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

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Farm Girl Cafe

I thought I was kind of a Portobello Road expert, as I spend many many many days on this road. But when I was flying back home from Mallorca and a friend pointed out an article where the Farm Girl Cafe was mentioned, I had no idea. It turned out to be on the bit of Portobello Road I almost never go to. You have to cross a street for this bit and I actually always turn around before. Later I did guess where it was as I remember a hidden cafe when I went to a dance class with the kids I look after. I didn’t know the name anymore, but that was the only place I could think of. And when I got there, I was right. That was the cafe. Funny that I knew about it for so long, without knowing it.. if that makes sense?! Haha!

At the Farm Girl Cafe they do serve meat, but they also have a fair choice of vegan options. It was a lovely sunny morning and after a little wait (it’s a very popular place), I was able to sit outside. Their menu is on point, with a ‘V’ behind everything that is vegan. Super handy if restaurants do this. I saw crazy good smashed avocado toast passing by (a lot!), but as I always try to limit my bread intake, I chose the acai bowl. I heard it was good. I asked for a chai latte, but they are not vegan as they use honey. So the waiter suggested to have chai tea, with milk on the side. They have coconut milk, almond milk and hazelnut milk, all from Rude Health. I chose coconut. The acai came in a lovely coconut bowl, but I was a little disappointed with the presentation. They just threw everything in there.. such a shame, because you can really make it look nice with all these toppings (banana, coconut, seeds, granola, almond butter). The tea was super delicious btw, the best chai tea I’ve had! They also do a very famous charcoal latte, but I was afraid I was going to be too full. So I will come back for this for sure. They have 4 vegan all day breakfast options and 3 lunch options (from 11:00). I think that is pretty good! I have to come here more often.

What I really like about the Farm Girl Cafe is that it’s hidden. You don’t expect a cafe, but going through a porch, suddenly there is the most beautiful cafe. Lots of plants, white walls, seats outside, truly lovely. Inside it’s quite spectacular too, with the petrol coloured tiles, high ceiling and the opportunity to sit on a long table, up stairs, overlooking the cafe. There is lots of fresh fruit and veggies near the counter and that looks super nice against the tiles. They created a very unique atmosphere. The service was a little slow at times, but the staff was very friendly though. Something I didn’t like were the prices. It is pretty expensive! My acai bowl was nice, but not he best I’ve had and it lacked presentation. Still all together (acai bowl, chai tea) it was £17,50. This is a little outrageous if you ask me.

WHO? Farm Girls Cafe.
WHERE? 59A Portobello Rd, W11 3DB.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (Lovely place, good food and amazing tea, but very expensive)

Did you already know the Farm Girl Cafe? 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

Netherlands October 2017

Hello everybody, I’m sorry I hardly posted anything in the past 2 weeks. It has just been so busy with moving houses and with getting used to being in a new place. Also, since a week I own a little piglet, that I saved from a pig farm. So the last week has been crazy crazy, with looking after him. Especially because he was (and still is a bit) very ill. He’s still very up and down, what makes me very stressed. Anyway, that was the reason why I wasn’t that active here. I’ll try to post more regularly again from now on. I just have to organise it all a little better and find a new routine. I did promise you to tell you all about my travels to the Netherlands in October and I’ve got some lovely new hotspots for you, so there we go.

I left quite early in the morning on Friday the 13th (ah oh! ..haha!) to Stansted Airport. My favourite airport to fly from and to when it comes to London. Everything went well and I had some spare time to get a Starbucks before boarding. I flew to Eindhoven, what means I had to travel another 3 hours by train from there to Assen. I actually really like this, because I can just look out of the window and relax. My mum was there to pick me up. One of the reasons I was coming to the Netherlands this time, is because my mum bought a little house and I wanted to see it of course. It’s he cutest little bungalow with an amazing garden. I love it a lot! My nephew came in the end of the day, because he was coming with us to Amsterdam the next day. So lovely to see him. That night we had to sleep at my mum’s work. For the people who don’t know, my mum works at Rikus. Rikus is a hotel-restaurant n Eext. Normally the lady who does the vegetable gardens lives above Rikus, but as she was on holiday and there needs to be somebody in the building at night, my mum slept in her house. We actually slept there for 3 nights. It’s an amazing apartment! I love it so much! Apart from the location and that it’s above a hotel, I’d totally see myself living there. In the evening we watched the movie White Chicks with the 3 of us and then went to sleep. As we had to wake up early to travel to the capital.

