Naughty but Nice Cream are Spreading Their Wings

If you’ve been following my Instagram you will understand that recently I have had a slight addiction to Nice Cream.

For those of you are not yet up to date, let me update you.

NANABAR is London’s first made-to-order Nice Cream bar. Offering you 6 individual flavours that are spread over six days of the week (Monday-Saturday), leaving you to choose from 3 sundae specials on Sundays!

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The Nice Cream is made from frozen bananas and served with nutritious whole-food toppings such as; Raw Cacao Nibs, Crumbled Sicilian Almonds, Dried Cranberries and more, depending on the flavour.  You can spice them up even more by adding a shot of either:

  • Chai

  • Flax

  • Hemp

  • Peanut Butter

  • Almond Butter

Or why not make it a meal by adding granola and a shot of your choice?!

I would definitely recommend the Rocky Road (Thursday). I fell in love with the fudge sauce so much that I asked for the recipe and have attempted to make my own version at home.

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NANABAR’s Nice Cream not only nourished my body, it nourished my soul, as I have met like-minded individuals that share my vegan passion and have blessed me with ideas to continue my vegan journey when sometimes I get a bit lost with it all.    

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So if your taste buds are watering for some sexy, wholefood, plant based goodness, you only have ten days left to head down to NANABAR (45 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A) before they close. Thereafter, you can catch them with their mobile pop up. 

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Cafe Van Gogh

One of my biggest cravings since transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is what I like to call ‘fat food’. You know Mac n’ Cheese, BBQ Wings, Potato Salad and so on. Which is why I was over the moon when Cafe Van Gogh contacted me to trial their brand new vegan menu. 

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Cafe Van Gogh is a social enterprise cafe meaning that it is not-for-profit, as all profits are reinvested into the local community through on-the-job training and food nutrition workshops. 

Located in North Brixton (7 minutes walk from Oval Tube Station), Cafe Van Gogh is the perfect spot to enjoy wholesome plant based dishes inspired by Caribbean and Asian flavours. 

I was so excited to learn that Cafe Van Gogh is now 100% Vegan as in the past it used to offer vegetarian options; but due to popular demand the founder Steven Clarke made the decision to change the menu and offers his customers with various plant based options which do not fail to tantalise those tastebuds!

On arrival my guest and I were given the fondest welcome by Steven himself and he made us feel right at home (providing us with the WIFI code)!

Luckily for us we were blessed with beautiful weather, so Steven seated us in the corner of the garden courtyard which was absolutely stunning; and refreshed our dry palates with a Tumeric Latte which I fell in love with so much that after my third glass I was made aware that it had ran out (ha, ha). 

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Then the food began to arrive, lucky for us we were hungry as the portion sizes were out of this world. 

We were blessed to have received and tried the following;

  • Seitan Sticky Ribs (with potato and pickled onion salad, grilled corn, “bacon” butter)

I am not usually that keen on seitan as I am not that fond of the texture but I cannot fault Cafe Van Gogh’s version. I have never eaten a ‘real’ rib in my life but the likeness of it was unreal. I really enjoyed the sauce they had been marinated in and getting my hands dirty!

  • Sri-Lankin Jackfruit & Aubergine Stuffed Chapatti (with dhal, pineapple chutney, salads)

I love asian infused flavours and I really enjoyed this meal; however it is very filling, so I would recommend not eating anything before you get to Cafe Van Gogh as to not ruin your appetite. 

  • Jerk Plantain (with smoky beans and mango salsa)

Plantain is one of my all time favourites and I was impressed with the jerk sauce. Not many restaurants make the sauce spicy enough, but boy oh boy Cafe Van Gogh you got it spot on.

  • Side of Mac N’ Cheese

Mac N’ Cheese Pie was my go to before I became vegan; its just my all time comfort food and I haven't found a recipe nor have I ordered a vegan one that has hit the spot as of yet. Fortunately Cafe Van Gogh put their own spin on their version and I really enjoyed it and was pleased to find out that they had made their own ‘cheese’ sauce.

Can you believe after all this we still had room for dessert! To my surprise after tasting both the;

  • Sticky Toffe Pudding

  • Black Forrest Oreo Sundae

I fell in love with the Sticky Toffee Pudding and my friend fell in love with the Black Forrest Oreo Sundae which had not been expected.

So far I can honestly put my hand on my heart and confidently say that this is one of the best vegan cafes I have ever been too and as you have seen despite our bad press, vegans could probably eat you meat eaters under the table!

Cafe Van Gogh is also has a space upstairs to hire if you have a special celebration or big meeting. 

I want to say a huge thank you to Cafe Van Gogh for being such a remarkable host and I cannot wait to come down and see you again.

