Green Bay

When I was in the Netherlands, visiting Groningen, I went to the newly opened supermarket there and it’s 100% vegan! So amazing.. to know you can have everything what they sell. You don’t need to read labels and worry that there are any animals products. I said to the man at the till that I wish they had this in London too. And he answered: there is! How did I not know about this? A vegan supermarket in London and I didn’t even hear anything about it? So a while ago I went there and it was lovely. Not sure if you can actually call it a supermarket though, because it’s very small. The one in the Netherlands is also not very big, but bigger than Green Bay. Still, it was very nice!

Green Bay is located on a corner, in a lovely looking building. I like the colours outside their logo and the window stickers. Neutral, simple and attractive. Even though it’s fairly small, they did their best to fit in as many products as possible. Though it’s not comparable with VeganZ in Berlin for example. They have granola’s and cereals, cheeses, seitan, tofu, soups, kombucha, snacks, beauty products and lots more. It would be nice if they would also do veggies and more every day products etc. So it would actually be possible to get all your groceries from there. I think at this stage, that is maybe not possible yet. I’m sure that in the future, if more people turn vegan, Green Bay can expand.

I do think, we as vegans, have to support stores like this. It’s a shame it’s a little far from me, though the bus in front of my flat does go here. I went twice now, but I feel like I should go more often. By supporting this, we vote for vegan supermarkets. It would be a dream come true if there would be supermarkets like VeganZ here in the UK and all over the world. This is the way supermarkets of the future will look like. So, even though you live far, try to go as often as possible. You can just buy things you need anyway. Like nutritional yeast, tofu, granola, snacks etc. It’s not that hard and not that more expensive to get it from here. Show your support by consuming from the right companies!

WHO? Green Bay.
WHERE? 228 North End Rd, W14 9NU.
CUISINE? Supermarket.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (small, but well organised with nice products)

Did you go yet? What did you buy and do you agree with me by spending our money in the right place? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

Italy – Rome

I actually wanted to post this travel article last Monday, but I didn’t plan my things too well and my mum came over, so that’s why it’s a week later.. sorry! I planned to go to Rome this year and so I booked a ticket for the end of May. Steven wanted to come with me, what was extra fun. It was our first real holiday together, even though it was only for 3 nights. Steven chose a lovely hotel, right next to Vatican City, what turned out to be a super location. We also got the Omnia Card. This is a card you can use for public transport, the tour bus, 2 tourist activities and Vatican City, all for one price. We got the 72 hour card for £113. The good thing about it is that you don’t have to get transport tickets everywhere and you can skip the (very long) queues. Especially when it’s 30C, you want this! I thought it was very handy and it worked well, until we used it for Vatican City though. This was because it’s the only thing you have to book in advance, but it was very unclear how to do it and it didn’t work. Luckily we did get in, but very last minute. More about this later.

We had to get up very early the Wednesday we left. We had a quick breakfast (thank you PRET and Starbucks!) at the airport before we headed to our gate. The journey went well and before we knew it, we were in Rome. We took one of the many coaches standing in front of the airport (€4,90). With the Omnia card you can probably take the public transport from there too, but we thought before we find out where the buses depart etc. this was just easier. It doesn’t take more than 45 min before you’re in the middle of Rome. The coaches drop you off at the Termini train station. Perfect! It was lunch time when we got out and I did a little research, so I knew that there was a vegan place not far from there. We walked there and though the place, called iPhame, looked lovely, it’s very small and we couldn’t sit there. So we went somewhere else. On our way there we did see another restaurant we liked because of the floor and bar. They actually didn’t do any vegan meals, but they were very helpful and totally ok with me telling them what I wanted. I ordered a pasta with veggies and it was super delicious! We then took the tour bus, very close from there, to see most of the tour. We got out at Vatican City, because from there it was only a 10 min walk to our hotel. We stayed at the ‘Infinity Hotel St. Peter’, what is a lovely hotel. It was clean, neat and the bed was very comfy. As we woke up so early and it was already the end of the afternoon, we took a refreshing shower and relaxed a bit. In the beginning of the evening we took a little walk to explore Rome whilst there was a lovely summer eve breeze. On our way back we stopped at a pizzeria and I ordered a pizza with mushrooms and olives. Our expectations were high, being in Italy. The pizza was quite disappointing though. It looked nice, but it actually had no taste at all. It made us laugh as it seemed quite ironic, eating a pizza without taste in the middle of Rome. On our way back to the hotel we enjoyed the views of Rome by night. Beautiful really!

