milk
-1/4 cup palm sugar
-pinch of salt
-extra cacao powder (for coating)

-food processor

-Put everything in the food processor and blend it until you get a sticky dough.
-Spread out some cacao powder on a plate.
-Roll little balls of the dough and then roll them through the cacao powder.

Are you going to make this recipe for today? Or for another day? (I bet they’ll be a good Xmas treat too!) Please show me all your lovely creations, I really love seeing those! Send me a picture, tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Nutritional Yeast and Chocolate

NUTRITIONAL YEAST
If you never tried nutritional yeast before, then run to the shops! I think basically all vegans (and probably a lot of non vegans too) will agree with me, that nutritional yeast is heaven. Especially when you like a cheesy flavour, this is what you want. You can use this on your pasta (my personal favourite), in Risotto (very good too!), in salads, soups and sauces. You can use this basically in anything you want to create a cheesy flavour. It’s used a lot for cheese sauces (think mac&cheese!). You can endlessly experiment with this. And the best past is, it’s actually good for you. It’s full of B vitamins, folic acid and zinc. It contains no artificial preservatives, colouring, flavouring or genetically-modified material and it has added vitamin B12. There is also one without B12, so pay attention to the one you get. I always get the one with added B12, because it’s always good to have some extra B12.

CHOCOLATE 
I just love this packaging. I secretly wanted it because of this, haha! Just look at it. I love the colours (my favourite pink!) and everything. Simple, but perfect. Looking at the ingredients of this chocolate made me really excited to try this too. It only has 5 ingredients and that is what you want. Products with not too many (all natural) ingredients. It contains (virgin)Cacao butter, (evaporated)Coconut nectar, (raw)Cashew nuts, Coconut and (pink lake)Salt. All good ingredients, so no guilt. It doesn’t actually have cacao in it, only the butter. So not sure if it’s technically chocolate, but it sure looks like it. It’s heart shaped and it says ‘luv’, what I love. It looks so attractive. It melts quite fast, so you can’t hold it in your hand too long, unless you have very cold hands, hehe.. the taste is very nice though. It melts very nicely in your mouth and it’s very soft and creamy. It’s sweet, but not too sweet and you can taste it’s made with good ingredients. It’s very filling, so just half of it is kind of enough. What makes it great to share! They sell it at Portobello Wholefoods, but I’m sure you can get it in other health shops too.

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

CocoNuts

If it’s with coconut.. yes please! I have a big coconut addiction I’m afraid. I love products and recipes with coconut. It doesn’t matter if it’s chocolate, ice lollies, curries.. if it has coconut, I’m in! Ok, it does have to be vegan too. But luckily a lot of things with coconuts are as it’s used instead of cow’s milk. I also really like cake with coconut, I mean, who doesn’t right? So I created a coconut cake. I can already say it’s not healthy, as I used an area bas. You can of course replace the base for a healthy base if you want to make something a little more guilt free. But I do think this cake does really go well with the Oreo’s. So do you have a celebration coming up soon? Or do you just want to celebrate another day in your life.. this cake is perfect!

CRAZY COCONUT

Serves: 6-8

base
-1 pack oreo’s
-3 tbs coconut oil (melted)
filling
-1 can coconut milk
-1/2 cup plant based milk
-1/4 cup desiccated coconut
-1/4 cup water
-2 tbs agave nectar
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tbs corn flour + 1/4 cup water
-1 tbs agar agar
extra
-desiccated coconut
-palm sugar
-cacao powder

-Baking tin

-Soak the desiccated coconut for about 30 min in the milk.
-Put the oreo’s and the coconut oil in the food processor and blend until it’s sticky.
-Divide the base over the baking tin. Press with the back of a spoon to make it even. Put this in the fridge.
-Put the water and the agar agar in a sauce pan and let it boil.
-Mix the corn flour with the water (I always shake it).
-On a low fire pour in the coconut milk , the milk + the desiccated coconut, the cream, the agave nectar, the corn flour mixture and the vanilla extract. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
-Pour this on the base and put it in the fridge overnight.
-Sprinkle the coconut , the coconut sugar and a little bit of cacao powder on top.

