Saturday, 2 December 2017

Brizola Swan Courtyard Clitheroe 2nd December 2017

Brizola is a Greek style restaurant, which opened earlier this year, in the middle of the market town of Clitheroe, located in Swan Courtyard and is five minutes from the train and bus stations.

My first two visits, chef proprietor Rachel kindly created vegan options for me, but this week she introduced a vegan menu, with plenty of choice and now offers soya milk.

I will work my way through the vegan menu, but some of the dishes I have eaten to date, are listed below.


Mezze plate

Mushroom Stifado

Greek potatoes

Stuffed aubergine


Greek doughnuts

I have had the mushroom stifado previously (photo above) but last night both it and the stuffed aubergine were under cooked especially the aubergine.   I mentioned this to our waitress, who offered to take it away, but it would have taken too long to cook, so I ate what I could, a shame as the starter dolmades and mezze and desserts of baklava and doughnuts were really good. 

I love the concept of Brizola, with a young enthusiastic team, headed up by Rachel, serving what I can only describe as Greek comfort food.   I cannot fault the attention to detail, regarding my allergies and vegan dietary requirement and the food generally is really good, perhaps last night was a one off.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Gló Foods Making Vegan Easy

Gló Foods is a brand new family run business, its aim to make buying vegan products easy, for anyone juggling work, family and social lives and those wishing to adopt a vegan lifestyle, without spending hours scrutinising labels in the supermarket.

Gló Foods target markets are:
  • Vegans
  • Meat eaters who want to reduce meat and dairy
  • Vegetarians who want to transition to vegan
  • Dairy intolerant
  • Hosts who have a vegan guest 

I think the concept is a great idea, making it easy to source healthy, wholesome, plant based food, from a one stop shop.   You can choose from an extensive grocery list or specific meal lists like breakfast, lunch and dinner or pick a meal package you fancy making at home, click on the ingredients required, which are added to your basket, along with a recipe card.   The first person who immediately came to mind and would benefit from this resource would be someone like Steven, a meat reducer who hates supermarket shopping, but wants to source ingredients and wants an easy life.   Steven is cutting out meat and dairy, so the number of meat and dairy free alternatives on Gló Foods website, gives him a good selection to choose from, however probably best if I take control, as he can get carried away!

Gló Foods would be brilliant for people wanting to buy vegan products for loved ones, for Christmas, birthdays or just an impromptu surprise, I certainly would love to receive a goody box.

I wondered how competitive Gló Foods would be, so did some price comparisons against online retailer Ocado and Gló Foods fared well, which I was pleased about, as I prefer to support independents rather than high street giants.

Price comparison 1st December 2017

Deliveries are made by either Royal Mail or Parcelforce 24, with a minimum order of £10 and if you live in the Bath or Bristol areas, you get free delivery on orders over £50.

If you cannot find what you are looking for, drop them an email and they will do their best, to add new products to their website.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Maxwells Cafe Bar King Street Clitheroe - 29th November 2017

Maxwells Café Bar is ideally located in Clitheroe, right across from the rail and bus stations, with long stay car parks nearby too.   It is joined onto Dawsons Department store, both run by the same owners and it is always busy at lunchtimes.

Maxwells introduced a vegan menu last year, which seems to be popular and changes periodically too, as this version is the third one I have seen, so it is great for regular vegan customers.

I chose the courgette fritter burger,with sweet chilli sauce, lettuce, tomato, gherkins and fries, on ciabatta bread.

The courgette fritters were delicious, with a light non greasy batter on the outside and juicy perfectly cooked courgettes on the inside.   The gherkins, chilli sauce, crisp lettuce and lightly toasted ciabatta bread added texture, all accompanied by some delicious fries.

I was far too full for dessert, although the hot chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet sounds fantastic, maybe next time   Maxwells has a buzzing atmosphere, really friendly staff and fabulous vegan options, so I will definitely be returning.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Vegavero Vitamin B12 & Vitamin D3+K2 Sprays

I reviewed Vegavero back in September, after they kindly sent me their Organic Japanese Matcha Tea to try, see my review here.

Vegavero recently sent samples of their vitamin B12 and D3+K2 sprays, a godsend for me, as I will explain. 

The vitamin B12 is based on methylcobalamin, an active coenzyme form of B12 easily absorbed by the human body.

