Cape Town Vegan in London – Part 2

The 2nd part (of three) detailing my London Vegan Foodie Adventure!

pineapple dance studios london cape town vegan

Wasn’t feeling all too great (the start of some sort of cold brewing), so stayed put after the hotel breakfast, which now consisted of vegan bacon, vegan sausages, beans, and toast – thanks to a shopping trip and an obliging hotel chef.

Determined not to let the sniffles descend into anything too savage, I left for lunch after spending the morning doing some admin in my hotel room.

Friday 23rd Lunch – Essence Cuisine, Shoreditch

Don’t try to see Essence Cuisine as cold and clinical, but rather as hip and trendy. Regardless, their food is insanely good! They’ve created a “free-from” menu that really doesn’t disappoint.

essence cuisine leonard street london cape town vegan

essence cuisine leonard street london cape town vegan
Heirloom Tomato Lasagne: sundried tomato marinara, pistachio pesto, macadamia ricotta & herb oil (vegan, gluten-free & raw)
essence leonard street london cape town vegan
Chocolate Caramel Brownie made with raw cacao ganache, Medjool caramel and Himalayan salt. (vegan, gluten-free & raw)

I then spent the rest of the day in my hotel room (sad, I know) before meeting a friend who had just arrived in London. We went to watch Pippin at the Southwark Playhouse (excellent!) and in the quest to find something to eat stumbled across an indoor food market.

Friday 23rd Dinner – Mercato Metropolitano, Southwark

This place was EPIC, and just the thing to retreat from the cold of the London “spring”. I say “spring” because it had literally been snowing a week ago.

mercato metropolitano southwark london cape town vegan
Sometimes you just have to get that dirty falafel wrap with a side of sweet potato fries, even though you know you’re going to regret it afterwards!

mercato metropolitano london cape town vegan

Saturday morning was pretty shitty (killer Man Flu), and I spent all day in bed, only getting up to go watch Caroline, or Change at the Hampstead theatre at 3pm. After that, I headed to Marylebone for some dinner and Five Guys Named Moe – which I only lasted the first three songs, got up and left. Fail.

cape town vegan

Saturday 24th Dinner – The Gate, Marylebone

I’d been to The Gate before, and while it’s definitely a tad pricey, this vegan and vegetarian restaurant never disappoints. It is probably the best plant-based restaurant in London (or at the very least, the most well-known). Because I’d felt ill all day and hadn’t eaten, I decided to pig out a bit. Then I felt ill in a different way. Lose/lose situation.

I started off by downing a freshly-squeezed carrot, apple and ginger juice in the hopes that it would help aid my killer Man Flu.

the gate marylebone london cape town vegan
Three-Onion Tart – leeks, shallots, caramelised red onions, finished with balsamic reduction, rocket salad, lemon dressing
the gate marylebone london cape town vegan
Tortillas v 13 filled with black bean, sweet potato, sweetcorn, soft onion & coriander in a lightly spiced tomato sauce, with guacamole, green tomato & sweet pepper salsa … and of course I omitted the avo.
the gate marylebone london cape town vegan
Dark Chocolate Snowball – dark chocolate shell filled with chocolate mousse & salted date caramel sauce. Totally decadent and the downfall of many …

I headed through to the Marble Arch Theatre to watch Five Guys Named Moe, I am ashamed to admit I left after three songs. It was just not my vibe. I had a crap seat, and I my cough and snotty nose was getting the better of me. I wasn’t in the mood to sit through a two-hour show.

So, home I went to sleep off the bug.

cape town vegan

brixton vegan market london cape town

I decided not to have breakfast at the hotel the next morning and set out instead for the famous Brixton Vegan Market only to find out (after traveling for nearly an hour) that it only consisted of three vendors and was next to a very meat-heavy farmer’s market. Fail. Luckily we were close to another interesting location:

Sunday 25th Brunch – Pop Brixton, Brixton

Pop Brixton is a community project and home of independent retailers that was formed when disused land was turned into a creative space for local and independent businesses. Think of it as a plot of land full of start-ups consisting of food, retail, design, and social enterprises. There’s even a community farm, and “The People’s Fridge” (see below).

pop brixton london cape town vegan

pop brixton london cape town vegan
What an incredible idea. Would this work in Cape Town? It’s “Freddie, The People’s Fridge”, London’s first community fridge that helps cut food waste and feeds anyone who is hungry. What an insanely great idea.

pop brixton london cape town vegan

Sunday 25th Pre-Show Snack – The Gallery Cafe, Bethnal Green

The show we were going to see was close to The Gallery Cafe (that I’d been to the week before for breakfast), so I decided to SHARE a red velvet cupcake and hummingbird cake with one of my fellow theatre travelers. Sadly, the hummingbird cake had banana it is, so I ended up only having half the red velvet cupcake. Just as well. The Universe is definitely telling me to cut out the crap, although – it was SOOO good!

the gallery cafe bethnal green london cape town vegan

Our next show was an immersive experience called The Grift, an epic two-hour clue solving a mystery by trying to screw over a conman by the name of Hammersmith. Yours truly ended up taking over (as usual) and led the team 11 players through some pretty epic clues through a hotel where the adventure took place. Afterwards, we rushed to the other side of London to watch a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, one of his lesser-known works. I now appreciate why it is lesser known – although I am glad I saw it.

Sunday 25th Post-Show Snack – Cookies & Scream Bake Shop, Holloway Rd

I took the theatre group to Cookies & Scream and “forced” my veganism on them by buying them all Cookie Dough Shakes, whilst I had a Brownie Shake. I decided the brownie option was my new favourite!

cookies & scream holloway road london cape town vegan

cookies & scream holloway rd london cape town vegan

As if I couldn’t make a poorer choice, I had fries from Five Guys for dinner – probably the worst place for vegans. I was with the group – so made do. Bad life choice.

