Quick Start

The easiest breakfast ever! You probably heard about overnight porridge already. It’s the best, easiest and fastest breakfast you can make and it’s also nutritious and it releases its energy slowly. What more do you want?! The recipe I’m giving you is quite a basic recipe, but it’s how I make it. You can make lots of varieties. This one is a bit like a chia pudding too. Chia seed is full of fiber, protein, omega-3 and it has various micronutrients. This makes it a perfect way to start your day. The best is that it’s very easy to make. You make it before you go to sleep (will only take 1 minute, don’t worry!) and it’ll be ready for you the next morning. What means that even when you’re in a rush, you can still enjoy a nutritious breakfast that will keep you going all morning.

QUICK START 

Serves: 1

base
1/2 cup oats
1 tbs chia seed
1 cup plant based milk

toppings
fresh fruit
dried fruit
cinnamon
nuts/seeds
maple syrup 

-Mix the oats, chia seed and milk in a container (with lid) and put it in the fridge overnight.
-In the morning: give it a good mix and add any toppings you like.

Are you going to try this recipe? Please let me know in the comments below and show me your beautiful and yummy creations. You can do this via Instagram by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

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Wrap It Up

A super quick lunch dish.. wraps! Wraps are easy, super tasty, nutritious, handy to take with you, easy to prep and filling. Perfect for lunch, but they can be enjoyed any time of the day really. I like wraps for lunch though. Especially bean wraps. They are high in protein and what I like about it, is that I can make everything the day before. The next day (and the day after that) I only need to warm up a tortilla wrap and scoop everything on top. You fold it up and it’s ready to go. If you want to take it with you, I advice you to cut it in half just before you will eat it, to prevent everything falling out. I hope you will enjoy these delicious wraps just as much as I do.

WRAP IT UP

Serves: 4

4 wholemeal tortilla wraps

filling
1 tbs olive oil
3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
½ -1 tsp chilli flakes
1 can black beans (rinsed, drained)
1 can kidney beans (rinsed, drained)
1 tbs harissa(optional)

salad
2 tomatoes (chopped)
½ cucumber (chopped)
½ cup sweet corn
handful of fresh coriander (chopped)
juice of ½ a lemon

sauce
1 avocado (smahed)
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1 tsp lemon juice
salt/pepper to taste

-Fry the garlic and the onion in the olive oil until they go a little soft (about 2-3 min).
-Add the chopped tomatoes, the chili flakes and the harissa and mix it well. Let it simmer for about 2-3 min.
-In the meantime: mix the avocado, the garlic, the lemon juice and add salt/pepper.
-Also mix the tomato, the cucumber, the sweet corn, the coriander and the lemon juice.
-Add the beans to the tomato sauce and mix for another minute. Add salt/pepper to taste.
-Spread about 2 tbs of guacamole in the middle of a tortilla, add the bean filling and the salad and close the tortilla by folding it (fold the left and the right side towards the filling and then roll it up).
-Cut the wrap in half and enjoy.

Do you love wraps? Such a great lunch dish! When you make the recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, so I can give you a shoutout! You can also use #planetmanel if you like. Thank you! X

Pink Morning

A very pink morning to you! Did you have breakfast this morning? Or at what time do you break your fast? I often do this between 10:00-12:00 as I like intermittent fasting. Breaking my fast is always a nice moment. If I don’t drink a big glass of celery juice first, I like to start with this pink goodness. It’s a great way to get some extra fruit (vitamins!) and some healthy fats and protein into your system, what means that it’s a great start of your day. I can easily keep going on this for several hours. This is why I tend to have something like this when I break my fast early (10:00). Don’t worry about it not filling you up, because it’s a large portion. You can just sip on it whilst commuting or working or split it in half and drink it as a snack later in the morning or afternoon. This is definitely one of my favourite smoothies!

PINK MORNING

Serves: 1

1 cup yogurt
1 cup plant based milk
½ cup oats
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 ripe banana
1 tbs peanut butter
1 tbs flaxseed
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbs agave nectar (optional)
extra plant based milk (optional)

-Blend until smooth. I like to add some extra plant based milk after it’s finished.

