Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Food Swap & Gallery Cafe.

I took part in the UK Vegan Food Swap again in August and again I was super happy with the package I received. Last month Mitsu from To Happy Vegans sent me my package & this month it was Sasha! How random!

I was super excited to see the new Barrow Boys Cheese & Onion crisps in there. Vegan cheese & onion crisps! How exciting! I'd been wanting to try these for a while, cheese & onion crisps are something I have very occasional cravings for so I'm saving these for the next time I really really want them.

The first thing I tried was the Delinut Dip, a vegan choc dip. I'd tried a vegan choc dip from Holland & Barrett before but this one was way better, the pot of chocolate was huge and the biscuit sticks were perfectly crispy. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for these. 

My very favourite thing from the package was the bag of Lucy's gluten free chocolate chip cookies. I'll be honest & say that I didn't really have high hopes for these. My experiences with packaged gluten free cookies hasn't been great but these were fantastic. I like that they come in these little serving sized packages and they reminded me of the chocolate chip cookies I used to eat before becoming vegan. I'm looking forward to trying Lucy's Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Cookies & Maple Bliss Cookies.

I also really liked the Topastofu mushroom spread, the dark chocolate has been stashed away in my baking cupboard, the Texas BBQ Primal Strip will make an excellent plane snack on our way to Austin in a couple of weeks & Nick scoffed all of the Pink Panther biscuits before I could get my hands on them!

If you live in the UK & you're not already taking part in the swap then head over to the To Happy Vegans site to sign up. It's so fun shopping for the package every month and if, like me, you love getting post, it's a fun mid month treat. If you want to take part in the September swap then sign up fast, thanks to my tardiness you have just under 24 hours!

Last weekend Nick & I went up to London. We saw Green Day on Thursday night at Shepherd's Bush Empire and Me First & The Gimmie Gimmies on Saturday night at the Islington Academy. Both shows were great for different reasons & I'm still covered in bruises!

The best way to recover from some fun circle pit action is to find a massive breakfast so we headed somewhere I've been meaning to go to for about two years, the Gallery Cafe in Bethnal Green.

We knew this had been an excellent idea as soon as we saw all of these vegan treats lined up by the till.

We took one Pear & Raspberry Jam Galette and one Double Chocolate Muffin to go. We ended up eating these on the train home & they were both great. The chocolate chip muffin was quite dense with a light crumb & an intense chocolatey flavour. It was a really great muffin & I wish I could get a muffin this good in Brighton. The Pear & Jam Galette was ridiculously good, I wasn't sure about raspberry jam on a galette but I can't say no to this kind of pastry & decided to give it a try anyway. I'm really glad I did because it was perfect, it reminds me that I need to try the Heart Shaped Apple Galette recipe from Veganomicon.

The whole menu looked great but for me it was a no brainer because I like to judge a new place on its full English Breakfast. It's a great choice because you get to try so many different things on one plate! The Gallery Cafe's Full English Breakfast consists of tofu scramble, garlicky mushrooms, cooked tomato, two sausages, two hash browns, baked beans and sourdough toast.

I loved that this breakfast came with hash browns, I love hash browns and these were excellent. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Perfect. The baked beans were your classic Heinz style beans which I love, I'm never amused when a cafe messes with the classic baked bean! The standout here was the pile of garlicky mushrooms, these were delicious, perfectly seasoned, really garlicky and there were loads of them. I also loved the sourdough toast, sourdough's my favourite and it was a big chunky slice. The sausages were Linda McCartney which is a great choice and the only bad bit of the breakfast was the tofu scramble. I was excited about it because there aren't many places in England that include a scramble in their breakfast but sadly it was really bland, it could have really done with some more seasoning - go crazy with the nutritional yeast people!     

Next time I visit I think I'll be ordering the Garlicky Mushrooms on toast with a side of hash browns and hopefully I'll have space to grab one of these delicious looking sandwiches to go.


  1. I loved the Gallery Cafe when I was in London, and it looks like their vegan options have only gotten better since then! Looking at that full English makes me really hungry.

  2. That full English breakfast looks wonderful. What an amazing box of goodies from your vegan pen pal. I'm doing one this month and I can't wait to see what comes in the box.

  3. I find a lot of gluten free ready made treats leave a lot to be desired, thankfully I'm an excellent baker with a not so excellent oven. *modest* ha

    I want a full English brekki...not had one in time...suppose I could *actually* make my own though. lol

  4. I tried every flavor of the jerky a few weeks ago, and although they were delicious, I still have to say, if I'm not going to eat "real" jerky, why eat fake jerky? I just don't see myself buying them again. I love seitan, but, alas, I'm not a feux fan.

  5. Oooh! You've got me craving a big breakfast now!

  6. Pink Panther wafers are my faves, you have just reminded to buy several packets to eat all to myself. The Gallery Cafe looks amazing! Will have to check it out :)


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