What a day! Last night I passed out around 19:30 and slept straight through the night. I woke up around 07:30, still a bit groggy since we missed a night of sleep on the train. I felt immensely better after a restful sleep in a proper bed. I’m glad Ivy got a good night’s sleep too! She passed out a bit earlier. 😉
This morning after some grapes and blueberries in bed, we headed to Lumberjack for a quick coffee. This cafe was a short walk from our hotel, so we figured why not have a coffee before boarding the bus into the city.
My soya latte was tasty albeit a bit strong as they didn’t offer any flavoured syrups. It’s espresso in it’s truest form, I suppose! It reminded me of the espresso at Pacamara in Dundee. 🙂 The cafe was cute and quiet as we arrived just as they opened at 08:30.
They had avocado toast and a salad for vegan options as well as several vegetarian options. They had a tasty-looking vegetarian sausage roll filled with chickpeas, and I hoped it was vegan because it reminded me of Folk Cafe’s vegan sausage rolls (super yum!), but we had to pass since the friendly barista wasn’t sure if it was 100% vegan. At any rate, the latte was a perfect start to my day!
Ivy also noticed that the toilet there is actually “twinned” with a “sister” toilet in Afghanistan! If you check out Lumberjack, pop into their toilet and check it out. 😉
Fully caffeinated, we took the bus into the city and walked over Westminster Bridge, past Big Ben, and wandered around the city. Our first stop was an all-vegetarian Pret A Manger. This Veggie Pret was originally supposed to be a temporary pop-up. Last year, Pret converted one of its cafes into an all-vegetarian one, serving only vegetarian and vegan food and coffee drinks. It was supposed to stay all-veggie for a trial period of time, but it was so popular that it stayed open a bit longer. And since it was such a hit with the veg-community here in London, Pret decided to keep it open permanently!
Pret even opened a second Veggie Pret because the first one was wildly successful. More and more people are adopting a cruelty-free diet and lifestyle and demanding fresh, healthy options from their favourite cafes. How cool! I hope Pret opens up more Veggie Prets in the future.
Ivy and I just wanted a snack at Veggie Pret since we had more food plans for a proper lunch, so we split their grilled artichoke, olives, and tapenade baguette. Ivy tried this baguette before and loved it, so I had to try it myself! It was delicious and half of it made a perfect snack. It included grilled artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, roasted red pepper tapenade, and whole leaf basil. Truth be told, I could have eaten two baguettes but I wanted to save my hunger for lunch. I’ll definitely recreate this baguette at home, though!
We had a few options for lunch but we decided to try Bibimbap. Bibimbap is a Korean restaurant (no surprise there) serving all different kinds of bibimbap, a traditional Korean dish. Bibimbap is basically rice and veggies served sizzling in a hot stone bowl. Traditionally, it is served with bulgogi (beef tenderloin strips) and a fried egg, but fortunately for us, they offered several vegetarian bibimbap which could easily be veganised by omitting the fried egg.
We both chose the kimchi bibimbap because we love kimchi aka spicy pickled napa cabbage. The kimchi at Bibimbap was truly delicious! I like to think I’m a kimchi snob since I grew up with authentic Korean kimchi (thanks to my mom). 😛 It really reminded me of my mother’s kimchi, it was that good! I can’t remember the last time I had real Korean food. Thanks to Ivy for recommending Bibimbap and reminding me I need to seek out Korean food more often!
For dessert, we popped into Chinatown for some sesame seed balls. These are mochi balls filled with sweet bean paste, rolled in sesame seeds and fried. Mochi is difficult to describe without having it in front of you, but it’s a sweet, chewy, rice cake. You can find them filled with sweet bean paste or plain, but I prefer them filled. These are a favourite treat of mine from my childhood (thanks to my mom again). I didn’t realise these sesame seeds balls were fried until I bit into it, so I’m glad I only ate one because it was quite rich!
Then we hopped on the tube and found ourselves in Camden to tour Camden Market. I’m glad we did so with full stomachs because the market was packed full of food stalls! We only walked around for a little while but I lost count of all the vegan options available. It would take me a month or so to work my way through all the vegan delicacies available, including vegan crepes, Korean burritos, Thai, Peruvian, and Malaysian food to name a few!
We walked from Camden market back into Soho since the weather was nice and sunny. We scoped out a few vegan-friendly shops and cafes including Planet Organic and Rawligion, but ultimately decided to score some vegan sushi at Wasabi for dinner. I loathe paying for sushi since I can easily make it myself, but since I’m on holiday away from Dundee and away from my kitchen, I couldn’t pass up Wasabi’s veggie sushi selection.
This was only £5.75 which seems like a good value, considering it’s a fresh and healthy vegan meal option. The problem now is that the sushi was so good, I could have easily devoured two boxes full!
And as I expected, today turned out to be an epic food day in London! I can’t express how lucky I am to have a friend like Ivy. She’s an adventurous foodie with a discerning palate and a penchant for Asian cuisine. The perfect partner for a foodie holiday!
Don’t forget to check my YouTube channel for daily London travel vlogs. You can see everything I’ve described in this blog post (and more) in the following video. Thanks for watching and thanks for reading this post!