Are you going to try this recipe? Please let me know in the comments below or show me your beautiful and yummy creations via Instagram. You can do this by tagging me or by  using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Thai The Noodle

Thai food is probably my favourite food. I love the rich flavours and the creaminess of the coconut. So any Thai curry or soup is very much welcomed by my body. I used to always make curries, but then I thought I could make it in some sort of soup and add noodles instead of rice. So I experimented a bit and this is the result. I loveeeee this recipe! To make it easier, I used a red curry paste. Make sure to use a vegan curry paste. A lot of brands use fish sauce. I used Thai Taste Red Curry Paste. It’s my favourite and it’s 100% vegan. You can make the soup the way you like it best: I used wholewheat noodles, for some extra protein, but you can also use rice noodles if you prefer. I fried the tofu, but a healthier option is to not fry it. You can then just add the tofu at the same time you add the spring onions. To make it spicer, add some chilli flakes. No matter what you prefer, I’m sure you will love it!

THAI THE NOODLE

Serves 3-4 

1 tsp coconut oil
3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
3-4 cm ginger (15 gr, finely chopped)
1 red onion (chopped)
1/2 head of broccoli (chopped)
4 tbs curry paste
2 vegetable stock cubes
750 ml water (boiled)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
1 yellow bell pepper (chopped)
3 spring onions(chopped in 2 cm)
4 small heads of bok choy
1 can coconut milk
3 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1-2 tbs coconut oil
200 gr extra firm tofu (sliced, chopped)
150 gr whole wheat noodles (uncooked)

toppings
Fresh coriander (optional)
Beansprouts (optional)
Sugar snaps (optional)
Lime wedge (optional)

-First fry the tofu in 1-2 tbs coconut oil on all sides until golden.
-In the meantime: Fry the garlic, ginger and red onion for 1-2 min, with the tsp of coconut oil, on medium heat.
-Add the broccoli and fry all together for another 2 min.
-In the meantime: dissolve the stock cubes in the water.
-Add a splash of the stock to the pan and all the curry paste and keep stirring for about 1 min.
-Add the rest of the stock, the coconut milk, the soy sauce, the chilli flakes and both bell peppers.
-Mix well, let it come to boil, turn the heat to a low, add the noodles and let this simmer for about 5 min.
-Add the bok choy and the spring onion to the soup and let it simmer until the noodles are ready.
-Serve in a bowl, with the tofu and choose some of you favourite toppings.

Do you love the Thai kitchen as much as I do? When you make the recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, so I can give you a shoutout! You can also use #planetmanel if you like. Thank you! X

Pesto Plenty

Who doesn’t like pasta pesto! It’s such an easy, quick dish. And perfect for families too, because kids mostly love it too. Of course you can just mix some pesto with some pasta, but you can also make it a little more special and even tastier. It’ll still be easy though, just more fancy. You might want to leave the chilli flakes out if you want to serve it to children. Also humous is optional. I like the creaminess, but you might not or you want to leave those extra calories out. If you like to add some extra protein, then you can add some chickpeas (or  some beans). I also like to sneak some sun-dried tomatoes in there.. you decide! Enjoy!

PESTO PLENTY

Serves: 3-4

2,5 cup whole wheat pasta (uncooked)
2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 big red onion (chopped)
400 gr broccoli (finely sliced)
12 cherry tomatoes (cut in 1/2)
1/4 cup pesto (GREENERY**)
1-2 tbs houmous (optional)
1 tbs tomato purée
2 tbs nutritional yeast
1/2-1 tsp chilli flakes (optional) 
Salt/pepper (to taste)
3 tbs pine nuts
Handful of rocket

*Extra protein? Add 1 cup of chickpeas.
**RECIPE!

-Cook the pasta as described on the pack.
-Put the oil, onion, garlic and broccoli in a frying pan and fry for about 4-5 min. on a medium-high heat. Keep stirring quite often.
-In the meantime: roast the pine nuts.
-Add the cherry tomatoes, pesto, houmous and the tomato purée and fry for another 1-2 min.
-Put the heat source to a minimum and add the nutritional yeast, chilli flakes and salt/pepper. Mix until everything is mixed well and turn the heat off.
-Serve with rocket and sprinkle some pine nuts on top before eating.

