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

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Veggie Pret

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

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

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

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

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

Ice Yay

Yay, the summer officially started! And how.. it was 34 degrees that day! With that heat I was craving some cold ice tea. You probably know the feeling?! The ice teas in the supermarket are full of sugar, so why not make it yourself? It’s so super easy! I would definitely call this a cheat recipe. You can make this ice tea with any tea you like. Last year I bought a very nice pina colada tea in Mallorca and that is the one I used, to give it this extra summery flavour. It was delicious with some extra lemons in there. So refreshing! You can also make this with green tea, passion fruit tea (or any other fruit flavour), earl grey or even the old English breakfast tea. Experiment what your favourite flavour is. So for all the hot days to come.. you will be prepared now!

ICE YAY

Serves: 6

-1,5 l water
-3 tea bags
-2-3 tbs agave nectar
-1 tbs palm sugar
-1 lemon (sliced)
-ice cubes (optional)

-Kettle
-Jug
-Fridge

-Boil the water.
-Pour the hot water in a jug and let it cool down for 10 minutes.
-Put all the tea bags in the jug and let the soak for 3-10 minutes. It really depends on how strong you want it to get. Taste regular and take the bags out as soon as you like the strength.
-Mix in the agave nectar (add to taste) and the palm sugar.
-Add the lemon slices, give it a last mix and let it all cool down.
-As soon as it’s room temperature you can put it in the fridge. Leave it in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
-Personally I don’t like ice cubes too much, but if you do, make sure you add some before you pour yourself a glass.

Let the hot days come! Are you going to make this recipe? Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below. You can also tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

The Smarter Tea of T Plus

Time for tea! Always sounds lovely, because tea is always a good idea (that’s why it rhymes!). I discovered this new tea at a vegan festival and I was given them te review. Say hello to a new generation of vitamin.. the smarter tea from T Plus! This new, independent British company created tea with lots of extra vitamins. We all know that green tea is good for us and it has loads of antioxidants. Like we know that herbal teas all have different health benefits. T Plus created tea which has it all. As a base they’re using hand picked green tea from Sri Lanka. Then they add herbs, whole pieces of fruit and a little bit of natural flavouring. Then it’s not finished yet, because then they also add some daily essential vitamins. This works great for everybody who does enjoy a cup of tea, but is living a busy life.

They created 4 teas. Each tea has it’s own flavour and own health benefits. Have your pick:
Boost: raspberry & pomegranate – energy releasing B vitamins, natural yerba mate and ginseng.
Immunitea: orange & blueberry – 50% rda vitamin C, immune helping herbs.
Detox
: apple & blackcurrant – cleansing herbs, vitamin B&C.
Multea: lemon & peach – 9 daily essential vitamins, natural cardamom, spearmint and rosemary.

 

So I tried them all (in one day! I must be so healthy now, hehe..) and I love them all. First of all the smell is define. When you close your eyes it really feels like your head is hanging above freshly cut fruit. Due to the fruit they all have a hint of sweetness, but they also all have their own taste. I really like the Multea. What is funny, because normally I’m not really a citrus tea kind of person, but in combination with the sweet peach, it’s really nice. And how great is it that there are 9 (!) essential vitamins hidden in there? This really is a smart way of drinking tea. Now the packaging. I’m normally not a big fan of multi coloured items, but I think here it works. As it’s all about vitamins and fruit and so I think they really pulled it off. They are now available at The Whole Foods Market, in Holland&Barret and Ocado. Find your nearest shop and get your hand on these!

PS: I’m off to the toilet..

Did you already know the smarter way of drinking tea or are you going to try them now? Which one is your favourite? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

 

 

Linseed / Chocolate

LINSEED
Whenever I buy linseed, which is whenever I run out, I buy the brown linseed from Biona at the Whole Foods Market. I love this brand and it has good prices for good quality. I use linseed every day. I always put 1/2-1 tbsp in my green smoothie. I also use it as a topping for my smoothie bowls, yogurt or in my salad. Linseed are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and fibre, but they are also high in antioxidants. Perfect to start your day with this. Starting your day with a tbs of linseed is especially helpful when you’re a constipated. That also means that you have to make sure you don’t use too much, as it can work lactating.

