Eating vegan in Newcastle

I recently took a trip up north to the Toon with my friend Jade to watch The Weeknd! Although we were only there for one night, this provided us with plenty of opportunity to discover some great, vegan eateries.

I must admit, when Googling vegan places to eat in Newcastle, I was surprised that there wasn’t much on offer in the city centre. However if you head slightly further out, Heaton has tonnes of vegan places to go to, well so Google told me!

Anyway, after a slightly dramatic start to the weekend, a missed train and a lift to York, we made it to Newcastle and checked in to our hotel. We stayed in the Crown Plaza which was just behind the train station, close to the city centre and close to the area, it was the perfect location!

First up for a late lunch/early dinner was The Bohemian, on Pink Lane. A vegetarian and vegan restaurant, there was tonnes to choose from on the menu and some enticing cocktails as well!

Jade and I chose to get a selection of dishes from the tapas section of the menu, so we could try as much as possible.

Here’s what we got:
The classic quesadilla
Shredded Peking jackfruit with hoi sin sauce pancakes, spring onion and cucumber
Tempura vegetables with sweet chili
Fully loaded nachos
The mini meze which was made up on hummus, ciabatta and olives with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

The entire spread was absolutely delicious and we devoured almost all of it (we did order a lot of food!) The highlight for me was most definitely the shredded Peking jackfruit pancakes, they literally tasted like crispy shredded duck pancakes, they were incredible!

I can’t remember exactly what the bill came to, but with a bottle of wine as well, I think it was maybe between £25-30 each which I thought was good for the amount of food we had and a nice bottle of wine. I’d definitely recommend it.

Finding somewhere in the city centre for brunch proved a little more tricky. However, Jade was on the case from about 7am on Sunday morning (!) and found The Ship Ouseburn, Stepney Bank which was about a ten minute uber ride away. For that short car journey, it was definitely worth it.

We were blessed with the weather and were able to sit outside in the sun. Their entire menu is vegan, as are their beers and wines and there was so much to choose from. Both Jade and I went for the ‘fish and chips.’ Thick cut chips with mint peas, horseradish and deep friend seaweed wrapped tofu. Oh my god – this was SO good. Vegan comfort food at its best and the perfect alternative to fish and chips if that’s your thing.

Washed down with a bottle of Vegan wine (I think it was Jack Rabbit!?), we couldn’t resist having a look at the sweet treats on offer. A peanut butter chocolate torte with ice cream – HELLO!! Yes, it was just as unreal as it sounds. If I lived in Newcastle The Ship would definitely be my Sunday local without a doubt.

If you’re in Newcastle I’d recommend giving them both a try if you’re after some good food with a twist. Have you got any recommendations of where to get good vegan food in Newcastle? Let me know!

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Brunch at Alyssum Cafe Bistro, Sheffield

If you’re looking for a delicious brunch in a super cute setting with mouth-watering cakes to devour afterwards, Alyssum is the place for you.

In a predominately student populated area, you could easily drive past Alyssum, based on Barber Road, Crookesmoor, if you weren’t looking for it.

It’s tucked between a few shops and is really quaint. With just a few tables inside, surrounded by ornate, homely décor, you’re in luck if you get a table straight away.

This popular brunch spot is a very foodie place indeed and an Instagrammers haven for sure!

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Instagram is in fact how I stumbled across Alyssum and after browsing through their pictures it was quickly added to be brunch ‘to do’ list.

After the gym one morning, I finally headed there with my friend Jade. We both had the vegan Alyssum breakfast which was made up of a potato rosti, house-made tomato and pepper smoke paprika salsa, sautéed mushrooms, falafel and avocado.

It was absolutely delicious, not to mention beautifully presented. The menu speaks for itself, with plenty of choice and lots of delicious Greek options for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Take a look for yourself here to get those taste buds tantalised.

Beware though, you’ll definitely want a cake afterwards! The cakes change daily and although I didn’t try one on my most recent trip, it’s safe to say I’ll be back to try one asap. Check out their website here for some seriously insane pictures of their cake creations. They even make vegan chocolate cake too!

Alyssum’s tasty creations don’t stop there though…we need to talk about the coffee! Both Jade and I devoured two cappuccinos (almond milk for Jade, soya for me!) with vanilla syrup in one and hazelnut in the other. They were SO good, seriously – so good! I love coffee. Not to mention, they were presented beautifully as well.

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The menu and pictures speak for themselves but once you’ve read the menu and looked over their Instagram feed, get yourself in the car and head over there!
Enjoy! If you do go, let me know what you think 🙂

I’m going to Boston!