The next day, Thursday, we had breakfast at the hotel before we walked all the way to the Colosseum. The breakfast was quite ok for a vegan by the way. There were some fruit options, cherry tomatoes, different types of bread, jam, juice and also muesli and cereals. I did email them a few weeks in advance to ask about this, but they never replied. A shame, but I was happy to see that at least there were some options. The walk to the Colosseum was already an activity on its own, because wohw.. Rome is a beautiful city! We passed the Altare della Patria and many beautiful little streets, but to stand in the Colosseum was truly amazing. Something so historic and it’s just almost surreal to be inside. Imagining the things that happened there many years ago.. it made me feel absolutely amazed. When we came out it was lunchtime and though we did go to a place where they serve a vegan breakfast with croissants (and I really wanted one!), they were sold out. What is a good thing I guess, but a shame I didn’t get to try them. So we kept walking until we found something else, but it was a little tricky. We eventually sat down at a place that looked nice, but they also didn’t do vegan food. They were happy to serve the side dishes though. So I had potatoes and some roasted veggies. The veggies were nice and though the potatoes tasted ok, the structure felt like they were heated in the microwave. What was much better.. the gelato we had for dessert at a place around the corner from there. I had coconut (with little pieces of coconut in it) and chocolate. Gosh that was very yummy! A lot of gelato places (and you see them everywhere) do vegan options. Just ask! It was very hot, like 30C, but we did walk to the Roman Forum anyway. It was something we definitely wanted to see and the Colosseum and the Roman Forum together, counts as one on the Omnia card. It was a beautiful place and I’m very happy to have seen it. It’s hard and at the same time so amazing to believe that people actually lived there. They walked on the very same ground you’re walking on. Though in ruins, the temples there were actually used. I just love things like this. When we came out, it was the end of the afternoon already. We were so hot and we really felt our feet, so we walked back to the hotel to freshen up and relax a bit. On our way we popped into a supermarket and I was so happy to see so many vegan options! There was so much.. a lot of choices in seitan for example. In just an ordinary supermarket. I wish my Tesco across the road would do that too, haha! Steven and I chose some things to take home. (In the meantime we already tried the seitan in some wraps and it’s delicious. Only the seitan with rosemary was quite intense. Nice, but just very strong.) I also really liked the pasta with spirulina and so we took that too. We didn’t try that yet though. We walked all the way back to the hotel. On my phone I could see we took more than 21.000 steps (14 km) and so we really deserved a good break. Close to the was a place called Flower Burger and we walked there to get a take away later that evening. And YAY! This is a place you have to go to. First of all the place is 100% vegan, the place itself looks amazing (great texts on the walls) and they do the most amazing burgers. All handmade right there and they are delicious!

