Tuesday 30 April 2013

Weekend Eats.

After planning on cooking up some tasty food at home this weekend I somehow ended up eating out for every meal! I feel a little ridiculous but it was a great weekend and now I have plenty of food in the fridge to last for the rest of the week.

After a late night dancing like crazy to 90's grrrl rock and pop at Traumfrau Nick and I managed to get up at a fairly decent time on Saturday morning to head up to London for a spontaneous lunch. We met up with one of my favourite cookbook authors and the kick ass vegan behind The PPK, Isa Moskowitz, her boyfriend and travel partner John of Laziest Vegans fame, Quarry Girl and her partner Nick.

We decided on Mildred's and managed to get a table in the middle of the lunch rush despite the queue. The key to getting seated right away seems to be to go with a group, they'll seat you in the light & airy upstairs dining room too which is a real win.

I've been visiting Mildred's for years so I was surprised and excited to see some new dishes on the menu. Almost everyone ordered the brand new Bangers and Mash dish and it was a great choice.

The mash was perfectly creamy, no sign of lumps here, the sweet tofu, apple and bean sausages were substantial without being heavy and even Nick, hater of all greens, loved the kale. The sweet pear jus really tied everything together nicely and I'd definitely order this again.

For me the real highlight of the meal was dessert. It's no secret that two of my favourite flavours are chocolate and peanut butter (I even spread PB onto my chocolate rice cakes!) so this new dessert was a real treat. The Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownie is served with chocolate sauce AND ice cream, craziness!

Usually the ice cream accompanying this menu item is vanilla but that day they had chocolate on the specials menu and they were happy to switch it for me. I felt like I was living out all of my dessert dreams!! The perfectly crackle topped brownie and the chocolate sauce were both served hot making for a gooey and delicious dessert. I couldn't find fault with it if I tried, honestly, it was perfect.

After lunch I met up with one of my bff's, Sal from Alien On Toast, for a little wander around Chinatown before heading back to my place for an evening of silliness, snacks and chick flicks. It was awesome especially as Nick took charge of the kitchen and fried up batch after batch of delicious dumplings.

The next morning we woke up late and after much discussion about our favourite ways to eat potatoes we took our hungry asses down the road to WaiKikaMooKau for breakfast.

The WaiKika breakfast has always been one of my favourites and for some reason I haven't blogged about it since 2009! That's four years ago! Ridiculous! The breakfast has changed a little since then, the sausages, pesto tomato, mushrooms, toast and beans have stayed the same but now this full English comes with some delicious oven baked marinated tofu and instead of french fries it's accompanied by a much more appropriate hash brown.

This was such a perfect start to the day and it made me think that I need to go out for breakfast way more often! As well as being delicious it was also super filling and kept me going until Nick finished work. As soon as he walked in the door I demanded that he turn around because I had falafel on my mind. Never one to say no to falafel we were on our way in seconds. We've been eagerly awaiting the opening of Brighton's latest falafel joint, Fil Fil, in the old Red Veg location on Gardner Street for months and it finally opened this weekend.

As with any brand new restaurant there were a few teething problems, staff being unsure what vegan means and running out of hummus aren't great but what we did try made our trip worthwhile.

We ordered the 'meal deal' for £4.50 which is a falafel sandwich with hummus, salad, and a drink. Nick also got fries which he got to eat most of! I chose the wholewheat pitta which was served warm and stuffed full of fried falafel balls and a salad of fried onions, red cabbage, tomato & cucumber. Gherkins were also an option that day and by the look of the online menu they also have beetroot, lettuce, sweetcorn and olives to choose from.

I loaded up on tahini sauce both to make up for the lack of hummus and because tahini sauce is delicious. I also threw on a couple of blobs of amazingly strong garlic sauce.

It was a good falafel sandwich, the garlic and tahini sauces were both really flavourful and the falafel balls themselves were perfectly crispy and delicious. This place is definitely promising, I love that it's is a family run place rather than part of a chain but I'd like to see them gain a better understanding of their vegan options.

Monday 29 April 2013

Street Diner!

When I travel I love to eat at food carts, from Clover in Boston to Arlo's in Austin some of my favourite dining experiences have been at these al fresco mobile kitchens. Thanks to the people behind Street Diner this outdoor dining experience has finally made it to my city. I headed there on opening day to check it out. 