Do you like to eat pasta pesto? Will you make this? Please show me your cooking skills, I’d love to see it! You can show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #planetmanel. Thank you! X

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

Greenery

This is one of my most satisfying recipes. Pesto is something you can use in so many dishes, fresh herbs are super healthy and you can adapt the recipe the way you want it. You can add a little bit more garlic, lemon juice or oil.. whatever you prefer or you can just leave it the way it is. I like it the best like this, it’s the right balance for me. I love to make pasta pesto with it, add it on a pizza, a sandwich, mix it into some mayonnaise or use it as a dip. You can toast the pine nuts and the walnuts for some extra flavour, but you can also just use them straight from the packet. After making it you can keep it in the fridge for a few days.

GREENERY 

Makes: 1,5 cup 

1,5 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup spinach
3 tbsp pine nuts (toasted, optional)
1/4 cup walnuts (toasted, optional)
2 cloves garlic (peeled)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1,5 tbs lemon juice
2-3 tbs water
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
salt/pepper (to taste)

-Put everything in the kitchen machine and blend until smooth. 

Do you like pesto? What do you make with pesto most often? Please let me know in the comments below or show me on Instagram. You can do this by tagging me or by using #planetmanel. Thank you! X

Nuts For Seed

After last week’s brownies, we need something healthy. It’s all about balance! This is probably one of my fave recipes. It’s healthy, full of omega’s and multifunctional! You can eat this for breakfast, lunch or snack. It will taste nice with jam, cheese, houmous, butter, avocado and I think basically everything. It’s very filling and a great way to add some good fats to your diet. It’s not hard to make (it’s actually super super easy!), but it does require some time though. The good thing is that, afterwards, you can easily keep it in the freezer. Make sure you slice it up first and then freeze. This way you can take out the slices you want at any time. I’m very curious what you think of it and who will make this. Definitely a must make!

NUTS FOR SEED 

Serves: 10

1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup linseed
1/4 cup chia seed
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1,5 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup wheatgerm
1 tsp salt
2 tbs maple syrup
3 tbs coconut oil
1,5 cup water 

-Mix all the dry ingredients.
-Mix all the wet ingredients and mix them with the dry ingredients.
-Leave it for about 15 min. and then stir again. Make sure all the liquid is soaked up.
-Grease a tin with coconut oil and put the mix in the tin. Press it down and smooth it out.
-Put it in the fridge overnight (or for at least for 3 hrs).
-Preheat the oven at 175C and put the tin in the oven for 30 min.
-Let it cool down for about 30 min and then carefully take the loaf out of the tin.
-Preheat the oven at 200C.
-Put the loaf upside down on a piece of baking paper and put it in the oven for another 10 min.
-If all the side are nice and dry (and slightly crispy) the loaf is finished.
-Let it all cool down before slicing it up (putting it in the fridge for an hour helps to make neater slices).

Are you nuts for seed and will you make this recipe? Please show me your result, I would love to see it! You can do this by tagging me on Instagram or by using #planetmanel. Thank you! X

London Hotspots

So normally I’d write a different blog post about each hotspot I find. I did this since I started my blog. I did this as I lived in London and I had the opportunity to visit 1-2 places every week. When I’m on holiday, I write a whole big article and give you hotspot list in the end. Most of you know that I moved out of London and at my new place there aren’t many vegan places (to be precise.. there are none!). This is why I visit London once in a while and try to visit as many places as I can. It really takes some planning, becuase I only have one stomach and even though I’d love to visit 10 places a day, I simply can’t eat it all, haha! Before I plan a weekend, I make a list and I plan my days ahead. So a place for breakfast, lunch and dinner and sometimes a little thing in between. In these days I’m always super full and the sugar levels are up up up! Haha! But I love to show you new places and I really hope that I can pursue you to go and visit. I went to London last weekend and here are all the places I’ve been to. I will write a little bit about each place and I will give you the whole list in the end of the post. Here we go..

