Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Brighton Birthday Weekend

I've talked about many of the awesome v*gan places that Brighton has to offer before, but we seem to visit every year at some point and this time it happened to be for my birthday. I'm really really lucky that Small has amazing grandparents - they offered to look after her for the weekend so that Mr B and I could spend some time together. I've said it before but being a parent is a wonderful and amazing thing, but I also really value time spent with Mr B (even if usually it's not very much!). I know most parents with toddlers don't get to do this, but it's really important to me for Mr B and I to spend time on our relationship too.

We normally stay at Paskin's however this time we decided to try somewhere different! We stayed at the Sea Spray and had a lovely room with a view of the pier. They also offer vegan breakfast which included soya 'butter', soya milk, toast, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans and homemade sausage. After a little confusion and almost being served fried eggs (!) I really enjoyed it - it's always lovely to be able to eat the breakfast as usually it's not an option.

Almost as soon as we arrived we rushed out the door to make our dinner booking at Terre a Terre - I've had my grumbles about lack of 3 vegan courses available before but I'd still say it's my favorite restaurant in the UK. We had cocktails and a lovely meal. I'm not going to go into much detail as I've done it before - and so has Mr B.

We had a vegan tapas to start, I always love to get this as it's for two and allows you to sample lots of different items from the menu in small portions so you're not missing out. 
I ate;
Terre à Tapas Plate (vo/gfo) 23.00 - A selection of lovelies from around the menu
- For two to share.
Fundamentally Fungus (gfo/vo) 14.95Chestnut and horse mushroom, merlot and truffle thyme risotto with porcini sherry vinegar ketchup topped with seared abalone, glazed chestnuts, pickled shimeji and mixed leaf tangle. Accompanied with chestnut cream and finished with Camargue rice chestnut salt.
Churrosimo (vo) 8.30 or triple dip for two! – 11.60Cinnamon sugar spice dusted doughnut straws served with one of the follow - you choose!
•Rain vodka cherries with chocolate dipping sauce (v)
•Double dip salt caramel sticky and chocolate dipping sauce (vo)
•Arabica and cocoa dipping sauce with brandy Chantilly and sugar crackle (vo)

Salty Dog 7.50
Organic Gin, grapefruit and cranberry juice shaken with lime juice.

We shopped and ate cake and drank coffee at Infinity........

One of the best parts of this trip was getting to try some new places. As we'd stayed at Paskin's before we'd seen the Metrodeco Tea Salon as it's very nearby but always assumed they'd not have anything vegan, but at the end of our visit last year we saw in the window they did an afternoon tea! So this time we made sure we booked in (I think you have to book in advance for vegan offerings) and popped along mid afternoon on Saturday.

The interior of this place is lovely - like stepping back in time! It's 1930's themed and has a selection of comfy sofas and tables.

They also use cute vintage tea sets and every table seemed to have a different matching set. I actually can't remember the last time before this I drank tea with a cup & saucer - but I definitely need to do it more often!

Our afternoon tea was made up of cute little sandwiches with pesto, hummus, artichoke, cucumber & tomato followed by scones with soya butter and jam, and then lovely fruity 'carrot' cake. I had a pot of Topsy Tea with mine which was a delicious vanilla roobios blend.

We also visited the new V Bites location in central Brighton (former Aloka restaurant). When I think about it, it was hearing about V Bites years ago that first alerted me to the fact that there were lots of vegan places in the area - but it used to be in Hove and closed out of season so I never ended up visiting. We decided it was about time when Mr B saw them talking about their vegan Yorkshire puddings on twitter!

The decor hasn't changed much from it's previous days as Aloka - but that's no bad thing as it feels lovely and fresh and they've kept some of the gorgeous lighting! They also have a 'shop' area downstairs selling V Bites branded foods (Redwoods) and a few other bits too. 

The whole place is 100% vegan which is nice, as it's not something you see too often in the UK. I had the 'gammon' Sunday dinner which a vanilla milkshake. My favorite part? The Yorkshire Puddings! It's been years since I've eaten one, as all attempts to create vegan versions have failed and resembled hockey pucks. I'm lead to believe it's not just me, but a wide vegan problem. My only criticism of the ones at V Bites were that there wasn't enough of them! I could of just eaten a whole plate of them with gravy.......

In the spirit of trying new things we also tried out Pizza Face which we'd heard good things about. (Forgive the late night slightly blurry photo here!)

We both had garlic bread made vegan and I had a mushroom pizza with vegan cheese. I'm sad to say this is the only bit we didn't really enjoy! Maybe we've just been spoiled with Mr Singh's and maybe Pizza Face is better on vegan night where they offer more toppings..... but I just found it to have too little cheese and sauce and way too many mushrooms. It was also quite expensive for take away pizza.  
I had a great weekend and we even came home a little early on the Sunday so I could hang out with Small! 

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