Spring Break: London (Day 2)

Day 2 of the London Vegan Adventure began with a complimentary breakfast at the Wesley Hotel. Similar to the Radisson’s breakfast, this was an extravagant traditional english breakfast. Since the chef was actually cooking right there out in the open, I was able to ask him what items were vegan, and I ended up being able to eat a pretty decent variety. They also had soy milk and organic sugar for the coffee. Also, is it just me or does all the coffee in London taste watered down? When I was in Spain, it all tasted twice as strong, and in London, it all tasted half as strong. Is this a geographic preference? I wonder what people from other countries think of San Francisco coffee.

As they say, the third time is a charm. We finally found a bike station that we could figure out how to obtain bikes from! So, we rode to Oxford Street, returned the bikes, and walked around shopping and people watching. I got a bag full of stuff from Primark since the last time I was in London, I found some really awesome stuff. I got a really cute tote bag with unicorns and stars all over it, as well as a lot of tights for myself and friends. Then, I visited what I believe to be the equivalent to our Starbucks called Pret Managre, only it’s superior to Starbucks because it’s organic. I enjoyed a latte with the mint brownie from Cookies N Scream.

In a record store, I saw that London has a dance night called Blow Up too! I don’t actually know if SF still has theirs since I haven’t been in years, but the one in London actually looks better. Too bad I was so sleepy on Saturday night that I opted out of going.

Beetroot is either vegetarian or vegan and kind of reminded me of a mall food court Loving Hut in that they have a bunch of already hot food bar items that you can order take out from, but they also make smoothies and fresh juices. I ordered the Beatnik juice, since it was the only one with beets in it, and I figure if I’m at a place called Beetroot, I should probably be drinking beetroot juice.

There was a clothing store called Monki that had the cutest decor that I had to go inside. Too bad the clothes weren’t cute at all. But look at this adorableness that housed the inferiorly aesthetic clothing.

After another successful bicycle transport, we arrived at Regent’s Park where they had rows of cherry blossom trees as far as the eye could see.

The cheese and cracker picnic would have been better if the crackers didn’t taste like styrofoam, but I counterbalanced that problem by increasing the cheezly to cracker ratio to 80:20.

There’s a portion of Regent’s park called Queen Elizabeth’s circle that is supposed to have something crazy like 20,000 roses, but of course, they were all just rose branches in April so instead we found a mini waterfall.

Next stop was a vegan boutique that Ashley told me about called Vx.

It was super tiny, but they had a good variety. I bought some stuff that I didn’t take pictures of, and I tried to buy these adorable shoes, but they didn’t have them in my size. Waaaahhhh!

They had some cheese there called Teezini that I really wanted to get, but our hotel didn’t have a fridge, so I didn’t get it. </3

I was crazy excited that they had vegan eclairs because the only time I’ve ever had one was at Millennium, so it was probably a million dollars for one. Sadly, however, the filing tasted nothing like eclair filling, so I’m back to my mission to search the planet for a decent vegan eclair.

We met up with friends at a pub called Public Bar in Soho where they served Samuel Smith’s. All their beers were marked as vegan, except 2. They even had a statement on their menu about how their brewery was the first one to register with the Vegan Society (is that the same as the secret society of vegans that Ashley is now an honorary member of?).

David ordered the chocolate stout, which with an exception of the smell, was barely a distant relative of chocolate. Although, I guess it tasted more like chocolate than that time Jessica convinced me to taste her beer that she insisted tasted like candy when we were at the Belgian bar in the Tenderloin in SF.

The girl sitting next to me had a really gorgeous purplish reddish drink, which she told me was called a black cider. It’s apparently cider mixed with black currant juice. How could I resist trying that?! It was delicious! This picture isn’t the best (I blame Ernesto) for showing the pretty color of this beverage, but trust me that it looked as pretty as it tasted.

Mildred’s was only 2 doors down from Public Bar, which was super convenient. Mildred’s almost always has a wait, so if you decide to go there, you should put your name on the list, and then go to Public Bar for a black cider while you wait.

I ordered a drink called pornstar, which had a half of a passion fruit floating it. (Sorry I didn’t take a picture.) I think this could be the first time I have ever tried passion fruit fresh. I didn’t like the consistency of the seeds at all, and considering that it doesn’t have a square millimeter that is seed-free, I think this may be the kind of fruit that I will only be enjoying in smoothies forevermore.

The appetizer was dumplings with this really yummy dipping sauce that I couldn’t replicate or describe in any amount of articulation (besides yummy).

My dinner was the mushroom pie, which was a bunch of different kinds of mushrooms in a wine reduction sandwiched between 2 layers of “crust” made from phyllo dough. It came with mashed peas sprinkled with dill (delicious) and a combination of mashed white and sweet potatoes. I’m not a huge fan of things cooked in wine, so I probably won’t order this again, but it was still yummy, and our server commented on how happy I looked so I must have been enjoying myself.

The end of Day 2 landed us at a bar called Borderline for a dance night called Bedrock. In spite of the website describing it as Yeah Yeah Yeahs and LCD Soundsystem type music, as well as the fact that Blanca recommended it as being fun, it was the most bro-ey, non-fun dance night that I have visited in a long time. Note to self: When on vacation, stick with pubs.

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