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

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Fair Share

Only 5 more nights until the day of love! Do you have a Valentine (yet)? Are you going to do something special? Last year the recipe ‘Soulmates‘ was a great success, so I came up with another Valentine’s recipe for this year. What is more romantic than sharing? Because isn’t love all about sharing? Sharing your thoughts, your happiness, your pain, your smoothie bowl.. Yes! Start Valentine’s Day as romantic as can be, with this lovely pink smoothie bowl to share! You can decorate it the way you like it.. I let the kids help me with the decoration of mine and that meant an overdose on edible glitters, haha! Oh well.. is there something as too much glitter? Not according the 3 year old girl I look after! Everybody who makes one of my recipes for Valentine’s Day will get a shoutout on my Instagram! Don’t forget to tag me, so I can see your creation. Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

FAIR SHARE

Serves: 2

-2 cups unsweetened plant-based yogurt
-1 cup frozen raspberries
-1 big ripe banana
-1 tsp chia seed
-decorations: coconut flakes, edible glitters or flowers, sugar ornaments etc.

-Put everything in the blender until smooth.
-Decorate with coconut, glitters, edible flowers or whatever you think your love will like. You can actually make it really personal this way.. be creative!
-Serve immediately.

Will you share this smoothie bowl with your love this Valentine’s day?! Please let me know when you do. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Every Valentine’s recipe picture will get a shoutout! Thank you! X

Caramellos

Who doesn’t like meringues? I think a lot of people do, it’s quite popular in dessert these days as well. You make meringues from egg white though. Or is there another plant-based way? Guess what.. there is! Everything you can eat, I can eat vegan! By using the water of chickpeas you can very easily make meringues yourself, without any cruelty involved. You need a can of chickpeas, without added salt. As pure as possible. I used Biona chickpeas for mine and they worked really well. Meringues are a very yummy, light, but sweet snack. They go very well with coffee, tea or on top of some nicecream. By adding agave nectar and some palm sugar you really get like a sticky caramel flavour, which I love.. I hope you do to!

CARAMELLOS

Serves: 16-20

-1 can chickpeas (water)
-2 tbs agave nectar
-3 tbs palm sugar
-pinch of cacao powder (optional)

-Mixing bowl
-Electric mixer
-Baking paper
-Tray
-Oven

-Preheat the oven to 100C.
-Make sure you use chickpeas in water, with no salt.
-Separate the chickpeas from the water and put the chickpeas itself for another recipe.
-Put the liquid in a mixing bowl and start mixing it with an electric mixing for 3-5 min. You will slowly see the liquid turn into foam. When peaks form, it’s ready.
-Then slowly add the agave and the palm sugar whilst mixing on a low speed. Mix it in well.
-Put the baking paper on the tray.
-Drop 1 spoonful on the baking paper and form a circle.
-Put them in the oven for 1,5 hour.
-Let them cool down before sprinkling on some cacao powder.

Are you going to make these Meringues?  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

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

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

Perfume and Cheesecake

PERFUME
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).

CHEESECAKE
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

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

Yogurt / Fruit Jelly

YOGURT
To have sugary yogurts every day after lunch or dinner is not a really good habit. A lot of children are being brought up like this, but I think it’s not a habit we should encourage. Though, once in a while as a treat, I think it’s fine to have a special yogurt. You can even have it as a naughty snack. This coconut yogurt from Alpro is perfect for moments like those. It’s creamy and people with a sweet tooth will love this, because it’s quite sweet. It’s tasty, but a little too sweet for my personal taste. I like it’s coconut flavour though and the package looks nice and appealing. There is also a almond-vanilla one and a hazelnut-chocolate. I think I should especially try that last one, because it just needs to be done, haha! The downside: It advertises with ‘less sugar’, but there are actually almost 3 sugar cubes per pot. What is a lot! Such a shame.. but that’s why you should only have this as an occasional treat.

