Saturday, 3 November 2018

Apple Day at Lathcoats Farm

pumpkin patch, apple day, lathcoates farm, essex, chelmsford


I haven't always been the best at keeping up with all my local area has to offer. I am signed up to emails about events in London but when it comes to what's happening in Essex I have to remember to search for it high and low on the internet.

Luckily someone at work mentioned Apple Day and I had no clue what it was all about other than it might include apples (duh). I decided to have a look on the internet and seeing as entry was free to the event I decided to go and check it out.

Lathcoats farm apple day


It was a perfect October day, dry, sunny with blue skies which made the day even better because it's pretty much all outside. Once we got to Lathcoates Farm they had several different areas to go off and explore, with a huge variety of pumpkins large and small and in all colours. I bloody love pumpkins and found it really hard to just choose a few, I literally wanted them all!!

lathcoats farm apple day, essex

grey pumpkins, lathcoats farm, apple day


They had a craft area where they were making wreaths amongst other things, a huge apple tasting tent where you could go and learn about the different varieties of apples they grow and taste them, cider and apple juice tasting where they were serving a cocktail of apple juice, elderflower cordial and gin which was amazing and definitely going to be recreated at home.

apple cocktail, apple day, essex, lathcoats farm


The little food market area was nice to wander around, I got to try some vegan Christmas pudding by Lillypuds and bought some lovely fresh bread, they had stalls which were selling lovely foods that would be great to stash away for Christmas.

There were a few activities for children such as the crafting area, a chance to try archery, and swings and needless to say the kids were loving the pumpkin patch and the animals. It's such a great way to spend a couple of hours especially if you have children, and Lathcoats also have an amazing farm shop that is full of amazing food and lots of vegan items which I was shocked and amazed to see, but I will definitely be going back to buy more goodies!

pumpkins, lathcoats farm, apple day, essex


Lathcoats Farm,
Beehive Lane
Chelmsford
CM2 8LX


Sunday, 28 October 2018

My Halloween Display

Halloween has been one of my favourite times of year since I was young. Sadly my parent's didn't really celebrate it, and when I was little I would be lucky if we got a pumpkin to carve, let alone decorations or trick or treating! I was 13 the first time I went trick or treating, yes THIRTEEN! That was only because I was deemed old enough to go out alone with a friend that year and my mum had arranged that we would walk to the other end of our town to my uncles house and she would come and collect us.

Back when I was a kid there wasn't a huge amount of the community that took part in Halloween and there weren't many kids out trick or treating but dear lord did we come home with some serious bounty!! That first year we got so many sweets and chocolates and even quite a lot of money, we thought it was the most amazing night of our lives!



I grew up watching movies like hocus pocus where it seemed like towns came alive at Halloween and every household took part with decorating and trick or treating and I was so jealous and vowed that when I was a grown up I would partake 100%.




Sadly the UK still isn't quite up to the US standards of celebrating and most houses are left undecorated at this time of year. Halloween decorations have always been limited to the cheap tack you get in the card stores, so when I started reading blogs years ago and saw how real homes were decorated in America for Autumn I was hooked. I knew it was just what I wanted to be able to do but finding the quality decorations was not easy. Luckily in the last couple of years some more classy decorations have started sneaking in thanks to stores like TK Maxx and HomeSense where the goods are of course being shipped over from America. I'm sure in years to come we will have a wide choice of decorations and I look forward to being able to go around the stores and filling up my trolley with lots of spooky stuff.

Rae Dunn Halloween
 


I am slowly building up a collection and have bought a few items this year and have enjoyed having them displayed in my home. Next year I will be moving onto bigger and better things and have big plans, I just need to figure out where to store all of this stuff come November 1st.....


rae dunn halloween mug


My collection is made up of items from various shops and I even struck it lucky whilst in TK Maxx and HomeSense because I got some Rae Dunn halloween cups and mixing bowl. I can't wait to add more items next year!

How do you decorate for Halloween?

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Fudge Kitchen Cambridge

Cambridge is a beautiful place to visit, it's an array of intertwining cobbled streets choc full of gorgeous shops where even the chains manage to fit in with the unique style of the city by keeping the old building fronts in tact. It's so easy to lose hours whilst wandering around what feels like a real life Harry Potter-esque set. The buildings have a mix of Tudor and more Gothic style architecture which looks especially stunning during autumn with all the red and gold leaves blowing around on the streets and the burgundy ivy growing up the walls of the buildings.

The Fudge Kitchen stands proudly in the centre of Cambridge where they hand make fudge in an array of wonderful flavours, they even have 2 vegan ones! Seeing as I don't visit Cambridge very often I decided to splurge and buy a chunk of both the coconut vanilla and salted caramel fudge because trust me they are both so creamy and delicious. The salted caramel flavour is made with a soy milk base, the texture of this fudge is quite gooey which I personally really love. The coconut vanilla flavour is made with a coconut cream base so is good for people with a soy allergy, the texture is a little firmer and slightly more crumbley. My personal favourite is the caramel because well.... salted caramel need I say more!

vegan fudge, fudge kitchen cambridge


Whilst in the shop one of the guys told me they are happy to make custom fudge flavours for you and he mentioned chocolate orange and maple both of which would be right up my street.

Their packaging is so cute and totally gift worthy if you have a friend or family member who's partial to some fudge. The little paper bags are adorned with very true phrases like "hey! You lookin' at my fudge" and "not gonna make it home in one piece"

vegan fudge, fudge kitchen, salted caramel fudge

vegan fudge, fudge kitchen, salted caramel fudge


It's so lovely to see smaller businesses catering for vegans, I'm finding it more and more now that I will be somewhere and find vegan products unexpectedly which is a world away from what it was like when I first went vegan and most restaurants didn't cater and the supermarkets had little to no vegan products, let alone a small independent shop.

