I had an early Voice-Over job in Farringdon yesterday and when I was done at around 10 a clock I decided to walk to Shoreditch just for fun and to explore London a bit more on foot. Something I normally never have time for.
I came across areas I had never seen before. So much to explore even after 25 years as a Londoner.
Right in the middle of Brick Lane (famous for its curry houses and bagels) I stumbled on the most fantastic vegan cafe specializing in Italian and Korean cuisine in the most wonderful mix! Kimchi with everything! My kind of place.
I had a generous portion of hemp hotdogs with rice and 2 types of kimchi and home-made vegan parmesan. It was so delicious!
I’m already planning what I’m having next time it is a toss-up between Kimchi lasagna or Kimchi tortollini..
The Italian chef Marco was cooking and making me feel very welcome at the same time. VEGAN YES is a happy place filled with glorious.
Vegan Yes is 64 Brick Lane.
Searching for London’s best gluten-free Pizza, Bread and Burger?
The below establishments are in my opinion the crème de la crème in our great city!
BAKERY: Beyond Bread
The round sourdough bread in the below picture is to die for!
I buy 2 every time and slice one up and pop it in the freezer.
I don’t like the taste or smell of almost all gluten-free breads, but this is on a completely different level. I could live on it!
They also make fantastic cinnamon rolls (or bulle as we say where I come from) croissants and cakes.
Stock up in Fitzrovia, Islington or Selfridges
Hamburger Place: Honest Burgers
Now, I have to admit that I’m not a huge hamburger fan but with a teen and a tween boy, this is where we spend a lof of family time. The gluten-free burger bread is really good, the fries are gluten-free and delicious and so are the union rings! With restaurants all over London you are always close to an Honest burger.
Pizzeria: Zia Lucia
I didn’t used to eat a lot of pizza..
If I took the boys to Pizza Express I always ordered the salad. But with a brand new Zia Lucia a minute from my front door I’ve turned into a Pizza Monster! I’m not exaggerating when I say they make the worlds best pizza. The gluten-free Focaccia is also incredibly tasty.
(The gluten-free pizzas are cooked in the same oven as the non- gluten-free, but the super friendly Italian staff were happy for us to bring foil to minimise contamination). Zia Lucia has 2 restaurants one in Brook Green and one on Holloway Road.
There was great excitement when NYC-based vegan chain by CHLOE opened in London’s Theaterland earlier this year.
by Chloe is known for taking classic dishes like Fish and Chips, Burgers, Caesar Salad, and Mac & Cheese and making them vegan. I love that concept! You can find my vegan mac & cheese recipe HERE.
It was hot hot hot in London and I was ravenous!
I ordered the Greek salad, artichoke dip with nachos and an iced almond matcha latte.
The staff were super helpful and sweet and quickly changed my latte to an Iced version when I realised I had ordered the wrong one. But unfortunately on this occasion I was underwhelmed by the food. It was bland and way too salty. One of my favorite foods in the world is artichokes but I sadly only got texture and salt from this dip.
I completely understand that the kitchen might have had a bad day and I’m going back to give it another chance, because I WANT to love it.
Have you been? What was your experience?
I have finally had lunch at Farmers Girl! The Australian style healthy cafe serving delicious and healthy food is very popular and long queues at my nearest outlet in Notting Hill have put me off.
Not giving up though, and the other day I made it to the Carnaby Street eatery. I had an hour to kill between voice over jobs in Soho and I was starving for lunch already at 11.30, perfect for beating the lunch time rush. I can report I understand the long ques, It’s so worth it!
I had the Blue Jack Tacos in the picture above. (BBQ pulled jackfruit, guacamole, pineapple , lettuce and vegan mayo) Gluten free, nut free and vegan. OMG! My food heaven!! I will defiantly come again. 5 out of 5 from me!
A nice oasis above the hustle and bustle on Carnaby Street. As soon as lunchtime arrived it has heaving with customers and delivery drivers picking up orders.
You can combine your healthy lunch with a swishy blow-dry at Duck & Dry’s salon.
The obligatory swing seat.
The deliciousness from above 🙂
Avocados are my number one go-to beauty food. I eat 1/2 avocado every day.