'POSH NOSH' AFTERNOON TEA

Last month I was invited to Vegan Afternoon Tea by the lovely @lifeveganstyle with NOSH Garden Kitchen at La Suite West.

NOSH Garden Kitchen is located a short walking distance from Notting Hill and is a 2-minute walk from Bayswater Tube Station. NOSH is known for its bespoke nutritional programmes.

If you like me enjoy minimal elegance, NOSH Garden Kitchen is the place to be; there is nowhere else better suited than for it to be situated in La Suite West Hotel.  

The colour theme instantly set the ambiance; fuelled by white and splashes of green I immediately felt at peace and genuinely relaxed; I was in vegan heaven. I have a thing for open spaces and get deep satisfaction when surrounded by nature; hence feeling so at ease during my experience. The garden was stunning, although it began to rain quite heavy at one stage we were protected by the roof of leaves that captured the rain drops above us, leaving us with an earthly aroma.  

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As the fragrance of the earth was awakened by our natural surroundings we were given the Vegan Afternoon Tea menu with a glass of non-alcoholic fizz by our amazing host Maria.  

After a few minutes our delicate delights began to fill the table one by one; a selection of finger sandwiches which comprised of:

Cashew Nut Cream Cheese and Sundried Tomato Basil

Scrambled Tofu and Mustard Cress

BBQ Tempeh and Rocket Salad

My favourite has to have been the BBQ Tempeh and Rocket Salad, the BBQ sauce was so sticky and yummy that I even asked for an extra portion!

To follow we were given a number of Warm Homemade Scones which were served with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Coconut ‘Cream’; the ‘Cream’ was delicious, bursting with tropical flavours but I was a little disappointed with the Scones themselves as mine were slightly over cooked and I think I would have enjoyed them more if they were a little softer.

Before I divulged in anymore cake I took a little break and ordered a Peppermint Leaf Tea and a Hibiscus Tea. When they were carried out to me I fell in love with the teapots instantly. The styles of them were so in line with the elegance that we were already experiencing that I think I fell in love with NOSH just a little bit more.

To end our afternoon we were provided by the Chefs selection of cakes and deserts and I have to admit the brownie topped it for me.; rich and creamy just how I expected them to be. 

I would definitely recommend the NOSH Garden Kitchen to both vegans and non-vegans as the experience of this afternoon tea is one that will stay with me for a long time. We were treated like royalty and the food was simple yet extremely tasty and I was overwhelmed by the presentation of all the dishes. 

I will definitely be coming again, thank you.

PS if I wasn’t vegan and I experienced this I would be vegan by the time I left, (I promise I’m not being biased)!


Precious Vegan YouTube Launch

Hey,

Not sure if you’ve heard, but this week I finally made the jump; and I officially launched my very own YouTube channel!

I wanted you to get to know Jade, the face behind Precious Vegan and listen to my story and truth about why I became vegan and the struggles I have faced so far and how I have overcome them.

What to expect from Introduction Part 1

Precious Vegan Introduction Part 1 is a 6 minute video providing you with an overview as to why I became a vegan and touches slightly on the topic of mental health and how becoming vegan has helped my mood.

Part 2 will be uploaded next week and I then aim to publish one video per month on different vegan topics.

The lack of my most recent blog posts due to my hectic schedule was the main reason I decided to join YouTube as typing and editing blogs can become quite time consuming especially a long side a full time career and a part time business.

I also want to connect with people from all over the world; if you have been following my journey so far, you’ll have realised that I have the travel bug! Thus to connect with vegans across the world would really open up a lot of avenues for me in terms of my future endeavours.

I hope for the viewers who discover my channel enjoy learning from me and help develop my vegan journey into something magical by providing me with positive criticism, questions and ideas of how I could evolve within the vegan community to help other likeminded souls on their journeys also.

Taitus Botanicals Experience

August 2016 was a whirlwind of a month for me; I can only describe it as the beginning of an end, both a physical and mental transition.

The struggle between balancing a job I hated and being a student nurse was coming to an end. However, the exciting challenge of turning my lifestyle choices into a blogging career was now on the horizon.

Thus, receiving Taitus Botanicals body wash, natural soap, hair and body oil was a welcomed blessing. At a time, when all I truly needed was to relax and nurture my mind, body and soul.  

At only £6.45 / $8 a bottle the ‘Lavender Body Wash’ lives up to its description of cleansing and moisturising the skin. Its ingredients, just to name a few include organic coconut oil, aloe Vera and an infusion of essential oils.  

I was in heaven; I literally did not want to get out! I do not remember the last time I felt that relaxed. I left my hour-long bath feeling and smelling like a Nubian queen.

I don’t know where to start with the ‘Rosemary Peppermint Hair and Body Oil’ (£6.45 / $8 a bottle). This oil was 10/10! I cannot explain to you how much I was feeling the consistency. It is so hard to find an oil that isn’t too thick or too runny. I am not exaggerating when I say that product is perfect. Not only did the formula hydrate and moisture my hair and skin the aroma captured everybody’s attention. 