Cambridge has some really lovely eateries that make vegan food, stay tuned to my blog for the most amazing vegan meal I had whilst there, blog post coming soon.

vegan fudge, fudge kitchen, salted caramel fudge

vegan fudge, fudge kitchen, coconut vanilla fudge


The Fudge Kitchen
11 Kings Parade,
Cambridge
CB2 1SJ

www.fudgekitchen.co.uk/en

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Vegan food haul from Sainsbury's

My go to supermarket is Tesco, partly due to proximity to where I live and partly due to product range and price. However and not sure you'll ever see someone more excited than me to visit Sainsbury's on occasion. I literally feel like a kid in a candy store when I go there because they have such a wonderful and I believe unrivalled range of great vegan products. However..... yes they are expensive and this little lot cost £60 (excluding the pack of shroomdogs which were AMAZING and a probiotic shot I had already snaffled before photographing, I also bought 3 jars of veganaise, and another urban noodles that aren't pictured)


So as we can see for £60 there isn't a whole lot of food and the other thing I would like to point out is that a lot of these items are novelty buys because we all know how excited us vegans get when things like ready meals we can eat come out! I very rarely eat ready meals and I am more on the healthy side of the spectrum than the junk but I do like to try these things.

Pudology millionaires puds, vegan food

One of the last things to really start showing up were ready made vegan desserts, the internet is full of recipes for fabulous vegan puddings and desserts but sometimes you don't have the time or can't be bothered to make something from scratch so items like these pudology millionaires puds are fantastic!

love your veg, katsu curry, vegan

As I already mentioned I don't often use ready meals but sometimes it's just nice to have something like this stashed in your fridge for when you get home and just can't be bothered with life, shove it in the microwave and jobs done! I also really love Katsu curry.

veganaise, vegan, vegan mayo

Veganaise is the best vegan mayonaise ever! This is why I bought 3 jars of this stuff because it's life! It tastes just like helmans and is just so good. If you miss potato salad or coleslaw then this is the stuff you need to mix through warm potatoes with chopped chives or spooned in with some prepackage coleslaw mix.


Is there anything more amazing than a hot cup of tea and some shortbread to dunk? I think not!
These amazing little morsels are accidentally vegan and boy am I happy they are. I bought some of these last Christmas because in my family growing up we always had biscuits and tea whilst opening our presents and more often than not it was shortbread, so at least I don't have to miss out. This year I may dip some in chocolate for a bit of added luxury.

I really enjoy making the odd sandwich and I love that there are now lots of options to have meat replacement sandwiches. I wanted to try some of the hickory smoked tofurky, and plan to have a roll loaded with lettuce, tomato, tofurky and mayo!

urban noodles, vegan

I spotted these noodle pots and got very excited when I realised they were vegan, they had 3 flavours, satay, pad thai and sweet and sour. I bought one of each of satay and pad thai and will probably take them to work with me for a lunch time treat. They are not super healthy but I am always about balance and eating healthy 80% of the time and having a little naughty treat every so often.

Violife Mediterranean block, by far my favourite cheese. I think I have said before I don't think it tastes anything like halloumi which is what it's based on, however I do think it tastes just like manchengo cheese which is so good. 


vegan chocolate, rhythm 108

I tried the Rhythm 108 chocolate range last year at Stylist Live and oh my they are amazing! If you miss chocolate bars then you should give these a try. Vegan chocolate is a bit slow to catch up with the growth of the rest of the movement, yes you can buy dark chocolate and yes there are dairy free versions of chocolate buttons and plain bars but there aren't readily accessible versions of things like twix, kitkat, crunchy, mars etc. So these little delights are starting to bridge that gap, yay!

vegan iced coffee, alpro, califia

Now I love me an iced coffee, and I used to enjoy drinking those little chilled starbucks coffee's you could pick up at the corner shops. Luckily Alpro came out with their caffe range a while back and let me tell you they are delicious! The caramel one is my personal fave but they also do hazelnut.
Califia is an American brand that I had my eye on and was quite jealous we didn't have them here in the UK, so when Sainsburys started stocking them I was very happy, they do a range of iced coffee drinks that are all really yummy.

Merchant gourmet, vegan, chestnut dip

I have always quite liked Merchant Gourmet for their pouches of rice, lentils and quinoa but I was surprised to see they have now branched out into dips. Some may say I'm obsessed with houmous and I do love any type of dip so I was sold when I spotted this chestnut and red pepper dip.

I also got two flavours of moorish dip as well because a girl can never have too much dip. I haven't had the chance to try this brand yet so am looking forward to having some with carrot and celery.

ugo vegan pasta, vegan

I used to love buying fresh pasta at the supermarket for a speedy dinner, sometimes I still go down the aisle to look at them and shed a tear for all the lovely pasta I can no longer have. However Ugo have a vegan ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and sage, how perfect is that flavour combo for the upcoming season?

Linda McCartney meatballs are one of the items I have never tried. So I got some to either use to do spaghetti and meatballs or to make a meatball sub..... time will tell what I decide to do with those.

Smoked Tofu is the best kind of tofu! Really I just like anything smoked, but I do really enjoy the tofoo brand and love it straight out of the pack.

edamame thai spiced dip, vegan

Lastly, this dip.... words cannot express how bloody tasty it is. Just give me a spoon and leave me alone with this dip. I love those little peppers on the top and usually they are gone within seconds of me opening the tub. 


I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you some inspiration, let me know what your favourite vegan products are in the comments.



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