Archive for March, 2013

I’ve been meaning to write about this for ages but kept forgetting. I got the Happy Cow phone app months ago and I’ve used it loads – definitely one of the most used apps on my phone (after facebook and instagram :)). It’s so nice to know that you can be anywhere and really quickly see on a map how far you are from any veggie/vegan places to eat.


It uses your current location, and you can either search nearby or search a different location.


If I click “browse nearby” when I’m in Oxford then it comes up with a list like this:


The above search showed everything (vegan, vegetarian, veg-friendly etc) which is why there are quite a few veg-friendly places…but if I did a search for vegetarian (I know there are no vegan places in Oxford! I’ve looked before, but alas no), then I get to see a few more helpful results. As you’ll see, Oxford only actually has 2 veggie places – the other two are quite far away! (it’s great that it shows you how far you are from the places in the list).


Then if you click on the one you’re interested in, you can see much more information about it, like a description, directions, contact details, link to a map etc.


If you click on “map”, it opens in your usual maps like this:


And you can see reviews too:


So there you go. It’s really a great app – I used it a lot in London and it’s how we found Tao. I think I had to pay a couple of quid for it initially but I’d definitely recommend it 🙂

Here’s the website with more info about it


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Lovely Links


Christina’s recent post alerted me to the fact that there’s a place in London which does frozen soya yogurt. Whaaaat!? That’s basically the most exciting thing I have ever heard.

I went to New Zealand at the end of January (best holiday ever) and went to Loving Hut in Auckland before I flew back the UK. It was delicious! I’ve never been to any of the ones in the UK (there are a few) but I definitely plan to now.

Oreos. It’s always been the case that oreos in the US were vegan-friendly but the ones here in the UK had milk in them. It seems like this has changed, and you can now get milk-free ones in the UK. In the FAQs on the UK oreo website, it said that they were planning to bring vegan-friendly oreos to the UK (“Oreo is currently not suitable for vegans because the recipe contains whey powder. We’re also hoping to work on a vegan option soon, so watch this space. Whey-powder free, vegan-happy Oreo will hopefully be available soon. Exciting!”), so I guess they have but they haven’t updated the website yet. Yay!

I really want to try this vegan cheese. On pizza. And then on lasagne. And maybe on a crumpet.

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Tao in London

In London on Saturday, post science museum and and pre-cocktails then theatre, I went to Tao with my parents. This little vegan buffet restaurant is really close to Piccadily Circus tube station.

I’m really not an all-you-can-eat buffet kind of person. At all. But we were really close to it and it was 100% vegan, and the food looked pretty good. So we gave it a go.


Buffet food was a good choice because not only did it mean we were sure we’d have plenty of time before the Theatre, but the price of the food meant we could afford to buy the cocktails we had in a bar round the corner afterwards 🙂

Tao doesn’t have an alcohol licence, so it is soft drinks all the way. No problem for me (since I’d had a big ol’ cider beforehand!) and the green tea had free refills so I was pretty happy.

There’s a big selection of hot and cold food, and fruit for dessert. You can also order fritters separately (apple, banana or pineapple) but these cost extra on top of the buffet price (the buffet is £6.90 per person).


The food included quite a bit of “fake meat” type stuff (I think it was seitan), which was pretty interesting and varied in terms of how nice it was. Luckily my parents are nice and open-minded, but I think if you brought some omnivores here they’d be a bit upset by that stuff!

I had two plates of food, and had a selection of cold and hot on both.

Plate 1:

Loads of fresh veggies, lovely spring rolls, and about 4 different "fake meats" on this plate!

Loads of fresh veggies, lovely spring rolls, and about 4 different “fake meats” on this plate!

Plate 2:

The hot noodles were pretty good, and it was a nice treat to have prawn crackers (even if they could have done with being a little crunchier). Roast potatoes were a little random!

The hot noodles were pretty good, and it was a nice treat to have prawn crackers (even if they could have done with being a little crunchier). Roast potatoes were a little random!

Afterwards we shared some fritters – I just had one banana one. It was ok but I think I was pretty full from my main so couldn’t really enjoy it.

So, I think I would go here again, if I was in the area and didn’t have much time/money. It was a nice speedy cheap way to eat, but a very different experience to my usual London vegan eating.

Read Happy Cow reviews here

40 Great Windmill Street,



Open Mon-Sun 11am-11pm

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Yet another lovely evening in London (previous one here); veggie food followed by We Were Evergreen. The gig was in Shoreditch so I looked on Happy Cow to find somewhere in the area to eat beforehand, and found Amico Bio (near Barbican tube station). I don’t think I’ve ever been to a vegetarian Italian restaurant before, so I was quite excited 🙂

While we wait for our mains, we had some olives. And I’m honestly not exaggerating when I say that those green olives below were absolutely the very best olives I have ever eaten in my life.


For my main I had a dish with tempeh and roasted veggies. You don’t see tempeh on menus in restaurants often (or in many shops) so I wanted to give it a try…


Unfortunately I wasn’t wowed by this. It was ok, it just generally didn’t have much exciting flavour – I felt a bit like I could have made it myself at home, pretty easily. It was nice but just not very special.

My friend Esther had the tempura for her main:


I think when I saw tempurah on the menu I assumed it would have something with it…but this was just a giant pile of tempurah. Now I’m sure that’s great if you’re the world’s biggest tempura fan but for most people I think this would just be too much fried veg on a plate.

I asked Esther for her thoughts on the restaurant and she said: “Friendly and attentive staff, cosy atmosphere, great prices, nicely presented. If you want to eat your weight in tempura this is for you. Tempura done to perfection but left feeling I’ve had my life’s quota of it, and still feeling that way the next day. Other dishes looked nice but somehow felt lacking in variety”.

I wish that I’d got something off the menu with seitan in it – there were a couple of things and I wonder what they would have been like. I think I’d probably give this place another chance at some point, I just wasn’t overly impressed with the food. But the place itself was nice and cosy, and the staff were really friendly. And let’s not forget the olives. Best olives ever.

And here’s a pic of the best part of the night…love them 🙂


See Happycow reviews here


44 Cloth Fair



Tel: 020 7600 7778

Opening Times

  • Monday to Friday 12:00 to 10:30pm
  • Saturday 5:00pm to 10:30pm
  • Sunday and Bank Holiday closed

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I went to Tesco last week and in the UHT milk section there was an array of new soya milks I’d never seen before. And they were on offer too – £1 each.


I got the cappuccino one and tried it last night.

vive soy cap

Oh my. This was delicious. I poured it into a mug and tried a bit, before putting it in the microwave (just incase it was gross – it would have been a shame to warm it, wait for it to be cool enough to drink, only to find it was undrinkable), and I’m sure it would be lovely cold in the summer with some ice. It’s very sweet, but such a delicious taste! I warmed it for 2 mins and then drank it. Yum.

The main differences I can see between vive soy and alpro soya are that alpro adds B12 (which I like – it’s good to know that gets topped up if I’ve not had marmite), but vive soy has a vastly higher percentage of soya beans in the milk (around 13% compared to alpro’s 6.5%).

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