Out & About London on my Birthday
After two days of walking about London, we bought an Oyster Card and went to the underground. Our room is just a couple of minutes from Baker Street station, of Baker Street (the song) fame, which plays eerily from some unknown source. The London Underground is a great system of transit that is very easy to navigate.
First stop of our day, my birthday, was Dovetail, a well-loved bar in Clerkenwell. What I love the most about London is how old it is, how many more centuries (compared to the USA) it has held people and events, and the idelible mark left by them. I can feel it. Anyways, I selected Dovetail as my first birthday stop because they boast vegan offerings, including a vegan fish and chips (tofu, not freaky frozen science meat). This dish is one of my biggest London goals.
As we were in a proper English pub, we partook in a paddle of beer.
Sadly, no tofu & chips today. It was a bit frustrating, however this big bowl of quinoa chili really was a great start to the day. Protein-packed, comforting and flavorful.
Next up, a proper birthday cupcake from the famed Ms. Cupcake. The bakery is in Brixton, a bustling international locale. The bakery was London’s first entirely vegan bakery, as you can read on the shop’s storefront.
Ms. Cupcakes are yuge… and come in many amazing flavors.
I chose the black bottom, the red velvet, and the strawberry & cream (by recommendation).
And I ate one outside the shop, in the alley way of the Brixton food stalls, smell-ignoring the wafting stench of the fish monger’s daily selection.
Because it is my day, we headed to King’s Cross to tale a look at Vx, London’s first all-vegan store.
I got some goodies–strawberry and vanilla marshies and cold cuts for the sandwich I thought I could make for the New York football Giants game we will be attending in a couple of days. And stickers! After some R&R, we headed through Dorset Park to get to Primrose Hill which is the home of Manna, a 50-year old vegetarian restaurant. After viewing the menu stateside, I made my birthday dinner reservation, convinced I had found the best vegan restaurant to try in all of London. I think I hit the nail on the head!
We started with the Mann Mezze, 3 appetizers to share: the arancini–breaded risotto croquettes stuffed with coconut oil pepper cheese, the courgette & corn fritters–served cashew sour cream, and the raw tacos–crisp lettuce leaf taco shells filled with sunflower seed chorizo, guacamole, carrot salsa & cashew sour cream. Each executed perfectly and so satisfying.
My main: bangers and mash–organic fennel and pumpkin seed sausages on a bed of parsnip & carrot mash served with cavalo nero (kale) on a red wine, leek & thyme jus… topped with three crispy onion rings. A beautiful and delicious dish that I just finished finally, as I typed this, lessening the take-away army in the fridge.
It was a delicious day, London!