We caught the 7:30 train and about 2 hours later we got out at Amsterdam Central. Amsterdam is such a lovely city. We came here for 2 things. First of all we were visiting my mum’s friend and second I met Lisa (from the blog Lisa Goes Vegan) to give her the key of my flat. Lisa will live in my flat for a month, after I moved to the country side. She will work on her second book there, what is so cool. I wish her all the best! First of all I wanted to visit this place called ‘Koffie ende Koeck’. I heard so many nice things about this, that I wanted to see it for myself. Koffie ende Koeck is such a lovely cafe and 100% vegan! Yay! My mum had a cappuccino with oat milk, I (of course) ordered a chai latte and my nephew wanted a yummy tropical smoothie. I also ordered a croissant and my mum tried their brownie. It was all super delicious, though my mum did say the cappuccino could have been a bit hotter. We walked everything this day and so we passed a lot of nice looking hotspots too. We didn’t have time (and enough space in our stomach) to go everywhere, but I will mention them in the hotspot list.

We walked all the way to Olive&Cookie. This is a very nice little restaurant, run by two lovely people. It was actually closed, but because my mum’s friends knows them well, they opened the restaurant especially for us, whilst they were preparing some catering. Because you can also hire them for catering. It was so nice. Lovely to meet them all and the food.. wohw! This was such delicious food! If you get the chance, please go here and you’ll know what I mean. It’s all vegetarian, but there are also a lot of vegan dishes. They made me pastries filled with lentils and veggies, there was crispy sweet potato (I could have eaten all by myself), beetroot salad and an amazing chickpeas salad. As a dessert they made me not one, but two cupcakes. Most delicious an I ate them both, haha! This is the kind of food you do not want to swallow, because it feels so good in your mouth. I will definitely come back for this. Then we met Lisa, fairy close to there, at The Meets. A very nice eatery with several healthy vegan things on the menu. We all had a fresh coconut, what was super delicious. It was lovely to meet Lisa as we do not only share the same name, but we’re both bloggers and have a passion for veganism. She’s such a lovely girl and I’m super happy to have her in my flat. This way it feels like I gradually move from London, even though I don’t live there anymore whilst she is there. On our way back to the station we passed several amazing hotspots. Amsterdam really is more up coming. There are new hotspots every time I visit. At the station my nephew and I ordered a portion of fries, because Smullers (a snackbar you can find on almost any big train station) now offers vegan mayonnaise. I obviously had to try that. It was a lovely day in Amsterdam.

On Sunday we took a new family picture. So everybody came to my mum’s place and we took a lovely picture in the garden. It was very nice to have everybody together. After we went to the snackbar to have lunch (didn’t I have fries yesterday already? Oops!). On Monday my mum and I went to my dad’s house in the forest and we had a drink on the terrace in the nearby village. We also went to the COOP supermarket to get some Vivera products. Mainly to take them home to London. Vivera is a very nice Dutch brand, that does sell in London, but only a small selection. Now I was finally be able to try their new vegan fish burger for example. It was very yum! On our way back we stopped the car to collect some chestnuts. Later that evening I put them in the oven and my mum, my brother and I were enjoying them, until my brother and I both discovered one with a maggot in it. You kind of lose your appetite then. I felt mostly bad for putting them in the oven though.

I needed to have some new jeans and a shop I always find some good ones is C&A. So my mum and I went to Emmen to do some shopping and lucky me, I did find 2 pair of new jeans. When we finished we went to see my sister in Hoogeveen, because she just moved houses too and I wanted to see her new house of course. A lovely house, with so much space. What is good, because there is a third baby on the way.. I will become an aunty again next year April, yay! On our way back we stopped by my aunt and uncle and my cousin Blessing. I love Blessing very much. Poor him though, because he had broken his arm at football practice. So we brought him some treats. So lovely to see them all. On Wednesday I went to see my grandparents (I always visit them whenever I’m in the Netherlands) and on Thursday I went back home again. Home for only one more night, as I moved houses the next day.