Street Diner is located in Brighthelm Gardens on what used to be a slightly derelict patch of land, this area has been coming into it's own over the last few years with the introduction of a community garden in 2011 shortly followed by the North Laine composting scheme. I feel like with the beginning of Street Diner this small, accessible, green space has finally made it onto the map.

As soon as I heard about Street diner I was intrigued and excitedly started searching online to see if there would be any vegan options available at the market. Long story short, of course there are! This is Brighton!

The first vegan friendly place I came upon was Crocus Paella who I'd already spoken to via Twitter. Crocus have two paella options at the stall, one veggie, one non. The veggie paella looked amazing but by the time I went back to get some they'd sold out. 

I was lucky enough to try some of their bottled gazpacho though and it was delicious. They have four flavours, three of which are vegan - Classico, Almond and Raspberry, and Tomato and Strawberry. The Classico is unsurprisingly made from a mix of tomatoes and red peppers and one sip took me straight back to Barcelona. Next I tried the Tomato and Strawberry which I don't mind admitting I was a little dubious about but the flavour really surprised me. I'd expected the strawberry to take over but it just added a hint of sweetness and I actually enjoyed it even more than the Classico!

Crocus also sell their organic, saffron based, herbal teas at the stall. I'm not a tea fan at all but they sound really interesting.

My next stop was the all-vegetarian Sultans Delight stall. I've seen these guys before at the wednesday market at Churchill Square and at the new Old Steine weekend farmer's market but aside from a sample of babaganoush I've never eaten anything made by them before. The stall was bursting with beautifully presented Turkish & Middle Eastern style pastries and meze. All but one thing on the stall was vegan and the dishes ranged from a crispy sweet potato, spinach, and chilli filled borek to a healthy bulgur, mixed vegetable, and pomegranate salad.

My sweet tooth pushed me in the direction of the Baklava which was perfect. 

The little layered pastry was stuffed full of walnuts and pistachios and soaked in a simple syrup with a touch of lemon. It was amazing and I'll definitely be picking up another piece this week.

My final destination was Big Pan Cooking where I was pleased to see another sign advertising meat free meals. Big Pan Cooking make one huge pan of vegan stir fry with either potatoes or a grain as the base and a tonne of fresh veggies. This is piled high and topped with spicy chilli beans, or in my case, no beans. I'v never been able to handle spice and I've recently developed a full on chilli allergy! Fun!

My huge tray of stir fry was beautifully spiced, you could really taste the cumin, caraway, mustard seeds, wild garlic and fenugreek and even without the beans this was a huge and super filling meal.

Street Diner, which is on from 11-3 every Friday during spring and summer, features local traders who'll be cooking up fresh, delicious, food every week as well an ever changing selection of guest caterers to keep things varied. As well as the food I've shown you here I spoke to the people from the cute Creperie Lui food truck who assured me that a vegan and gluten free crepe is in the works for next week which I personally cannot wait to try. See ya there!

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Ms. Cupcake Cookbook Review (and Giveaway!)

London based purveyor of sweet treats, Ms. Cupcake, has written a cookbook and I'm super excited about it! For anyone who's tried, or wanted to try, Ms Cupcake's delicious creations it's great news. If you haven't heard of Ms Cupcake yet lemme tell you a little bit about her.

Long time readers of the blog will know that I've always been a huge fan and supporter of Ms. Cupcake. From the days when I'd get a boat along the thames to get to Greenwich Market for her cupcakes...

...to the opening day of the store, to working behind the stall at VegFest, I've been there!

As well as creating wonderful sweet treats Mellissa, the woman beneath the hat, is sweet, funny and inspiring and I'm excited to be able to call her a friend. I'm SO happy for her right now because this book is awesome.

It's beautiful, it's hard-backed, and it's full of artistic colour photographs of gorgeous baked goods and the store's colourful staff. More importantly it's jammed full of recipes for everything sweet, from cupcakes to deep fried cookie balls.

Of course I've taken the cookbook for a little spin around the kitchen! 

I started with the Jaffa Cake recipe. I was super excited to see this childhood favourite in the book but if you aren't British you may not have heard of this delicious cross between a biscuit and a cake. The soft cookie comes covered in chocolate and an orange jelly hides inside. This recipe is super simple as it calls for orange marmalade rather than a complicated home-made agar based jelly. I was super sceptical about this idea at first but I have faith in Ms. Cupcake so I picked up a no-peel version from Waitrose and ran with it.

