It seems impossible but one first travel there can sound harder than any vegan would imagine!
Months ago I started thinking – and then planning – about attending a professional vegan cooking school. And then one European vegan tour with my wife was added to the plan. Odds were that the most prestigious vegan cookery school, the Cordon Vert is located in Altrincham – a small city 15 min by car from Manchester – and I had to wait 30 days before the classes start… so, what to do?
Well, my wife and decided that a vegan tour in Europe would not only be a great vacation but a good background to give me ideas and recipes for the Cordon Vert. I will definitely write a full review about the Cordon Vert since it has changed my life, I can now say: “I am a vegan Chef”. But this will be another review, first I want to share with you guys a few “must visit” restaurants in Europe.
We’ve researched the best restaurants in every city we had the opportunity to visit and today I’m going to start with London:
The first restaurant we’ve visit was Vantra Eco Cuisine and Bar, a popular – and beautiful – vegan restaurant with many raw vegan options and using organic ingredients. There is also a buffet if you don’t want to eat the options offered in the menu. I must say I was very disappointed with the food, the presentation was beautiful but the taste wasn’t good at all.
That night we had my omnivore mom dining with us and trying vegan food, she definitely had a wrong interpretation of vegan food but we managed to erase this sour experience and changed her mind in many vegan restaurants that we were together after that.
I can’t say that everything was that bad, maybe it was JUST that night and I don’t feel comfortable writing bad reviews like this and I believe everyone deserves a second chance. So in a future visit to London I’ll give them the benefit of doubt.
Anyway, after our “fiasco” at Vantra, we had dinner at a lovely restaurant who won the 2014 vegetarian award: Tibits.
Located at Tibits Heddon St./Regent St., the place is charming and the buffet offers a huge variety of vegetarian and vegan food. They have at least three vegan dessert options and I definitely recommend you to go through this gastronomic experience with no regrets or counting calories… just relax, get a good bottle of vegan wine and enjoy the night!
During the day, one good and cheap option to have lunch is the chain food “Pret à manger”, although it’s a regular place with vegetarian and vegan options. I had lunch at different locations and I used to order always the same thing: quinoa/hummus salad (or avocado sandwich) and red berries juice.
Another good lunch option is TAS – located at Bloomsbery St/Great Russel St. – a Turkish restaurant with a few vegan friendly options in the menu, the fancy restaurant offers great food and and a classy environment that will be perfect for a romantic meal. My vegetarian wife had a vegetarian lasagna and I had a delicious curry chickpea dish.
I am aware that we haven’t had the chance to visit many of the vegan-friendly restaurant in London and that accessing Happy Cow, and specifically for London also the blog Fat Gay Vegan, is mandatory before we go back there but I wish we could have tried more vegan food, including sweet treats as Ms. Cupcake, or visited the popular vegan shop Vx.
London will have to call again!