Tuesday 31 October 2017

Tart Bakery Auckland

Nick and I started our North Island adventure in Auckland and one place that was on my radar before the plane even touched down was Tart Bakery. I'd seen pic's of their delicious looking baked goods online and peeked at their five star Happy Cow reviews but there were a couple of things that I didn't know about them. I didn't know that they'd won the NZ Bakery of the year competition in 2016 - pretty epic for a vegan business! And I didn't know that they run on a business model that focusses on charitable giving. 

Tart's owners are very focussed on caring for animals and spreading the vegan message and one way that they do that is by working with someone who helps farmers convert grazing land into arable land for growing crops. With the majority of New Zealand's countryside being covered in farms this is so necessary for the future of the planet and unless we can find ways to convince farmers that they can make money in other ways animal agriculture is going to take a long time to grind to a halt.

Friday 27 October 2017

Tepla Sustainable Jewellery Giveaway

Tepla are a Sussex based jewellery company who work with vegan, sustainable, and ethically made materials. Their beautiful pieces are made using components, processes, and tools that are non toxic, and 100% animal cruelty and animal product free.

Tepla's founder Sandra started the business because she wanted to bring together her mixed media art jewellery background and her personal ethics which is something that really resonated with me. I'm always looking to work in fields where my passions and skills mesh well with my ethics. Tepla source their materials with the impact on both the environment and human health and wellbeing at the forefront of their minds and I love their commitment to using recycled silver.

Monday 23 October 2017

Vegan in New Zealand

New Zealand was an interesting travel experience for me. Mine and Nick's preferred travel style is to move slowly, to plan a little in advance but not too much, and to have the option to stick around somewhere if the mood takes us. We did a little of that, an extra night here, another night there, but with our travel budget New Zealand was not the place for that style of travel. If you're under 30 I would seriously recommend looking into working holiday visa's for NZ, Australia, and Canada. Anywhere that will allow you to work. If you don't have ties take these opportunities now because they won't be there forever. If, like me, you're a little older and unable to get the magical visa that lets you earn money whilst experiencing a new culture then you're going to want to plan, book ahead, and scope out deals online because New Zealand is expensive. Australia definitely takes the top spot in terms of pricy places to travel but NZ is a close second. One way that we cut back on costs was by renting a car and working with the great peep's at Hitch Car Rentals for the entirety of our North and South Island road trip.

A whole lot of research led me to Hitch Rentals and they came out on top of my car rental list by miles. They have the cheapest rates, they let you take the car anywhere (no qualms about unsealed roads), and if you have the cash available you can hire an Eco Hitch, aka a gorgeous Prius. There is a one way fee but it isn't too high in comparison to other companies. We rented a Budget Hitch and were surprised at how roomy and comfortable it was, in Europe if you hire a budget car you're usually lucky if you can squeeze your luggage into the boot!

Thursday 12 October 2017

Vegan Eats Sydney

This is probably going to be my final Sydney post and I've been putting off writing it because it means that my time in Australia is really over. No more wallabies, considerably less delicious vegan pies, and no more hanging out with my friend Amanda. Making friends online can be the absolute best because it's a really cool and easy way to connect with people who you have a bunch of stuff in common with (you also get close fast because people like to overshare online!) but the flip side is that sometimes your favourite people live in Sydney, or Austin, or Vienna, or somewhere else far away and you hardly ever get to see them in real life.

I try not to get too sad about it because it's so fun to be able to meet up with people whilst I'm travelling but my dream is to live somewhere and have a bunch of awesome vegan friends living nearby so that we can have potlucks, and brunches, and sleepovers, and pizza parties, and go for hikes, and get involved in activism, and eat my carefully crafted pick 'n mix together at the movies. One day! I'm also getting to the point in my travels where I can't wait to be settled somewhere so that my friends can actually come and visit me for a change. I miss that!

Amanda and I have one final dinner date planned during my layover before I fly to Hong Kong and I definitely will not cry when we part ways like I did in Portland that time! I spent about seven days in Sydney and as well as visiting MAKER, one of the best vegan businesses on the planet, a couple of times and exploring everything that Newtown, Glebe, and the CBD have to offer (blog post here) we managed to squeeze in visits to a bunch of other cool places including Pineana in Avalon Beach, The Hold in Manly, and Funky Pies in Bondi.

Pineana specialise in Asian inspired bowls and they have six options for you to choose from meaning that there's something for everyone. Even I was able to order without making any modifications which is a little unusual! 

Sunday 8 October 2017

Wagamama Launches Vegan Menu

Since I left the UK in January 2015 the vegan options at chain restaurants have blossomed, with chains like Zizzi's adding vegan menu items and Tofurky launching their range of vegan sandwiches I'm going to be coming back to a country that's a whole lot more vegan friendly. One of the few downsides of travelling is that I don't get to go and eat all of these delicious new things the very second they're launched but when Wagamama contacted me about trying their new vegan menu I decided to do the only sensible thing and pay it forward. After scouring Instagram for Brighton peep's who take excellent photos I found Stevie, @thebrightonvegan, who was more than happy to attend the event on my behalf. Hopefully I'll be bringing you more guest posts as I try to keep on top of the UK's growing vegan scene from a continent far, far away. Over to Stevie...

For some time, the word on the vegan grapevine has been that Wagamama was launching an all new vegan menu. Vague news articles and the occasional insta-story indicated that it was tantalisingly close.

Well friends, it's here. And, oh, it's good.

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Vegan in Sydney

There's something about visiting cities with iconic buildings that really floats my boat. NYC, Paris, Barcelona, and now Sydney are all up there with my favourite cities in the world and that's what links them in my mind. The other thing they all have in common is amazing vegan food!

Sydney can be a challenging place for a traveller on a budget but the good news is that the centre of the city is very walkable. We walked from our hostel, YHA's Railway Square hostel, up George Street towards the Art Gallery of New South Wales, harbour bridge, Museum of Contemporary Art, botanical gardens, and the opera house almost every day during our stay. Their super central location means that you're literally inside the station surrounded by pricier accommodation options but paying a fraction of the price. It really is considerably cheaper than anywhere else in the area. As well as being by the train and bus depots which will whizz you to vegan destinations all over the city it's basically on top of a Lord Of The Fries (the chicken and chips is a total bargain by Aussie standards and I love their $5 mini chicken burger), in amongst multiple bubble tea spots (Coco forever!), and close to Brew Street for your breakfast muffin and coffee.