Animals in War Memorial, beans on toast, British, Camden Town, Cooper's Natural Foods, double-decker bus, Inspiral, jam, London, Mildred's, Olympians, Olympics, Rootmaster, soy, soya, Tas, vegan, vegetarian, Waterloo, Windsor Castle, Woodlands Restaurant
‘Pip pip, cheerio’ technically means goodbye in Brit speak, and apparently it’s old-fashioned, but it’s just so much fun to say! So, pip pip!!
I had the good fortune of visiting London in the summer of 2010. My sister Becca was studying abroad there, and it was the perfect time for my husband Hanes and me to go.
With the Olympics happening there right now (Go USA!), I frequently get to glimpse London’s beautiful scenes on the ‘telly’ and remember our trip….and the brilliant vegan food we had there!
England is one of the places where the modern-day animal rights movement began (check out this brief history of London’s Vegan Society for more info), so there is a huge quantity of vegan restaurants there.
Before we left, we compiled a list of all the restaurants that ‘tickled our fancy’ and their addresses.
I recommend making a list of restaurants that look good to you for wherever you visit. It’s very helpful when you find yourself ‘peckish’ (hungry) in an unfamiliar place.
Blimey, it was a monster list! Even if we had eaten five meals a day, every day, we still wouldn’t have been able to try them all!
We did our bloody best though.
Below are just a few of the pictures – with stories – of the grub and more. Enjoy!
Here’s a lovely British breakfast in the garden of Cooper’s Natural Foods in the Waterloo area. We had soya cappuccinos, granola with soy milk, and whole wheat toast with vegan butter and jam. It was jolly good!
A couple of cats, named Charlie and Alphie, live at Cooper’s and made our breakfast even more fun.
Rootmaster was the most unique restaurant experience I’ve ever had. It was actually a double-decker bus, serving all vegan fare, in the heart of the hip Hanbury Street area.
Our ‘mains’ at Rootmaster were the Bee’s Knees:
Chocolate lava cake for dessert with vegan ice cream, before…
Next up was Mildred’s, a posh vegetarian paradise in Soho. I devoured my main so quickly I had no time to take a picture, so the ‘pudding’ photos will have to do:
The only food problem we encountered on our trip was at Windsor Castle…
We were on a half-day tour of it, Stone Henge, and Oxford, and we only had about 20 minutes to find a nibble before boarding the bus again.
The only cafe in Windsor Castle was bustling with people. We perused the menu quickly from afar and left it to Hanes to order for us as my sister and I got in line for a table.
He found the only thing on the menu that appeared to be vegan: Beans on toast. He asked the girl behind the register, “Can you tell me about the beans on toast?”
She stared blankly back, and then said slowly, as if speaking to a three-year-old, “It’s. beans. On…. toast.” Well, that’s helpful. “What kind of beans?” Hanes inquired further (picturing the beans we sometimes find in the South – covered in bacon).
Turns out they were vegetarian baked beans…on toast. That was it, and it was goppin’ (gross)!
Happily, we had many delicious munches to make up for that one, at smashing restaurants like Tas, an elegant Turkish place, Inspiral, an all-vegan joint in Camden Town, Woodlands Restaurant for amazing all-vegetarian Indian food, and more.
Of course we went to all of the famous places in London for site-seeing: The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the Globe Theatre, Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square, Abbey Road ( I love the Beatles!), and even Harrod’s (where we bought a chocolate bar from their candy counter “with no dairy in the recipe!” the girl who helped us excitedly said.)
But there was one monument in particular I wanted to see that’s not quite as famous.
It was the Animals in War Memorial near Hyde Park.
This incredibly moving tribute to animals who helped allied forces in the World Wars is very special and unique, and I’m so glad I got to see it and pay homage while we were there.
Isn’t that monument moving beyond words?
The horrible things humans use animals for, including war, can be difficult to come to terms with sometimes.
But every time you choose a vegan meal, or buy a vegan product, you’re actively refusing to use animals for your own purpose, and that is a HUGE step in making this world a better place!
To end on a funny note- here is my sister singing “How do I live without you?” to her chocolate truffle at Mildred’s on our last night there:
TTFN (ta ta for now)!