MOTHER
This was one of the first hotspots I added to my list of hotspots for the weekend. A friend of mine really likes it here and I often saw it on her Instagram and it always looked so delicious, that I wanted to try it out for myself. So after I parked my van, I went straight here for brunch. It was so hard to pick something! I thought I picked something, but then I saw there was even more.. after a while, I eventually I went for the ‘Eggless Royale’. That apparently had ‘poached eggs’. I was intrigued and I was happily surprised as it looked super pretty! It was very tasty too. Although, I didn’t find the ‘salmon’ taste like fish and the poached eggs, even though they definitely had the look, were very soft. But it was tasty though! I will be back to try something else next time. Mother is also in a nice location, where you can take a lovely stroll next to the canals and boats and its only a 15 min walk to Westfield.

THE SPREAD EAGLE
I actually had a pizza place on my list for dinner, but weird enough (this never happens) I didn’t feel like having pizza. So I decided to go to the Spread Eagle pub. I never go to pubs, but I make an exception for this one as it’s 100% vegan. Naturally, I think everybody would want to go to a pub like this. Hehe.. It was fairly busy, even though it was a little early still. I guess that is a good sign and that makes me happy. I had a perfect table in the corner and Nola got offered a bowl of water she was very grateful for. I went for a burger and a lovely lady who was sitting close to the till, was recommending me the three way potatoes. They also have little taco’s and as I was very curious about the tofish one, I ordered that one too. I told myself I could always have it take away in case I was too full. And because of all that deliciousness I was indeed very full. The burger was so tasty, but the potatoes were definitely my thing. I’d come back here just for those, haha! I decided to do some work and by the time I was finished that, there was a little bit of space for the taco, that was aso super delicious. This is such a nice pub! Great interior, super friendly staff, a very chill and easy going atmosphere and I definitely recommend going here.

LEON
I’m sure everyone tried the LOVE burger at Leon. If not.. why not?? It’s delicious! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it. Even omnivores love it. Leon is doing super well with their vegan options and very recently they launched their newest vegan addition: Jack Wings! They are made with jackfruit. So I expected pieces of jackfruit with a breadcrumb coating, but in real life they were a bit like the famous Dutch ‘bitterballen’, but then cheesy and not round like a ball. I truly liked them though. Maybe because I was expecting something else, but maybe becuase they are just very tasty. I love jackfruit anyway, but I’m sure that if you don’t like jackfruit, you will like these too. They aren’t a typically jackfruit dish, but creamy, a little cheesy and full of taste. I really liked them with the aioli sauce, which is also vegan. So whenever you’re near a Leon, go and try them!

BUBBLEWRAP
When I saw this on Instagram I was like WHATT?! I needed to try this for sure. I had never heard of it, but that is probably because there weren’t any vegan options at first. Now there are. It’s located in China Town (close to Piccadilly Circus/Soho) and easy to find. It’s a small shop and when I was there it was busy (I don’t know for sure, but I expect it to be busy any time of the day). There is a pre-made option (as in they picked the flavours for you), but you can also custom make one. There is one base that is vegan and 2 flavours of ice cream: chocolate and pistachio (of course I had to try them both). There are lots of toppings that are vegan and it’s hard to choose. I went for strawberry, banana, pecans and peanut butter sauce. GREAT combination! You pay per item/topping and so you can make it as expensive as you want. I thought it to be a lot like a pancake and it to be quite filling, but the ‘pancake’ is fairly light. It’s crispy (a bit like the crispy sides of a pancake), with a little bit of soft/sticky inside. I’m curious what toppings you will choose!

HEMA
Who knows Hema? All Dutch people do, because it’s the best Dutch shop ever! When, a few years ago, I discovered there was a Hema in London I almost cried! Haha! All their make up is free from animal testing, but not vegan. BUT.. Recently they launched a whole vegan and cruelty free line, called B.A.E. I tried their foundation as I always used to have their foundation before I was vegan. I really like it. It’s not my every day foundation, but I use it as a top up for during the day. Mainly because they come in a perfect little tube. So handy for on the way. So I got a new one today, in their Tottenham Court branch. The last time I also got the heart stamp (so cute!) and a little perfume I like (also for on the way). There is a lot more though, but I don’t wear a lot of make up. It’s definitely worth a try though. I also always just have a little wander around and I always become so greedy. Hehe.. I don’t buy anything I don’t need, but gosh.. deep down I want to buy everything! Have you been to Hema?

