by CHLOE. in Covent Garden, London

As mentioned in some of my previous posts, we went to London recently to see Lizzo at the O2 in Brixton.

On our way to the hotel, we made a stop off at Covent Garden to go to by CHLOE. We’ve heard about them before from my sister so we thought we’d look at the menu and give it a try.

It’s a casual dining place, similar to pret (but with better food), where you can take a seat anywhere and you go up and order at the bar. The menu is up on the wall and there are so much food! Here is the menu, and everything is vegan!

I ordered the Fish & Chips, Tom ordered the Pesto Meatball Sub and we ordered a large Mac & Cheese to share.

I enjoyed my fish and chips. The chips were lovely and the fish was a classic tofu and seaweed but was delicious. The tartare sauce was a great addition too.

Tom loved his meatball sub and said it was delicious. With Subway planning to release their Meatless Meatball Sub and Tom has already made the statement that he will not try it as it will not be as enjoyable. Mac & Cheese was lovely too! The flavours and the mushroom bacon were great and I recommend ordering a portion for yourself.

It started getting really busy at dinner time. Fortunately, Tom and I arrived quite early so we didn’t struggle to find anywhere to sit.

by CHLOE. is definitely worth a visit. It’s nice to go somewhere knowing that I don’t have to filter through the menu because everything there is vegan! It makes such a difference.

Pho in Cardiff City Centre

A few months ago, the well known chain Pho came to Cardiff on Church Street in the city centre.

My siblings have been before and Tom’s sister said the food was great when she visited the Bristol branch so we decided to go visit Pho in Cardiff.

We went on a Wednesday early evening and it was quiet with plenty of room. It started filling out by 6pm. We were greeted at the door and given menus. I asked if there was a specific vegan menu and was told that there isn’t a specific one but everything labelled vegetarian can be made vegan.

There is plenty to choose from on the menu which was really great to see. I recommend checking it out online, here!

I ordered the Chả giò (crispy spring rolls) and the Bún chay Huế noodle soup (hot & spicy tofu & mushroom) with pho noodles instead of bún noodles. Tom ordered the tofu and mushroom Phở Xào. He also ordered the Spicy Lemonade for his drink!

Tom said his noodles were nice, but the tofu was salty. I tried some and he wasn’t wrong! For some reason, the tofu in his phở xào were unbearably salty and not enjoyable at all.

The spicy lemonade was nice, but I think it’s likely to be an acquired taste so be prepared not to like it. The spring rolls were lovely and the peanut sauce was delicious. It was really nostalgic for me as they tasted similar to the ones that my mum makes us. The hot and spicy noodles were lovely but not as spicy as I had anticipated. Luckily, there is chilli paste and sriracha sauce on the table to be added.

I really enjoyed my food and the atmosphere and service was good. We spent around £30 in total for our drinks, mains and shared starter (ordered as a side) which I thought was reasonable. I’ll definitely be making another visit in the near future, or maybe a Deliveroo order to the office…!

Crosstown Doughnuts in Hammersmith Broadway Shopping Centre, London

Tom and I recently went to London to see Lizzo at the O2 in Brixton (FYI, she was incredible!). We always leave our travel planning till the last minute and train prices increase exponentially.

We’ve taken to driving to the outskirts of London and parking somewhere for a few days using JustPark (which I highly recommend). We parked at the Novotel in Hammersmith which was a short walk from the underground. Inside Hammersmith Broadway Shopping Centre is now Crosstown Doughnuts!

I’ve seen Crosstown Doughnuts in Camden before but they used to only do vegan doughnuts on specific days and specific stores so we never tried them.

It appears now that the demand for them has made them change tact and vegan options are now available!

Everything is clearly labelled and they have a premium range of doughnuts that is slightly more expensive. On our way into London, I chose the strawberry and smoked coconut and Tom chose the dark chocolate truffle.

