Well hello there! Long time no see! Sorry for my absence, I did warn you that work was going to be busy last month but I wasn’t quite prepared for the business running into this month too. Anywho, as you can see I have another vegan food post for you today, and this one comes to you from Brighton. If you’ve not already, be sure to check out my posts from Barcelona, Bristol and Italy!
To give you a little background, my Dad has worked for British Airways for 20 years and took his retirement in February so he and his wife can run their beautiful glamping business in Spain full time. At the beginning of March we threw a surprise party for him at the British Airways i360 tower in Brighton to celebrate, and he had a great time catching up with friends and family as we took in the views of the city.
I’m sad that the end of this era has come; I have many stories to tell of the wonderful trips I’ve taken with my Dad. But I’m sure there will be many more adventures up ahead, both with him and on my own – including my first big solo trip to Bali later this year!
Since I had never been to Brighton before, and I’d heard it’s the second best city for Vegans in the UK (Glasgow being the first), I thought I would get up early and catch the train there in the morning so that I could take a look round before the party. I did lots of excited research on the train, discovering that there were loads of vegan friendly (if not fully vegan) restaurants and cafés to choose from! Names like VBites, Food for Friends, Iydea, Terre a Terre and Wai Kika Moo Kau kept popping up and I had difficulty deciding where to go first.
Looking at the map I decided that I would check out Wai Kika Moo Kau as it was on my way from the station to the Lanes. I was certainly not disappointed. Walking in, the staff led me past the counter full of yummy looking cakes to a table further back, near the kitchen. They were really friendly and it was cool to be able to see the food being prepared. Wai Kika Moo Kau source all their food as locally as they can and cook it fresh right there in front of you. They also have artwork for sale produced by local artists, giving it the community vibe which I love.
I’d already eaten some oats when I got up, but that was at about 7am and I wouldn’t be eating lunch until 3, so I went for the mini vegan breakfast. There was a sausage, grilled tofu, toast, beans, potatoes, tomato (topped with a delicious dollop of pesto) and mushrooms. It was delicious and it was especially nice to be able to try tofu cooked in a different way as I’m not very good at making it!
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day but I 99% of the time have oats, so it was nice to treat myself to a full English! I left the toast as I wanted to save room for cake later. I now wish I had bought some cake to take away from here as it all looked delicious and exciting but I thought I’d hold out. Bit of a mistake as one place I went only had a peanut butter vegan cake (normally my ideal choice but I’ve given up nut butter for lent!), and by the time I was done at the party all the cafés were closed!
Anyway, I then took a walk around the famous winding Lanes of Brighton. I really enjoyed taking some time to just soak in the city and have a look in the independent shops.
I did walk past a lot of the other restaurants I’d heard about in my ‘research’ and wished I’d had more time to enjoy meals from everywhere but alas, I had only one day! I will definitely be back in the future as I’m sure I’ve only had a mere glimpse of what Brighton has to offer.
I also discovered Infinity Foods which is a health foods shop that also has a bakery. It offered loads of vegan options and I bought my second ever vegan scone (the first being a bitter disappointment in the New Forest)! This one looked 10 times better and I got it to take away and enjoyed it a couple of days later with some homemade jam – it was heaven, I’ve missed scones!!
By about 13:30 I was ready for another snackette before I headed to the party so I headed to Boho Gelato where I’d heard have a great range of vegan sorbets. I’d been promised that the flavours were far more creamy than normal sorbets making them like ice cream so I was excited to check it out and knew it would be the perfect thing to keep me going before a late lunch. I was slightly disappointed with the selection when I got there, mainly because the two non-fruity sorbets were mint chocolate and peanut butter (again!). I’m just not the hugest fan of mint chocolate but there looked to be a good amount of chocolate in there so I went for that and coconut. She actually gave me an extra big scoop as it was the last of the container – woopee!
I took a little potter on the pier with it, which was your typical seaside pier with arcades and ice cream stands – I felt like I’d gone back in time! There I was enjoying the breeze and sea views, thinking ‘I hope one of those seagulls doesn’t take a fancy to my ice cream…!’, when suddenly BANG! Something hit me on the head! Turns out it was indeed a ginormous seagull dive-bombing me as part of a grand plan to steal my precious sorbet!
Luckily they didn’t manage to pilfer it so I ran for cover in the indoor area of the pier and ate my ice cream in (somewhat terrified) peace. Ah well, what’s a trip to the seaside without a seagull attack eh?
Afterwards I headed for the party and as I previously eluded to, we had a fantastic time celebrating my wonderful Dad! There’s a restaurant called The Belle View at the base of the tower where we planned to have some lunch. I’d already checked out the menu and seen they had a couple of vegan friendly options so I was looking forward to trying them out. I get the feeling that Brighton is such a vegan friendly town that even if you went to a steakhouse they would still offer at least one specifically vegan option! I went for the grilled polenta which was served on a bed of grilled vegetables and lentils.
It was another really nice dish, just unfortunate that the service wasn’t great in the restaurant. We were a big party but otherwise the restaurant was empty and we had booked so they were expecting us! The meals all came at different times, the door was stuck open so we were freezing, and the staff were pretty inattentive but everyone else’s food looked equally as yummy so it’s probably still a nice way to end a trip up the tower – plus it really does have a ‘belle view’ of the sea!
We stayed for a couple of hours after having a couple of drinks and catching up until it was time for people to start leaving. I knew I had a long journey ahead and there was one place I’d not yet visited so on my way to the station I took a detour to VBites to pick up something for the journey!
I got a falafel wrap and sweet potato fries to take away, and they’d also just brought out a fresh apple crumble cake so I also got a sneaky slice of that! VBites is a fully vegan restaurant, more diner-style, specialising in ‘vegan meat’ so think burgers, ‘chicken’ nuggets, ‘fish’ fingers etc. I nearly went for the hoisin duck wrap but when I’ve tried synthetic meat in the past I’ve had mixed experiences so I didn’t want to risk it!
The wrap was really nice and much needed as I actually had to get a replacement bus service home so it was nice to have some good food to munch on!
All in all my day in Brighton was fantastic, being vegan there felt like the norm and I didn’t once have to explain myself or double check they weren’t cooking vegetables in butter or anything! I can’t wait to visit again one day and enjoy food from the other various vegan friendly restaurants and cafés!