Aside from the marmalade I had everything else I needed to bake these in the house already. Awesome!

They were ridiculously quick and easy to throw together, as I was making them I remember thinking "Even Nick could bake these" and he is definitely not a baker (he does make a mean tofu scramble though)! Due to my baking these at night time I didn't really get a good picture but here they are chilling in the fridge.

The picture really doesn't do these justice, they were AMAZING! Seriously, so good. I planned to just eat one or two and then send the rest to work with Nick but, nuh-uh, that didn't happen. I ate more than my half and I can't wait to make them again. The recipe says that these can make 12 or 15 and I would suggest making 15 (rather than the 12 I made) for a more accurate Jaffa Cake.

Yesterday I made my second recipe from the book, the Chocolate Chip Cookies. I always grab a cookie when I visit Ms Cupcake in her shop or on one of her many stalls and I was super excited about being able to recreate these at home.

These cookies are huge, chewy, bakery-style cookies and they're perfect. They were ready just as Nick got back from work and we both loved them, I ate two as soon as they were cool enough to handle and they were almost exactly the same as the cookies from the bakery itself. I loved finding a new-to-me technique within the recipe which helps to flatten them out and to give them the desired chewy texture and this will definitely become a go-to recipe in our house.

The book actually doesn't come out until May 9th but a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive a review copy from publishers Random House. I had already pre-ordered myself a copy of the book so I'll be passing the review copy on to one lucky reader! Don't worry I've been super careful with it so it still looks shiny and new - no chocolate splatters or rouge bits of marmalade!

To enter the competition I need you to find me an adorable picture of a bunny, post it on Facebook, tweet about it with the hashtag #jojoisawesome and....hahaha, no. You just need to leave a comment on this blog post!

The competition is open to anyone, anywhere in the world and I will be announcing the winner on Friday May 3rd 2013. I have to post the book on May 8th before I leave on my epic Seattle / Portland / Vida Vegan Con trip (OMG! So excited!!) so please make sure that there's a way for me to contact you if you win and that you're paying attention to your e-mails so that I can get your address in time. 

Good luck!

We have a winner! The random number generator has picked Mihl from Seitan Is My Motor! Congratulations Mihl, Jaffa Cakes will soon be yours!

The competition is now closed!

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Manchester: Shopping

Whilst in Manchester I ate out a lot but I also fitted in a few trips to food stores. I love looking around food stores, from supermarkets in new countries to health food stores in every city I pass through, I love them all. I almost always find something new and exciting and the stores on this trip were no exception. The first place on my list was Unicorn Grocery.

Unicorn is a workers co-op and it's entirely vegan, no label reading needed! Rad! As I was travelling on a budget I couldn't buy every new and exciting vegan product I laid my eyes upon but I took pictures.

I love to make my own seitan but it would be super convenient if you could get ready prepared seitan from shops down here. It would certainly up my laziness a little though. The sausages looked great too.

I was very tempted by these little tempeh & tofu salad tubs. They'd be perfect for turning a mini baguette into a meal whilst travelling.

I also spotted the new Melty Sheese! I tried them at a vegan fair about two years ago and I haven't seen them since. I assumed they'd sold the melty formula to Tesco for their free from range (which I was a little angry about!) but it seems that the melty just hasn't made it's way down south yet.

As well as being entirely vegan Unicorn is also refined sugar free. I was super apprehensive about this but as you can see I found some good stuff and the store certainly doesn't shy away from products containing oil, phew!

These Garlic sticks from the savoury snack section were amazing, super crunchy and very heavy on the garlic. I loved that they came in a ziplock baggie so that I could re-seal them to enjoy another day.

Unicorn also have a little deli where you can pick up all sorts of savory pies, pasties and pastries. I wasn't super impressed with this tofu and broccoli parcel, despite containing three of my favourite things it was a little bland.

On the other hand the Ganmodoki Tofu & Veg balls were perfect. These little fried balls are stuffed full of carrot, onion, hijiki seaweed, sesame seeds, garlic and herbs and they only cost 79p!

I really, really wished that I'd bought more than one.

The next store I checked out was Eighth Day, this veggie store is right opposite the university library and the Eighth Day cafe is underneath it. I didn't get a chance to eat there but it looked like they served cheapish canteen style food. I just grabbed a piece of the vegan lemon, almond and poppy cake from the deli counter.

