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!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going to the Warner Bros Studio Tour in Watford, London with my lovely friend Emily as a treat to ourselves!

This was my second visit to the studio tours, having first visited 6 years ago in 2013!

So much has changed in those 6 years, and I won’t detail too much or post too many photos on this blog post because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who was planning on visiting because it’s worth it. Emily and I were living our best lives and we absolutely loved it.

Vegan Food

To warn you all, the tour is a long one! There’s so much to see. Emily and I spent a good 4 hours there with a short lunch break, which takes me nicely onto this heading… Vegan Food.

I’m not gunna lie, the little restaurant wasn’t filled with vegan delights. I was pleased there was something though! Having a look at the menu, there were a few bits and bobs that were vegan and/or could be made vegan.

I chose to have the veggie hot dog made vegan and a bottle of coca cola. This came to a very pricey £11, but with no snacks and no where else to go, we didn’t have much choice.

It wasn’t great. It was incredibly average and I didn’t enjoy the burger bun change. I’m guessing due to the original bread being a brioche, it wasn’t vegan but the replacement was poor. The one positive is that the cutlery was vegware so was completely compostable!

If you’re planning a visit as a vegan, don’t have any expectations of food. If possible, you’re better off bringing in your own snacks and food to save yourself a pretty penny and to get something that tastes better.

On the plus side however, the gift shop sells some vegan dark chocolate options which included a dark chocolate wand (which I didn’t buy) and dark chocolate peppermint toads which are delicious!

The Tour

As mentioned, this was my second visit to the studios and it was completely different to the first time. Even the entrance has completely changed and the gift shop is so much bigger.

The queuing area was a bit longer but was filled with interesting prints on the wall to intrigue us as visitors and were perfect photo opportunities. There’s a little introduction with a few VTs before you get to the good stuff but it’s all worth the wait!

My favourite part of the tour by far was the Hogwarts Express. I remember they were building it when I visited 6 years ago and I was disappointed it wasn’t ready in time for our visit. Being on Platform 9 and 3/4 was an absolute dream.

One of the more recent and incredible additions was Gringotts Bank. Turning the corner after seeing how goblins were made and seeing Gringotts was such an incredible sight. It was spectacular.

For Harry Potter fans, this tour is a must! Tickets were £45 which might seem quite expensive, but in the grand scheme of everything you get to see, it’s a bargain.

In fact, I’ve been suffering from HP Tour blues since I’ve returned home so I’ve started re-watching the movies to bring me back some of that magic.

Purezza in Camden, London

Purezza. I’m sure many of you have heard of it. Cult vegan pizza company based in Brighton and more recently in London.

So last year, Tom and I stayed in London for the NFL and on our way back home, we stopped off in Camden for a trip to Purezza. I’d never been before but Tom had been to their Brighton store before and raved about their food.

The Camden store was quite small but we got there at opening time so we were first through the door and got a table. It got busy fairly quickly so if you’re gunna make a visit, I recommend booking or getting there early.

The menu is extensive and isn’t just pizza. We ordered a Telling Porkies pizza, a side of mac and cheese, and cheesy dough balls.

The Telling Porkies pizza includes: White base with melted cheddar, mixed wild forest mushrooms, marinated pulled BBQ pieces and sundried tomatoes.

Everything was amazing and delicious. The cheese is like nothing you’ve ever tasted before and was quite possibly the best vegan cheese I’ve ever tasted. The mac and cheese was nice and mild, and the dough balls were so melty!

As I mentioned, we visited last year so things may have changed, but the service at the time was slow when the restaurant filled up. We waited a long time for someone to come to clear our table so we could ask for the bill. I appeared that they were under staffed to me.

All of this in mind, I still highly recommend a visit to Purezza. The food is so delicious and the pizza is outstanding. They really are the Plant Pioneers that they say they are.

Amsterdam 2019

My partner and I went to the beautiful Amsterdam at the beginning of March. We caught the Eurostar from London St Pancras at 8am and we were in sunny central Amsterdam by 1pm the same day.

If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Amsterdam, I’d absolutely recommend it. We had an incredible time, met some lovely, friendly people and ate so much vegan food!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging the details of some of the delicious vegan restaurants that we visited; which included Vegan Junk Food Bar, Deer Mama and Vegabond.

This post, however, will be focused more on Amsterdam itself and what we did there.

We arrived in a bright and breezy Amsterdam on Monday after a very smooth and comfortable Eurostar journey. We couldn’t check into our hotel until 3pm so we had some time to kill after we dropped off our luggage with them. (For those who are curious, we stayed in the NH City Center Hotel, excellent hotel). We walked around the city centre of Amsterdam and took a canal cruise which was a really fantastic way to see and learn about the city. After our educational experience, we ambled back to check into our hotel and get settled in. We had dinner in the evening at the infamous Vegan Junk Food Bar which was amazing! An extensive menu and cocktails, what’s not to love?! Details to come in a future post.

On Tuesday, we managed to successfully get tickets for the Anne Frank House (after waiting patiently in the online queue at 9am) for about 3pm. As we had plenty of time to spare, we went to the Body Worlds museum which was incredibly interesting. We ate lunch at a little shop within the city called Vegabond, before heading back to the hotel to drop off some items. Afterward, we headed to the Anne Frank House which was a harrowing and emotional experience, but I think is important for everyone to visit. We then walked 30 minutes to the south of Amsterdam to have dinner at Deer Mama that had the best milkshakes! We took the executive decision to take the metro back to the hotel because we were far too full to walk after dinner.

Wednesday morning, we wandered around the flower market which was the perfect place for an Instagram photo. For lunch, we headed back to the Vegan Junk Food Bar for a second round of junk food, which is testament to how good the food is! We then thought we’d take a trip to the Red Light District; which in a few words, was very varied and open… We did go to the Museum of Prostitution which had a wall of public confessions at the end which were incredibly amusing. We then headed back to the hotel before dinner at Mastino V which we booked online in the morning. The service was slow and the food was ok.

Before heading home on Thursday, we bought a pack of Stroop Waffles from a shop on the way to the train station (which were clearly labelled vega, for vegan!) which I had never tried and then immediately became addicted to…

Our trip was amazing and it was the perfect city break. We busied ourselves enough, but not too much which was great for us. The people in Amsterdam are really friendly and with everyone speaking English, there were no language barrier issues. It’s great for vegans, so for those of you thinking of somewhere to go, consider Amsterdam. You won’t regret it!