KALIFORNIA KITCHEN
As I went to Hema I also planned to go to Kalifornia Kitchen. It’s only a 2 min walk. If I’m really honest, I mostly went to this place because of the interior. I would never style my house (or van! Hehe..) like this, but I love it though. It’s boho, kitch, but classy and fun! Great combo. I love how daring they are and it is soooo Instagram proof! So much detail and best of all.. they are all vegan! Down stairs it was quite busy, but the hostess (Who reminded me of the singer Susan Cagle so much and I love her. Look her up if you don’t know her and read up on her story, it’s amazing!) asked if I wanted to sit up stairs and there was nobody there and it’s so pretty up stairs. Nola got a bowl of water and I tried to decide what to have. As I had so much sugar and unhealthy things this weekend already, I decided for a super healthy meal. I also ordered a sea moss smoothie. It was all very tasty and looked very pretty. So all pretty and nice here at Kalifornia Kitchen, but it is a little expensive though. I would say it makes a great party location. Birthdays, anniversaries and any other celebrations.. it’s a real treat going here and it feels special. Oh they also have lovely dessert btw, but I didn’t go for one as I was going to get a doughnut afterwards.

VEGAN CROSSTOWN
This was my Saturday dessert. They close at 19:00 and I had to rush to get there, but I made it just (really just!) in time. A few were already sold out (sadly the chocolate one was one of them), but I still had plenty of choice. I had to decide quite quickly, because they were basically closing up. I went for the ‘Cinnamon Scroll’ (obvious choice) and also the ‘Rhubarb, Raspberry & Ginger’ one as I heard it was good. As I was there anyway I also got the ‘Strawberry & English Sparkling Rosé’. When I payed the guy, he said he put an extra in there as they were closing. So I also got to try the ‘Lime & Coconut’ doughnut. Gosh.. 4 doughnuts.. that is a big dessert. I ate the whole cinnamon one (soooo good!) and I had a bite of all the others to taste them whilst they were still fresh. The rest I saved for later. I definitely liked the cinnamon the best. I’m a chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, coconut, toffee kind of person and not so much a lime, ginger and strawberry girl (at least not in dessert and cakes etc,). I did like the other ones as well though. Out of those 3 I liked the ‘English Sparking Rosé’ the best. I really liked the crumbs on top of them btw, it reminded me of the bottom of a cake we always made every birthday when I was younger. I will definitely come back for the ‘Dark Chocolate Truffle’ and the ‘Peanut Butter & Blackcurrant Compote’ though, because I mean.. come on! Which one would you have picked?

PARADISE PLANTBASED
I’m sure some of you know this place, because this is my favourite cafe. I used to live next to it and I always go here when I’m in London with my van or when I’m taking someone to breakfast. I actually went here twice this weekend as I park my van around the corner. Handy place to use the toilet and to have breakfast. The first morning I met up with Maddie, a gril I got to know through Instagram and we both had the chickpea omelette (I always have this one, it’s so good!). The second morning I just had a smoothie (as I was planning to have pancakes for breakfast later) and I did a bit of work before I traveled to Shoreditch. The smoothie I had was the ‘Ziggy’ btw, super healthy.

DUTCH POFFERTJES
I was planning to get some pancake from OSU Pancakes, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. Does anyone know where they are at Brick Lane? I was in the House of Vegan and there was a stall with Dutch Poffertjes. So in the end I went for poffertjes instead. Being Dutch I know them very well, but I didn’t have them for a long time. There were so many toppings to choose from. I went for strawberries and chocolate sauce.  A classic, but always good. They were very delicious and a yummy breakfast. They are quite popular I think, because I saw another 2 stalls with poffertjes. D

