Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Two Farmers Crisps

Two Farmers Crisps founders are farmer Mark and potato merchant Sean, who over a pint and a packet of crisps one night at the pub, decided to launch a brand new range of crisps in 100% compostable bags.   Their environmental footprint is further reduced, as the potatoes are grown and graded in Herefordshire, where they are stored, cooked and packed and even the cider vinegar is made from their own apples.

The bags are plastic free and completely compostable, breaking down if disposed of in your compost bin, within twenty six weeks.   If a conscientious small company like Two Farmers can offer a this kind of revolutionary and forward thinking packaging, the big companies have absolutely no excuse.

Two Farmers make two vegan friendly crisps packed in 40 g or 150 g bags, clearly labelled 'suitable for vegans' on the packet and contain no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives

I tried the lightly salted first, which were crisp and crunchy, with just the right amount of salt and not too greasy, unlike some brands when you end up with really oily fingers, they were delicious.

I am not a major vinegar crisp fan normally, as the vinegar can be a little harsh, but these are the exception.   The salt and vinegar combination was spot on, not too much, not too little, they were crisp and light and again not too greasy and I devoured them in a jiffy.

Its a win win with Two Farmers crisps, an excellent product and the packaging is a total winner for me, gives me a warm cuddly feeling that I am not harming the environment whilst snacking.

Two Farmers crisps are available to purchase via their website, where there is also a link to local stockists (see here) and I am pleased to see I can restock at three different places in Manchester.

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

Monday, 4 November 2019

Pizza Express Ocean Village Gibraltar 25th October 2019

Pizza Express is in Ocean Village, home to various restaurants, bars and hotel and has lovely views of the marina from the outside decking area.

Pizza Express Gibraltar, as in the UK offer vegan cheese, with the vegan logo proudly displayed on the menu and staff are fully aware what vegan means.

We ordered olives and sun dried tomatoes to nibble on, whilst having a drink and admiring the views, especially of what looks like a cruise ship, but is in fact a hotel.

The pizzas looked magnificent, when they were brought to the table, with a lovely base and plenty topping, our waitress brought a bottle of chilli oil to drizzle on and I have to say it was absolutely scrumptious.

We had some visitors whilst dining, cheeky little sparrows appeared from nowhere, as soon as the food was delivered and I could not resist giving them a few titbits.

I so enjoyed our pizza at Pizza Express Gibraltar, which is only a short walk from where the ship docks and has the most beautiful views of any Pizza Express I have ever been to.   Highly recommended.

Cavò Bistrot Corso Vittorio Emanuele Cagliari 23rd October 2019

Cavò Bistrot is a modern restaurant located in the heart of Cagliari, a few steps away from the busy Piazza Yenne.   We contemplated sitting outside, but the weather forecast was rain, so we sat inside which was a good move, as it started as soon we sat down.

Cavò Bistrot offer a six dish business lunch, as well as a lunch menu and as we were eating a big dinner later, we ordered October and tropical storm salads.

The complimentary sourdough bread and olive oil was delicious and perfect to nibble on, whilst we waited for our lunch.

The salads were a big portion, made with lovely fresh ingredients, with an almond cream dressing on Steven's salad and a citrus dressing on mine.   The salads were an ideal light lunch and after seeing other diners being served the huge business lunch, was the perfect choice.

Steven was still feeling peckish so ordered the panna cotta, served with fruit puree and mint granita, whilst I had a pot of camomile tea.   I could not try the panna cotta sadly, as it was made with soya milk, but Steven assured me it was scrumptious, it certainly looked like it.

We really enjoyed Cavò Bistrot and would definitely revisit when next in Cagliari, the staff were lovely and friendly too and spoke excellent English if you do not speak Italian.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Caffè Florian Piazza San Marco Venice 20th October 2019

Caffè Florian is a Venice icon and the oldest European coffee house opened on 29th December 1720 and flourishes today, with thousands of customers each year.   In the 20th century Caffè Florian introduced an orchestra to entertain customers and this continues to this day, with a charge of six euros per person for listening, which in my opinion is well worth it.

Earlier in the year I watched a TV programme about Caffè Florian, where Roberto one of the head waiters with more than thirty years experience working with the brand, was interviewed about its history, wine and music, with a visit to the kitchen to speak to chef.   I went online and the vegetarian club sandwich could easily be made vegan, so I emailed to enquire if they could cater for me, when I visited later in the year and this is the lovely reply.

Caffè Florian even have two wines clearly labelled vegan friendly on the list, maybe one day there will be vegan food options on the menu too.

Whilst docked in Dubrovnik I received an email to say chef would like to offer a vegan cheese, but had concerns if it was suitable for me, so sent me the ingredients.   I was blown away by this personal touch, Caffè Florian really go the extra mile to look after their customers and luckily I could have the cheese too.

I said I would arrive at one o'clock and it was very busy, as there were six cruise ships docked in Venice that day.   I explained to the waiter about my special order and he came back to confirm everything was organised, so we ordered two glasses of the vegan white wine and sat back to enjoy the music and atmosphere.

A large tray was served with handmade potato crisps, rosemary houmous, olives and two huge club sandwiches covered with serviettes (protection from the seagulls), wine and a note detailing every ingredient on the tray.   I was offered the note in English too, but I speak a little Italian so could read the note perfectly, so knew exactly what I was eating, but what a lovely caring thought.

The sandwich was scrumptious, the bread was lovely and moist and there was plenty filling, with the houmous, crisps and olives, a nice glass of wine, it was a memorable lunch I will never forget.

If you are visiting Venice and want an experience of a lifetime, then Caffè Florian are more than happy to accommodate you, all you need to do is drop them a line like I did.   Highly recommended.

Marta's Veggie Fusion Ul Kralja Petra Krešimira 8 Split 19th October 2019

Marta's Veggie Fusion is a family run vegan street food diner, right next to the beautiful Peristil square and we went there early for lunch, which was a good move, as it got busy later on.

The interior is light and bright, with menus clearly displayed over the open plan kitchen, with menus given out when you sit down and they were especially allergy aware.

The menus have something for everyone, from breakfast, lunch and dinner and loads of cakes in the window, so great for those with a sweet tooth.

I chose a falafel bowl, with mix a la wok for Steven and we nearly ordered a portion of fries each, but decided to share, which as it turned out was the right decision, as it was an ample portion.

The photos speak for themselves, just look at the vibrant colours, makes you want to dive in and eat, so we did just that and it was scrumptious, fresh and filling.   We were too full for dessert, but the cakes were so tempting, we ordered a takeaway tiramisu and lime slice to have on our balcony with a cup of tea later and they certainly did not disappointment.

We had a chat with Marta who is very enthusiastic and told us they make as much as possible on the premises and you can tell it is homemade.   Marta's is highly recommended when in Split.