Everything in this section is vegan!

It was the first sunny day of the year so I took my cake across to the lawns in front of the university library.

This piece of cake was the perfect spring day treat, the light and fluffy almond filled and lemon infused sponge was topped with a lemon sugar glaze and decorated with poppyseeds. It was super delicious, I never really make lemon cake but I should because it's pretty much my favourite.

Lastly on my stores-of-Manchester expedition I popped to Wing Fat in Chinatown. I picked up some preserved beans (anyone have any recipe suggestions for these?), noodles for 50p and some Peanut Butter Mochi.

Nick and I have plans to visit Japan in the not too distant future and I am determined to make myself like Mochi (and tea) before we go. This is the closest I've gotten to enjoying mochi! Peanut butter was always going to be the best possible filling for my tastes and I definitely prefer the kind coated in coconut over the cornstarch covered kind. I would say that the mochi love is coming to me faster than a love for tea. I just hate it all. I've never discovered a tea that I can even deal with drinking let alone actually enjoy but I have hope, a few years ago I also hated hot chocolate and coffee so ya never know!

My next blog post is going to be about the wonderful Ms Cupcake's upcoming cookbook, it includes a giveaway so stay tuned...

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Manchester: Breakfasts

I'm a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Without breakfast I'm a grumpy, lightheaded mess and nobody wants to hang out with that version of me!

Before my trip to Manchester I did a little research and scoped out where the best breakfasts were at. I didn't manage to eat them all but I did fit in three proper brekkies.

The first was on Sunday morning when we had a PPK meet up at Bistro 1847 in Chorlton. We all ordered the Full Breakfast and we managed not to start a riot when they told us that they were out of both avocado and soya milk!

This breakfast consists of two homemade sausages, tofu scramble, spinach, mushrooms, homemade spicy beans and toast. It comes with a side of vegan margarine.

This breakfast was mostly good, especially the sausages, which were lovely and crisp on the outside. I also loved the crispy French bread toast. The tofu scramble tasted a whole lot better than it looked, it was the first time I've had a scramble with neither nutritional yeast nor turmeric in the ingredients but it was still very flavourful. The only part I disliked was the beans, I am a firm believer that a breakfast bean should be a proper baked bean and not just any kind of tomato & bean combo - I have friends who think the total opposite of me on this point though and everyone else enjoyed them so it's just a personal preference thing!

My next breakfast adventure was at Odd Bar in the Northern Quarter. They don't start serving breakfast until 11am so as you can imagine I was pretty hungry by the time my meal arrived. Their vegan breakfast includes toast, baked beans, mushroom, tomato, a sausage, a hash brown, a spicy three bean patty and tofu scramble. As you can see there's no tofu scramble in this picture - they were out of tofu but I got an extra sausage and an extra mushroom instead.

I really enjoyed the falafel sausages which make a fun change from the often store-bought sausages I see in breakfasts down south and I was happy to see my favourite Heinz beans making an appearance. I also appreciated the inclusion of the hash brown as there aren't enough UK breakfast places including a potato product in their full English. The herby tomato made a nice change from the usual pepper covered tom' but due to the spice factor I wasn't the biggest fan of the bean patty.

I would definitely re-visit Odd and order this breakfast again but they really need to get some margarine! When I asked the guy working there for it he said "someone asked for it yesterday and I had to disappoint them too", they also disappointed the two people ordering after me who were both vegan too. Given that this place is a stones throw from a health food store I would have thought that the tofu / margarine issues could have been resolved quite easily.

My final stop for breakfast was Oklahoma, again in the Northern Quarter. The vegan breakfast options at Oklahoma are all toast based and you can add beans, jam, PB, marmalade or Marmite. You can also order sandwiches or baked sweet potatoes right from when they open at 10 if you fancy a more out-there breakfast. Unsurprisingly I went for my favourite start to the day - baked beans on toast.

These beans were close enough to Heinz that I loved them but they had a slightly different and more interesting depth of flavour. I should really have asked what brand they were or if they were homemade because they were super delicious. I also loved the granary bread which was toasted until beautifully golden and slathered in margarine. What a perfectly delicious end to my trip.

