Travel

  • Jan
  • 11

From Markets to Meals, London’s Brilliant

Posted by at 5:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)


london-eye-on-the-thames-river-640x480Ahhhh … London. Brilliant plays, music, parks and, these days, food—including animal-friendly fare.

Biking and strolling around London’s lively and history-rich neighborhoods was the highlight of my brief visit. Concierges at the InterContinental London Park Lane suggested great walking tours for London “insider’s experiences” (there’s even a private Stella McCartney boutique shopping visit for higher-end visitors).

I joined an Urban Gentry walking tour of the East End’s gritty-hip Shoreditch district. Stops included the Geffrye Museum of the Home, a fascinating repository of “middling class” décor, furnishings, and manners from 1600 to the present. Its handsome buildings once housed retired pensioners. Among the tidbits I learned: Instead of insecticides, many Elizabethans used strongly aromatic “lad’s love”—i.e., southernwood-to deter moths and flies.

geffrye

Other Shoreditch attractions include fashion, art, craft, and fresh food markets, vintage shops, random outdoor art (graffitied murals and witty tags), the new London Overground rail, and Brickhouse Experimental Food Society displays of food sculptures. Shoreditch’s Hoxton Hotel caters to vegans.

boris

The InterContinental hooked me up with wheels via London’s smart new fuel/planet-saving Boris bikes London cycle scheme. The city recently installed racks of loaner bikes all around town. You can check a cycle out at one rack and drop it off at any other, and you can use it free for 30 minutes each time!

cookbook-cafe-market-table-buffet-cu-640x480

Where to eat? Easy! London proved vegan-friendly as soon as I encountered InterContinental chef Paul Bates, a devotee of local and sustainable foods. Bates hails from Kent and enjoys preparing plant-based tapas and compotes. He oversees the Cookbook Café, whose “Market Table” teemed with beautiful salads and other creations. InterContinental’s hot dinner spot, Theo Randall, has a separate, mouthwatering vegan menu. Mushroom connoisseurs, rejoice! And don’t miss Theo’s clementine sorbet. Bookmark this restaurant guide before you visit: Vegan London.

A tip: Some pizza doughs and tomato sauces contain animal-derived ingredients, and some pastas contain eggs. However, the following recommendations are safe—and delicious—bets. They come from Urban Gentry’s Kevin Caruth and Mayfair/Belgravia tour guide Michelle McGrath.

east-end-shoreditch-bridge-kingsland-rd-2-640x480

Root Master serves vegan gourmet and comfort foods from a double-decker bus. You can eat onboard. Check for it around Elys Yard at Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch.

Saf Restaurant & Bar serves gourmet vegan and raw/living foods.

Carnevale does casual vegetarian.

Amico Bio is London’s first organic Italian vegetarian restaurant.

Ms. Cupcake is a good tea-time stop.

Tibits near Piccadilly Circus has ties with Zurich’s Hiltl, Europe’s oldest vegetarian restaurant. But Tibits is thoroughly modern.

Food for Thought in a Covent Garden basement has served grand vegetarian fare since 1974.

Manna, London’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, excels in vegetarian fare and lovely presentations.

The Gate has been making fresh, mostly organic vegan and vegetarian meals for 21 years.

Mildreds has been serving hearty, affordable vegetarian meals in Soho for 20 years. Beer and wine too.

Blah Blah Blah offers fresh, well-priced fare in a creative setting.

222 Veggie Vegan is committed to 100 percent tasty, healthy vegan dining.

Hummus Bros is mostly vegetarian and also has some vegan choices.

Have you tried these or other vegetarian eateries? Do tell!

Posted to Travel | Posted to Tags: , , , , ,

More:

Bookmark and Share
5 Comments

Subscribe to this post's comment RSS.

    Karl says...

    January 15th, 2011, 4:39 pm

    Great list!. Another addition would be the lovely Pogo Café in Hackney (East London), which serves 100% vegan food, including very tasty cakes.

    Tina says...

    January 16th, 2011, 9:36 am

    Thanks for the list! I also want to recommend Sagar, right next to to Covent Garden. They serve absolutely scrumptious south Indian vegetarian cuisine and have a separate vegan menu. Be sure to ask for the vegan options as the ordinary menu may contain dairy. Their vegan Masala Dosa melts in your mouth!

    Robin says...

    January 17th, 2011, 2:39 am

    Yum – am adding your suggestions to my list for when I pass that way again.

    Sharon Ferguson says...

    January 22nd, 2011, 6:03 pm

    Thanks so much for this great list! I’ve had problems finding good food in London my last couple of visits; this list will really help on my next!

    Best says...

    January 28th, 2011, 12:09 am

    There is apparently a lot for me to discover outside of my books. Thanks for the fantastic read.

Post a Comment

Please keep comments polite, constructive, and on topic. All fields in bold are required.

About Travel

Be a compassionate traveler—from weekend getaways to dream vacations.

Recent Comments

Disclaimer

The information and views provided here are intended for informational and preliminary educational purposes only. From time to time, content may be posted on the site regarding various financial planning and human and animal health issues. Such content is never intended to be and should never be taken as a substitute for the advice of readers' own financial planners, veterinarians, or other licensed professionals. You should not use any information contained on this site to diagnose yourself or your companion animals' health or fitness. Readers in need of applicable professional advice are strongly encouraged to seek it. Except where third-party ownership or copyright is indicated or credited regarding materials contained in this blog, reproduction or redistribution of any of the content for personal, noncommercial use is enthusiastically encouraged.