HOTSPOT LIST:
Rikus – Hotel-Restaurant – Hoofdstraat 10, 9463 PC Eext.
Koffie ende Koek – Cafe – Haarlemmerweg 175, 1051 LA Amsterdam.
Juice Brothers + Van Leeuwen – Juice & Ice Cream – Haarlemmerplein 43, 1013 Amsterdam.
SLA – Salad bar – Westerstraat 34, 1015 MK Amsterdam.
Impression – Painting studio – Van Beuningenplein 1, 1051 VS Amsterdam.
Olive & Cookie – Restaurant – Saenredamstraat 67, 1072 CD Amsterdam.
The Meets – Eatery – Cornelis Troostplein 3, 1072 JJ Amsterdam.
Mastino – Pizzaria – Eerste van der Helststraat 78 hs, 1072 NZ Amsterdam.
Vegan Junk Food Bar – Restaurant – Staringplein 22, 1054 VL Amsterdam.
Smullers – Snackbar – Amsterdam Centraal (+ many more train stations).

Have you been to any of these hotspots yet? Or 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

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

Franco Manca

I actually wanted to go to the Franco Manca on Westbourne Grove, but because I had limited time and needed to get some dresses before my holiday, I decided to go to the one in the Westfield (White City). Franco Manca must have grown a lot in relatively short time, because though I heard about it a few years ago, all of a sudden I see them everywhere. They have 38 restaurants in total now, whilst only starting in 2008. Franca Manca make their pizza’s with a sourdough base. Though it does have some gluten, it is easier to digest this way. I saw a lot of great looking pizza’s on Instagram and some good reviews. So I wanted to try this for myself and to see if they have some vegan options of course.

The waitress explained to me that you can choose your pizza (the have 6 options) and then add the topping you like. Some pizza’s already have lots of toppings, but the first pizza only includes the base, the sauce, oregano and garlic. So no cheese too. This makes it a perfect vegan pizza to begin with. They have 2 huge signs with their toppings and you can choose whatever you like. I went for the courgette, olives, onions and some spinach. My pizza was in front of me very fast. This must be thanks to the 2 huge pizza ovens. It looked amazing, quite big too! I started with the crust first. It was soft, but with a slight crisp. I expected to taste a lot more of the sourdough taste, but even though you could taste it was different, it wasn’t that obvious. The vegetables on top were perfect and very tasty. If you love garlic, then this is your pizza, because it has a big garlic taste. I liked it! The base in the middle was good from the bottom, but it was slightly undercooked on the top. This was a shame. I couldn’t finish the pizza because of this, because it was quite heavy this way.

Apart from the pizza and some small things (olives and bread) there aren’t that much vegan options, but in their defence, they do not have a very big menu. They do have one desert for vegans though, what is the very familiar vegan dessert: the sorbet. I didn’t try it though and I do appreciate that at least they have something. The Franco Manca in Westfield is a very beautiful restaurant I must say. Because of the very big windows from floor to ceiling, it’s super light and they have 2 huge pizza ovens (the red and the yellow one, here on the picture ^) in their open kitchen. I also really like their interior, it’s very industrial and it has high ceilings. I also really like the chairs, they really add to the style.

WHO? Franco Manca.
WHERE? Westfield White City, Ariel Way, W12 7GA.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (Nice pizza, but a shame it wasn’t cooked properly in the middle, great interior)

Did you already know Franco Manca? Or 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

UK – Wales

For my work I went to Wales for a week. I stayed very close to the coast, a few minutes drive from St.Davids. Because the family I work for went by car and the journey is too long to be squished in between the girls car seats, I took the train. I love traveling by train, so I didn’t mind at all. I will tell you a little bit about what I did every day.

FRIDAY
I had the morning to do a little bit of relaxing, to start the day slowly and to get ready. My train was going at 12:30, from Paddington Station. I arrived at the station perfectly on time and I didn’t have to wait too long before we took off. The first part of the journey, until Bristol Temple Meads was a bout 2 hours, then from there to Newport it was only half an hour (though there was a little delay) and the last bit towards Haverfordwest was another 3 hours. Everything went really well and though I left with a grey sky and rain, the weather got better and better. I planned to do some work on the train, but I was too distracted by the beautiful views. Especially when I arrived in Wales, the views were really breathtaking. So not a lot of work done, but a lot of thinking and enjoying. When I arrived at Haverfordwest, my employer was already waiting for me to pick me up. Before going to the cottage, we went to get groceries at a very big Morrisons. From there it was about half an hour to the holiday cottage and in the meantime it got rainy and dark. The cottage was so  lovely. I couldn’t see the outside too well, but the inside was amazing. So much space and proper country side style. Light walls, old dark wooded floors and an amazing big bathroom!! My room was all the way upstairs, with a very cute en-suite bathroom. I shared the top floor with the girls, but they had their own bedroom though. I quickly warmed up some lentil soup and then unpacked my things. I  love doing that, hehe.. The rest of the evening I just relaxed and read a little bit. Just before bedtime I wanted to take a shower, but I couldn’t get the water warm. So I had a very very cold shower, because I just can’t go to bed without a shower.. let alone in freshly washed sheets!