Two other places rumoured to have good breakfast options in Manchester are Eighth Day who apparently do a sausage sarnie and start serving food much earlier than anywhere else in the city and Mod's Cafe at The Thirsty Scholar which sometimes has a full English which includes veggie bacon. You can rest assured that I'll be checking them both out next time.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Meat Free Monday at The Lass O'Gowrie.

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of attending Manchester's weekly Meat Free Monday event at the Lass O'Gowrie pub. Vegan organisational whirlwind Lynnmarie from the Manchester Vegan Society and her husband Mod of Mod's Cafe fame put together this awesome vegan outreach event. Last night's was a busy one with food selling out fast.

Food at the event is a huge plate of food for a fiver and it's usually rice 'n' three - something I'd never even heard of until this trip up north. Basically it's as it sounds, you get a plate with rice and a choice of three sides. The food has an international flair with a choice of six dishes usually including some kind of curry and something with a Jamaican influence. Mod had been tipped off by the lovely Caroline that I can't do chilli and he put together a plate of not-too-spicy food for me! What a legend!

My £5 got me a soy and ginger seitan dish with carrots and chunks of soy based chorizo, garlic mushrooms, sausage and beans, a lightly spiced portion of veggie curry and a side salad. It was such a great, filling meal. I especially loved the seitan dish, which only had a touch of spice from the chorizo, and the sausage and beans which has always been a solid favourite of mine.

Lynnmarie's skills don't just lie in her organisational prowess though, she's also a whiz in the kitchen. She bakes cakes for charity just like I do and sells them at events like this one for 50p, for that price (and because it was for a good cause!) I had to try both. This week she'd made a vanilla cupcake with chocolate icing and a chocolate chip banana cake.

The vanilla cake / chocolate frosting combo is a favourite of mine and one that I hardly ever make myself so this was a real treat. Regular readers of my blog will also know that banana bread is one of the only ways I'll tolerate banana and I always put chocolate chips in mine too. Lynnmarie put chocolate chunks in her perfectly gooey banana bread and I have to say that it was wonderful - if they hadn't have sold out I'd have gotten another piece for my bus journey home.

If you're in Manchester on a Monday night I would definitely suggest that you eat here. As well as a tasty and filling feed for five quid there's a wonderful community atmosphere. Everyone I met was super friendly and happy to chat to an almost-stranger! If you aren't around on a Monday Mod also cooks at Mod's Cafe at The Thirsty Scholar Mon - Fri 12 & 4 and Sat & Sun 1-5.

Monday 15 April 2013

V Revolution.

V Revolution is pretty damn high up on the list of my favourite thing about Manchester. I originally stumbled upon the store when I took a breather from the crazily busy Northern Vegan Festival on Saturday and I ended up back there again yesterday.

V Revolution sell plenty of frozen and refrigerated vegan staples as well as records and a great selection of drinks, sweets, biscuits and chocolates.

As well as the store area itself they have a large seating area which was consistently busy with people who'd popped in for a tea, coffee or quick bite to eat. As an additional bonus very single person who works there is lovely - super friendly and really knowledgeable about Manchester's vegan scene.

I was excited to spot both new kinds of Goody Good Stuff sour gummies and they have wi-fi. Perfect for a travelling vegan trying to blog from the road.  

Above all else I love V Revoloution's commitment to ridiculously delicious fast food! They've recently gotten a grill / panini press thing for behind their counter and they're now slinging out hot sandwiches and burgers at the weekends. Yesterday I sampled their Towering Inferno Burger!

Um, yeah, I don't even really know what to say about this epic creation! It was one of the raddest things ever. Consisting of two chicken burgers, two hash browns, two kinds of cheese, lettuce, and, for my chili allergic self, a tactical switch out of the salsa for a thousand island style dressing and sliced tomatoes. Obviously it was delicious. You really can't go wrong with Fry's chicken burgers or hash browns! Both cheeses were perfectly melted too and I really liked the soft, lightly toasted bun.

Apparently most people deconstruct this burger or eat it with the accompanying cutlery but not me, nope, I just went for it with my hands - it would be wrong to eat this and not end up covered in sauce so that is exactly what I did.

V Revolution is a must visit destination if you're in the North of England and it's definitely worth travelling to if you're not.

Sunday 14 April 2013

Northern Vegan Festival

I've been wanting to visit Manchester for far too long and the Northern Vegan Festival seemed like the perfect time to hop on a mega bus and head up the M6!

