Thursday, 18 June 2009

London - Part 1

As I mentioned at the end of my last post my boyfriend and I were about to go to London to see Black President and The Bouncing Souls. The show was amazing, Black President have so much energy and it was awesome when The Bouncing Souls played an acoustic encore once the venue had unplugged the PA system!

We stayed at The Hoxton hotel as we often do when visiting London because they sometimes do cheap rooms if you book way in advance. They also have vegan Aveda toiletries in the bathrooms and Vegan Pasta on the room service and bar menus, see...'s pretty expensive but I like knowing it's there.

The boy and I have to compromise restaurant wise when we go away, I'd have loved to visit Saf but he loves his pizza and I can't drag him to all vegan places for every meal so this time we went to the vegan friendly Pizza Express.

I started as always with their dough balls.

These usually come with garlic butter but if you're vegan you can get olive oil & balsamic vinegar instead. All their pizza bases and sauce are vegan so you can get any combination of vegetables you fancy. I always go for double mushroom, artichoke and capers...this one came with a random black olive too!

I do really like Pizza Express, there's one in most towns and it's good to have that vegan option available.

My choice of eatery for this trip was tibits, an all veggie buffet style restaurant where the food is paid for by weight. I really liked this restaurant, the staff were super friendly, the atmosphere was really relaxed and all the vegan options are clearly labeled. I'd say that over 60% of the food was vegan leaving me with plenty of choices.

As you can see from the next picture I decided that for the purposes of this review I should try almost everything. On the plate, below the free bread roll, we have (clockwise from the top) lentil salad with vegetable cubes and chives, white quinoa with curry and cranberries, tomato & tofu salad, orecchiette pasta salad with olives and sun dried tomatoes, Asian noodle salad, mushroom antipasti, aubergine antipasti, falafel and then right there in the centre is the courgette linguine.

I think my favourite bit was probably the falafel which surprised me as I don't usually like falafel, they were really lightly spiced and had a delicious crispy coating. I love pasta so it's no surprise that the courgette linguine and orecchiette pasta salad were up there with the mushroom antipasti as some of the best bits. I wasn't so into the noodle salad and whilst I think this would make a great hot dish I didn't think it worked so well cold. The tomato & tofu salad was really simple and the flavours worked perfectly together whilst the quinoa salad was pretty full of complex flavours, none of which overpowered each other, making this dish work equally well.

Nick also tried one of the vegan options, the country style potato wedges. I'm glad I didn't get these because although they were apparently really good he said they were spicier than the one's at the monkey sanctuary that I couldn't handle! There were also a number of hot options at the buffet, about a quarter of these were vegan, but they were all too spicy for me to try.

I spent about £10 on lunch but as you can see I did really go for it & pasta isn't exactly light, in comparison Nick only spent £6 and had plenty of food to keep him happy until dinner time. This place is definitely great value for money and they do take away which is cheaper. The service is super fast once you've put your food on your plate and you can go to their tap water station for refills whenever you want. I'll definitely be visiting tibits again.


  1. Oh man... love me some crispy coated falafel!

  2. i love those dough balls at pizza express! i can't wait to visit england again...

  3. Your post inspired a visit to 'Milano'(Irish name for Pizza Express)Had dough balls and cheese and pesto-free giardiniera. Yum!

  4. ooh! the dough balls are so cute. much cuter form factor than the pizza bread sticks they have here in the US.

    they have a couple all you can eat vegan places here in seattle. it's definitely an art to pile ones plate properly and not be too stuffed :)

  5. Thanks for the recommendations! I'll try tidbits next time I'm in London (one of my favorite cities). Good for you organizing that show!

  6. hey - great post! I was just thinking... hmm... I'll cycle into town, pick up some veggies, pop to Flat White for a coffee and then grab a pizza. I wonder where they do vegan pizza in Soho? Thank you! Pizza Express it is.

    Other great vegan places in London are Pogo Cafe in Hackney, Moaz Falafel in Soho, Rootmater on Brick Lane (a real Routemaster Bus), Whole Foods in Soho, Loving Hut in Camden (with free Alien conspiracies), Manna on Parliament Hill. The one thing I really miss is a kick-ass curry. I am yet to find a vegan curry house that cooks home-style pakistani/punjabi food.

    peas, man x

  7. Hi! God your food looks delicious..

    I have a question for you! I am leaving Sweden for Brighton on the end of october this year, and now I am looking for somewhere to stay, a vegan collective would be the greatest!! For long or short term.

    From the inside and out I am a social person, I laugh often and loud. And i dance. Like always.

    Yeah.. would be very happy to hear from you!



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