So now that London has got it’s own avocado-eatery AVOBAR I had to try it out.
I had the avocado burger, just because I don’t like normal burgers and because I was curious of how it was made. Instead of a bun you have an avocado covered in black and white sesame seeds. A knife and a fork is required.
It was delicious and looked gorgeous and fun! But for me a whole avocado in one sitting is just too much fat. The burger also comes with a fresh very filling coleslaw, made with coconut yoghurt which I can’t stand unfortunately.
I almost finished the “burger” but left the coleslaw and I had no room for pudding so I have to come again as I really want to try the avocado brownie and avocado ice cream.
(I have a fantastic Lime & Avocado Ice Cream recipe Here)
At the moment this restaurant on Floral Street in Covent Garden is a pop-up, so of course the interior is a bit weak, I’m sure when the permanent restaurant open on Henrietta Street later in the year it will look absolutely gorgeous.
I love all the fast food health cafe’s that have popped up all over London the last couple of years. I’ve been to Squirrel in South Kensington a few times before and I love the treehouse décor! It’s very cute. The overhead lamps are shaped as acorns, plants and trees are everywhere. Minimalistic it’s not!
Squirrel offer a wide range of healthy foods, catering for all types of diets at any time between 8.30am and 10pm. You can customize your own salad, or chose something from the menu. The picture above is “The Mexican” from the breakfast menu. I also had a “Glowing Squirrel” smoothie.
Squirrel is on 11 Harrington Road in South Kensington, 2 minutes from the tube station.
As a Voice Over artist I never really know when and where I will be working until the day before. There are a couple of areas where there’s a build-up of studios like Soho. 10/15 years ago almost every VO booking meant you went to Soho. But with crippling rate hikes, studios started to spread to Fitzrovia, The East end and Chiswick.
Most of the time I go to the same 10 studios. But quite often I’m booked in studios where I’ve never been before located on streets I’ve never even heard of.
I love that about London, you take a wrong turn and end up in an area with a completely different vibe. (even after 20 years!).
Food and drink is important when you do voice-overs. You are booked hourly and need to be totally prepared and your “instrument” i.e. mouth needs to be performing as soon as you step into the studio as time really is money on these jobs.
In the olden days when you only had the choice of full fat or skimmed dairy milk in your latte, coffee was a no-no until the job was done as dairy makes your mouth produce deplorable clicking sounds… This can also happen if you don’t eat anything at all before a session. Clicking sounds are best removed with fairly hot water. (Apples have NEVER worked for me). Another trick of the trade is to put a pen side-ways in your mouth and then read the script before you go in. This looks and sound very weird. but, when you remove the pen the words turn out beautifully. This is especially good if you have a booking in the morning and have only made grunting noises before the session.
When I’m booked in Fitzrovia I always pop into Rawligion for a healthy lunch or snack. I adore the Hard Green Smoothie with coconut water, spinach, broccoli, wheatgrass, barley grass, chlorella, mint, parsley and apple.
It might sound to extreme but it’s delicious!
Rawligion is on Holbeach Mews off Tottenham Court Road.
I went to 222 Veggie Vegan for lunch today.
It’s a 25 minute walk from my house and it was so glorious and sunny I really enjoyed my walk, soaking up the rays.
For lunch 222 offers an eat-as-much-as-you-want buffet for £9.90 and a take away box for £7.50. (They are also open for dinner with a completely different a la carte menu).
This is vegan comfort food!
Mains like Quinoa Tofu Bake, Carrot Tart, and Mixed Bean Curry draw a completely different crowd from what I’m used to in healthy lunch places – MEN!
Male body builders, swimming teachers, personal trainers and local chaps, mixed in with female office workers. NOBODY left hungry!
Everything I cold see was gluten-free and other allergens like soya, sesame nuts etc. were clearly labelled.
I tried almost everything, it would be rude not to, right?
So yes, I had both plates in the photo above.
Oh, yes and as a bonus, there’s a new Vegan food shop next door.
I bought whipping cream, chocolate, meringues and vegan honey…
Not that I was especially hungry, but looking forward to try it all the same.
Had not even heard about vegan honey?!
(222 Veggie Vegan is at 222 North End Road, West Kensington, London W14 9NU)