We held onto the doughnuts and ate them when we got back to the hotel after the gig as a treat to ourselves.

I don’t even know where to begin. The doughnut was so pretty and delicious! The dough wasn’t heavy and the jam in middle was more like a jelly which was ideal and a lot less messy than a standard doughnut. The flavours were amazing.

Tom enjoyed his dark chocolate truffle one also and has since raved about the quality of the doughnut.

I enjoyed my strawberry and smoked coconut doughnut so much that on our way back, I bought another doughnut to take back and enjoy in the comfort of my own home!

Again, it did not disappoint. The dough was perfect and the jelly filling was still delicious. My only criticism of the strawberry and English sparking rose doughnut is that the biscuit crumbs on top should have been more engrained into the icing as much of it fell off and ended up in my lap. It did not however hinder my enjoyment of eating it.

Crosstown Doughnuts have branches all over London, but they also have a specific vegan branch in Marylebone. If you’re visiting London (or living there) make sure you stop off for a doughnut. You won’t be disappointed!

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box Deluxe [October 2019]

Another 2 months has passed us by so it’s time for another run through of my latest delivery of the Deluxe Cruelty Free Beauty Box! I was lucky enough to win this box this month in their usual sharing giveaway. I was so chuffed.

If you want to read about the box before this, click here for the post. Previous posts can be found under the Beauty section.

As always, the box did not disappoint and had so many goodies that I cannot wait to try!

This months box contained the following:

  • My HairCare Rescue My Hair Hydrate Shampoo Bar (RRP £14)
  • Natura Pumpkin Sheet Mask (RRP £5.95)
  • Fairypants perfume (RRP £1.50)
  • Palm Bar Body Butter Bar (RRP £5)
  • Bellapierre Liquid Gold 24k (RRP £30)
  • Niu Body Glow Facial Serum (RRP £27.95)
  • Gardner’s Halloween Cookie (RRP £2)
  • Vegan Bunny Chai Latte Soy Candle (RRP £13)
  • Jeavon’s Rizo (RRP £2.75)

The total value of the Deluxe box comes in at £102.15 but will only cost you £39.95.

I’ve eaten the cookie and Rizo bar already and both were a dream. I haven’t had shortbread for a long time and the Gardner’s cookie was a delicious shortbread.

I’ve written about Natura products in various other blog posts I’ve written and I love the sheet masks. They’re a really lovely treat so I’m looking forward to using this pumpkin one.

My final favourite is the Vegan Bunny Chai Latte candle. I’ve actually bought Vegan Bunny candles off Etsy before, but not for myself! I’ve bought Christmas scented candles as stocking fillers for my family members and regretted not buying one for myself. The Chai Latte smell is incredible! I haven’t lit the candle yet but I can’t wait till I do!

I absolutely cannot recommend The Cruelty Free Beauty Box enough. They only send every 2 months which is more than enough for me, and every month is full of new and interesting treats. I adore The Deluxe box with the lifestyle treats. It’s so nice to receive new things that I’d never normally buy for myself or want to try.

Mowgli Street Food in Cardiff City Centre

Last weekend, we went to The Big Welsh Wedding Show in the Depot in Cardiff and we went out to lunch afterwards with Tom’s family. We made our way back into the city centre and decided that we’d go to Mowgli Street Food.

This is not to be mistaken with Mowgli’s which is a restaurant on City Road in Cardiff.

Mowgli Street Food is a chain that has a few branches all over the UK. We walked in and the decor was lovely and atmospheric. There were fairy lights hung up, decorative trees and hanging lights.

The vegan menu was extensive with loads of options so we were in our element!

Tom and I ordered bits to share which included:

  • Fenugreek Kissed Fries
  • Temple Dahl
  • Calcutta Tangled Greens
  • Elephant brand Roti breads
  • Mowgli Basmati Rice

The food was amazing. I would like to say now, don’t order a portion of rice each! 1 portion for 2 people is more than enough.

