Sunday, 12 April 2015

Pure and Raw - Leamington Spa


Pure and Raw opened REALLY recently in Leamington Spa in the same shop that used to be home to my beloved 'Burst Juice Bar'. I'm not sure if it has the same owners or it's a new venture, but I was sad to see Burst go/ excited to try out this new offering.


The interior has been totally redone and they have a little bit more seating now than it did previously. It seemed bright and fresh and full of enticing fruit. I was a bit disappointed to see the food menu has gone - it used to be a great place to find something vegan - the sausage bagels being our favorite. Sadly though it doesn't seem to have been replaced with any raw food either - I'm not sure if this will come later. Some snack bars and vegan carrot cake were for sale, although at least half of this wasn't raw and the other half were bars such as Nakd. I found this all a bit odd since their logo says 'Pure Juice, Raw Food'. Pretty please can we have some raw food?


I had the 'Almond Crunch' smoothie made with almond milk, banana, cinnamon and almond butter. It was nice and I really enjoyed it, however a regular size was £3.95. Despite there being three members of staff my drink took around 10 minutes - I put this down to them having not been open long.


I brought these vegan & gluten free cookies for my daughter which were under £2 (can't remember exactly), but sadly there were pretty strange and they didn't get eaten.


UPDATE: I went back here a few weeks ago and they are serving some food now. Mr B and I had nice raw vegan cakes that we really enjoyed. They also have a salad bar, but beware not everything is vegan (or vegetarian) as we spotted tuna in the counter.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The Warehouse Cafe - Birmingham


It's been ages since we last went to the Warehouse Cafe - once upon a time I worked there shortly and we used to visit regularly, but recently every time we try to book they're already full! It was my dad's birthday and although my parents aren't even veggies, they genuinely like the food here. He managed to snag us a table so we all went for a meal. I won't go into lots of detail as I've blogged about this place many times before!

To start I had the 'Aubergine and Sweetcorn Fritters'. It was lovely, although the dipping sauce was a little too spicy for me - but I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to spice.


My main was the 'Fish and Chips' - battered halloumi with sweet potato fries and mushy peas. This meal was everything my recent one at Bistro 1847 should have been but wasn't. The flavours were lovely and I was very happy it came with a lemon wedge, plenty of mushy peas and some extra sauce for dipping on request. It was a really tasty dish and SO much better value for money than Bistro 1847.

I had a vegan chocolate brownie with ice cream for pudding but didn't get a shot of this as I was too quick to dig and and share it with Small. 

The Warehouse is still the best place in Birmingham for veggie food - if you can get a table definitely head over there!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Sunshine

Easter in our house was lots of fun. Small is now old enough at *almost* three to understand a lot more of what is going on in the world. She definitely knew Easter had something to do with chocolate!
We are still swimming in vegan Easter eggs and I'm sure Small pretty much had one of each available (or at least it seems that way).
As the weather starts to get warmer and summer is just around the corner it's a little bittersweet for me as I know this is the last of the time Small is at home with me all the time and she starts nursery in September. I mean I'm excited for her - I think she's going to love it. She loves playing with other children and I sometimes think that is something she's missed out on so far as an only child. I don't have any friends close by who have kids and for one reason or another toddler groups just didn't seem to work out.
I started out being really anti formal education. I guess in a way I still am. I went to both private and state schools and disliked both equally. At first I wanted her to go to a Montessori nursery as I really like their ethos. We even had her signed up, but I started to hear a few things I didn't like and it caused me to have a good look at all the options available. I'm happy we've now found the right one for her and I'm glad I didn't go with our first choice.
So, I need to make the most of my time with her before she ventures out into the world!


Monday, 6 April 2015

Date Night

Guess what? Mr B and I have been married two years today! Our wedding day really doesn't seem like it could possibly be that long ago!
To celebrate the grandparents gave us some rare toddler free time so we decided to head out for a meal together that wouldn't involve noodle flinging or trying to coax a small person from out under the table.
As it's a bank holiday we were limited for choice so booked a table at Bistro1847. We have been a few times before, but have had mixed experiences and haven't always felt it was good value for the price.