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So as you probably know from my other posts, I’m going to Boston in April to run the Boston Marathon!

AHHHHH, can we just take a second to let that sink in – THE BOSTON MARATHON! It actually hit me when I was doing a cruise session yesterday; I’m training to run the Boston Marathon! Haha, I’ll stop talking about it eventually, but for the next four months, it’s all about Boston.

My lovely friend Bryony bought me a Boston Lonely Planet guidebook (I am addicted to these!) and I’ve not been able to put it down since. Boston looks amazing, so diverse, and I’m really excited to explore and see lots of different parts of it –as well as running the marathon!

This post is essentially to ask you guys whether you have any recommendations about hotels, or where to stay, what to do, what to see and of course, where to eat!

I fly out on April 12 and leave on April 20. We actually managed to find super cheap flights so I’m really pleased about that. Now I just need to find somewhere to stay.

I have started looking at hotels but they seem pretty expensive. Air B&B is also an option. So basically, where would you recommend I stay?

If you have any Boston tips, please please comment below, email me (visit my contact page), or Tweet me @hannahbryan91.

Thanks and hope to speak to some of you soon 🙂

Neighbourhood – Copenhagen

If you want effortlessly cool and edgy, go to Copenhagen’s Meat Packing District.

If you want one of the best pizzas in the city, organic cocktails and a buzzing atmosphere, go to Neighbourhood.

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In the heart of the Meat Packing District, Neighbourhood ticks both boxes. Remarkably discreet, the numerous sex and erotica shops on the street caught our eye when our taxi pulled up before we spotted the restaurant!

You can’t book at Neighbourhood, and it’s incredibly popular, so don’t go if you’re beside yourself with hunger!

On arrival we were told there would be about an hours wait, which was fine with me and we chose to grab a table in the bar area and order a couple of drinks and some bar snacks.

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I went for the Peas and Beas cocktail, which was made up or organic vodka, fresh muddled sugar snap peas, honey, lemon and egg white, shaken and served over ice – delicious and hands down the tastiest cocktail I’d ever had – I wanted a pint of it!

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Everything at Neighbourhood is organic and freshly made, even down to the beer Dane was drinking. We gulped down our drinks, well, I did, and promptly ordered another as our snacks arrived. We went for the olives and root vegetable crisps, the perfect snack to put us on before we went through to the restaurant.

Speaking of the restaurant, it’s made up of large, sharing tables and is the epitome of no fuss yet chic dining, with unpainted, stone walls and unique decorations.

The pizzas are their own take on the Italian classic yet the base is thinner, crispier and totally organic. Each pizza is also topped with a heap of rocket of fresh green salad.

I went for the Chili Salami pizza which was topped with spicy Italian sausage, picked chilies, roasted beetroot, tomato Passata, buffalo mozzarella, fresh spinach and Røde Kristian cheese.

Dane ordered the Kimchi Pork pizza. This was topped with braised pork neck, Korean BBQ sauce, kimchi, Bibb lettuce and ginger scallion vinaigrette and topped with fresh coriander.

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Mine was unbelievable and I’d say Danes was the same judging by how quickly he ate it and didn’t offer me any!!

A word of warning about the oils available though…the chili oil is pretty spicy as Dane found out, much to my amusement!!

Dessert for me was just as good. I had the organic orange chocolate mousse. On the menu it’s described as chocolate, chili, orange & cacao, topped with flakes of chocolate.

Dane had the organic ginger carrot cake as they’d ran out of the tossed cheesecake – seriously, the menu is worth checking out for the sound of that cheesecake alone!

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Our total meal, drinks and snacks included, was pretty reasonable for Copenhagen in my opinion and worth every penny – I’d have gone back the following evening!

My favourite breakfast spot in Sheffield

Ok, so I’ve put this under the travel section because basically, if you don’t live in Sheffield you need to come here just for this breakfast spot!

Marmadukes Cafe Deli in the city centre is my all-time favourite breakfast spot in the city. It’s where I always take friends, family, dates, (basically anyone) when I get the chance.

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Located down a side street from the city centre, Marmadukes offers the best of British, in a wholesome, healthy way! Everything they serve is locally sourced and mostly made from scratch right in the cafe. They also have Artisan bread handmade and delivered on a daily basis – FRESHLY BAKED BREAD – need I say more!?