FRUIT JELLY
As a vegan, jelly is kind of a no-go. It often has gelatine in it and gelatine comes from cow’s or pig’s bones (how did somebody even come to this discovery?!). Though there are certain products with vegetables as a setting agent. Also the jellies of The Fruity Pot Family. Yay! I discovered them a while ago. They are even better than some other jellies, because The Fruity Pot Family is using whole fruit pieces in their jelly. It’s so yummy! There are different flavours: peach, tropical fruit and mandarin. I tried the peach, as I love peach and it was very tasty. The pots don’t seem very big, but I think they’re perfect size actually (120gr). The consistency is very good and the fruit pieces taste really nice on it’s own, but especially in combination with the jelly. They do not use artificial colours, sweeteners or preservatives and they are also gluten-free. I’m not saying to have this instead of fruit. You still need to eat your whole fruits, but this is a fun way to eat fruit though. Especially for children I think, this is a nice treat. It’s perfect for on the way (it even comes with a spoon) and for lunch boxes. The downside is that there is a lot of plastic though. The pot is made of thick plastic and so is the spoon.

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

Las Iguanas

I wanted to go to Las Iguanas for a while now, as I heard they do vegan dishes. So a while ago on a free afternoon, I decided to go for lunch. It was a little tricky to decide which one to go to, because all their restaurants are nice ones. In the end I went to their huge restaurant in Wembley. Las Iguanas started small in 1991, but now they are nationwide. Their food have native Latin American, Indian, Spanish, Portuguese and African influences. There is a lot of variety and they have a separate vegetarian/vegan menu (yay!). A lot is actually vegetarian, but as a vegan there are 3 main meals and 3 salads you can choose from + several sides, starters and plates to share. Unfortunately they fry their fries (and some other originally vegan food) in the same oil as non vegan things. That is why some things you’d think are actually vegan, are not listed as vegan on the menu. What means that if you don’t mind about this, there will be even more options, but personally I think this really is a shame and it would be lovely if they came up with a solution for this.

After some explanation and recommendations it was still hard to choose something, but I eventually went for the Moqueca De Palmitos. A dish with palm hearts. My boyfriend told me about it a while ago and it was his favourite. So I was excited to try this for he first time. The curry comes on a little light, to keep it warm. Then on a separate plate there is some rice, green beans and a little tomato salad. The whole combination was absolutely delicious (really liked the palm hearts)! I wish there was a little bit more rice though. The portion of the curry is a lot more in comparison to the rice. In fact, if you ask for an extra portion of rice and you order some starters and sides, you can share this dish. Will be quite fun actually. For dessert I chose the Tembleque, a coconut pudding with mixed berries and a mango sauce. Though the manager who served me, recommended the mango sorbet too. So I tried them both. The mango sorbet is really one of the better sorbets I’ve had. I love that it’s mango i the first place, but it’s even better, because you can actually taste the mango and it’s not too sweet. Though the Tembleque was the best desserts I’ve had in a really long time. It’s very different form anything I ever had in a restaurant. It’s so creamy and soft and it goes so perfectly with he sweet berries and the slightly sour mango sauce. Great combination! I absolutely love this and I will make sure that I come back for this!

Eating at Las Iguanas is a real feast. If you forget about the outside world for a minute and imagine you’re at the beach, it truly feels like you’re on holiday. The colours, the music, the food, everything goes together. It’s a real treat to go here. What makes it perfect for a celebration. They really done well putting the colours together. They have many different seats.. sofa’s, benches, high tables, normal tables.. and they are all matching in the same colours. Soft yellow, blue and orange. Even the plates match. I really like the tiles on the floor and the tiles on the table. The staff was super helpful and I’m very happy to recommend this place. Great place to go to if you have non vegans friends and family members. This way everybody can choose what they want!

I want to thank Las Iguanas for their amazing food!

WHO? Las Iguanas.
WHERE? 97, London Designer Outlet, Wembley Park Blvd, Wembley HA9 0FD.
CUISINE? South American.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Absolutely loved the food, several vegan options and great interior.)

Did you already know Las Iguanas? Do you like coconuts and desserts? Go! 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 on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X