Party, party?!! Are you going 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

Veggie Pret

I’m a little bit embarrassed that Veggie Pret is not a hotspot on my blog yet. Especially after going there. I was planning to go for breakfast, so I could have lunch at another hotspot, but as I came across Press the day I went, I had breakfast there. What meant my planning of that day was slightly different. I think it was meant to be, because this way I could have lunch at Veggie Pret and that was so good. I would have missed out if I went for breakfast for sure, as my lunch choice wasn’t really something I’d choose to have for breakfast. You must be curious what I had then, if I’m so excited about it. I’m a little flabbergasted myself that I had 3 of the tastiest things ever. So here we go..

Veggie Pret has a hot section too and they happened to have vegan Mac&Veg. It’s mac&cheese, but then with tomatoes, cauliflower and spinach. It is sooo good! The pasta is cooked perfectly, the cheese sauce is delicious (I can’t think of anything they could have done better), the cauliflower still had a bite and there was this crispy layer on top. It has the perfect temperature, so the taste was at its best. I really did enjoy every bite of it. As a dessert I chose the brownie.. and OMG! It’s sticky, chocolaty and it has a caramel layer in the middle. It’s exactly what you hope for when you bite into a brownie. It’s the best brownie I’ve ever had. Honestly! I drunk a turmeric latte (if you read the Press hotspot article, you understand that I did get what I wanted in the end!) with this, made with soy milk and it was perfect. I felt like eating at a super fancy restaurant. Veggie Pret is 100% vegetarian, but there are so many vegan options too. Lots of sandwiches, small meals, (chia seed) desserts, snacks and a range of juices and smoothies.

Veggie Pret is based in the middle of Soho. It’s a 5 min walk from Piccadilly Circus and 2 min walk from Oxford Street. It’s quite new and originally started as a pop up place, but it stayed (thank God!), because people loved it too much. This is why there was even a second Veggie Pret opened in Shoreditch a while ago. How great! I always loved Pret a Manger anyway, because of their yummy food, but Veggie Pret has its own menu. It’s all so fresh and super delicious. The staff is nice and the neighbourhood amazing (I mean, its Soho!). It’s a perfect spot to do some work too (in fact, I’m typing this right on the spot!), with good wifi.

WHO? Veggie Pret.
WHERE? 35 Broadwick St, Soho, W1F 0DH.
CUISINE? Divers/Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian)
OVERALL? 9 (Very tasty food, lots of choice and great location.)

Did you already know Veggie Pret? Or are you planning to go now? Please let me know when you’ve tried it! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Unico

When my mum came to visit me in the beginning of June, we were in the bus and we saw a place what was going to be an ice cream bar soon: Unico! It said it was going to have vegan options too, so I straight away made note in my phone. In the end of July, I had finally found some time to go and I was super excited. First of all, it looked super nice, very new, bright and fresh! There were some people before me, so I took this time to take some pictures and to look at the menu. There are quite a lot of seats, because you can also sit down stairs and they don’t only offer ice cream, but also: cake, sandwiches, tea and coffee. What a lovely shop!

The guy who served me knew a lot and he was very kind and super helpful. Very much appreciated! They have over 10 different vegan flavours, but there are only 3-4 flavours available a day. Today that was strawberry, mango and dark chocolate. This is because they make their ice cream fresh every day and they don’t want to throw away too much. Their ice cream is low in fat, high in fiber, protein and vitamins. What is an exciting thing! He let me taste the chocolate when I said that I loved the fact that there was a chocolate available. Mango was one of his favourites and so he let me taste that one too. Both of them were very delicious! I’m very sorry for all the other ice cream shops I’ve been to, but this was the best chocolate and mango ice cream I’ve ever had. I did like the chocolate a little bit better than the mango, but that is just because it’s chocolate. It was just so creamy and full of rich chocolate flavour. It’s like eating cold chocolate fudge. I ordered these 2 flavours, because I wanted more of course. I got it served in this super cute cup, but he told me that soon there will be vegan cones too. Yay! (I’ll be back!)

Like I said, there is more than just ice cream. The little sandwiched they have, are called ‘bubbles’. They are super cute to see, like little wrapped ‘bubbles’. They are small filled buns and they make them warm for you. I had the Genova and it’s with potatoes, green beans and pesto sauce. There is also one with seasonal vegetables. The bubbles are the only thing they don’t make in the shop itself, but they let them come over from Italy. I’ve never seen them before, but it was very tasty. Now the cake. They have a lot of different cakes, but only one vegan one. Hopefully there will be more soon. The one they offered was a raw chocolate and cashew one.. so even though it was the only option, it was surely a good one. I didn’t taste it, but I’m sure it was delicious. It looked amazing. Maybe a next time.

