A (gluten free vegan) foodie day out in Brighton
Make like TC and I; use a birthday (or an “un-birthday”) as an opportunity to take an adventure. We went to Brighton for the day to check out some of the cool vegan options.
Stops we recommend on your magical (not so) mystery Brighton tour
Glazed – next level coffee and doughnuts
Because who doesn’t need vegan doughnuts (except for those who can’t tolerate gluten or sugars of course)? You’ll walk off the sugar spike getting into town anyway.
Glazed is a little out of the main town but well worth the trip. It’s only small on the inside and is favoured by skater types; and it’s got a really cool vibe. There is artwork by local artists on the walls and a counter loaded with at least 4 different shop-made combinations – all vegan.
Unfortunately, none were gluten free but they did say they were working on a an option; we’re definitely looking forward to taste testing when they launch those. This counts doubly so for TC, who said it was “the best doughnut” he’s ever tasted, vegan or otherwise. And he’s been known to be a bit of a doughnut fiend in the past; high praise indeed.
So what is there for the gluten free folks?
Treat yourself to the best coffee you have ever tasted. I had a soy milk latte and I really believe these guys really know their coffee. I’m not a massive coffee fan in general (mostly because of the caffeine jitters) but this coffee was AMAZING. We will definitely be back.
42 Juice – organic, cold pressed juice bar
Gorgeously decked out, clean white walls, Rose Quartz crystals on the shelves and a super colourful fridge full of ‘mylks’, juices and smoothies to choose from. We’d recommend enjoying a good hours pit stop here, perhaps people watching in the window whilst sampling what 42 juice has to offer. We both had a green juice (different kinds), I had a coconut milk turmeric latte and TC had a Chaga latte (also made with coconut milk). Be careful and so ask here, as their standard plant milk is nut based. Upon explaining TC’s allergy they were very careful, understanding and helpful; the coconut milk used is also one of the least overpowering coconut milks we have tried.
Fairly pricey but to be expected for a juice bar that wouldn’t be out of place in Fitzrovia. Another we will certainly look to return to.
A full vegan menu, 2 floors of seating and a deli type shop make this the ideal hub for vegans visiting Brighton. There wasn’t a great deal of choice for the gluten free vegan but TC was spoilt for choice and as it was his birthday meal I was hardly going to whinge!
I had a HUGE gluten free pizza (which I struggled with – very unusual for gluten free pizzas which I usually find are sized for the “less hungry”) and TC had sweet potato fries with a “pulled pork” burger. He said it was pretty close to having “real” pulled pork and enjoyed the bits of my pizza that I couldn’t manage which had one of the best vegan-cheeses we have sampled to date.
The service was a little slow and it did feel like the place could do with a bit more love – tables were sticky, menus stained, jugs of water had gone stale and had finger prints all over them.
Would probably go back (TC would like to try something else off the menu and it’s a good “safe” bet to get a vegan meal). Not altogether healthy though…
Having heard that this had recently opened we thought we’d give it a go. Tickets are fairly pricey and the queuing system is a bit annoying – we booked on to the 5.45 “flight” but when we got through security and went to join the “departure lounge” we were told that session was full. Fortunately, the weather was nice so it wasn’t too much of an issue to sit out in the deck chairs in the holding area waiting for the next one.
To be honest, just seeing this from ground level is a pretty unique experience; it’s a very impressive structure and definitely reminiscent of how Hollywood likes to portray UFOs. The pod is roomy on the inside but there was a rush for a window view as we boarded through the Star Trek-esque doors.
The views are interesting but there aren’t really any major landmarks of note. Plus, TC took the opportunity to remember his fear of heights…
Good experience and worth checking out for a special occasion but the whole thing is a bit pricey for the amount of time you get up there (and the cost of the bar drinks was pretty laughable if you wanted one too – we did not).
HiSbe – how it should be, happiness before profits
You’re bound to need snacks for the journey (don’t give me that look, it can’t just be us!) This lovely community supermarket would be very welcome in Kent and had actually been on my list of ethical retailers to check out for a while, so fortunately we stumbled across it on our way back out of town. We managed to pick up some falafels, a white bean dip and some kimchi to make a speedy supper for when we got home – all of which were excellent. The array of dispensary issued wholegrains was also hugely appealing to myself (can I but the whole lot – beautiful glass dispensers included please?).
Ones to give a miss
We planned to eat at Terre a Terre for dinner. However, we weren’t in here very long; when we enquired a passing waitress if they were still serving food we got a sharp “wait a minute” response. We didn’t hang around to see if the service improved – having our combined dietary requirements means we really need to trust the people responsible for communicating these with the kitchen.
Sadly, it went from bad to worse. This is one of the only pubs in the UK to be fully vegetarian; thumbs up!
Getting vegan right; thumbs down!
Not only did they mess up TC’s meal and bring him out a non-vegan dish, but they did so after a good deal of fuss over our dietary requirements. In fact, we were forced to sign disclaimers prior to the kitchen dispatching our food.
Because TC has a nut allergy and I’m a coeliac. Never have either of us been so put off of our food. We were told by a waitress when we enquired about this very strange practice that someone had recently “made a big fuss” over a nut contamination and since then they had to get anyone with allergies to sign a disclaimer.
The non-vegan meal after all that fuss over the disclaimer was really the ‘nut based icing on the gluten packed cake’ for us. The chef did speak to us and apologise in person when we requested a refund before leaving; this was at least appreciated.
We also explained how off putting it was to have to sign a disclaimer before getting our meals, it’s far from trust inducing! TC didn’t even enjoy his alternative (and expensive) craft beer.
We won’t be going back here again.
Ones to try
Iydea – were recommended to us by the lady in Glazed as being somewhere with alternative vegan options to try.
Rootcandi – get there early, they shut at 5 and we had just missed that particular boat.
Food for friends – were fully booked ALL day, so book in advance. Lots of smiling faces on display here, somewhere we will look to try next time.
What great foodie adventures do you have planned? We’ve found them a great way to keep up our Can Eat Attitude. Do you have any recommendations you’d like to add?