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Big Smoke and Back to Nature

November 12, 2013

This weekend was so much fun! We seemed to pack in so much, which always makes for a good weekend. The two days were completely different, going from the busy Big Smoke (hello rain!) to the Sussex countryside, getting back to nature.

I ended up working until 11pm on the Friday evening so I was more than ready to relax when it came to Saturday morning. We left bright and early (10.30am…) and popped onto a train to London with a friend. The best mornings begin with a flat white from Small Batch, my favourite coffee company.

We met a few friends and headed to Brecknock Road for the Vegan Festival. The weather was terrible, so we didn’t stick around very long which was a shame. The Third Estate was absolutely packed, and I managed to try on one beautiful pair of boots, but due to the rain and our hungry bellies we headed off to somewhere warm for some lunch. Sorry if I missed anyone while I was there.

We walked via Covent Garden with the intention of having lunch at Wahaca, but unfortunately there was a 45 minute wait and our bellies just couldn’t wait that long.

I wish we had waited, though. We ended up going to Benito’s Hat, and having the worst burrito ever.

To make up for the disappointing burrito, we found a Mexican bar where we had cocktails and some tequila.

They made me an amazing non-alcoholic mojito – it was so good!

Oh HI ladies! It’s like we’re in a dream.

The guy behind the bar talked Trout and a friend through their selection of tequila, and let them try the most expensive tequila they served. I love this paparazzi shot!

I had a sip of the tequila that they chose to buy, and it was fiery. I don’t know how they drank it! Not my cup of tea. We wondered around until we got to Soho, where we picked a really nice bar that served Indian snacks. I’m a sucker for chaat!

Afterwards we made our way to a cocktail bar, followed by another bar, followed by dinner at Banana Tree. I’ve never been there before, and the food was fantastic. It’s so great that they label everything vegan – there are loads of dishes to choose from, and they even serve tofu and mock-duck! The restaurant was rammed – 9.30pm on a Saturday evening is clearly dinner time for London – but the staff were so attentive and calm, I don’t quite know how they did it.

On Sunday we went home to celebrate my Dad’s birthday. It was so nice to have our family all together, I love it when it happens. Mum, Dad, Sister, Brother-in-law and Trout. Oh, and the dogs. My sister cooked us all lunch, and Dan (Brother-in-law) made dessert. It was so kind of them, and so delicious. The meat-eaters had salmon en croute, and us vegans had a roasted veg tart, all with new potatoes and chilli greens. Dan made the most amazing fruity, orangey crumble, which I drowned in soya cream. Phew, we were stuffed and very happy!

Happy Birthday Papa!

After lunch Trout was asking Mum if there was anywhere nearby that would have sloe berries growing. She rang a friend who works in conservation in the area, who happened to have gone out that morning and found some, so we drove down and got picking. I love coincidences like that! A couple of years ago we made sloe gin, and it was so much fun. It’s pretty simple to make, and I’m hoping we have some leftover to give as gifts. 

I love this photo of Trout and my Mum picking sloes <3

The peaceful countryside…

… before the dogs attacked!

Our goodies!

Some other berries that we weren’t quite sure of their name.

So that was our weekend! I love that it contained both a busy city day and a relaxing, family day in the countryside. This week I’m off work, but have a big freelance project to complete – so I don’t really have a week off, haha. I have sneaked in the odd day off to spend with friends – today I’m off to visit a good friend while she’s off sick, and tomorrow I’m back to London for the private view at Wellcome Collection, and to spend the day with a friend.

Have you ever made sloe gin? It’s really simple, trust me. I suppose the tricky part is just trying to find those pesky sloe berries! Have a great week everyone!

16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2013 12:27 pm

    That looks like a great weekend! My friend makes Damson gin which is delicious, but I love sloe gin as well, always reminds me of Christmas :-)

  2. November 12, 2013 3:26 pm

    Looks like you had such a fab weekend! Your berry picking reminds me of the summers we have spent collecting blackberries, then trailing home all stained and sticky ready to make fruit crumble, so good! Hope you’re having a good week (see you Friday!)

    • November 14, 2013 9:35 am

      I love berry picking! Especially if you get to make something sweet with the goodies. See you TOMORROW!

  3. November 12, 2013 9:50 pm

    Oooooh Banana Tree sounds great, we’ll definitely have to try that out soon. It’s always nice finding places that serve good veggie options and meat ones too! Is that you starter in the picture?

    • November 14, 2013 9:36 am

      You guys would absolutely love it, I’m sure! That photo’s from the bar that we went to that served Indian snacks. I didn’t manage to take any pics from Banana Tree, but just trust me on how good it was!

  4. Aja permalink
    November 12, 2013 11:15 pm

    Your weekends are always so wonderful! I’m jealous. I did homework and slept all weekend.

  5. November 13, 2013 11:51 am

    What a perfect weekend! I was sorry not to catch you at Brecknock. I got some shoes from Wills and a Mighty Fork hot dog :) I’ve heard good things about Banana Tree and after your rec will definitely put it on the “to try” list.
    It looks so frosty in your last pictures, but berry-picking is always fun.

    • November 14, 2013 9:38 am

      I’m so sad that I didn’t get to meet up with anyone! Which shoes did you get? I really wanted a Might Fork hot dog but there was nowhere dry to eat it :(

      Definitely visit Banana Tree, it’s awesome! And yeah it was quite cold when we went outside, but not toooo bad.

  6. November 14, 2013 8:35 am

    At least one of my colleagues will come in to work with a burrito from Benito’s Hat every week and wax lyrical about it! I’m glad I’ve held off from going there after your review.

    • November 14, 2013 9:40 am

      Well I had a vegan burrito, which might explain it – but loads of other places make an awesome vegan burrito so that’s not really an excuse! The best place for burritos in London is Tortilla, and the best place in the world is Dolores in Berlin.

      • November 14, 2013 9:45 am

        Yes, I never really trust a carnivore’s opinion when it comes to food! I’ll definitely be checking out Tortilla though…and Dolores, if I ever get to Berlin!

  7. November 14, 2013 4:25 pm

    There is not much worse than a disappointing buritto. But tequila can make a lot of things better :)


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