Upon arrival I made a beeline for two stalls in particular. Cottage Cupcake Co and The Cake Liberation Front. I've known the ladies behind both of these ventures online for a long time and I was super excited to finally meet them in "real life" as it were!

Jenny from Cottage Cupcake Co baked all day on Friday to get everything together for her stall and it looked great.

Due to the crazy volume of cakes and sweet treats on offer at the festival I decided to pace myself. I had two rules - pick only one thing from each stall and no eating stuff I'd tried before. The second rule kept me away from the Fry's and Vegusto samples as well as the Ms Cupcake stall, but I already know that I love those things and I can get them down south!

From Cottage Cupcake Co I picked the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcake which was super delicious, I wish I'd had space for an Oreo brownie too!

I also picked up an apron from Caroline at the Cake Liberation Front pop-up stall.

It was so awesome to finally meet Caroline, we've been reading each others blogs for a long time and after meeting up at the fest' we ended up chatting and drinking tea together at V Revolution and hanging out at the Vegan Festival after party! Hopefully I'll be seeing her again at the Meat Free Monday event at the Lass O' Gowrie pub tomorrow.

Next I spotted a company I'd been looking out for for quite a while, Pudology.

I was lucky enough to get to sample both the Chocolate Pud and the as-yet-unreleased Lemon Pud. I skipped banoffee due to my hatred of anything banana! I really hope that these will pop up in Brighton sometime soon, I think they'd sell really well in either Infinity Foods or Waitrose who are currently selling their products in other parts of the country.

My eyes were soon drawn across the way again to the That Old Chestnut stall. Their cakes were beautifully laid out and they'd clearly paid attention to the visual merchandising aspect of the stall, everything was so beautifully presented that I broke my one thing only rule!

Their cakes made a change from the frosting heavy options you see everywhere else - don't get me wrong I love that cake, I make that cake, but it's nice to have a change and there's definitely a bit of a gap in the market where this kind of cake is concerned.

I picked up a slice of the Pistachio Cardamon cake for breakfast. I really enjoyed the light delicate flavours and the sugary pistachio covered glaze, it was so delicious that I went back and got them to put a piece of their Coffee & Walnut cake into the box.

I was super excited to spot this next stall. I've been following V Revolution on Instagram for a while and they're aways posting the most amazing looking stuff - stay tuned for a whole post about them coming tomorrow.

Their stall had ready made sandwiches which could be served hot or cold. Cold flavours included 'Cheese' Ploughman's made with Vegusto cheese, Spicy Jerk 'Beef' & Coleslaw, Buffalo 'Chicken' & Coleslaw and a classic T.L.T.

As well as a pulled pork creation V Revolution also had a Grilled Cheese which could be pressed either right there at the stall or at home.

Obvioulsy I chose to get it right there and then...

...and it was delightful. I love nothing more than any kind of cheese product sandwiched between toasted bread. The cheese used here is the Vegusto Melty that comes in the tube and, as the name suggests, it's melty - perfect for this kind of sandwich. I almost went back for a second!

Next I swung by the Cat & The Cream stall to grab a Sarah Kramer fundraising cupcake. Technically I broke one of my own rules again as I have tried a Cat & The Cream cupcake before but it was for a good cause!

These chocolate cherry boobie cupcakes were being sold to raise money to support Sarah whilst she closes her shop and recovers from surgery. Such a great idea and the cupcake was lovely, moist and full of real cherries.

Lastly I visited The Kitchen on Great Moor Street to join the queue for an intriguing sounding Gozleme.

This Turkish bread was sprinkled with my chosen Cheezly & Parsley mixture, spread with sunflower margarine and cooked on two different hot plates until the outside was perfectly browned.

For some odd reason my phone has decided to delete the pictures of my cooked Gozleme without me asking it to - how rude. As a lover of any kind of bread product I thoroughly enjoyed this, it was warm and melty and if I'd had room I may well have broken the rule again and gone back for another!

After the festival itself there was an after party at vegan friendly pub The Thirsty Scholar. I was impressed with the vegan labelling of the beer taps, quality of the live entertainment, how busy the event was and the fact that everyone was super friendly. I was there on my own for a bit before anyone I knew arrived and because Manchester is full of lovely friendly people I made new friends in no time at all.

I'm so glad that I finally made the trip up north, there's a really great sense of community in the vegan scene in Manchester and if you haven't already you should get up here asap!