Rapsberry and Almond squares

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Makes approx 24 squares

350g plain flour
300g porridge oats
150g brown sugar
150g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1 small banana (mashed)
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g dairy free butter
1 tsp almond extract (optional- but gooood)
350g raspberry jam
300g frozen raspberries
a handful of flaked almonds

For the crumble topping:
50g plain flour
50g porridge oats

Line a tin (33 x 23cm) with greaseproof paper and preheat your oven to 180°c

In a large bowl mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, caster, ground almonds and bicarb. Add in the mashed banana, vanilla, butter and almond extract (if using) and mix together using your hands or a spoon. Set aside about 350g of the dough for the crumble topping and then spread the rest of the mixture evenly into the prepared tin, spread the jam and the raspberries over the top of this dough.

To make the crumble topping mix the reserved dough with the extra flour and oats and work until you have a crumbly texture (bake this for about 15 minutes, regularly checking to break it apart with a fork to make it more crumbly) once it has started to go slightly golden take it out and sprinkle it on top of the the fruit layer and top with flaked almonds.

Bake for about 25 minutes, once removed from the oven set it on a wire rack whilst still in the tin to cool completely. Once cooled slice into individual portions.

Recipe slightly adapted from MS Cupcake, the holy grail of vegan baking.


48 hours in Hamburg

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Hamburg is known as the second city of Germany and with a flight time of just over an hour from London there really is no better excuse for a little German break away to what I like to think of as Berlin's cool and cute little Sister.

Where we stayed...

Sir Nikolai 

A beautifully designed group of boutique hotels (Amsterdam, Berlin, Ibiza being some of the other locations) situated in the old town and only a short  walk to the developing area of Hafencity. I came across this hotel by chance on a really great deal on Expedia. It's only been open a couple of months and it already comes highly recommend. The hotels interior is pretty much goals, v.swish and swanky. Our room came with a hi-tech room bedside panels that controlled all the lights and electronics, had an amazing waterfall shower and the most exquisitely comfortable beds and duvet. The hotel itself is set in a such a convenient location with great transport links across the city and friendly staff to top it off.

Where we went...

Probably our favourite area in Hamburg that we explored and only a short metro ride away from our hotel. It could definitely be described to having a Berlin vibe. After a Google search on Thursday night Matt came across KNUST an indie music venue that regularly has live bands and has completely vegan Thursdays. When we arrived I first noticed the photoautomat across the road from the station (win!) and as we walked towards the bar we noticed the amount of colourful and fun graffiti dotted about everywhere. We drank beer and ate vegan bratwurst outside on the bandstand and noticed all the cute dogs with their v.cool owners hanging outside of the vinyl stores. 

Botanical Garden
A little oasis in the city, a beautiful garden and a place of serenity. Spending time in the sunshine, masses of green, rose gardens, flowers and my dream man, that's pretty much my ideal afternoon right there.

This quarter of Hamburg is the work of urban regeneration. Surrounded by the port, water side houses (which totally reminded me of Amsterdam) home to the impressive mirrored concert hall building and conveniently located adjacent to our hotel. We spent a lot of time just walking along the water and taking in the sights and sounds of the boats as they passed. You will notice just how into their sailing and naval life with all the shops dotted around Landungsbrucken.

Where we ate...

Happen Pappen
Also situated in our fave location Fedstrabe. We came here for a late brunch and coffee, it got very busy and we were there from opening time - so that's a great sign that it is indeed a popular little vegan eatery.

We also ate burgers at Franzi I would recommend the avocado burger, we also had the BBQ aubergine but didn't rate it as much. Other then that and the bratwurst from KNUST we mainly loaded up on snacks really from the local supermarket, naughty but oh so nice.

Where we drank delicious coffee...

A perfect coffee shop on two levels where they roast all the beans and make their on blends on site. The food also looked really good but we didn't try any as not so sure it was all that vegan friendly. 

I really loved this coffee stop! After having the best iced oatly lattee when we arrived in Hamburg I had a good stalk of their Instagram and anywhere who photographs the four legged friends that visit is waaaay cool in my books plus the look of the shop just did it for me big time that we had to visit for another coffee before we left on the Saturday.

My little tip off of where not to visit imo is to avoid the Hauptbahnhof Sud area if possible - apart from visiting the Art and Industry museum (Which we didn't end up doing in the end) which is luckily just opposite the station as you come out. We ended up going to Franzi for burgers that I mentioned above and that area was nice enough but the walk to it was a little sketchy. So definitely not somewhere I'd recommend being by yourself or visiting at night.


London Vegan Eats: Feeling Savoury

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Some of my firm favorites and some new finds (to me) vegan spots in the capital. One of my favorite Instagram accounts I follow is Vegans of Ldn and with the little bookmark option now I find myself saving more and more places that I just have to visit and make my tummy happy with.

For that health kick...
Pride Kitchen
Previously known as Salad Pride in Covent Garden. A health conscious cafe with an array of different flavored and themed wholesome salads. I took my Mum for lunch here and we felt so satisfied and full of goodness... even though we did then try the carrot cake after. Life is all about balance right?

This little restaurant can be found in Fulham with a team of staff completely dedicated to the cruelty free life style.  I visited with my Sister over the Easter weekend and I had the best Tofish and chips I have ever tried served with mushy peas and salad whilst my Sister opted for the chicken nada burger. I really loved this place, an extensive menu and the presentation of food was really spot on and we both thought it was really good value for money.

A healthy restaurant tucked away in Notting Hill (also one in Shoreditch) all vegan, sugar, wheat and alcohol free bar which will make your feel saintly. Pictured above is the Tokyo salad of brown rice, avocado salad, seaweed and a citrus miso dressing - it tasted bloody delicious. This salad, is my kind of salad down to a t.

To satisfy those *very* rumbling stomachs...

La Suite West 
One of my Christmas presents from my Sister was tickets for Matt and I to indulge in an Afternoon tea at a hotel in Kensington called La Suite West complete with an alcohol free glass of prosecco. The sandwich fillings were so varied and full of flavor (usually something that can be a downfall at least at vegan or vegetarian teas) the highlight for us had to be the stunning coconut cream and scones with fresh strawberries.

Cook Daily
I was so excited for Boxpark Croydon to open, not only because it's one of the first cool things to happen to Croydon in the longest time and because of Cook Daily. I've currently tried 3 different dishes here, all of which all were very tasty but the Pad Thai has got to be my absolute to. Served with plenty of toasted cashews and puffed tofu. At both Croydon and Shoreditch Boxpark.

What the Pitta 
Also at Boxpark Croydon (spoiling us vegans right now) is the completely vegan doner hot spot. Fact - I've never eaten a 'proper' kebab I gave up meat at 16 and it never appealed to me when I did eat meat. This new kid on the block came along and I'd heard great things about it. What the Pitta offers home-made flat bread, delicious marinated 'meat', fresh fillings and very generous portions! Great accompanied with the seasoned fries. They also serve turkish pizzas and loaded fries topped with sauces and the 'meat' pieces.

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