Last, but not least, the ‘natural soap’ (£4.90 / $6). The earthy fragrance was out of this world. After using Taitus’s Soap I did not feel the roughness I usually feel after washing my hands and I did not get the typical urge to cream my hands as this soap is not made with any harsh chemicals.

My skin and hair truly changed over the period I was using Taitus Botanicals products as part of skincare regime. So, if you are like me and want to use products that are fit for kings and queens yet affordable click here to view the entire collection. 

 

New Authentic Beauty Spa In Forest Hill

Let's be honest, the stresses of a 9-5 can sometimes bring us down. In these times, we find ourselves longing for a holiday to escape the stresses we face in the real world, to relax unashamedly and forget our troubles.

L's Boudoir offers you that escape you've been longing for; but are you ready to love yourself enough to break free from the grind?

Indulging in yourself should be at the top of your priority list and if it isn't I strongly advise you to re-condition your mindset and to put your own well-being and happiness at the centre of all you do.

The guilt of treating ourselves is often hard to justify; often we're stuck feeling stressed, tired and weary; however when I left L's Boudoir my spirit came out feeling alive and I promise you when you leave L's Boudoir you will be re-connected with your physical and internal body at a higher vibration than what you walked in with.

Nurture yourself to avoid burning out by relaxing your mind and soul with L's array of luxurious body treatments; ranging from Hot Stone Massage to Microdermabrasion.

Whether you are a parent, grandparent or student; L's Boudoir offers a treatment to suit your individual needs. Take time out from your busy schedule and reward yourself at L's. Not only will you feel refreshed and rejuvenated your spirit will feel lightened and your energy levels will be boosted. Treating yourself will not only benefit you as an individual but it will allow you to be the best version of yourself for others.

Find L's Boudoir and the team at their new location: 59 Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3HN.

 

New Vegan Caribbean Pop-Up Lewisham

The Core of Life are hosting pop-ups within the borough of Lewisham bringing the flavours of the Caribbean to you; offering you the very best meat free, egg free and dairy free options.

Each dish has been carefully selected and homemade by naturopathic nutritionist Sharon Gardner to ensure they not only live up to your expectation of flavour but they cater to your nutritional needs.

The Core of Life experience will consist of a three-course meal embedded within the roots of the Caribbean culture. You will not only experience the flavours from the Caribbean but the social aspect too; your soul is your power and your core so be sure to feed it well whilst kicking back to some reggae rhythms. Bring a friend and kick back to some soulful music while enjoying all the flavours of the Caribbean vegan cuisine.

You don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy the delicious dishes on offer to you at these events. The Core of Life’s mantra is to be well within your core, so whatever it is you're after, Sharon and her team of health food specialists aim to meet your individual needs.

The importance of healthy eating and a positive lifestyle cannot be underestimated, and The Core of Life’s ethic is to enlighten people to this through their pop-ups. They aim to help keep people in tune with their core, by filling that void with nutritional healthy food choices, as opposed to the unhealthy food habits that so many people can adopt.

 

 

A Vegan's Guide To Lewisham Part 2

I’ve had a look into two of Lewisham's best known vegan cafes to bring you the second part of my vegan guide to Lewisham...Welcome to the stage The Greenhouse Deptford and The Lighthouse Cafe...

Greetings my fellow earthlings, whether you are a carnivore or herbivore I still love you and so does The Greenhouse Deptford as it caters to all dietary needs and requirements.

I have been so busy recently coming to the end of my nursing course and so forth I have been feeling a bit run down due to the stresses of being a student. Thus I was thankful to take a break from the books and hit the vegan streets of South-East London.

My first stop was The Greenhouse located in Deptford. Living up to its name, The Greenhouse café regulates its temperature with their transparent glass walls creating a warm and protective aura welcoming new and regular customers.

From the moment I walked in I felt at home. The layout was spacious yet cosy with delicate homely touches. I placed my order and was pleased to see a range of vegan dishes. I ordered the Vegan Breakfast and Matcha Latte and was given a choice of numerous plant-based milk; this made me smile, as normally the only option in generic cafés is Soya!

I sat down enjoying the sunrays on my back; relaxing to the chilled music they had playing in the background and fell in love even more when I spotted their FREE WIFI code and began to update #Twitter whilst waiting.

I don’t know about you but I very much eat with my eyes first and appreciate a colourful meal, so when I was served my breakfast I was speechless (that doesn’t happen very often). The presentation was vibrant and the aroma enhanced the sweetness of the atmosphere.