The Fenugreek Kissed Fries were delicious. The potatoes were crispy and the whole dish was delicious. I could have easily ordered another one. The Temple Dahl was warm and flavourful and the Calcutta Tangled Greens were surprising but really good.

Tom’s mum and dad ordered the Holy Chow, which I didn’t try but it did look amazing.

Holy Chow

I absolutely recommend visiting Mowgli Street Food. The service was excellent, the atmosphere was great and the food was fantastic. The prices are incredibly reasonable and we spent around £16 per person!

Recipe: Vegan Bakewell Slices

My sister found a recipe on a vegan Facebook group for bakewell slices that she wanted to try so we went to our local supermarket to have a go at baking it ourselves! We adjusted the recipe slightly to accommodate our tastes. I also made it for the bake-off we are holding at work which were a hit!

The first time round, we made it with a shop-bought ready made short crust pastry which was nice and easy. The blind bake was a little more difficult, only because we didn’t have the tools we needed but we made it work!

The second time round, I found a short-crust pastry recipe online which I used, which you can find here. It was a little bit more effort with the manual labour but it was the same.

Ingredients for the Frangipane Mix

  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 130g ground almonds
  • 40g desiccated coconut
  • 130ml vegetable oil
  • 50ml plant milk
  • 1tsp almond extract

Other Ingredients

  • Pastry ingredients/Ready-made pastry
  • Icing sugar
  • Flaked almonds and/or cherries for topping
  • Raspberry jam

Steps

  1. Line your baking tin with your pastry (ready-made or from scratch). If you have a loose bottomed tin, you won’t need to line your tin with parchment paper, but if you don’t then I highly recommend it!
  2. Blind bake this as instructed.
  3. Mix the frangipane ingredients in a bowl. If it seems a little dry, add a bit more plant milk.
  4. When your pastry is baked and taken out of the oven, let it cool.
  5. Spread jam along the bottom of the pastry to your taste. I personally like a thick layer.
  6. Put the frangipane mix on top of the jam.
  7. Bake for another 30 minutes.
  8. Take out of the oven and let it cool completely!
  9. Mix icing as per instructions on the packet.
  10. Pour over the bake as evenly as you can.
  11. Spread flaked almonds over the top to set in the icing.
  12. Let the icing harden before eating!

The bake went down a treat at work and everyone enjoyed it! It came out much better than I anticipated, but I do wish I had lined the bottom with more jam!

I took some home for Tom and he was impressed! I’ll definitely be making it again in the future.

If you try out the recipe, make sure you share your photos and I hope you enjoy!

Pizza Express in St Davids 2, Cardiff City Centre

A few weeks ago, my lovely friend Ella came to Cardiff to visit and we met up for some lunch. We were originally going to go to Yo! but the queue was long and we were incredibly hungry.

Pizza Express was only upstairs and I know they have vegan options so we settled for some pizza and doughballs!

To start, I had the Baked Garlic Mushroom. I’m a big mushroom fan and it was really delicious. The garlic flavour was perfect and not too garlicky (if that’s even a word!). The ‘cheese’ was lovely and being sat on a bed of rocket was a nice addition. My only criticism is that it was very oily, but I still enjoyed it.

For my main, I ordered a mushroom pizza which I don’t remember the name of. The pizza was as expected but I think I may have gone for overkill on the mushrooms!

I think the ‘cheese’ used is mozzarisella and it was lovely and creamy. The base was fine, nothing to shout about but it hit the spot so I most certainly can’t complain.

I didn’t order any desserts as I was so full but they have a few interesting options which you can find on their vegan menu.

It was a Saturday afternoon so it was quite busy but the service provided was excellent. They were quick and friendly and made sure we were well catered for.

If you’re stuck for options and just want an easy meal at a chain restaurant, I recommend Pizza Express. It’s not a usual place for me to visit as I’m normally at Zizzi’s but I enjoyed it!