Vegan afternoon tea at Hidden Lane Tearoom

Sugary cupcakes piled high with buttercream icing. 

Warm scones topped with lashings of butter and strawberry jam. 

Chocolate eclairs bursting with whipped cream.

Afternoon tea is delicious but unfortunately not usually vegan friendly. 

Which is silly really because - as anyone who has ever been to a vegan fair will tell you - vegans really love their cake. 

While it's easy to serve up vegan alternatives at home, it's just not the same as going out to a tearoom for an indulgent afternoon. So, after sadly assuming my days of scoffing scones and sipping tea from mismatched crockery were over, thank heavens for discovering the vegan afternoon tea at The Hidden Lane Tearoom.




Autumn adventures at Go Ape!

'So... I just jump off the platform... into the air?' 

Teetering on the edge of a wooden platform - the last solid surface before a 400m long zip wire suspended 150ft above the forest floor - I clearly wasn't entirely convinced that I should step out into thin air.

As I stared anxiously across the Trossachs National Park, I had to make a choice: change my mind and turn back or jump.

I jumped.






New vegan options at Zizzi

You might have read that Zizzi launched a new autumn menu recently. If you follow me on Twitter then you've probably seen me raving about it - I was already a huge fan of their vegan pizzas but the launch of the new menu gave me an excuse to go back.

Twice in one week...



Vegan peanut butter and salted caramel brownies

I don't want to cause mass cake-related panic, but these might be my favourite thing I've ever baked. That may have a little something to do with my slight - ahem - peanut butter addiction and new obsession with salted caramel. It must be the colder weather or the autumnal hues on my Instagram feed but I can't get enough of either flavour - then, of course, there's chocolate, but do I really need an excuse to crave that?



Snowboarding with Crystal Ski Holidays

'Have you snowboarded before?'

'No.'

'Skied?'

'No.'

'Do you skateboard? Rollerblade?'

'No...'

As I gulped and glanced nervously past the instructor and up the snow slope, I suddenly wondered why I'd volunteered to strap a wooden board to my feet and throw myself down a hill.

Scottish Vegan Festival 2016

Last Saturday I went along to the Scottish Vegan Festival with the lovely Nicole who blogs over at Ginger Kitchen. I've been to a few vegan events before - including the monthly Big Vegan Fest at The Flying Duck and the Edinburgh Vegan Festival earlier this summer - but I was really excited about the Scottish Vegan Festival, especially because it was held in the huge Edinburgh Corn Exchange venue and was organised by Farplace Animal Rescue.




Butternut squash spaghetti and lentil meatballs

I finally caved and bought a spiralizer.

After months of internally insisting that 'I really don't need a spiralizer', I read one fancy recipe too many and guiltily added one to my Tesco shop.

After rustling up this tasty butternut squash spaghetti with lentil meatballs, I can confidentally confirm I have no regrets.



Juniper Gin Festival

Hands up who likes gin?! 

I have to admit that it wasn't my choice of tipple for a long time - it made me think of glossy magazine articles on weight-loss which urged dieters to opt for a gin and tonic for the low calorie content, rather than the taste. I'd also only tried it a few times, sipping on London Dry gins, but never finding a flavour which wowed me. 

Then I discovered The Gin Bothy at an event earlier this year and tried their Gunshot Gin, infused with  cinnamon, cloves and mixed spices - after a few warming sips, I was converted.

When I was invited to The Juniper Gin Festival earlier this month, I was keen to continue my gin education.



Feel Good Friday #46

Fidencio Sanchez is an 89 year old man who sells popsicles in Chicago's Little Village neighbourhood. With an unwavering work ethic, Fidencio has been working to support himself since he was 13 - first in the fields of Morelos in Mexico, and since 1990 in Chicago. 

After retiring only two months ago, Fidencio was sadly forced back to work after his only daughter passed away and he took custody of her children. With his elderly wife, who also used to sell popsicles, too sick to work, the responsibility of earning a living fell squarely on Fidencio's shoulders. 'We thought, what are we going to do? We have to pay the bills,' he says. 'I wake up early and work all day until eight at night.'

The 78

If you've ever looked for somewhere vegetarian and vegan friendly to go in Glasgow's west end then chances are you've heard of The 78. This friendly restaurant and bar is on the city's Kelvinhaugh Street and has a 100% vegan menu. I'd heard rave reviews for the The 78 but - having not spent much time in that part of the west end before - I hadn't visited yet. When I happened to be around the corner last Saturday afternoon, I made a beeline there to fill up on hearty vegan pub food.

Feel Good Friday #45



Felix, the Huddersfield station cat, popped up on my timeline again this week. Back in February, Felix was rewarded for her dedicated years of mouse-catching by being promoted to Senior Pest Controller. The black and white moggy has been part of the station staff since she was only nine weeks old and has become a much loved member of the team. The station have even installed a cat flap into one of the barriers so that Felix has free reign to get on with her work. As part of her prestigious promotion, Felix received her own high-vis jacket and name badge from the Transpennine Express rail network.