SATURDAY
The bed is so cosy and lovely, I had an amazing sleep. For breakfast I had some fruit and tea and then we headed to Whitesands Bay, a beautiful beach. The tide was in, so we went into the little shop and had a tea in the cafe. After that we could wander around on the beach for a bit, yay! There are always so many things to see on the beach. Beautiful shells, crab claws, seaweed, pretty rocks.. I used to take things with me, but I never do something with it, so now I just admired it whilst I’m there. In the afternoon we went to a close by harbour. When the tide is in you can’t walk there, but it wasn’t, so we could walk at the bottom of the harbour, towards the sea. Was very fun and it was super beautiful there. In the evening I made myself a burger, I did some reading and though my employer got my shower to work during the day, the only thing I got was freezing water. I was too cold to take a proper shower, so I had to splash myself a little to at least feel fresh enough to go into bed. I was sooo cold after!

SUNDAY
When we were in the cafe yesterday, we found out there is a trampoline place nearby. So we went there this morning. It’s called Hangar 5 and it’s a big place full of only trampolines. So much fun! In the beginning I felt a little wobbly, but once I got into it, I was confident enough to do (quite) high star jumps and to really enjoy it. Only a few minutes drive from there was a big restaurant and we went there for lunch. I always prepare to have salad and fries, but to my surprise they actually had quite a lot of vegan food. They even marked it as ‘vegan’ on the menu. It made me so happy. There were things like: Asian slaw, Garlic bread, Spiced cauliflower & kale brown rice, Basil pesto penne, Grilled Harissa aubergine and even an Apple pie for dessert. I went for the Grilled Harissa Aubergine and gave them a compliment for their vegan options. The restaurant is called ‘The Lost Coins’ btw and I had a lovely lunch here. In the evening I was determined to get my shower to work, so my employer took another look and he got it to work within a minute. Turned out that hot is cold and cold is hot and you had to run it quite a while on ‘cold’, before it got hot. At least I had a lovely warm bath that evening, what was so lovely. I really enjoyed that.

MONDAY
Again I had some fruit for breakfast and then we went out to explore St.Davids. It’s an absolute beautiful village. We originally went to do an art workshop with the children, but when we got there it was closed. So we decided to go to the cathedral. Wohw! What a beautiful cathedral. I really loved walking around there. Everything is so detailed and beautifully made. In the back is a little restaurant and we had lunch there. They only did 2 side dishes, but both were vegan. So I had some mixed veggies and roasted potato, with a little bread roll on the side. I filled the bread with the veggies and though it wasn’t a lot of food, it was surprisingly delicious. I felt really content as it made me happy that even here you don’t have to starve if you choose for cruel free. The world is changing! In the afternoon everybody went to the beach, but I stayed at home to cook for the kids. In the meantime I also tidied up and cleaned the kitchen. Because I just can’t stand crumbs and mess, haha! I had some yummy pasta in the evening, with a home-made tomato sauce.

TUESDAY
This morning I started with yogurt, banana, strawberries and muesli. A good breakfast for a morning at the seaside. We went to the beach they went to yesterday. It was a beautiful beach, enclosed with cliffs. A lady said that people sometimes swim with seals here, so cool! I also found a shark egg, what was so nice. Later I did some research and it turned out to be from a ‘Small-spotted Catshark’. We took some sandwiches with us for the kids and whilst they were eating them around lunchtime I suddenly spotted 2 seals swimming a few meters from the shore! I was so excited to see them!! So I sat on the rocks, closest from where they were and waited for ages.. and a few times they showed themselves again. I actually didn’t want to leave ever again, but we obviously had to head back at one point. In the afternoon we watched a children’s program (Ruff-ruff Tweet and Dave) and they made a rainbow out of veggies and fruits. So when it was finished, we made a rainbow too. We ate the fruit for snack and the veggies for dinner. So much fun!