HEMP & WILLIAMS
I discovered this place by accident. I wasn’t planning to go here and I didn’t even know it existed. I just finished my Dutch Poffertjes and then I saw this very happy guy handing out ice cream. I decided not to get anything, because I’d be too full, I just had something sweet and I didn’t even have a proper lunch yet.. But the ice cream was made out of hemp and after walking another circle and checking out the instagram page, I decided that I had to try it. He let me taste all the flavours and I actually liked them all. The mango was fresh, the strawberry sweet and the chocolate and chili was so unique and surprising. Normally I’m not a fan of chocolate in combination with something else, but this worked. You taste chocolate and then there is the chili flavour as soon as you swallow, a proper wohw effect. Talking about unique.. all the flavours are. He makes everything himself and they are all delicious. It’s not really like ice cream and it’s not like a sorbet, it’s a bit in between and it melts perfectly in your mouth. I went for the plain chocolate flavour in the end (because.. chocolate..). It was so good and I discovered something else very that was very unique. It basically doesn’t melt!! So weird, but it’s like an forever ice cream. It took me at east 15 minutes to eat it. I could lick it and lick it and lick it and it was super delicious, but it was like it would last forever. I can’t recommend this enough and I urge you to try it! You can find Hemp&Williams every Saturday and Sunday (both days from 11:00-18:00) at the House Of Vegan in Brick Lane.

UNITY DINER
I don’t know if you remember, but I promised myself that every time I’m in London, I’ll visit Unity Diner. If there is one restaurant that I want to support, then it’s this one! Unity Diner is a non profit restaurant and they have the most amazing food!! I mean, I just can’t get over it really. I officially made this my favourite restaurant. I wish I could go every day. Haha! The staff is amazing, the atmosphere is super chill and the restaurant looks so good that I want to live there. This time I went for the Tofish & Chips. I was thinking about tofish the whole weekend and so it was a perfect dish to end the weekend with. The portion is so bigggg and I promise you that it won’t disappoint. It comes with mashed peas, chunky chips and a yummy sauce. I also ordered some extra garlic mayonnaise with it. I enjoy eating it so much, but it also frustrates me, because it tasted so much like fish. What makes me wonder why on earth someone would rather kill a fish, destroy the ocean, the world and their own body whilst this is an option. Wouldn’t it be amazing if every fish&chips shop throughout the UK (and the world!) would serve this instead of a dead animal? I’m convinced that it’s the future and I really hope you will go here to taste it, experience it and to spread the word! Unity Diner is open from Tuesday-Sunday.

HOTSPOT LIST:
Mother:
1, Canalside Here East Estate, E20 3BS.
The Spread Eagle: 224 Homerton High St, Homerton, E9 6AS.
Leon: 49-51 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3JS.
Bubbelwrap: 24 Wardour St, W1D 6QJ.
Hema:
252 Tottenham Court Rd, W1T 7RB.
Kalifornia Kitchen: 19 Percy St, W1T 1DY.
Vegan Crosstown: 5-6 Picton Pl, W1U 1BL.
Paradise Plantbased: 59 Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3ND.
Dutch Poffertjes: 152 Brick Ln, E1 5EG.
Hemp & Williams: 152 Brick Ln, E1 5EG.
Unity Diner: 5 Hoxton Market, N1 6HG. 

Have you been to one or more of these hotspots yet? Which one is your favourite or where  would you go if you could go right now? Tell me all about it! You can do this in the comments below or tag me on Instagram! Thank you! X

UK – Bristol

A while ago I read that Bristol is a very up coming city when it comes to veganism and that it’s even one of the best cities in the UK for vegan options. Bristol is only an hour drive from where I live most of the time and so I decided to take my van and explore the city. Even though I did take my van, I’m not posting this under ‘Vanlife’, because all I basically used my van for was sleeping. For me Bristol was all about good vegan food, sunshine, beautiful historic buildings and the best views! If you want to know what to do in Bristol and where to eat, please keep reading and I hope I can inspire you to visit this lovely city as well.