On Friday we planned to go to Vatican City, but we weren’t able to book it online. We tried it several times via the website and the app (which appeared to be non-existent). So we went to the Vatican and asked there. Turned out we needed to use the email we got in the whole beginning for this. What isn’t mentioned anywhere in the guide. Really unclear. Luckily there was still space for us the next day, but we had to go with a guide though. We both are not a fan of this, but it was the only way. And as it was something we both really wanted to do, we accepted. So we had to change the plan for today. We decided to go to the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish steps. We took the bus for the first bit and got out only a 5 min walk from the Pantheon. From there it’s only a short walk to the Trevi Fountain. I really liked seeing this. It’s also something you see in so many movies (including my favourite Eat Pray Love) etc. We took some pictures and of course we threw in a coin. We did it together.. how romantic! After the Spanish steps we decided it was time for lunch. The vegan places I looked up in advance turned out to be quite far from where we were, so we tried to look for something what looked nice. It was still quite early for lunch, but then Steven found a place with a vegetarian all you can eat buffet. Apart from 2 things, everything was vegan and I really loved the food. Very fresh and full of taste. It’s a cold buffet, so if you prefer a hot meal, you better skip this. We still had an activity to choose from our Omnia card, so in the afternoon we went to see Castel Sant’Angelo. But first.. some more gelato! We took the bus to Vatican City (Castel Sant’Angelo is next to that) and we had to go into a few shops before we found one who sold vegan gelato. This one did have so much choice though, so I had dark chocolate (obviously), banana, passion fruit and raspberry. We ate it on a wall in front of Castel Sant’Angelo, before we got in. It was nice to see the inside, but the best part was definitely to be on top of it. Not only a beautiful view from there, but also the first shot of the first Rome-scene of the movie Eat Pray Love, is filmed from Castle Sant’Angelo. I loved it!! Very hot though, but fantastic! We decided to go back to the hotel, to freshen up after we came down. Later that evening we took a stroll, trying to look for a better pizza. We found a place where the pizza looked good, so we sat down. The staff was very very unfriendly and unwelcoming. It kind of annoyed me, but we were too stubborn and determined to try a good pizza in Italy. The pizza was very nice luckily. The only thing was that they didn’t do sauce at this restaurant. Apparently the cheese was also the sauce and as I order without cheese, I got a pizza base with veggies. It was very yummy, so no complains about the food. It was just strange.

Our last day and it was Vatican City day. The day before, I bought little pack of Soy milk in the supermarket, so I was able to try the cereal and muesli at breakfast. I also suggest they put a plant based milk option next time. I hope they will. The whole guided tour started off a little odd. We had to walk around half the Vatican, before we entered and with a group of about 20 people and 813938134 tourists everywhere, it’s not the handiest thing and it takes a lot of time. Luckily we had a lovely guide and it was very nice to listen to all the things she knew about the Vatican. Being inside was ah-mazing!! I loved it, everything! So much art and all so detailed, it was fantastic really! Especially going into the Sistine Chapel and to see the famous work of Michelangelo was so amazing, that I have no words for it. Unfortunately I had a lot of pain in my neck this day and so going this day to admire Michelangelo’s work wasn’t the best combination (al lot is on the ceiling). I’m still very happy to have seen in though! Something super 
ironic and hilarious.. you were not allowed to talk in the Sistine Chapel (what is hard to begin with for me), but that every minute a man told everybody in 2 languages to be quiet.. very loud through a microphone, haha! And then, to finish our Rome adventure we went inside the St.Peter Basilica and wohw! I’ve never seen such a beautiful and such a big church in my life. It was breathtaking! We saw the Pietà and we walked around jaw dropping. We were both so happy, that in the end, we did get to see this all, even though the Omnia Card almost ruined it. We did have to keep an eye on the time for our flight that afternoon, so a few last pictures from the outside, before we went back to the hotel to get our bags. Not before we had another (pink) burger at Flower Burger for lunch though! Our flight was a little delayed, but it was alright, we just relaxed and before we knew it we were back in our beloved London!

You probably realised, after reading all this, Rome is a must go city! Rome is basically one big museum. Everything is beautiful and you keep walking around with your head turning from left to right and up and down (no wonder my neck was hurting the last day). You really feel like you don’t have enough eyes to soak it all in. I really loved seeing the Colosseum and the Vatican City, but I think what I loved the most is the little streets. There are so many beautiful little streets, with little balconies, flowers, amazing colours on the walls, old doors, going up and down, scooters lined up and even some great street art. I could walk these little streets forever. Also Rome is, surprisingly, very good with veganism. There are many vegan places and otherwise they are happy to make you something vegan. (Just make sure they have a fully understanding of what veganism is.) Most of the people we met were very helpful! Another handy thing in Rome is, that there are drinking fountains all over the city, where you can have a few sips or fill up your bottle. Perfect for when it’s hot and you have to make sure you stay extra hydrated. The thing I really didn’t like about Rome were all the people who try to sell you things, like selfie sticks, batteries, bracelets, water.. they are everywhere and even though you say no, they keep putting it (literally) in your face. It was a very aggressive way of selling and they’re everywhere you go. Try to ignore them though and keep looking around you!