WEDNESDAY
I had the same breakfast as yesterday and after I helped to get the kids ready I was off for (most of) the day. I took some time to relax, read and work on my blog. I made myself an avocado pasta salad for lunch and after that I prepared some meals for the next few days. I cooked a butternut squash and made it into a pasta sauce, together with some other veggies. It was lovely to do some cooking by myself, listen to music and sing along. So relaxing and fun. In the afternoon I helped out a bit, by playing with the kids outside and I also cooked and gave them their dinner. It was a lovely relaxing day.

THURSDAY
The last day, because tomorrow morning I will catch the morning train back to London. So today we went to the same beach as where we saw the seals last Tuesday. We played on the rocks, explored some caves and looked for treasures (pretty stones, shells, crab claws, shark eggs, seaweed etc). Then 2 dogs came on the beach and started barking very loudly. It turned out, that not far from us was a baby seal in between the rocks. We didn’t see him at first, because his fur blends in with the rocks so well. We went to see him (to make it easy I’m going to assume it was a boy ok?) and thought he might be hurt, because he didn’t move away and started to make noises. So we decided to call an organisation to ask if it was normal. The only thing was that we didn’t have reception there. So somebody went up to find reception and we started to play around again. But then the seal suddenly wanted to go back to the sea. At that same moment the lady who made a call cam back and said we should leave him alone, but he shouldn’t go back into the sea, because he was waiting for his mum there. So we panicked a little, because he was on his way to the sea. We tried to stop him, but it was quite tricky. We decided to make a call to a sanctuary as we didn’t want him to die in the sea, because of losing his parents. Then another lady came onto the beach and said we should probably just let him. But we felt so guilty, because we went to this beach and that’s why it was disturbed. So we decided to take all our stuff quickly and run away, hoping he would stay on the beach if we left. But when we climbed back up to the cliff he did go into the sea anyway. I felt so bad, because if it wouldn’t survive it was our fault. As soon as we got back to the cottage I send the pictures I took to my best friend, who knows a lot about seals. Then he told me that the seal looked old enough to look after himself and that he looked very well too. I was so happy to hear that and felt a lot less guilty. All together it was very amazing to see a beautiful wild animal from so close though. So special! In the afternoon we went to Whitesands Bay again for a bit and when we got back I started to pack an prepare everything for tomorrow. I took a last bath and then curled up in my lovely bed for the last night. I slept so well during my stay. Very deep.

FRIDAY
An early wake, because my taxi was going to pick me up at 8:40 and before that I helped giving the kids breakfast and to get everything ready and packed. The drive to the station was very nice, because I had a very nice taxi driver, who was born and raised in St.Davids. He had an adopted Jack Russel and as soon as we discovered our love for dogs, you can imagine we didn’t talk about anything else anymore. The train journey went very well. I only had to change once at Newport this time and before I knew it I was at Paddington Station again. I arrived home at 16:15 and quickly got some banana and spinach, because I craved a green smoothie after not having it for a whole week.

HOTSPOTS LIST:
Whitesands Bay (beach)
Hangar 5 Trampoline Park – Fishguard Rd, Haverfordwest SA62 4BY.
The Lost Coins (restaurant) – Fishguard Road, Haverfordwest SA62 4BP.
St.Davids Cathedral

I thought I’d type a short story about what I was up to this week, but in the meantime I typed over 2000 words. Oops! Anyway, Wales is beautiful! A lot of times I thought ‘I’m going to come back here’, and I will. As soon as I have my van (read about my van and life changing adventure here) ready, I will make some trips to Wales for sure. It will be perfect for some try outs.

Have you been to Wales yet? Or are you really excited to go now? I would love to hear about your trip and experiences! I would also really appreciate some recommendations for when I will go again. You can leave a comment below or you can show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Newsletter OCTOBER

This is a big month! For lots of different vegan reasons, but also for personal reasons. There are also a lot of other things happening in October.. a great start of Autumn!

07-08/10 – BRIGHTON VIVA! VEGEN FESTIVAL 
A huge vegan festival in the lovely Brighton, held at the Hilton Hotel. Both days you’re welcome between 11:00-17:00. There are around 100 vegan stalls, including many caterers. There will also be cookery demos, talks and workshops. The tickets are £5 at the door, £8 for a whole weekend and £15 for fast track entry + goody bag!