I planned to leave on Saturday morning, but as I was a little slow and had to make a stop at Halfords (one of my fuses burned), it was more 14:00 by the time I left. I did some research on Park4Night to figure out where I could best park my van, but when I came to my chosen parking area, it was all full. The second option was the zoo. So I went there next. A lot of people were just leaving the zoo and so there were some free spaces and I found a perfect parking spot next to a beautiful tree. I arrived there just after 15:00 and it turned out that parking after 15:00 is free. Lucky me!

I took the bus to the city centre (bus 8) and there I searched on Happy Cow for a nice vegan restaurant. I decided to walk to ‘Vx’, an all vegan junk food restaurant. Honestly, the picture of a milkshake that included a donut and whipped cream made me go, haha! I only ate 2 apples so far and was quite hungry. I know this isn’t a very healthy thing to do, but I just didn’t take the time to eat a proper meal. It was a lovely walk in the sunshine and Nola and I enjoyed the first proper sights of Bristol. The area where the restaurant is located, is quite dodgy though and I wouldn’t feel safe walking there when it’s dark. I ordered the milkshake, that turned out to be a Vego milkshake.. I mean, can it get any better? I also ordered the Vx burger. If you go for junk food, you should do it right, right? The milkshake was so yum! The donut tasted fresh, the whipped cream delicious and it was really like drinking a vego bar. I think they used coconut milk and I do think that with maybe Oatly Barista it would taste even better. But in their defence, I think everything tastes better with Oatly Barista. The burger was ok. It was a good burger, but not very special. It came with tortilla crisps, but I was too full to eat those and so I took them with me. They have a little shop in the restaurant too,with lots of vegan goodies and I bought some chocolate to take with me to the Netherlands. The people who work in Vx are super nice and the restaurant is very dog friendly. I also would come back again for the milkshake. Only maybe the next time I will invite someone to come with me, so we can share it (I was sooo full and it took me quite a while to finish it). What was a little unfortunate is that I forgot to change shoes and I was wearing my vans. Weird enough, they happen to be my least comfortable shoes. So my feet were hurting and because of all that junk food, I didn’t feel very energetic. I struggled a little to get all the way back to the bus stop, but I made it and I was happy to see my van in the end of the day and to instantly relax. It’s a good thing to have your bed close by all the time.

It was the first night that I was sleeping in my van in a very unfamiliar place. I was so excited, that I didn’t sleep very well, but I was ok the next day. Around 9:00 there were zoo visitors coming into the parking area, but the ticket guys were all guiding them towards the other side first. I was the only one parked up in the back. I got ready and walked up to the guy to buy a ticket. He looked a bit confused, but he did sell me a ticket. Only £4 for a whole day. I’m definitely coming back to this park up. I found a cafe called ‘East Village’ and it was only a short walk. It was a beautiful walk though, with many nice houses, amazing trees and the stunning building of Clifton College. Arriving at ‘East Village’, I fell in love instantly. This is one of the prettiest cafes ever. The ceilings are super high, it feels so spacious and everything is just done well. I felt like staying there the whole day. It’s a vegetarian cafe, but a lot of what they offer is vegan. I was doubting between the savoury waffles or the acai bowl, but then decided on the acai bowl. I wanted to eat lots of healthy things today as I had so much junk food the day before. I also went for a fresh orange juice as that is my favourite! It was one of the prettiest bowls I’ve ever seen. It looked so nice, that I didn’t want to eat it, haha! I obviously did though and it was delicious, exactly what I needed. On the map I saw that there was a park not far from there, with a tower you can climb. So after a lovely slow breakfast I set off again. I swapped my vans for my hiking boots btw. It did look a little ridiculous with the clothes I was wearing, but I didn’t care. Comfy rules!

On my way to the Brandon Hill park I bumped into a zero waste shop: Smaller Footprints. Zero waste shops are popping up everywhere now! It was closed, but I waited 10 min for it to open. It was so nice! The girl who worked there, called Eve, told me that they opened over 5 months ago and that it was going well. We had such a lovely chat. I told her the whole story of Oliver and as she was thinking about van life too, we had a good chat about that too. She was also vegan and so we actually had a lot of things to talk about. We were chatting for quite a while! But after I bought a 2 year supply of dental tabs (no joke) and a new black metal reusable straw, I left. I was so happy that I decided to wear my hiking boots by the way, because Bristol is a lot of hills, going up and down. It was a lovely walk with lots of sunshine and as Brandon Hill park is already quite high up, there was a lovely view over Bristol. I took a little break and then climbed the Cabot Tower. The stairs are very narrow, but it’s very much worth it. I loved the views! It was such a good day as well to enjoy the view. Coming down again, Nola and I relaxed a little in the park, sitting in a rain of blossom and then made our way to ‘Beets n Roots’, to have lunch.