It gets even better though, if you’re a coffee lover like me, then you’ll be right at home at Marmadukes. Their house coffee beans come from Workshop Coffee, who source some of the tastiest coffee from around the world. Combine that taste with the fresh milk they serve from local company Our Cow Molly and you’re in cappuccino heaven!

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The love of good food and coffee is evident as soon as you walk through the door as you’re greeted with inventive salads lined up in the chiller cabinet and freshly baked treats (you need to see them to believe them!). The staff are all incredibly passionate about the food and drinks they’re serving too, which in my opinion makes all the difference.

Have a look at the menu here, to get an idea for yourself as to what Marmadukes can rustle up for you!

My personal favourite however has to be poached eggs (hello perfect runny yolks!), on toasted Welbeck bread with large field mushrooms and homemade beans! Oh god, the homemade beans are something else!! I don’t even like baked beans (sorry Heinz!), but I could eat these every day!

My stomachs rumbling now so I’m going to try and find someone to come for brunch with me this morning – that’s another great thing about Marmadukes, they serve breakfast all day on Sunday!

Enjoy 🙂

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6 ways to explore and fall in love with Venice

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Venice is genuinely in a league of its own. I had seen it on pictures before and thought no way can it be that beautiful, but when I visited earlier this year it was even more beautiful than how the pictures portrayed it.

As soon as I boarded the vaporetto (water taxi) towards the Rialto Bridge where our hotel was, it was as though I had become part of a real life water colour painting. Trust me when I say that the pictures in this post do not do it justice.

The sinking city, which is reason enough to visit Venice anyway, is also one of the most romantic cities in the world. I personally think it would be an incredibly romantic experience no matter who you’re with. You’re guaranteed to fall in love with the romance of the place; the labyrinth of alleyways and gelato shops, the singing gondolier’s and the charming, worn buildings.

Basically, add Venice to your wanderlust list! Once you’ve booked your flights, check out my top tips on what to do in Venice.

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1) One of the city’s most charming qualities is its maze of quaint streets and canals, each lined with chichetti bars and gelateria. However, this is one maze you really won’t mind getting lost in that’s for sure. Ditch the guidebook one day (maybe not on day one!) and just get lost wandering through Venice, exploring its beauty – with a gelato in your hand of course!

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2) Soak up the atmosphere in Piazza San Marco. Home to the Basilica di San Marco, this is Venice’s most famous square. There’s always a queue at the Basilica but it usually moves in about 15-20 minutes. If you want to beat the queues, book online. It’s also worth going back to Piazza San Marco at night when the square comes alive with entertainers and bands performing outside of restaurants. The Basilica is also lit up at night and looks spectacular. If you’re travelling with a partner, this is definitely worth adding to your date night agenda.

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3) For a bird’s eye view over Venice, take the vaporetto from San Marco to the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore. Visit the Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore, essentially the only reason for visiting the island, and let the lift whisk you up to the top of the 60m bell tower. Once at the top you’ll get to see an amazing view out over Venice. It’s a great, much cheaper alternative to San Marco’s bell tower and the queues are practically non- existent.

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4) Visit the glass making island of Murano. The vaporetto ride over to Murano is cheap and gives you yet another chance to take in the amazing views of Venice. There’s not much else to do on Murano other than visit the Museo del Vetro, but it’s well worth the trip. If you’re visiting in summer, take water! The glass making factory is fantastic. Within 15 minutes we saw one of the sculptors craft a unicorn from a hot furnace.

5) Experience the luxury of Gritti Palace. Located right on the edge of the grand canal, Gritti Palace was restored in 2013 and is definitely worth a visit. This luxurious hotel would no doubt be amazing to stay in but if you’re not in the money, I’d recommend doing what we did and basically going for a nosey about and enjoying a cocktail on the waters edge. It’s worth noting that you should dress up for the occasion and in my opinion it’s the perfect way to end a night in Venice. You can even get your own private water taxi or gondola from the bar to take you straight back to your hotel. The cocktails are expensive but worth every cent for their fruity deliciousness – and we got free snacks with them too! Check out the view you can enjoy while sipping on a drink below.

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6) Live and shop like a Venetian at the Rialto market and Pescaria, Venice’s 600-year-old fish market. I’m a firm believer that when you go on holiday you should do as the locals do, and this market is a great way to start. You don’t have to buy anything, but just walking around the colourful stalls and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere will give you a taste of life in Venice. If you want an actual taste, the Pescaria is great for picking up some snacks as you walk around.

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Just a few tips for you there and I’d love to hear yours too if you’ve been to Venice. You can Tweet me @HannahBryan91 or using #hannahshappypace