13-15/10 – BRIGHTON OCTOBERFEST – Beer&Cider Festival
And there is more to do in Brighton this month as the following weekend there will be a 3 day beer & cider festival, starting at 20:00 on Friday and ending on Sunday 23:00. All made without any animal derived finings. It’s held at the Cowley club.

13-19/10 – NETHERLANDS 
Before I move (move??), I planned a holiday to the Netherlands, to have a little break (well.. break? I will be doing lots of things!) and to spend some time with my family. I will be going to Amsterdam for a day and do lots more. I will of course write about it all when I come back, with hopefully some new hotspots for you.

17/10 – TRAFFIC LIGHT PARTY
For everybody who wants to meet new people, go have dinner at Tibits this Tuesday between 18:30 – 10:30. They are having a Traffic Light Party. Red = off limits (e.g. attached and monogamous, or single but not looking).  Green = single and looking. Yellow = other (e.g. attached but polyamorous, early days of dating someone or prefer not to say). This is not a singles party, buy if you are single.. who knows!

20-22/10 OM YOGA SHOW
A 3 day show, all about yoga. With lots of classes and workshops in 3 levels. Friday: 11:00-18:00 / Saturday: 10:00-18:00 / Sunday: 10:00-17:00. It’s held at Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY. There will be vegan (and vegetarian) caterers serving hot and cold food. You can get your ticket at the door, but you get a discount if you get your tickets in advance.

21/10 – HACKNEY DOWNS VEGAN MARKET
There will be a lovely vegan market in Hackney again, like every month. There are such lovely stalls and you will be pleased to choose from a wide range of great tasting food. It’s from 11:00-17:00 and the entry is free. I’ve been here twice already and there is such good food.. really worth going!

21-22/10 – VEGFEST UK
Yay! VegFest timeee! A huge vegan festival with over 250 stalls, held at London Olympia. There will be so much to do. Some of the highlights are: Professional Health Summit – Vegan Athletes Summit – Environmental and Food Sustainability Summit – Animal Rights Summit – Vegan Comedy Festival – Vegan Film Festival (‘The Invisible Vegan’ will premiere here!) – Cookery Demos, – Living Raw Zone.. and much more! On Saturday it’s open from 11:00-18:00 and on Sunday from 10:00-17:00. Tickets at the door are £15, but if you book in advance they’re £12. If you buy one ticket, you will get the second for half price. Be quick though, because there are only a few of those tickets left! For more information and to see what else is on, go visit their website.

22/10 – MOVING DAY
This will be my last day living in London, because this weekend I will be moving to the country side. Moving to the country side?? Yes! You can read all about it here. New life starts now..

29/10 – BRIXTON VEGAN MARKET
Brixton launches a vegan market at the Brixton Station Road today. It will be from 9:30-15:30 and you can find lots of sweet and savoury food here. Hurray for another vegan market!

31/10 – HALLOWEEN
I’m not so much into Halloween, but there will be a yummy Halloween recipe up on my blog!

MORE EXCITING NEWS
* Wagamama will launch a vegan menu with 6 main options! YAY! It’s not available everywhere yet, but hopefully it will be soon!
* Tofurky will come with pre-packed sandwiches in 3 flavours (Tempeh Lettuce Tomato / Chick’n & Sweetcorn / Chipotle Chick’n). You can buy these at the WholeFoodsMarket from the 2nd of October. So curious!

RECIPE SPOILER
The Halloween recipe will be up just before Halloween, to give you enough time to get the ingredients! Keep an eye out!

Was this helpful, did you like to read this or do you have any questions? Would you like to tell me about your Easter.. I’d love to hear all about it! Please let me know in a comment below! Do you have any exciting things coming up what is related to veganism, positivity, spirituality etc? Please let me know! Send me a message via CONTACT and I might publish it in my next newsletter! Thank you! X

Pizza Express

I’ve been to Pizza Express quite a lot, but that is years ago. I was very excited to discover that they started offering vegan mozzarella. So I decided I needed to see this with my own eyes and very important too: taste this! I went to the Pizza Express in Camden. The day I went it was raining and as I hate umbrellas (cuz of loving the rain), I was a little soaked when I arrived. When I came in they stared at me like they didn’t know what to do with me. I wasn’t sure if this was because of being a little wet, or because they didn’t expect customers. It was just been 12:00, maybe a little early, but I always like to go on times it’s less busy, because then there is more time for answering my questions etc. I asked about the vegan options, but they didn’t really know what to say. So I chose a table and started to look at the menu myself.