The cafe ‘Beets n Roots’ is all about healthy food. Exactly what I wanted! The only thing is that dogs are not allowed inside. Luckily it was very nice weather and so it was more than ok to sit outside (and they did let me go to the toilet, taking Nola with me). The staff is very friendly and one of the girls even offered to be Nola’s dogsitter. I ordered the Buddha Bowl. They come in 2 sizes. Because I had a biscuit as big as my head for snack (from East Village) a little earlier, I ordered the small buddha bowl with tofu and a coconut water. The food was so so good! There were different kinds of (fermented) salad, cauliflower, quinoa and humous. I didn’t want to over eat, but I could have easily eaten a big bowl of this. Next time! Because I couldn’t sit inside, I couldn’t charge my phone though. Luckily, a little further down the road was a Costa and so I had a tea there whilst my phone was on the charger. When charged sufficiently, I made my way to the very popular suspension bridge.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge was opened in 1864 and has been a toll bridge ever since. They use the money for the bridge’s maintenance. The bridge links Clifton (Bristol) to Leigh Woods (North Somerset). It is super high and very beautiful. I’m not crazy about heights, but I did want to cross it. So I did and even though I found it a little scary, it also gave me an empowered feeling. It gave me a similar feeling as standing in front of a tall building (which is my favourite). Feeling very small and very big at the same time. The sun was starting to go down and I did enjoy the lovely rays on the grass, next to the bridge. I didn’t want to walk too far for dinner, but opening my Happy Cow app, I saw that there was an Indian restaurant, called Thali, with lots of vegan options, a 20 min walk from where I was. I didn’t have Indian food for so long, so I went for it. The restaurants looked rather fun too.

It turned out that Thali was on the corner, only a few buildings down from ‘Smaller Footprints’. So I passed it earlier that day, but I didn’t notice. Probably because I was still buzzing from the positive energy the shop (and Eve) gave me. I was the first customer and even though dogs also weren’t allowed, the waiter who welcomed me let me off (as I promised nobody would notice Nola). After that he got the chef to come and he cuddled Nola and showed her to the rest of the kitchen staff (so far from not being noticed, haha!). It was so hard to choose food here, because there were a lot of vegan options and everything sounded so delicious. Eventually I picked a dish that was made out of little dishes. So it was perfect and it was also very tasty. I really enjoyed it. Together with a flatbread on the side, it cost me about £11, which I thought was a good price as well. I also really liked that it was a modern Indian restaurant. Often I find Indian restaurants a little dusty and dated, but there was a good vibe here.

Just before Nola and I got back to the van, the sun made everything look golden and so Nola and I enjoyed the last sun rays of the day on top of the hill. It was so lovely. Great end of the day. I decided to drive back to work that evening, because my battery only had one more stripe (I’ve got some electrical issues) and it didn’t make sense to only stay the night, drain the battery and then drive back. What a beautiful Easter weekend! I will definitely come back to Bristol.

HOTSPOT LIST:
Vx Junk food bar: 125 East St, BS3 4ER.
East Village: Boyce’s Ave, Clifton, BS8 4AA.
Smaller Footprints: 9 Regent St, BS8 4HW.
Brandon Hill/Cabot Tower: Park St, Bristol BS1 5RR.
Beets n Roots: 39 Cotham Hill, BS6 6JY.
Suspension Bridge: Bridge Rd, Leigh Woods, BS8 3PA.
Thali: 1 Regent St, BS8 4HW.

Have you ever been to Bristol or would you love to go now you read this? Please let me know about your experiences or if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. You can also tag me in your pictures or use #planetmanel on instagram. Thank you! X