CHOCOLATE
It’s quite tricky to get Tony’s Chocolonely here in the UK. There are a few rare shops that sell it, but it’s definitely not like it is in Holland. There you can just get them everywhere, even in the normal supermarkets. I’m sure they will come to the UK. Tony’s Chocolonely is a great brand, as it’s 100% fair trade and slave free. There are manyyyyy flavours. They are  known for their flavour combinations as they are not as any regular chocolate flavours. A lot of them are vegan, but unfortunately not all of them. My favourite is this one, the salted almond. It’s heavenly! I also really like the coconut-pecan, but lately I’m always buying only this one. It’s so good with a nice cup of tea. I always make sure I buy a few bars before flying back to London, in case I wasn’t given any. As a lot of people tend to get me this.. I really don’t mind! Haha!

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

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

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

 

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

Holland&Barrett

img_7762I remember when I just moved to Hemel Hempstead, 5 years ago, and that I discovered Holland&Barrett. It was the first health store I went to and when I got home from my shopping trip, I called my mum to tell her that there is a really nice health store just 15 min walk from my house. Not knowing at that time that Holland&Barrett is the leading health shop in the UK. Because let’s face it.. Holland&Barrett is everywhere! I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of this shop. Just in case you didn’t know what I’m talking about or if you’re curious what I normally get here, I thought I make it a hotspot. Also.. how can a health store like this not be on my blog yet?!

img_7764Because my previous job was very close to Portobello Road, I mostly went to the one located there. It’s not a very big one, but they have a lot of vegan products though. Now, I most of the time go to the one in Westfield. They moved (to the opposite side) a while ago and now it’s much bigger and newer than it used to be. So there are 2 things I especially go to Holland&Barrett for. That is for the brand ‘Fry’s’ (I mostly get the traditional hamburgers) and the ‘BooTea’ detox tea. I don’t know other shop where they sell these 2 things and they’re simply the best when it comes to burgers and detox tea. And then when I’m there anyway, it might happen I also get things like: Vio life cheese, Provamel yogurt, coconut oil, plant-based milk, B12 supplements, snack bars, Moo Free chocolate and nuts/seeds. They have so many good products. Though, they also have products I think are really bad. For example (and I really don’t get this) quite a lot of their dried fruits etc, of their own brand, have sugar in them. Such a shame!

img_7763One of the absolute best things from Holland&Barrett is their discounts and sales! Because at first you think they’re quite expensive. Only if you look at the things on sale you can get so much stuff for really not too much money. Half price on my detox tea for example, but also on a lot of supplements and on big bags of nuts/seeds.. all great things, you normally pay a lot of money for. They also have ‘penny sales’ for example, where every second product is only 1p! How great right?! They always have some sort of sale going on + when you’re a member you get very nice coupons too. So make sure you get the H&B customer card and go shopping (you can also shop online)! Another thing I totally love about Holland&Barret is that, in the emails you get with discounts, veganism and vegan products are often highly promoted. On pancake day for example, they send a vegan pancake recipe. So cool!

WHO? Holland&Barrett.
WHERE? Westfield White City, Ariel Way, W12 7GG.
CUISINE? Health store.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (good products, amazing sales, lots of stores around)

I’m sure you know Holland&Barrett already, do you like them? Let me know what products you get at H&B! 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

Black Chai / Berry Burst

img_3054BLACK CHAI
My favourite tea by farrrr is chai tea, because I have a real chai latte addiction. I can drink it all day long.. and sometimes I do. Only I rather keep it for in the evenings, as a treat. It’s even a bigger treat when my boyfriend makes it for me and he does that very often. He is not a tea drinker himself, but he even likes this chai latte too. Chai lattes, for me, are definitely little moments of happiness. Do you want to know how I make it? Check out the Foamy Chai recipe! I used all sorts of chai tea for my latte, but the best one so far is the ‘Black Chai’ from Yogi.  It has a very powerful taste and especially when you leave the tea bag in a little longer, before pouring the milk in, the taste is define. Did I mention yet that it’s organic tea? Well, it is! No nasty pesticides in your cup of love. I also really like the little quotes and messages on each tea bag, I find it very exciting to read what it says. Drinking a chai latte and reading a wise quote before bed time is a perfect combination!

img_6967BERRY BURST
As a vegan (or vegetarian) you can’t just pop any sweets in your mouth. A lot of sweets contain gelatine and if they don’t, then they often contain beeswax. Only sometimes you just really crave sweets isn’t it? I must admit that I don’t really have that a lot, but if I do I like to eat some of the Biona sweets. These Berry Burst sweets for example. They are not healthy or anything, but they’re vegan and they are organic though. Also, they are actually very tasty. Very fruity and a nice consistency. As they’re quite small, have a nice red-pink colour and are nicely shaped, they’re perfect to use for decorating ice cream or cakes.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X