When I had finished my breakfast, Sarah (waitress) asked me how the food was and informed me that all dishes can be transformed into a vegan choice and that the soup of the day is always vegan and served with sour dough bread; Sarah was kind enough to give me a taste of todays ‘spiced sweet potato and squash soup’ and it was delicious.

I was nearly ready to burst but couldn’t help but try the Matcha boost smoothie made for me on the spot and it didn’t disappoint. Not only was this bundle of green goodness bursting with flavour the health benefits are second to none.

My second stop was The Lighthouse Café located in Catford SE6. The Lighthouse vegetarian/vegan café is a beacon of light, spacious and airy welcoming all walks of life. With a choice of outside and inside seating I chose to sit inside and enjoyed watching the rhythm of the local community walking past (being nosy in other words), whilst the chef prepared the ‘Vegan Buffet’.

The buffet runs Tuesday- Friday and includes: brown rice, sweet potato and chickpea curry (really recommend), ratatouille, spring greens, carrots, roast potatoes, raw slaw, organic spinach, quinoa, and seaweed salad. The price ranges from £5.50 - £7.50 and of course includes a 10% discount with the Lewisham card!

The buffet starts at 12:30pm and I arrived at 12:15pm; in that time I ordered a Mocha Latte and was given the free WIFI code. The Mocha Latte was made to perfection and as the Lighthouse is not a solely vegan restaurant I ordered mine with plant-based milk (Soya).  

When the buffet was ready I was made aware and given my plate and cutlery and as I’m such a vegan foodie I tried everything on offer! Considering the vast amount of food choice on the flavours were not over powering and I felt that I had eaten a wholesome meal, which left me full but not sluggish.  

After my meal I was craving something sweet so I asked what smoothies were on offer and I was advised to taste ‘Very Berry’ this has to be one of the freshest smoothies to have ever hit my taste buds. My mind, body and soul felt nourished the prepared for the rest of the day.  

Whether you are single, with company or have a family The Lighthouse Café is the place for you. It has a choice of single and family tables. A child friendly aura without being overbearing; they have a toy basket for children as well as colouring pencils to occupy the little ones and a selection of magazines and newspapers in the waiting area for us big ones!  

A Vegans Guide To Lewisham Part 1

Feeling extremely sorry for myself after just recovering from a bad cold, I decided to venture out my house and treat myself to some good food – I needed to nourish my mind, body and soul so the Calabash of Culture and The LoveGift were the only restaurants I had in mind last weekend considering they are both vegan with a dominant Caribbean influence!

Both in South-East London; LoveGift is located in Honor Oak Park, whilst Calabash resides on Sydenham High St.

Calabash and LoveGift prepare their menus with nutritional goodness in mind with the desire to enhance your health and wellness with every mouthful. By infusing the unique spices and herbs from the Caribbean the two restaurants do not fail to provide their customers with affordable and delicious meals.

Food and cooking in Caribbean and African cultures is not only used as a form of creative expression but is one of the main features of our culture and cultural identity.  It is not only a time to enjoy food but to also catch up with family and friends.

The beauty of both restaurants is that as soon as I walked in I was made to feel at home. I was soon conversing with other diners from all cultures making me feel relaxed and at ease and I felt like I was catching up with old friends even though they were complete strangers!

LoveGift Food Experience

Friendly staff welcomed me and after a short introduction they named me empress, which was a nice touch as it is a title commonly used within the Caribbean culture and used as a sign of respect to women.  

I was talked through the menu and once I had an idea of what was on offer, I asked the waiters to surprise me with their own personal recommendation and they suggested the mixed plate. I am so happy I listened the meal was presented beautifully, definitely leaving me with their signature rainbow experience. It was just the right size and the combinations of the different foods all complemented each other and on top of that I didn’t have to wait long. The staff were all very accommodating and even cooked me up a herbal remedy to help combat my cold, which was much appreciated!

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Calabash Food Experience

I found Raa the manager extremely friendly and welcoming as he took the time to go through the menu and tell Mama and I how the menu worked. I felt let down that half of the main courses were not being served on the day we visited as they all looked super tasty.

I was impressed that the menu stated the health benefits of the juices and smoothies they had on offer and I would highly recommend the pear, apple and beetroot.

I ordered the medium meal that included two mains, a side dish and salad. Considering I had ordered the main meal I was disappointed with the size of the portions, as I felt there could have been more on my plate.

Although having to wait a while for the food to be prepared, when it did arrive we were not disappointed! The flavours were incredible and varied, so I’d definitely recommend it to my fellow vegan food-lovers.

Despite taking their time with the food, The Calabash provides customers with an organic experience and introduces them to the relaxed pace of the Caribbean lifestyle. I would definitely recommend you give it a try; even just to give the shop itself a browse as it has a library of books on offer in regards to the African-Caribbean culture, yoga and meditation. They also host different events, including live music, poetry, drumming workshops and more.

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