There was a special vegan pizza, but you can swap ingredients around, until you have the pizza you like. This was the only thing the guy was able to tell me. Later I was told by somebody else that the special changes every 3-4 months and if it’s selling well, they stay on the menu. This made me decide to order this pizza, because we have to support vegan options (so you know what to order at Pizza Express now..haha!). It had onion, olives, artichoke, asparagus and the vegan mozzarella. It looked nice and as I love all these veggies, it was a good choice anyway. The pizza was tasty and I definitely enjoyed it, though it’s not a pizza I directly come back for. It’s perfect for if you’re going with somebody who isn’t vegan, because then you can still enjoy a good vegan pizza, whilst not have to go to a vegan place. I’m super happy that Pizza Express made this change and I really hope they keep at least one already vegan pizza on the menu. The pizza is not the only vegan things they have. They also have a salad called ‘Leggera Superfood Salad’ and this one is vegan too. I really want to try this one too on day. Anybody who had it already?

The Pizza Express in Camden is not really big, but it has nice big windows and the possibility to sit outside (when it’s not raining..). They also have a big mirror on one wall, I guess to make it look bigger. anyway.. it’s handy for if you want to check if there are any veggies stuck in your teeth, haha! Though I was pleased with my pizza, I thought the service here was really bad. I don’t know if all of them had a bad day or something, but nobody was really helpful. There was one guy who was new (his second day!), so I can’t blame him, but the rest had no menu knowledge. I only got short unsure answers, without a lot of information. I really had to pull it out of them and then they had to ask 3 times in the meantime. And there were some other things too, but let’s not be only negative, because there are a lot of Pizza Express restaurants and I’m sure this is not everywhere.

WHO? Pizza Express.
WHERE? 85 Parkway, NW1 7PP.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (Nice pizza, few other vegan options, but not very helpful staff.)

You probably know Pizza Express already, but did you try their vegan pizza yet? 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

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

Just F.A.B. Food Bus

Just Fab is not just a restaurant, but it’s actually a bus. An old London bus which is used as a kitchen and a restaurant. It’s located in Hackney and just a 10 minute walk from Bethnal Green. It’s very easy to find and you can hardly miss it once you’re in the right street. There is a huge entre with paintings of the bus. There is an outside bit where you can sit, made of wooden pallets, bus seats and old wooden things. Very inventive! There is a lovely black cat too, who is happy to be stroked. When coming through the entre, the bus is right in front of you. You order from the outside, before you find a seat outside or upstairs.

Just Fab is 100% vegan and is all about Italian food. Though they do have burgers as well.. I ordered the red lasagna, with some tasty olives on the side and then I went to sit up stairs. It turned out that Sarah Bentley (founder of eco community kitchen ‘Made in Hackney’) was also enjoying some food there, together with her husband and 3 year old son. They also had the red lasagna and, just like me, they thought it was yummy. She was also enjoying the Vegamisu and she told me to try it, because it was the best she had. So I went down stairs to get it. There I met the owner, who also let me try the Panelle Fritters (made from chickpeas and seasoned with lemon and parsley) and the Mini Arancini (sticky rice ball with crispy breadcrumbs) + the Vegamisu (tiramisu). I really liked the Mini Arancini, it was full of flavour with a good crunch on the outside. The Panelle Fritters were tasty, very different, but for me personally not very special. The Vegamisu was really good though! Super creamy and just very delicious. Highly recommended!

I really like the idea of a restaurant in a bus. Though if you like a lot of luxury, it’ll not be your thing. The bus is old and the dish my lasagna came in, was broken. This really adds to the whole atmosphere though and I don’t mind. People who love Berlin, will probably like it here. It’s a bit like that. The owner was kind and very easy going, what makes it quite relaxed. I had my doubts with the guy who was preparing and serving the food though. I don’t know if he just really didn’t want to be there or maybe he didn’t have his day. There was no kindness and there was no laughing or even basic politeness. He walked away whilst answering my questions and when Sarah asked for some soy milk for her son, he couldn’t give it to her, because that was only for the coffee. Very strange and just not really nice. Overall, for the food and the ambience, it’s nice to go here though, especially as a tourist or with children.

I want to thank Just Fab for the tasty food!

WHO? Just Fab Food Bus.
WHERE? 459, 455 Hackney Rd, E2 9DY.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 7 (Good food, very nice that it’s in a bus, but the serving was poorly.)

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