It was my birthday last week so I hit the road with my boyfriend and two of our friends to celebrate in a tent at the Ruthern Valley campsite near Bodmin in Cornwall. The campsite is incredibly eco friendly and full of wildlife, I saw loads of squirrels, cute tiny birds and even frogs. Before we left I'd decided that I had to have birthday pancakes so I packed the ingredients to just mix together on the day.
This was super easy and I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it before. (In fact I didn't think of it this time I read about someone else doing it on the PPK!)
We ate them pancake day style with sugar and lemon - yum.
The birthday fun continued after breakfast with a trip to The Monkey Sanctuary . I knew I'd love this place and I was right! The all veggie cafe and the work they put into ending the primate pet trade accompanied with their anti vivisection stance makes them damned awesome, and that's before you even account for the amazing work they put into recreating natural habitats for the rescued monkeys to live in. I didn't take any monkey pictures as I didn't want to be invasive but I did manage to take pictures of the food served at the awesome Treetop cafe.
On The Monkey Sanctuary website they say that they have a vegetarian cafe but until I arrived I had no idea how vegan friendly they'd be, I was so excited when I saw the menu.
All the V's mean vegan and the ones with a star meant that the dish could be made vegan upon request. As I mentioned in a previous post if there's a burger that's what I'll always go for so here it is.
The burger was obviously homemade, it was packed full of nuts and seeds and came on a delicious wholemeal bun with fried onions and vegan mayo. As you can see it also came with two side salads covered in a yummy dressing, oven baked wedges and more of the vegan mayo. The only complaint I had with this was that I thought the wedges were too spicy but that's just because my pathetic palate can't handle spices, my dining companions said that they weren't actually the least bit spicy.
The cafe also sold the whole range of Whole Earth drinks alongside the local apple juices.
I was super surprised and excited to find out that all but one of their desserts were vegan and that they had gluten free bread and cakes available. I went for the chocolate cake and the boy went for the chocolate chip cookie so that we could try both. The chocolate cake was rich and moist with a fudgey icing, it was pretty perfect. I wasn't so impressed with the cookie, I found it to be a little dry and flavourless. In contrast to that cookie the vegan chocolate chip biscuits they sold in the gift shop were great.
The birthday fun continued after the sanctuary with a trip into Looe to hang out by the beach.
I even managed to get myself a vegan candyfloss. They're usually pink and made with E120 dye (which is made from crushed beetles - ewww) but this one was apple flavoured and made with green dyed sugar.
Look how happy I am, I get overexcited about birthdays and candyfloss so both together was a little too brilliant, especially after all the monkey and pancake fun earlier in the day. What a great day!
The next day we worked up an appetite on a walk in the countryside alongside a really beautiful river.
Afterwards we stopped off in a little town called Wadebridge to find some food, I was starving and a little worried as the day before my birthday we'd had a bit of a disastrous trip to a similar town where all I could eat was a bag of ready salted crisps whilst my friends munched on cheese sandwiches in a cafe where even the chips were cooked in the fryer with the meat, yuch.
As it turns out Wadebridge is pretty good for the vegan traveller. We stumbled upon an Elixir Health Foods store as soon as we got out of the car. They had a decent selection of Sheese, Panda liquorice, Redwood veggie bacon, Fry's products and vegan chocolate so I grabbed myself a raspberry panda liquorice to tide myself over. Everyone fancied getting food from somewhere we could sit down so we found Flo's cafe where they not only had Heinz baked beans but also yummy lemonade and they were happy do do me a jacket potato without the butter.
Granted it's not the most exciting meal but yummy none the less. Whilst we were there we also spotted a Co-op supermarket (the only supermarket whose toiletries are BUAV approved) so if you happen to be in Cornwall and need to find something to eat I'd recommend Wadebridge.
That evening back at the campsite I made some Sammy's italian pesto flavoured cous cous and roasted veggies.
Roasting veggies whilst camping is super easy and delicious, just pop the veggies in tin foil with a bit of olive oil and then stick it on the barbecue for about 15 minutes.
Amongst my super cool birthday gifts were some Dandies vegan marshmallows so for dessert we toasted these on our camping gas stove.
Dandies marshmallows are seriously great, my veggie friends were of course excited too as marshmallows are traditionally made with gelatin. I'm looking forward to cooking with these and I'm planning to make some marshmallow krispie squares. I'll be ordering more of these as soon as I can afford the postage to the UK.
I love camping, the boy & I are going again in July so hopefully I can think of some exciting new things you can make on 2 little gas burners and a disposable barbecue!
I also cannot wait to get back to The Monkey Sanctuary to try some more of their vegan options. If you're ever in the south west of England I highly recommend it as a great place for a day out. I'm hoping I can get enough time off work next year to fit in a few weeks voluntary work there.
I'm off to London tomorrow to see The Bouncing Souls and Black President and I'm intending on doing some eating so I'll be blogging about that when I get back.