Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Maxwells Cafe Bar King Street Clitheroe 29th June 2016

Maxwells Cafe Bar is part of Dawsons Department Store, across from the train and bus stations and car parks so really handy when you visit, whatever your transport.   There is plenty of outside seating, all undercover and on sunny days (today not being one of them) there is an open roof terrace.

Maxwells is modern and airy and when we arrived, just after noon, had plenty of tables free, but by one o'clock on a Wednesday lunchtime, the place was packed.   There are newspapers to read and if you sit outside, you can happily while away time, as its a good place for people watching.

They have introduced a vegan menu and when I asked for a copy, our waiter Phil kindly offered to print one off for me to take home, which was kind.   Service throughout our visit, was very friendly and helpful.

I chose Cajun vegetable salad, chips and a large Americano coffee, which was so good I wanted another, but best not, I would never sleep later.   The salad was a large portion, but for me needed more Cajun spicing and crispier vegetables, like the sweet potato on my husband's superfood salad, for texture, but I still enjoyed it and polished it off with the delicious chips.

It is fantastic Maxwells offer a vegan menu and I will return to try other dishes and support their decision to include one.

Update 22nd September 2016

I revisited Maxwells today for lunch and chose the vegan club sandwich, served on toasted brown bloomer bread, it was delicious, moist and very moreish.   Whilst ordering, a chap behind me was served the sweet potato and sweetcorn tin tacos, so I know exactly what I will be having next time, as it also looked equally tasty.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Roots & Fruits Grand Arcade Leeds 18th June 2016

Roots & Fruits is a vegetarian and vegan cafe, in the Grand Arcade and is very welcoming and cosy and very busy on a Saturday lunchtime.   I often wonder in places like Roots and Fruits, what the percentage of customers are vegetarian and vegan, I somehow think carnivores make up a big percentage.

We managed to get a table for two and perused the menu, with its interesting vegan options, with more on their daily specials board.   I could not resist jerk jackfruit, being allergic to soya, it has been difficult to find alternatives for things like tofu, but jackfruit can be used in many dishes and I am keen to try as many as I can.

The dish was served with vegan cheesy sauce and sour coconut cream, plantain, yams, sweet potato and tortillas, totally delicious and the dish renewed my enthusiasm to utilise jackfruit more in my cooking.

An excellent Americano coffee accompanied my lunch, at the end of which, I had a chat with owner Kay, who was a friendly and helpful lady.   She was kind enough to let me know, where they got their jackfruit, which lucky for me, was just round the corner from a Thai supermarket, so I hot footed it down there quick to grab some tins.   Roots and Fruits should be on everyone's to visit list, when in Leeds.

Filmore & Union High Street Skipton 17th June 2016

Filmore & Union is a Yorkshire based company, with several venues throughout the county and this was my second visit of 2016 to Skipton.

The interior is as inviting as the outside, with cool, light colours and has a beachside restaurant kind of feel, chilled and relaxed.

I wanted to visit for dinner, so I sent an email, asking about vegan options and had the most fabulous reply, from Head Chef Gemma, who happens to be vegan too.   She went into detail about what she could make and assured me that, on the night, I would have plenty of choice, she was not wrong!

When we arrived the vegan menu I was offered, was stupendous, specially created for me, such care and attention to detail.   I had a difficult decision to make and kept changing my mind, hardly surprising as it all sounded fantastic.

I had checked out their wine list, prior to our visit and there were several vegan choices, so I opted for a very nice Cave De Turckheim Reisling, which I love.

My starter was aubergine and cashew pate with garlic flatbread and celeriac and orange salad, it was fantastic, beautiful presentation and delicious.

My husband had stuffed courgette squash, with quinoa risotto and spiralised daikon, a picture on a plate, he loved it and he is not even vegetarian, never mind vegan.

My vegan burger main course was the best ever, a falafel burger with spinach houmous, on lovely light bread, sweet potato fries and caramelised red onions.   I feel its unnecessary to wax lyrical about this dish, the photos say it all.