HOTSPOTS:
iPhame – Via Agostino Depretis, 64, 00184.
Infinity Hotel St. Peter – Via Catone, 34, 00192.
Bar La Licata – Via dei Serpenti, 165, 00184.
Nest – Via del Leone, 23, 00183.
Flower Burger – Via dei Gracchi, 87, 00192. (!!)

TOURISTY:
Altare della Patria
Colosseum
Roman Forum
The Phanteon
Trevi Fountain
Spanish Steps
Castel Sant’Angelo
Vatican City (St.Peters Basilica + Sistine Chapel)

Have you been to Rome yet? Did you know about these cool hotspots or do you have any other recommendations? Are you really excited to go now? I would love to hear about your trip and experiences! You can leave a comment below or you can show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Lola’s Cupcakes

img_7668I actually never go into bakeries and cake shops, because they never really have vegan options. And that’s apart from that I’m not a huge fan of cake that is not home-made. Though, the last time when I was in Westfield and I was on my way out, walked past Lola’s Cupcakes and it made me curious. They were already tidying up, but I quickly introduced myself and asked if they had vegan options. I was very surprised that she said yes! ..and she didn’t only say yes because they had 1 vegan cupcake, they actually had lots of flavours: Coconut and passion fruit, lemon and raspberry, chocolate.. oh yes! There was only one vegan cupcake left (lucky me!) and that was the ‘pistachio and cherry’. She gave it to me and I promised to write about it. So here we go..

img_7667Like I said before, I’m not a big fan of cake that is not home-made. I was a little sceptical about this one too. I was sitting in the bus on my way home and I was looking at the box and asking the cupcake: will I like you?! When I got home I was quite excited to try it though. So I opened the little box. They give you super cute boxes btw.. I thought: even if the taste will not be that good, I’d get one just to have a beautiful looking cupcake in a cute box. Haha! First impression: I had to admit that it looked very tasty. With the green pieces of pistachios and the chocolate.. + it came in a shiny golden case. Taking my first bite I was pleasantly surprised! The cream on top was very fluffy and had a lovely structure. Also the cake itself was very good. The cream is very very sweet though, but the cake is a lot less sweet, so together they’re perfect. It would have been too much if they were both that sweet. I ate it all and I actually really enjoyed it. The only thing I didn’t like that much, was the cherry in the middle, but that is more personal taste I think. I started to read about Lola’s Cupcakes and it turns out they also do big vegan cakes. So if you do not like baking, but you still want a nice vegan cake, I think this is just perfect. Also because you can order them online, super handy!

WHO? Lola’s Cupcakes.
WHERE? Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, Ariel Way, W12 7GD.
CUISINE? Bakery.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (quite some vegan options + nice design/shops)

Did you already know that Lola’s Cupcakes do vegan too? Are you going to try one of these yummy treats? 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

Southbank Food Market

img_8357Today I will give you 8 hotspots in 1 article! And they’re all in the same place.. how is that?! On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on bank holiday Mondays there is a food market with lots of nice street food, behind the Southbank Centre. I’ve known it was there since very long, but I never really took the time to take a look. I was most of the time on my way to something else. From or to Waterloo station. This time I also didn’t plan to take a look, but I happened to walk passed it when I was looking for the Benugo cafe. I couldn’t help myself this time and went for a quick look. That quick look became a very long look though. As there were so many vegan options! At least 10 stalls have vegan food. I picked 8 stalls to tell you about. I just had my lunch, so unfortunately I couldn’t eat anything, but I did have a drink! Here we go..

1. ELEPHANT JUICE
Super fresh juices! And you have a lot of nice choices for a very good price. If I didn’t have lunch just before I would have gotten a nice juice here for sure. A Berry or Passion juice would have definitely taste amazing. Next time!

