In case there was any doubt, I love Christmas. I’m enjoying it so much that, rather than my usual Christmas post, I’m splitting it up into two different legs: the build-up when I was in Prague, and the main event now that I’m back in Manchester with my family.
Dr HH has provided me with a homemade advent calendar once again. This year I have numbered jigsaw pieces and a little treat every day, including these maple candies that I’d never tried before. (Notice how there are two so I can share with him? He thinks of everything!) I’m looking forward to seeing the completed picture on 24th.
These traditional Czech cookies, cukrovi, are so cute and inviting. Last year we stumbled across some in one of our favourite vegan restaurants, and this year I was over the moon when I saw these boxes in a local vegan shop, World Vegan. The biscuits were a little softer than I would have liked, but really delicious and festive. The chocolate sandwiches were especially good. When I was young we always used to get a box of M&S biscuits every Christmas and I always agonised over which one to have and whether I could get all the good ones before my brother did. It’s nice to have that variety again.
I also picked up a little 100g box of cukrovi from Puro, one of my favourite cafes in Prague. I have to say, these were much better than the shop-bought variety: the biscuits were crunchier, and the fillings were delicious. Unsurprisingly, the one with the big mountain of chocolatey cream was the highlight.
We’re also lucky in Prague to get a range of Veganz products, and they were out in force at Christmas. I tried to resist this chocolate bar, but then I thought that life is too short for such nonsense. I’m glad I came to my senses, because it was really delicious. The flavour was a little stronger than I’d expected, but that was a good thing – it was so festive.
And these cherry biscuits were just sensational! They’re those soft, gingerbread ones you get everywhere at Christmas, with a lovely blob of cherry jam in the middle. Oh, I could have eaten a million of these!
I was pretty giddy when I saw that a veggie Christmas festival (Veggie Vanoce) was coming to Prague in December. This is a great place to live if you’re a fan of vegfests (as discussed here), and I was hoping that the Christmas twist would provide a chance to try some festive food with a vegan twist – Christmas markets can be sad places for vegans.
It wasn’t really what I’d hoped for, in the sense that there wasn’t really a Christmassy theme to either the food being served or the products on sale. But as festivals go, it was a good one, and we branched out from our usual festival spots. Veggie Garden is perhaps the only all-vegan, non-raw restaurant we haven’t been to in Prague yet, but it’s definitely at the top of the list for January based on the quiche we got. The vegetable one up top had loads going on, as you can see, and was full of flavour. But the mushroom one was the star of the show. As Dr HH pointed out, it’s an encouraging colour for a mushroom dish, and it tasted so earthy and savoury. An excellent start to the festive eating!
We continued with a couple of samosas from Sri Lankan Curry House. I’ve had curry from their restaurant before and enjoyed it, so it was nice to try some of the crispy wares too. They were very greasy, but to be honest, I love that.
And then cake time! We were spoiled for choice at Nebeske Dorticky, but finally Dr HH went for the chocolate and banana cupcake, and I got this lovely gingerbread one. Both were moist, well-flavoured and had good creamy icing. We couldn’t have been happier!
And finally, something that I’m enjoying now that I’m home in the UK: some chocolate decorations for the tree! I have always loved these, largely because my parents virtually forbade my brother and me from eating them when we were young (apparently eating them too soon in the Christmas period is perilous). I really missed them in my first two vegan Christmases, so how exciting to have them back again now! Unfortunately I don’t know the brand as they were just sold in a pot in World Vegan, but I’m very happy to have them,
And now that I’m back in the UK, they are sitting tempting me on the tree! I hope you all enjoy the build up to Christmas this week.