I'm a sucker for an animal with a job, so little Felix has inspired me to share some of the other animals who are working that 9 - 5 in the most adorable way...

Kind Crusts sandwich shop

When I spotted that Kind Crusts, a vegan sandwich shop, was opening in Glasgow this summer, I could have whooped with joy. Okay, so I know I've said before that we're already spoiled for choice for vegetarian and vegan food in this city, but it's still fantastic to see that there's such a demand that new places can continue to open (not to mention the veggie and vegan options popping up on meat-serving menus).

Kind Crusts is Glasgow's first vegan sandwich shop, serving up sandwiches, bagels, pastries, cakes and snacks. While the shop launched back in July with a vegetarian and vegan menu (offering one dairy cheese and 95% vegan menu), within a few weeks vegan owner, Kathryn Veroni, decided to make the switch to a full vegan menu. She says that, while she wants to encourage non-vegans to try their products, she wants to do it in the way they always intended: with 'good, honest wholefoods... We'll use our knowledge of food and creative passion to form exciting sandwich fillings, salads and bakes, which alone, will be the reason people choose us.'






Best vegan junk food in Glasgow

Close your eyes and imagine vegan food. What do you imagine? Salad? Avocado on toast? A bunch of bananas?

A quick Google search of ‘vegan food’ will flood your screen with brightly coloured fruit and vegetables – which, if they’re following a well-planned plant-based diet, is probably a hefty proportion of what most vegans do eat – but what about those days when you just think, sod it, I want a slice of cake. And a chocolate bar. And a doughnut.

To help celebrate International Vegan Junk Food Day, I thought I would jot down a quick list of the best places in Glasgow to find vegan junk food. Whether you’re vegan or not, prepare to have your sweet tooth tickled. 


Feel Good Friday #44

Kitsap Humane Society is a charity in Washington which finds home for homeless pets. With a 'no one size fits all' approach to animal rescue, Kitsap Humane Society approaches adoption creatively, searching for new ways to raise awareness of the animals in their care who are desperately seeking their forever homes.

One of those ways is by taking their dogs for 'Puppuccinos'.





Mono vegan cafe and bar

If you read my favourite vegetarian and vegan food in Glasgow post you'll know Glasgow is bursting at the seams with fantastic restaurants for vegetarians and vegans - so much so that I couldn't fit them all into one post (not even close)!

In fact, one place I couldn't squeeze in was Mono, a vegan cafe and bar, despite it usually being one of the first places Glaswegians recommend when they have a vegetarian or vegan friend visiting the city. If you sneak a peek at their menu, you'll understand why they come so highly recommended.

I hadn't visited since their new menu launched, but - after seeing so many mouth-watering photos pop up on my Instagram feed - I knew I had to get myself along to try out the new dishes.





Feel Good Friday #43

Owen Lima has a brain injury that can make it difficult to understand people, especially if they speak quickly, which means he can get frustrated and suffer from anxiety attacks.  Blue, his faithful service dog, is his constant companion to help calm him down and reduce anxiety.

Despite Blue being essential for Owen to lead a happy life, his presence has made it difficult for Owen to find a job, with most employers not willing to welcome a dog into their workplace. When Owen went for a job interview with home improvement store, Lowe’s, recently, he expected the same negative response. ‘It’s so hard to find a job where people can accept me for the way I am and the fact I have a service dog with me’, Owen tearfully told staff. 



Spicy bean soup with guacamole

I really ruddy love Mexican food - the beans, tomatoes, chilli peppers, spice, salsa, avocados, I could eat it every night of the week. That means I'm always looking for new recipes to bring more Mexican flavours into my kitchen, especially if they're packed with beans for plenty of veggie-friendly protein. 

This quick spicy bean soup is perfect for an easy midweek dinner, but you can add a dollop of guacamole, twist of black pepper and handful of tortilla chips to dress it up for the weekend (served with frozen margaritas, of course).


Feel Good Friday #42

Back in 2008, Jaquie dived into a swimming pool and broke her neck. She sustained a spinal cord injury that instantly paralysed her from the neck down, and, after surgery, doctors told her there was no chance she'd ever walk again. 

Earlier this summer Jaquie walked down the aisle to marry the love of her life, Andy.


Peek inside The Vegan Kind subscription box

As any vegan will tell you, it's really not that difficult to eat a vegan diet. Some people will ask you, either wide-eyed or cynically, 'What do you eat?!' and - if you're anything like me - you'll stress that you love food, you eat a lot of different food and you have the Instagram feed to prove it

That isn't to say it doesn't take a bit of time and effort. For instance, if you want to grab a sandwich on your lunch hour or stock up on sweets before the cinema, that supermarket refrigerator cabinet or corner shop confectionery stand will have suddenly gotten a lot smaller. While this will get easier (especially if you dedicate time to inspecting ingredient lists and reading every 'accidentally vegan' list you can find), a little helping hand to find new and exciting vegan food is always welcome.

And that's where The Vegan Kind come in.








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