Vegan Adventures in London Part One

Afternoon Tea

Allow me to break with tradition and not share a recipe this week:  I’ve got too much other food to talk about!  At the weekend I went for a trip to London again, armed with another list of vegan-friendly places to hit.  Generally speaking, when we go adventuring I plan the food and my fellow plans the activities and we both do our jobs alarmingly well.  So when we arrived on Friday I took him for an early dinner at Tibits before he guided us over to the theatre for our evening entertainment.

Tibits

Tibits, for the uninitiated, is a vegetarian buffet restaurant where you pay by weight of your plate.  If it were all-you-can-eat, we may well have missed the start of our show.  There was a great selection of food, and vegan options were well marked.  Despite the abundance of fried food on my plate (I was on holiday, after all), it was actually the other dishes that I preferred:  the pasta salad, and the tofu-based twist on the Caprese salad.  Everything was really fresh and delicious, and it was quite nice being able to peck at so many different dishes.  Unsurprisingly, dessert was the highlight.  I’ve been waiting a long time for a vegan sticky toffee pudding, and this one is reportedly -and deservedly – always on the menu:

Sticky Toffee Pudding

The food fuelled us through the evening, when we went to see The Book of Mormon, the musical by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.  As someone who has never seen a single episode of South Park, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  I was also mildly concerned that our cheap seats up in the gods would hamper our enjoyment.  Fortunately, I was delighted on all counts.  We could see all the action (except that we suspect we missed out on a Darth Vader boogie at some point) and it was hilarious.

Marc Bolan

Saturday kicked off with a visit to the Marc Bolan memorial not far from where we were staying, followed by a real treat:  afternoon tea at The Coach and Horses, a vegetarian pub.  I went there for Sunday roast last time I was in London and was jealous of all the afternoon teas taking place around me.  I thought it worth enquiring about a vegan option, and happily, they said it could easily be done. It can be seen above in its full glory.  Vegetarians get three options of sandwiches, but we only got cucumber.  I hate cucumber with a fiery, irrational passion, but these were actually quite tasty.  Possibly I was just swept up in the fanciness of the occasion.  The scones were also a delight.  Obviously though, I was counting down to the cakes.

Cupcake

The cupcake was a touch heavy, but very nice -there were chunks of dark chocolate in the sponge, and the icing was lovely and rich.  We had to have a bit of a breather before embarking on the quadruple layer carrot cake (we certainly got our money’s worth!).

Carrot Cake

Again, it wasn’t the most breath-takingly amazing carrot cake I’d ever had, but as part of the whole experience it was really lovely and I applaud The Coach and Horses for catering to the vegan market.  There’s nothing so civilised as an afternoon tea, even with my uncouth gentleman friend stuffing down his sandwiches in one mouthful!

South Bank

We spent the afternoon basking in the sun on the south bank and sightseeing in Somerset House, working up an appetite for our next meal.

Somerset House

More on that to follow in part two.

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