I was getting pretty full by this time, but who could resist the two vegan puddings I was offered, so it just had to be vegan brownie with warm maple coconut milk, fruit compote and fresh berries.   It is not often I demolish three courses, but on this occasion, it was impossible not to, it was that good.

We were looked after by Anna, Front of House Manager, who always had a smile and looked after us so well, it turned out she came from Poland and was multi-lingual, which must be a great asset when foreign visitors arrive.   It was a real pleasure to finally meet Gemma, a very talented young chef, not long in the position of Head Chef, but I can understand why, this girl can cook and she was full of passion when she talked about cooking.   They were a young professional and enthusiastic team and I hope the company realise what an asset they are.

Gemma (left) and Anna (right)

We were impressed with the whole experience, I was bowled over by the vegan choices and sitting in the pub down the road later, we were planning a return visit.

I highly recommend Filmore and Union, as they always offer vegan options, with particular emphasis on dietary requirements, allergies and intolerances, without compromising on flavour and I cannot wait to revisit, sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Country Kitchen Cafe Clitheroe Road Waddington 8th June 2016

Country Kitchen Cafe is in the picturesque village of Waddington, in the Ribble Valley, most of which is an Area Of Outstanding Beauty and you can see why, with its beautiful surrounding countryside.

The cafe must have been a village shop at some time, with its traditional frontage and on a sunny lunchtime, looked very inviting from the roadside, with lovely hanging baskets, tables and chairs and colourful bunting.

The cafe inside is equally cosy and welcoming, with a homely feel and obviously popular with cyclists, walkers and visitors.

They also sell homemade jams, chutneys, knick knacks, games, mugs and stoneware pottery and I could not resist making a purchase.

On this spur of the moment visit, I had not enquired as to vegan options, so it was pot luck with whatever was on the menu.   There were a couple of options I would have had, prior to my allergy problems, so jacket potato with baked beans or five bean chilli with rice and salad.   There was also jacket potato with mushrooms and when I went to the counter, Tim the owner was happy to cook the mushrooms in olive oil and serve it with extra salad.

The jacket potato was huge, with loads of tasty just cooked mushrooms and fresh salad on the side, but so good I devoured the lot.   I also ordered a large black Americano coffee with an extra shot, which was so delicious I ordered another.

I also overheard Tim speaking to another customer, who had dietary requirements and his immediate answer was 'you can have what you want'.   What a great attitude and why I love to support independents.

I will definitely be returning and would recommend a visit, even if it is just for a coffee, before you explore this gorgeous part of the country.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The Sanctuary of Healing Organic Cafe Dewhurst Road Langho 1st June 2016

The Sanctuary of Healing is a registered charity, offering complimentary therapies, to work on bringing the body back into harmony and includes a fabulous organic cafe on site.   The cafe offers fresh, healthy and tasty food, prepared in house and caters for all dietary needs, allergies and intolerances.

Inside the cafe is light, airy and has a tranquil calm about it, so you immediately relax and unwind, as you peruse the menu.   There is a huge wood burner, which I bet kicks out some heat in winter and there is a small courtyard with tables and chairs, perfect for sitting out on sunny days.

The menu offers sandwiches, soups, salads, an array of drinks both hot and cold, with the choice of soya or rice milk.   There is also a daily specials board, with clearly marked vegan, vegetarian, gluten and dairy free options, so it appeals to all, apparent by how busy it was.   They also offer afternoon tea, with a vegan option, which I would love to return and sample.

I ordered avocado and houmous sandwich on homemade bread with salad and Steven ordered basil and smoked tofu salad, served with vegan coleslaw, avocado, houmous and optional gluten free bread.   Both dishes were beautifully presented, a good sized portion, totally delicious and tasty, as were the Americano coffees, so much so I nearly had another one.

I have nothing negative to say about the place, the staff are lovely and friendly, especially Manager Christine and it is in a quiet location off a busy main road, with plenty of parking.   I will definitely be returning sometime soon.