London Recap #2

This is the second post in my London Recap. To view the first post, click here.

We woke up on Saturday morning to beautiful weather and headed to a natural foods store for breakfast, where we got a raw banana flax smoothie and a vegan banana nut muffin.

The little store was perfect for us– lots of options and vegan cheesecakes and bars. We also grabbed a juice from the lebanese juice bar down the street– Apple Kiwi Celery.

After breakfast, we headed over to Portobello Road, a market that is held every Saturday a few blocks from our hotel. The streets were packed before we even got to the market, and cars kept trying to drive through the massive crowds of people. The market itself is fun, but probably my least favorite of all the markets Mark and I went to in London. There are tons of antiques and lots of fruit and vegetable stands with beautiful produce. We spent a few hours walking up and down Portobello Road, and I grabbed a ring as a little souvenir.

For lunch, we headed to Whole Foods, where we got a quinoa tomato cashew-cheese wrap and carrot cake that were pre-made by Saf, a vegan restaurant inside of Whole Foods, and a fruit and nut bread with hummus. We ate lunch on a little hill in Hyde Park in the sun.

Later in the day, we found a little Chinese Market near our hotel and grabbed a couple of drinks before going to dinner. If you’ve never had Crabbies ginger alcoholic beer, you need to go to England right now to try it. It’s so gingery– almost spicy, and full of flavor. It makes me so sad to know I won’t get to have it again anytime soon 😦

For dinner, we went to Saf Kensington, the vegan restaurant inside of Whole Foods. As an appetizer, we got the Macadamia Caprese. Macadamia nut cheese, dehydrated tomato, and seedy crackers with date spread made up this amazing raw dish. It was beautiful and delicious– I would go here just for the caprese.

For dinner, Mark and I split a Baked Tofu Salad with rocket, tomato, sunflower seeds, and a ginger- miso dressing and pumpkin risotto. The risotto had lots of nutritional yeast in it and was creamy and delicious. The salad was killer- and Mark and I are not salad people. The warm and marinated tofu paired perfectly with the dressing and veggies.

For dessert, we split a raw white chocolate jasmine tart. Delicious. 

After dinner, we stopped at a pub on our way back to the hotel. Mark got a pint of beer, and I had a strawberry cider. I am not a fan of most cider– I think it has a nasty smell to it, but this strawberry cider was really delicious. It was really nice to just sit with him and chat– most of the day we had been caught up in the excitement of being in London, but having a moment to decompress and hear all about his time in Rome and all of the people he’s met was great.

On Sunday, we realized that there was free internet at Whole Foods– a cause for serious celebration. Our hotel charged an exorbitant amount for internet and we had been searching for some free wifi since we got to London. So, for breakfast, we headed to Whole Foods, laptop in hand.

I grabbed an orange carrot apple ginger juice, and Mark and I picked up blood oranges, soy yogurts, bread, and some vegan cream cheese spread and headed to the park. The blood oranges melt in your mouth.

They are incredible. I had a lemon yogurt, and Mark had blueberry– both were incredible– much better than the soy yogurt I’ve had in America.

After fueling up, we hopped on the tube for the first time and headed to Camden. The underground system in London is spectacular. I was overwhelmed by the size of it when I was planning for the trip, but no planning is necessary for the tube. Everything is so easy to figure out, and there are clear labels and signs for every possible option you could imagine. I joked with Mark that I’m going to have forgotten how to use the Philly subway since there aren’t any signs telling me how to get out or which direction to go.

Camden is really cool. If you’ve ever been to South Street in Philly, it’s like a bigger, cooler South Street. I read a few articles saying that the Camden Markets have become a parody of themselves, which I can definitely see, but it’s still a great place to go in London.

Camden sits on a canal, and with the weather so beautiful, Mark and I grabbed some drinks and sat by the water after we had walked around a little.

For lunch, we found a veggie burger stand, where “everything’s vegan except the cheese”. Naturally, we asked if the mayo was vegan even after reading this disclaimer.

I ordered an avocado burger and Mark got falafel. The falafel wasn’t fried, which I hadn’t tried before, but it was really good.

Later, we grabbed a few drinks (crabbies!) again and headed to South Kensington for dinner.

South Kensington is not a happening place, and not much was open at nine on a Sunday night. We found a Japanese place that was open and headed in for dinner. We got sake (because Mark hadn’t had warm sake before), miso soup, ramen, and two tofu dishes.

The food was decent, but the tofu was really delicious.

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