I want to thank Unico for their delicious ice cream and sandwich!

WHO? Unico.
WHERE? 37 Pembridge Rd, Notting Hill, W11 3HG.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 9 (Amazing ice cream, lovely sandwiches, bright interior and great service)

Did you already know Unico? 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

Fridgecurious #4

Today we take a look in the fridge of the Boer family and they will tell us a little bit about their eating habits. They are my best friends, Nienke, Jeroen and their 2 year old daughter Annemarie. Since about a year they became a lot more conscious of what they are eating and I hope it will inspire some people to do the same. They mainly eat vegetarian food, with some occasional fish. A lot of what they eat is vegan though and I love that! The reason they started to eat this way is because of the animal cruelty and they have a mini pig for almost 2 years now. This really helped a lot to make them think differently and to stop eating meat. Apart from all that, ‘Vegetarian options are delicious’ they say! Their milk and butter are always plant-based. Especially the chocolate milk is their daughters favourite, which I fully understand! At the moment there is organic yogurt in the fridge, but she often buys plant-based yogurt too.

Nienke doesn’t have certain days to get her groceries, because as a nurse her hours vary a lot. Most of the time she goes to the supermarket for het groceries and she buys little amounts at the same time. A lot of time she doesn’t know exactly what she has at home already, so she chose to have some products in stock. This way there is always something they can cook. She doesn’t go to only one certain supermarket, but she likes to go to different ones. For practical reasons (Annemarie is always coming) she mostly takes the car, but for some small things she also likes to go by bike or she takes the buggy. She doesn’t go a lot, but she sometimes also likes to go to the market: ‘Especially on a sunny Saturday it’s nice’. She loves the smell of all the different fruit, vegetables and nuts! In the summer she likes to get fruit which are in season, like strawberries and cherries!

On a day off Nienke and Annemarie like to take their time when it comes to breakfast. They drink tea and eat peanut butter sandwiches, with sliced banana or chocolate sprinkles on top and they always have a piece of fruit too, as there is always a full bowl of fruit to choose from. Jeroen takes advantage of that and often quickly grabs a banana before he rushes off to work. For lunch they have salads with toast or crackers, but sometimes as a treat they makes themselves some of their favourite banana pancakes! On working days Jeroen always eats at work and he can choose from a very wide range of foods from a buffet (lucky him!). Nienke is known for her fully loaded lunch bag she brings to work. She just wants to make sure she has a fresh lunch (or sometimes a delayed breakfast!). Very sometimes she also gets something at work, like a salad or a vegetarian soup for example. Dinner can be very diverse as they like to eat a lot of different vegetables and they combine that with pasta, quinoa, couscous or rice and then they have a meat substitute with it or the occasional fish. They prepare everything without salt, because any let overs will go to a very lucky piggy. Of course they snack some too in between their meals and this often is a yummy piece of dark chocolate, a piece of fruit and sometimes they also enjoy some biscuits and crisps.

I want to thank the Boer family to share their fridge and eating habits with us and to tell us how they try to live in a more conscious way. 

I hope this inspired you and if it did, please let me know in the comments! If you also like to show your fridge, please send me a message via CONTACT! Thank you! X

Mascara / Chocolate

MASCARA
I discovered a great vegan mascara. Lash Vegas from Barry M. Until one day they decided to discontinue it! A disaster, because I had to find another vegan waterproof mascara which was not tested on animals. I did a lot of research, but there wasn’t one that even came close to the Barry M one. In the end I got a mascara from Lavera, but it was not waterproof and more than twice as expensive. Though I was desperate and needed something. A week after I bought that one, being very unhappy with it, Superdrug got some great news. It was going to sell ELF make up and it turned out they do a waterproof one. I ordered it with my fingers crossed. The package and the outside is really nice. Simple matte black with white letters. It looks very appealing to me. The mascara is not only waterproof, but also lengthening and volumizing and they promise thick, full and long looking lashes. It’s quickly drying, prevents clumps and it will last all day without smudging or flaking. This sounds amazing and I was very hopeful. The brush is quite a standard brush, but it works well. My lashes looked nice, it was quite easy to apply and I’m happy with the result. There are only 2 downsides: it only comes in small (handy for in your handbag though!) and for more than half an hour it stays a little sticky. Apart from that it stays on quite well during the day. So it’s not as good as my Barry M mascara, but I’m super happy with it as it comes close! I recently also bought the ELF primer and that makes your lashes even look more amazing + I find it’s less sticky. You can get them at most Superdrug stores now or you can order them online via Superdrug. Tip: register for the Health&Beauty card to get free delivery.