Monday 26th Breakfast – Natural Kitchen, New Street Square

Natural Kitchen is far from vegan, but it’s 8 locations spread across London have some super healthy vegan options.

natural kitchen new street square london cape town vegan

natural kitchen new street square london cape town vegan
Lemonade… with breakfast! Why not?
natural kitchen new street square london cape town vegan
Sweet potato, hemp, lentil, oat & pumpkin cake

Decided to do a day trip out to Richmond with a friend. I had been once before and had an AMAZING time that involved quaint cobblestoned streets and gorgeous little stores, followed by a show performed by midgets at the Richmond Theatre. I’m not kidding. It was brilliant! This time around I wanted to check out Richmond Park as it is famed for its freely-wandering deer.


richmond park london cape town vegan
Deer watching in Richmond Park. We had a brief moment of sun before it turned icy cold again.

Monday 26th Lunch – Bhuti, Richmond

Bhuti is a one-stop health shop that has yoga, pilates, treatments, therapies, workshops, events, and of course an organic vegan cafe that is open seven days a week. Naturally – I had to try it: When in Richmond, and all that…

bhuti richmond london cape town vegan

bhuti richmond london cape town vegan

bhuti richmond london cape town vegan
Bhuti Bowl – quinoa base, roasted veg, sweet potato wedges, coconut bacon and creamy turmeric cashew dressing topped with a homemade plant-based burger patty. I shouldn’t have ordered the large size: it was crazy filling!

Monday 26th Snack – Hummingbird Bakery, Richmond

hummingbird bakery richmond london cape town vegan

We grabbed a casual dinner at Pizza Express (not worth documenting) before heading to see what was the single worst production of Chicago I have ever witnessed starring Cuba Gooding Jr. What a waste of time. Went to bed that evening in a super shitty mood. Fortunately, some of the shows that followed made up for it – read on…

On Tuesday morning I said goodbye to the theatre group and checked into my AirBnB in Kensington (near Notting Hill station) before heading out for some lunch.

airbnb london cape town vegan

Tuesday 27th Lunch – Redemption, Notting Hill

Probably one of London’s healthiest restaurants, Redemption serves up food that is vegan (of course), sugar-free as well as wheat-free and has a bar that is alcohol-free. What could be healthier than that? And the music – LOVE LOVE LOVE!

cape town vegan

redemption notting hill london cape town vegan

redemption notting hill london cape town vegan
“wake me up before you coco” – organic hot chocolate made with raw cacao and coconut milk
redemption notting hill london cape town vegan
“Daily Special” Buddha Bowl – green lentils, brown rice, sweet potato and chickpea tomato curry, baby spinach, crunchy cauliflower w/fresh turmeric and nigella seeds.

public library notting hill london cape town vegan

Tuesday 27th Dinner – Wulf & Lamb, Chelsea

The folks at Wulf & Lamb have crafted a menu that satisfies your craving for junk food, without compromising on quality – so indulgence is encouraged! 100% vegan.

wulf & lamb london cape town vegan
“The Wulf Burger” – seitan burger, topped w/plant-based cheese, tomato, baby gem, pickle, red onion and cashew aioli in a brioche bun w/house sauerkraut and wedges.
wulf & lamb london cape town vegan
Mac ‘n Cheese

The hottest theatre ticket in (London) town has to be Hamilton, an American musical that has literally taken the world by storm, revolutionizing the way we look at musical theatre as an art form. I was fortunate enough to secure a ticket and sat mesmerized for two hours. It was, in one word, flawless.

hamilton london cape town vegan

hamilton london cape town vegan

Wednesday 28th Breakfast – Kin Cafe, Fitzrovia

What I love about Kin Cafe is that the dishes are changed daily – mostly vegetarian, with a strong vegan offering (and raw options too). You can tell the folks at Kin Cafe are fiercely passionate about what they do.

kin cafe fitzrovia london cape town vegan
“Vegan Protein Bowl” – quinoa, edamame beans, tempeh bacon, scrambled tofu tahini and microgreens.

I spent the rest of the day chilling at my AirBnB, because, you know, eating can be exhausting, and then made my way to another immersive theatre show called Somnai. It was based on the idea of lucid dreaming, and by combining a tactile experience with virtual reality, it literally felt like I was on some sort of psychedelic trip. I flew with geese, stepped off cliffs, flew through space, was locked in a basement, terrorized by a bunny, chased by a shadow – all in the space of two hours, that literally felt like 5 seconds. What an incredible experience. One of the best things I have seen to date.

The following day (Thursday), I spent most of the day at “home”, catching up on work, but then headed out for a late lunch/dinner at The Diner in Islington.

islington london cape town vegan

Thursday 29th Dinner – The Diner, Islington

the diner islington london cape town vegan
The Big V Dog (straight-up veggie hot dog w/ketchup & mustard) w/a side of Vegan Mac n Cheese – SO UNHEALTHY… but SOOO delicious!

cape town vegan

the diner islington london cape town vegan
Coconut Ripple Vegan Milkshake

And to end off my second week, I watched a phenomenal production of The Mikado at the King’s Head Theatre: a cast of 8 accompanied by a pianist. BRILLIANT!

Stay tuned for Part 3.

Peace xx

Before you go, check out my Eateries by Map page and don’t forget to pop on over to my YouTube channel as well! If you’re feeling generous and want to help me with the upkeep of this all (because I do it all for free), then click on my Patreon link.

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