2. LULIN TEA
This is the place where I had a drink. I saw the words ‘Chai’ and ‘Latte’ and I decided instantly. They have lovely ethically, hand-picked and blended tea. They do a lovely vegan chai with soy milk. It was delicious! Only downside was, that they use sugar for that.

3. BREAD TREE
A market stall with big letters that write ‘Bruschetta’ is something I had to check out of course. They do yummy looking bruschetta and they have lots of vegan options. You can basically mix and match yourself!

4. CHALÉ
Ghanaian food with a very tasty looking vegan option. With kale, pumpkin, coconut and fried plantains. It’s not something you can just get everywhere. I would have loved to try this. A lot of people did, it was very busy at this stall.

5. ETHIOPIQUES
Ok. When I saw this I really regret I had my lunch already. This looked aH-mazing! Ethiopian food with so much colour and different dishes, everything 100% vegan! I know that Ethiopian food is really good. I’m definitely going to come back for this!

6. CHOCO FRUIT
In the end I came to this. Chocolate covered fruit. Oh yes! They have 3 sorts of chocolate, but only the dark one is vegan. I would have picked the dark one anyway. They let me taste it with a strawberry. Heaven! They don’t only have that, they also have cakes which are vegan.

7.LEVANTINE
When I was already on my way back I passed this falafel place, with a vegan option. The food looked really nice and fresh. Lebanese-style falafel with lots of veggies and stone baked flatbread. I love myself some falafel, so I keep this in mind.

8. HORN OK PLEASE
Opposite the falafel place I saw this Indian vegetarian food stall. And yes, with a vegan option for dal and samosa’s. I love Indian food, so this is another very good option for the next time.

I’m so happy to see so many vegan options everywhere. I guess I have to make a few more trips to Southbank! The street food market is only there in the weekends, almost all day.

OPENING TIMES:
Friday- 12:00 – 20:00*
Saturday- 11:00 – 20:00*
Sunday- 12:00 – 18:00
Monday (bank holidays only)- 12:00 – 18:00
*In the summer open until 21:00.

Are you excited after reading about all these vegan options? What would you have picked? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

EAT

The breakfast/lunch cafe you see a lot around London is EAT. I have to admit that I don’t go here very often. This is because a few years ago I checked them out and they only had 1 vegan option. But as times are changing and more and more cafes and restaurants are offering vegan option, I’d thought to give them another try. I went to the one in Southbank.This is quite a big EAT. I know the one in Westfield and that one is smaller. I think this EAT might be a good option if you’re with a bigger group (sightseeing) or with kids.

They are doing a lot better with the vegan option I must say. There were houmous-harissa sandwiches, a quinoa salad with veggies and seeds and even a warm dish with sweet potato and spinach. They also sell fruit, but nothing else to snack on. They do sell lots of non-vegan cakes and bars, so it would be nice to add 1-2 vegan options to that. I already had my lunch at Strada, next door, so I wasn’t in for a meal. Would have been so nice if they had a nice nut bar or chocolate brownie or something?! I ordered a green tea with soy milk and the girl who helped me was really friendly and nice. I really appreciated that!

EAT is not a cafe you go to for the lovely atmosphere and cosy corners. It’s perfect for a nice quick lunch though and have a little break from whatever you’re doing. I brought my laptop and wanted to do some writing. They have alright seats, but because it was very busy when I was there (I went on a Saturday, so duhh!) I didn’t have the best spot to work. But that’s ok, I wasn’t planning to stay more than an hour anyway. Though when I checked the wifi, there wasn’t any available. This was very disappointing. So I took my tea outside and started to walk to my next location. But now I know they have more vegan option, I will try one of their meals soon. They do look nice, so let’ see if they’re tasty!