The vitamin D3 is derived from lichen and the vitamin K2 from natto and the two together, help to maintain healthy bones.   I love both sprays are registered with The Vegan Society and carry the Vegan Trademark, which gives reassurance to vegans like me.

I do not take supplements normally, as I am really careful to get nutrients from a balanced diet, but when travelling or on holiday and not in control of my daily food intake, I use supplements.  This is where the problem lies, I nearly choke every time I try to swallow a tablet or capsule no matter how big or small, it makes no difference.   I can drink a huge glass of water and still not swallow the tablet or capsule, so I find it a traumatic process, waste products or end up with the raw product in my mouth, as the outer shell disintegrates, not pleasant at all.

The sprays contain 125 pumps of each vitamin and once open must be used within six months.   As for using them, well it is an absolute cinch, give the spray a good shake and spray one pump onto your tongue.   I was a little apprehensive as to the taste, but the pleasant fruity flavours, remind me of cough linctus my mum gave me as a child, so are suitable for adults and children alike.

The sprays can be popped in your handbag and unlike if you take tablets and forget to take them at home and have no bottle of water available, with the sprays a quick squirt and you are good to go.

Disclaimer:  I received free samples of these products and have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Teahive Manchester Road Chorlton 23rd November 2017

Teahive is an ecletic tea and coffee house in Chorlton, just outside Manchester city centre, around the corner from Unicorn Grocery.   Teahive proudly offer over twenty loose teas and I love their ethos of making as much as possible on site, with many vegan options, which is what attracted me in the first place.

I loved everything about the place, its mish mash of furniture, with nothing matching, but this only added to its charm and perusing the menu, it was difficult to make a choice.   They offer a full vegan breakfast at the weekend, which sounds epic and so now I will have to make a return visit, just to try it.

I chose mushrooms on toast, with extra avocado and a large black decaf Americano, as did Steven, but on gluten free toast.

The dish was piping hot, perfectly cooked, with plenty mushrooms, no skimping on portions at Teahive and it was only £4.95 including the avocado, an absolute bargain and so delicious.  The coffee was as good a decaf as I have had anywhere and I was pleased they offered various plant milks, at no extra cost like some places.

We had a quick chat with Luke at front of house, a friendly guy who explained how they cater for all dietary requirements, even offering vegan afternoon tea if ordered in advance. 

I was well impressed with Teahive, it exceeded my expectations and I will be back to work my way through the vegan options, no wonder people were coming and going whilst we were there, how lucky to have this place on your doorstep.

Home Tony Wilson Place Manchester 22nd November 2017

Home Manchester is a theatre for contemporary art, film, music and more, with a cinema, bookshop and restaurant, with some fantastic sounding vegan options.   It is also handy if you are visiting Bridgewater Hall, like we were for an Alison Moyet concert and very close to the Premier Inn at Manchester Central, we were staying at.

The space is fantastic and was fairly quiet when we arrived, but it was only 17.30 pm, but by the time we left, it was packed.   The restaurant is modern, light and airy and we were shown to a lovely table of two and looked after by Paul.

Home serves pizza too and if you like your pizza with cheese, they also offer a vegan cheese with a charge of £1.

There are also several vegan wines on the list, although sadly not clearly labelled as such, maybe Home will address this issue one day.

Il Meridione
Emiliana Riesling
Domaine de la Motte Chablis
Sierra Grande Pinot Noir
Emiliana Adobe Cabernet Sauvignon
Pablo Y Walter Malbec

I ordered a bottle of the Emiliana Riesling, as you really cannot go wrong with wines made by this wine producer.

I was recommended the cauliflower buffalo wings, by my friend Rynneth on Twitter, so glad I took notice, she was right they were awesome.   The wings were the best I have eaten, they were superb with the zingy buffalo dip and along with olives, almonds and sun blush tomatoes, it was a perfect starter to share.

Main course was mushroom and bhaji burger, with roast red pepper, salsa and fries and it was another excellent choice.   The dish was brilliant so satisfying and delicious and a great combination with the mushroom and onion bhaji and is a dish I will replicate at home, I demolished it all.

Dessert to share was warm dark chocolate brownie with honeycomb and raspberry sorbet and was a spectacular dish, so much so I had to fight Steven over every last crumb.

I am thrilled to have found Home, the food is amazing, the place is fabulous, service from Paul our waiter was spot on and we cannot wait to return, as I have my eye on one their vegan pizzas.