CHOCOLATE
At my work my employer one day gave me a chocolate from Ombar as it’s vegan, I like chocolate and they wanted to know I’m appreciated. It was the raw Ombar chocolate with coconut. I never had it before, but as I know Ombar and I know they do amazing chocolate, I was very excited. Also because of the fact it says coconut. Coconut makes me instantly interested! After eating the whole thing (I’m just not somebody who enjoys 1 bite and then saves the rest for alter) I was crazy about it. This is such good chocolate. It melts in your mouth and it’s very creamy, with a very perfectly chocolate taste. The best thing is that it’s all raw, it’s sweetened with coconut sugar and it has nothing bad in it. It’s very much guilt free. I won’t recommend eating it every day of course, but it’s definitely something you can have as a treat without feeling you put something nasty in your body. They do have more flavours btw, you can check out their website to take a look or you could go to the shop to try them all. They sell them in most health shops like Portobello Wholefoods and the Whole Foods Market.

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!

Ethos

A while ago I heard about Ethos. It looked quite posh and I thought it might not be my thing, but I wanted to know more about it. So I went to see what it was like. Ethos is very central, just a 2 minute walk from Oxford Circus. So if you’re going shopping for the day, Ethos is not far away for a proper lunch. As you know Oxford Street is very busy, but because Ethos is in a street behind it, it’s a lot quieter. The building looks very nice with the wood in the front nice and it does look quite posh. Going inside almost feels like entering a luxury hotel or something. There are a lot of trees and plants, to create some privacy in between the tables. I absolutely love it. I was served by a waiter I actually knew from tennis lessons about a year ago, what was very funny. He helped me to a seat and gave me lots of information about the restaurant. Super handy!

The food is right at the entrance. It starts with cakes and treats, then the hot food and in the end the cold bar. Ethos is like a buffet. You can get all the yummy looking foods you want and at the till they weigh your food and that is what you pay for. I tried all the vegan options, because I was too curious of course. So in the end I had a big colourful plate. Something you’ll definitely notice, is that the food is all very fresh. I did like the food, just some things had a very strong taste (mustard, vinegar etc). Like the aubergine was cooked well, but the flavour was spicy and sour. There was basically no other flavour. The chickpeas, the green beans and the little cornball in the middle were very yummy though. For the cakes and treats you pay per cake/slice, instead of by weight. I chose 2, one as a dessert and one to take away. Just because I couldn’t choose. Both things I chose were super delicious! Their desserts and treats are amazing I must say. The coconut in the raw heart (with rose petals) was so yum, I definitely want to eat that again. The blondie was very nice too. It was a little bit in between a brownie and a biscuit. Very good! They also do chai lattes, matcha lattes, other teas and of course coffees. This is why Ethos is not only good for lunch, but it’s also nice to just have an afternoon break with tea and cake. And for everybody who rather has a juice or an ice tea.. they have a lot of choice in drinks too. I’m sure you can find something you like.

Ethos is all vegetarian and they do have a lot of vegan food. I’d say more than half is vegan, so there is a lot of choice. It’s quite a posh restaurant, but with some good natural vibes. So perfect for formal lunches or work meetings. As it’s a buffet, there is always something you like. What makes it easy to go to if you (or the people you go with) are picky. I do think that they are a little expensive though. For the food you see on my plate I payed a little over £16. The treats were £7 pounds together. So it’s not a very cheap lunch. If you eat a little less and you choose 1 dessert, you probably pay in between £15-£20 pounds. Personally it’s not something I’d go to every week, but more for special occasions. Because you pay by weight and it’s not an all you can eat buffet, I’m sure people will think twice about what to put on their plate. This is very positive if you ask me, because there will be less food waste. Much more sustainable this way.

WHO? Ethos.
WHERE? 48 Eastcastle St, Fitzrovia, W1W 8DX.
CUISINE? Buffet.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian)
OVERALL? 7 (Great looking restaurant, lots of choice and very yummy dessert/cakes.)

Did you already know Ethos? 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