To start I had the 'Goats Curd, Salted Baked Beetroot & Mint Pea'. Mr B had the vegan option of 'Mushroom & Garlic, Polenta, Tomato Relish'.
I'm not really sure what to say about the vegan starter - the veggie version would have included a poached egg, but it's just left out in the VO. It really annoys me when this happens as you quite often end up with a dish that doesn't work. It was dry and tasteless, if it had been my starter I wouldn't have eaten it.
My starter was ok, but nothing special. The mint pea really didn't taste like anything at all and I found the whole combination a bit odd.


My main was the 'Beer Battered Halloumi with Mushy Pea Emulsion'. It came with thick cut chips. Mr B had the same, but the vegan option which meant his was battered tofu. We have both had this meal in the past and enjoyed it, but this current version is definitely lacking in something. We even dug out an old photo of the last time we ate this to compare - and last time was better.
The actual battered part was nice and so were the chips, but the 'pea emulsion' seemed to be the same tasteless green goo from my starter. The last time we ate this it came with things to dip into, sea vegetables and lemon wedges - but without any of that it was dry and actually quite hard to eat.
After this we decided not to risk pudding and left feeling quite disappointed but glad we had a 50% off deal as we'd have been quite put out if we had paid full price.
Still feeling hungry and in need of tasty food we headed over to Mr Singh's which saved the day!


So this was my actual dinner - we had a romantic car dinner and awesome veggie and vegan pizza before heading back to collect the small person.

Happy Anniversary Mr B! XOXO


The Botanist - Birmingham

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited by my lovely friend Kitty Kaos to the media launch for a wonderful new place in Birmingham - The Botanist. Located on Temple Street it's really central and super convenient for an evening out or a well deserved break whilst shopping.


I absolutely loved the interior - it was something really unique and created a wonderful relaxed atmosphere. There was a massive attention to detail that was carried through into every aspect with a lovely outdoor seating area complete with log fire.


I'd heard great things about the cocktails so as soon as we arrived I headed straight for the menu. There was lots of choice and looking around at what others were drinking I couldn't wait to order!


My first drink was the 'English Mojito' whilst Kitty Kaos had the 'Blueberry and Passion fruit Martini'. I ordered a Mojito as quite honestly it's my favorite (my husbands fault!) - I've had many so I almost use it as my 'standard to be judged by'. I can quite honestly say it was one of the best. The bar staff took their time to make our drinks with care and attention and it definitely shows.


We were shown to a table in the lovely dining area and had some bread and olives to share whilst we took in the menu and decided what to have. Everything was nice and fresh and came quickly.


Next we had the Camembert with flat breads and fruit. If I was to have one criticism it would be that nothing is marked vegetarian on the menu, however the staff were very friendly and double checked the cheese etc for me. 


My main was the 'Cheese Pie' which came with a choice of mashed potato or chips, mushy peas and HP sauce. The pie was lovely with twist as the garnish was actually pickled.
I would have loved to see a few more vegetarian options on the menu - they had several types of burger on the menu, but not a veggie one. There was a halloumi hanging kebab on the menu but the member of staff that was serving us seemed to think it came with meat.


My desert was a trifle with lovely fruit filling, custard and cream. It was lovely - but massive! There was definately enough for two people here!


My last drink was a 'Bloody Porcini' which was a fantastic twist on the bloody mary cocktail - my other favorite! The bar staff were very helpful with customizing drinks - they made it to a medium heat for me and made sure it didn't contain anything non veggie like Worcestershire sauce (as most bloody marys do). I absolutely loved this one and have to say it was my favorite as the porcini twist really made it for me.

The Botanist opens it's doors on April 6th (Easter Monday) so why not head down and check it out for yourself?