WHO? EAT.
WHERE? Royal Festival Hall, Unit 4, Riverside Level 1, SE1 8XX.
CUISINE? Breakfast/Lunch Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 6 (Quite a few good looking vegan option, no wifi, could be more cosy)

Have you had lunch before at EAT? Did you like it? Are you going to try one of their vegan options soon? Please let me know if you decide to visit EAT! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Minkies Deli

Minkies Deli is basically across the road from me. It looks very nice, with the cart with oranges in front of it, but I never went here. Being so close to my flat just makes me eat and drink in my own house and I won’t go out as fast, unless I’m far away. Though I was very curious about this place. My boyfriend went to get coffee here one morning and brought some nice breads for me (yes, he’s so thoughtful). The breads were very tasty and the cups look very nice. I really like their logo, a straw in the shape of an -M. I went on a beautiful sunny day to have brunch (I had a green smoothie in the morning and it wasn’t lunchtime quite yet..).

For breakfast there are 2 options: a bagel with jam or sourdough bread with smashed avocado and grilled pepper as an option. I went for the last one. For lunch there is a houmous sandwich with aubergine or you could choose a salad, in case you’re looking for something more filling. I was surprised to see that they had 2 vegan cupcakes. A chocolate/almond one and an orange/almond one. They looked very nice, so I ordered a chocolate one. But the best thing I found out is.. they have Oatly foamable! They’re the first cafe/deli I went to, who serve this. They also have soy and almond milk btw. Their chai latte is made with a chai powder (a bit of a bummer), what contained cow’s milk (as always). I ordered a green tea and I was happy to find out they serve Tea Pigs. Good tea brand! I wasn’t expecting too much from the avocado sandwich, but I was pleasantly surprised when they put this amazing looking plate in front of me. It looked really good! The best thing?! So much creamy avocado!! The bread was super tasty (and still warm) and all together, with the touch of rocket on top, made it all very delicious. I really enjoyed it! The cupcake was very nice too. It was actually more like a brownie and it was very filling. So all together, this could have been a proper lunch!

Minkies Deli is almost completely made with glass walls. So it’s very light and open. I love that! I like the colours too, grey with bright pink. Very appealing. There are quite a lot of seats (also outside) and they have quite a few sockets as well, to charge your laptop/phone. Lovely spot to do some work! The staff was very helpful, friendly and open-minded. For example, they have milkshake they make with ice cream. So not vegan, but they were thinking out loud to make it vegan. I really liked that! It would have been nice if they had a few more vegan options though. They could offer a plant-based yogurt or porridge. Easy things to create more vegan options.

WHO? Minkies Deli.
WHERE? ‘Glasshouse’, Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 5RF. (next to Kensal Rise station)
CUISINE? Cafe/Deli.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (delicious food, friendly staff, more vegan options would make it great)

Do you know Minkies Deli? Or do you want to go now? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Animal Charity Shops

I really like that the second hand shops here in the UK are charity shops. We don’t have this in Holland. We do have second hand shops, big one most of the time, but it doesn’t go to charity. It such a good idea to have this, so you know that the stuff you donate and the money they get for that is going to a good cause. I like it even more that every shop has its own charity. This way you know where the money you spend there is going to. Now, the best thing is that there are also charity shops for animal organisations. I discovered that quite recently and I though it was so cool. I looked some up and I will tell you what they do. This way you can make a choice yourself of where you like to donate the stuff you don’t need or use anymore. Or maybe you want to take a look and make a purchase.

cpCATS PROTECTION
They rescue, rehabilitate and re-home cats. They also offering advice, give information and educate people who own cats or who are thinking about getting a cat. Cat Protection is run entirely by volunteers. If you want to know more about Cat Protection, if you have questions about your cat, want to adopt a cat or you want to know where their shop is, go to their website.

dtrustDOGS TRUST
Dogs Trust is the largest UK charity for the welfare of dogs. It already started in 1891! Today they’re active in 10 countries. Something great things they have been crucially involved in: the animal welfare act, breeding, dangerous dogs, greyhounds and currently microchipping. Dogs Trust is a huge organisation, doing lots of amazing things for dogs. If you want to know more about them or if you want to visit one of their many charity shops, go and check their website.

logo-rspcaRSPCA
Since 1824 the RSPCA is looking after the welfare of animals. They offer advice, microchipping, neutering and subsidised animal treatments. They also rehabilitate and re-home animals. You can report animal cruelty at the RSPCA. You can do this via their website or by calling (24-hour) of course. If you want to know what else they do, if you want to adopt an animal or check out their shops, go have a look on their website.

pdsaPDSA
This organisation provides animal care to the pets of people in need. They do this so they can prevent illness, suffering and death of pets. They treat sick and injured pets. They also educate people how to look after their pets. To find out more about what they do or to find out where to find their shops, check out their website.

