Archive for Brighton

Brighton; and, an apology.

I’ll start with the latter first – sorry for the lack of updates. My absence is not for lack of inspiration – quite the opposite, in fact. There is an increasing number of topics on which I want to post, with more coming to my attention every day. But there is a limit to what I can do with my meagre time. In addition to just starting a full-time apprenticeship, I also have to do the shopping, clean the flat and so on. However, having the long Easter weekend off (i work in the City) will benefit you, dear, faithful reader.

Now, back to business.

Last Saturday, I woke up with the full intention and good time to venture to the relatively new Bermondsey Farmers Market. Whilst I don’t want to betray my love for Blckheath and Islington FMs with an SE1 fling, a major reason for visiting was the presence of vegan Caribbean foodies Global Fusion, a company who occasionally have a stand-by stall at Blackheath.

However, this did not happen…

Instead, we got an early morning message from a trainee pilot friend inviting us on his practice flights over Brighton that afternoon. Five minutes, a phone call and a £15 ticket payment later nd we were set to go to Brighton.

As most of you my know, Brighton is pretty damn vegan-friendly. So we knew we wouldn’t go hungry!

We disboarded in Brighton a couple of hours later a little hungry, but not ready for a meal. Right to the uber-vegan-friendly pie place Our Cornish Pasty we headed. £3.15 may seem steep for a pasty (we chose the Mexicana), but it was plenty snack for us two, so would be a decent small meal for one. They do three varieties of vegan pasty, plus a sausage roll and two desserts. Add that to soya milk for you coffee and you’re all set.

Next, with time against us, we popped into Infinity Foods health food store. With plenty of stock ranging from fresh organic produce to house-baked bread, from vegan chocolate to dairy-free yoghurts, and from animal-friendly toiletries to frozen vegan ready meals, and everything inbetween. The day that we visited happened to be a sample day for Brighton-based The Raw Chocolatier.

I had a little chat with the chocolatier herself, and her passion for her craft really comes through, as it does in her gorgeous-tasting choccies (try the orange cardamom – delightful).

Following this, we took a short walk through the Lanes to get to Aloka. Part-yoga centre, part-holistic meeting centre, part-cafe, Aloka has a rather minimalist, smart, new age feel to it. We couldn’t stay long so perused the dessert offers, all of which were vegan. We chose (wisely, I feel) the dark chocolate and pear layer cake with a scoop of vegan mint choc chip ice cream. Both were delicious, and I would definitely have both again.

Then we went flying. Brighton, an exceedingly attractive city at ground level, looks equally (or perhaps more) beautiful from the air.

Buckets of adrenalin and sweat later (I’m terrified of heights…), we were back in Brighton, tiring and famished. Time for veggie pub The George. When we visit Brighton, we always gravitate towards this vegan-friendly haven to enjoy a steaming plate of vegan bangers in fluffy mash with red onion gravy or baked enchiladas, served with copious amounts of salsa and guac. This would be then followed by a vegan dessert of some variety, all washed down with a chilled cider.

A quick glance at the menu and I could tell that the rumours were true – vegans were no longer The George’s dish of the day. Quorn sausages, cheesy chilli and no vegan desserts were combining to whisper “unwelcome” softly but viscerally in my shocked and dismayed face.

All was not lost – the burger could be made vegan (minus the mayo and cheese, not with a vegan substitute). It was meh – the burger bland and mushy, the salsa a supermarket’s own-brand disaster, the salad bizarrely salty (I bit into a huge chunk of sea salt more than once) and the ketchup from Aldi (yes, really). It goes toshow how disappointed I was when I say that the highlights of the meal were the chips, the availability of Brothers’ strawberry cider, and Soft Cell’s Tainted Love. Played very loud.

I love Brighton and can’t wait to return – but I shan’t be going back to the George.


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