These are only 4 organisations who have charity shops. Of course there are more, please check if there are animal charity shops near you!

Did you know there are charity shops for animal organisations? Are there any near you and do you donate your unwanted stuff here? Did you buy things in one of these shops before? I would love to hear about it! Please let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram to show me! Thank you! X

Benugo

img_7975When I used to live in Shepherds Bush, I went to Westfield quite a lot.. Quit often.. or let’s say, all the time! A lot of times I went to this lovely cafe, called ‘Benugo’. They served really nice food, but mostly I got this really nice green tea they have. Most of the time I went here alone, but I often met a friend there or I took my laptop with me to write the book I was writing at that moment. It was quite a big cafe and it was perfect for me. Everybody I knew liked this cafe, but sadly, one day, they closed down and it was replaced by.. Five Guys! Like.. how? This is one of the most horrific replacements ever in my opinion. Benugo has cafe’s, but some of them also have a kitchen. When I was in Southbank, I went to Waterloo Station and visited a Benugo cafe, to see what vegan options they have these days.

img_7976I looked at all the food, checking for vegan food. There wasn’t a lot of food in general, but there was a vegan falafel salad. When I asked one of the staff members, he said it just came in that day. What means, before that, they probably didn’t have vegan options. I’m glad that they decided to add this to the cafe-menu. It looked nice, but I thought it was quite expensive though. It was a small bowl, but for eating in, you had to pay almost £7! I asked if the hot chocolate was vegan and they checked for me. It was, f made with soy milk. The pack even had the vegan label on it. It had been a long time since I ordered hot chocolate.. years really! I also grabbed a little chocolate and so, all together, it was all very chocolaty afternoon snack. The hot chocolate was super nice and the little chocolate.. gosh! It was 53% cacao and it had salted almonds in it. You have to try this!

img_7977The Benugo in Waterloo Station is a bit different as it’s in front of the shops and not in a proper building. It’s a nice one though. It’s very vintage, with the stone bar, the reading lights and the wooden chairs. I said at the bar, overlooking the station, with the huge station clock in front of me. It was a nice spot. Though, because it’s not in a proper building, it’s quite cold. A lot of Benugo cafe’s/kitchens are inside a public place. Like this one, inside the station, but they’re also inside museums or even in some John Lewis warehouses  for example. I wish there were more Benugo cafe’s on it’ own though. They’re perfect cafes to take your laptop with you, to do some work and I wouldn’t go to the museum that fast to work there. A very good thing about Benugo is that they try their best to be sustainable. You’d think they’d be all vegan then, but that isn’t the case, unfortunately. Soon I will check out a Benugo kitchen and check their vegan option as I’m really curious now.

WHO? Benugo.
WHERE? Waterloo Station, 19/20 The Balcony, SE1 7LY.
CUISINE? Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (delicious (hot) chocolate, but could have been more lunch options)

Do you know Benugo already? Or are you going to try it now? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

 

Bob’s Cafe

As a nanny you go to lots of playgroups and activities. Once a week I also go to Kilburn library, to sing songs and read books. There are some lovely shops and cafe’s at Salusbury Road. I often get a nice tea at Starbucks and the farmers market is on every Sunday. There is also a cafe, called ‘Bob’s Cafe’. It stands out because of the nice blue-green colour. After the library we  (the 1 year old I look after and me) went to have lunch there. I did see sweet potato fries on the menu and as you know I really like those. So I was curious what they were like and what I could have with them.

They didn’t have a lot of choice for vegans unfortunately, but they did have a falafel burger. I thought that will go well with my sweet potato fries. I told the waiter I was vegan and that if this one will be alright if the yogurt sauce was left out. He was quite sure, but he would ask just in case. For the girl I look after I ordered toast with houmous and she could share my fries. It both came at the same time, but they gave me normal fries instead of sweet potato. So they were going to change it. In the meantime I had some of the toast and houmous, what was really good. Thickly sliced sourdough bread, properly toasted, very yummy! My fries arrived quite fast, what was nice. The falafel was really good, but when I was nearly finished, I noticed that the bread had quite a particular taste and also looked very golden brown. Then I realised there was probably egg used in and on it. If I was alone I would have said it and made a little bit of a fuss about it, but the baby was tired and we had to go home. Next time I will say something about it and order it with the sourdough bread. I’m sure that it will be very nice like that. My tummy started to feel weird on the way back and I had to lay down at home, because I felt so weird and uncomfortable. So I’m quite sure there was egg on the burger. A real disappointment!

I quite like the interior. They created a nice atmosphere with the booths seating on one side of the cafe, the light walls and the plants everywhere on the wall and hanging from the ceiling. It would have been nice if the plants were all real though. I really like the colours and that there are a few seats outside too. People were using them, as the weather was lovely that day. It’s child friendly I would say and if you go a bit early, like we did, it isn’t too busy. The staff was 50/50 I would say. Very helpful and open-minded (just not well informed). I’m sure if you ask them to put a vegan salad together (and make sure to tell them what is and isn’t vegan) they will. There was one lady though, who looked super moody and didn’t say anything. I think she didn’t mean it like that, but it wasn’t beneficial for the atmosphere. A shame.

WHO? Bob’s Cafe.
WHERE? 77 Salusbury Rd, NW6 6NH.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 6 (nice interior, nice fries/falafel, could have more vegan options, poor knowledge)

Do you know Bob’s Cafe already? Are you going to give them a try? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Gracelands

img_7532I went to Gracelands on a very stormy day. The storm was so crazy, that they put a table and door stoppers to stop the door from opening all the time and the storm blowing everything away inside. Luckily, you can also go into Gracalands via the back. There is a building called ‘Graclands Yard‘ and I sometimes go there with the baby I look after, for a music class. They also do yoga classes, pilates classes and lots more.. it’s worth taking a look! So I came in via the back. This way you basically come in via the kitchen, but it’s allowed to go via there any time. Very convenient in these extreme weather conditions I must say.

img_7530I ordered a Chai tea with soy milk and an organic porridge with fruit compote. They  normally make it with cow’s milk, but I asked if it was possible to have it with almond milk and that was totally fine. They were super easy going. I was very curious about the fruit compote. The tea came first and I did have to wait a little longer for my porridge though. It was a little busy, must have been all people who tried to find shelter from the storm. It was worth the wait though, because the porridge looked lovely and it was very tasty! I really liked that it was made with whole rolled oats. This way it’s a bit more chewy. I like my porridge like that. It makes me think about the way my grandma makes it. The fruit compote was super tasty too. It was pear, grapes and maybe even some other fruit too. It had these yummy winter spices, what was a super nice combination with the warm porridge. The tea was from Pukka and I like that tea a lot. Lovely breakfast all together! You can also get salads and I’m sure they can make you something vegan in case you’re there for lunch.

img_7531Gracelands is quite a big cafe. It has lots of big vintage tables and chairs and it is perfect for if you want to take your laptop and work for a bit. It’s quite close to my flat, so I might have breakfast here more often and work there in the morning. Because of there are children classes and a play corner for children, there are a lot of mums and nannies with their children. So be prepared for that though. On the other hand, if you have children yourself, it’s a lovely cafe to go to! The style is very vintage and I think it’s a very nice style for a cafe. The front is already very nice, with the colours and the little lights hanging in the windows. They sure created a nice atmosphere. I think they could have done even better though, as here and there it does look a bit messy or something. The staff is very friendly and the food is nice, so worth a go!

WHO? Gracelands.
WHERE? 118 College Rd, NW10 5HD.
CUISINE? Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Very nice porridge and Pukka tea + good for families or working)

Do you know Gracelands already? Or are you going to try it now? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X